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    Canonfire :: View topic - WotC Sends Take Down Notices for D&D PDFs
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    WotC Sends Take Down Notices for D&D PDFs
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 28, 2006
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    From: Barony of Trellwood, The Great Kingdom

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    Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:40 pm  
    WotC Sends Take Down Notices for D&D PDFs

    I got an email today from Paizo about the status of WotC PDFs. Evidently this is also taking place at other online retailers that have sold the same PDFs.

    So, if you have been thinking about buying that Greyhawk related PDF doc, you best do it before 12AM tonight.

    See the email I received below:
    Paizo wrote:
    Dear Bryan,

    Wizards of the Coast has notified us that we may no longer sell or distribute their PDF products. Accordingly, after April 6 at 11:59 PM Pacific time, Wizards of the Coast PDFs will no longer be available for purchase on paizo.com; after noon on April 7, you will no longer be able to download Wizards of the Coast PDFs that you have already purchased, so please make sure you have downloaded all purchased PDFs by that time.

    We thank you for your patronage of paizo.com. Please check out our other downloads at paizo.com/store/downloads.

    Sincerely yours,
    The Paizo Customer Service Team
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:35 pm  

    Apparently WotC thinks making it harder to purchase legal copies of their stuff will discourage piracy. Huh.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:47 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    Apparently WotC thinks making it harder to purchase legal copies of their stuff will discourage piracy. Huh.


    That would be a big 10-4. Speculation on the intertubes is that Hasbro/WotC will bring back PDFs with some form of DRM (because that worked so well the first time with their 3.5 PDFs, shudder).

    Basically, they are pulling in their IP until they can figure out how to control it. It just means that the pirates will buy a physical copy, scan and ocr it, and bam, it will be up on the torrent sites like most of the 3.5 stuff that never was officially put out by WotC.

    I understand that they think they can stop piracy. But the fact is, they won't. Buy making legal content available with super restrictive DRM will turn off buyers (me for one) because we don't want the hassle.

    Good luck WotC, you are going to need it.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:26 pm  

    Why push 3.5 in any way when you have 4e products to sell? I see it as just a simple bidness' move to nudge folks towards 4e.
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    Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:30 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Why push 3.5 in any way when you have 4e products to sell? I see it as just a simple bidness' move to nudge folks towards 4e.


    Cebrion,

    It wasn't just 3e products. It was all PDFs from WotC, period. OD&D, Basic, 1e, 2e, 3e, and currently 4e.

    It was done abruptly and evidently was justified because there is piracy going on and they think that it will go away buy DRMing their product and prosecuting some pirates that are dumb enough to get caught.

    Its beyond stupid but evidently someone has seen the great success of the RIAA and MPAA in their efforts to stop piracy...
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:15 am  

    Ninja'd before I could edit. Yes, people will complain about the move to do this, but you can't really blame WotC for doing this(3.5 and otherwise). They have to draw the line somewhere, and so they have. I don't really have a problem with DRMs anyways so long as they are sensible(some have been, some not).
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:23 am  

    Saracenus wrote:
    I understand that they think they can stop piracy. But the fact is, they won't. Buy making legal content available with super restrictive DRM will turn off buyers (me for one) because we don't want the hassle.


    Not only that, but in the end DRM ends up being circumvented and the content posted online via bittorrent anyway. Look how many times Sony corp has had their DRM protected IP ripped and posted online. Now WoTC wants to start a fight they cannot possibly win against an enemy they cannot stop.

    All this action does is penalize people who purchased legal PDF products. Nothing more. And it's kicked off a flurry of piracy already. A quick glance at even a few tracker sites that I know of shows that old archives are being dusted off, updated and seeded like crazy.
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:29 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Ninja'd before I could edit. Yes, people will complain about the move to do this, but you can't really blame WotC for doing this(3.5 and otherwise). They have to draw the line somewhere, and so they have. I don't really have a problem with DRMs anyways so long as they are sensible(some have been, some not).


    Blame them? No.

    But this was perhaps the dumbest move I've seen done by WoTC yet. Not only does this anger the customers that they so desperately need right now, but it's no doubt damaged the relationship they had with their distributors.

    Coincidentally, WoTC announced a new retailer agreement today (at the same time they forced their online retailers to shut down and pull the WoTC products off the digital shelves).

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=retailer/support
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:46 am  

    dont know if the expression is the same in english, but this was a "shoot in the own foot".


    whats best: have legal pdf, and have some people buying and others getting by pirate way, or nobody buying, and all getting the illegal way?
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:38 am  

    rossik wrote:
    dont know if the expression is the same in english, but this was a "shoot in the own foot".


    Rossik, you are pretty much there with the English version of the phrase... you are just missing the "oneself."

    Shooting oneself in the foot.

    rossik wrote:
    whats best: have legal pdf, and have some people buying and others getting by pirate way, or nobody buying, and all getting the illegal way?


    I was going to do a long rant here about the whys and wherefores of how they have shot themselves in the foot, but it takes too much energy to do it. I am tired of the continual PR missteps that WotC has been taking of late. It just makes me incredibly sad.

    ~~Saracenus
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:11 am  

    This is just stupid. WotC just lost anopther customer. I will also let my local game store know that I will not be purchasing any WotC products. Perhaps if they hear it from their retailers, they will consider being a bit more customer friendly...
    Site Theocrat

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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:26 am  
    SPORE Anyone?

    Hi all -
    Evidently, WotC/Hasbro hasn't learned from SPORE. With the most draconian DRM it was the most downloaded video game of all time.
    With old 1e, 2e, 3.xE, and now 4e things have been scanned and uploaded. It's not just WotC products. Many of AEG's and Necromancer games products weren't in PDF so they have been scanned and uploaded to torrent sites. Even products that are watermarked - those have been cracked and tutorials about how to break and crack watermarks have been uploaded.
    Even with Paizo's username and e-mail address on top and bottom of their PDF's - it hasn't stopped but it has limited the ability of people to trade PDF's.
    WotC does need to protect their IP. However, draconian measures make real fans and people that purchase products in PDF to search for illegal ways. Those that typically download PDF's don't actually use too much of the product (this from an RPGNow.com study a few years ago).
    Preventing someone from being able to download a purchase at a later date sure does open up some counter suits (unless of course when you purchase a PDF from an online store, it says that it could be canceled at anytime).
    One of my issues with this is that the RIAA believes that copying your CD to an MP3 is actually illegal - because there is iTunes and Amazon where MP3's can be purchased cheaply. However, what happens when the RIAA decides that they no longer like iTunes and Amazon selling MP3's? That's what's happening here. WotC no longer wants these PDF's out there. Thus they will simply vanish from the ethernet? Not likely. I just hope that when WotC cancels all the PDF sales - that they have something already in place to take over, unlike when they canceled Dragon/Dungeon and then waited several months to give an example of that you'd get in return. Or what about the Character Creator online?
    Unfortunately, WotC has a piss-poor lead up to it's proposals - at least since the removal of Ryan Dancey and so many others from the 3.0 era. But even then the 3.0 PHB had the PC creator that was full of suck-fest.
    Lets hope that Paizo doesn't go the route of WotC 4th Edition.

    Be Well. Be Well PDF'd.
    Theocrat Issak
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:41 am  

    I spent a few hours last night downloading all the pdf I had already purchased so I would not lose them. They didn't give much notice.
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    GreySage

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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:01 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Ninja'd before I could edit. Yes, people will complain about the move to do this, but you can't really blame WotC for doing this(3.5 and otherwise).


    No, of course not. I applaud them for valiantly putting their fingers in the dike several years after all the water leaked out.

    The PDFs are already out there in the wild. The torrents are still being seeded, and the peer-to-peer file sharing networks still exist. Closing the stores aren't going to make them go away. It's not even going to make them rarer. Most of the pirate copies originated as homemade scans rather than coming from PDF stores anyway. Nobody faults them for wanting to stop piracy; we fault them for their staggering ignorance of technology. Their motivations aren't in question, just the stupidity of their tactics. It's not even that it's dumb from a public-relations standpoint; it's dumb because it doesn't advance their goals at all.

    There's a reason the music companies have mostly stopped using DRM: it doesn't work. In this case, nobody even has to crack it before spreading DRM-free copies far and wide, because DRM-free copies of all these books are already as common as dirt. The only people affected by the DRM will be the honest ones, and they didn't need it in the first place.

    I'm not angry or indignant. I'm not swearing vengeance or threatening a boycott. I'm just... contemptuous. It's a boneheaded and useless move. Just sad.
    Forum Moderator

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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:07 am  

    WotC makes another boneheaded move? I'm not even shocked anymore. Totally inured. Oh well. I am reflecting on how I never cared nor even heard about the business dealings of RPGs when I was younger and enjoying D&D. The internet really does ruin everything. :P
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:19 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    Nobody faults them for wanting to stop piracy; we fault them for their staggering ignorance of technology.


    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    Given just how boneheaded and stupid this move is by WoTC, i'm going to go out on a limb here and say this was the idea of someone fairly high up in the hierarchy. Only a 'senior vice president' or someone similar could be so completely out of touch with reality as to think that this was a good move for the company to make.

    And to confirm, old torrent streams are spreading like wildfire across the tracker sites as I type this.
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:03 am  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    I spent a few hours last night downloading all the pdf I had already purchased so I would not lose them. They didn't give much notice.


    Me too. I saw the Paizo email with a couple hours left on the drop dead date, and downloaded fresh copies of all my previous purchases to burn onto CD, as a last ditch attempt to protect my investment in those Pdf's.

    As things stand today, the only legal way to obtain out of print material is to buy an old printed copy, which is for all intents and purposes, an effective barrier to entry for a newcomer.

    I am bummed by what I'm hard pressed not to feel is a final bulldozer load of dirt onto Greyhawk fandom.

    I miss the day when everyone played an RPG that came complete in three books. Today it's either onerous subscription model marketing engineered to squeeze every possible dollar, or micro-niche games that no one outside of a university stands a chance of finding 4 other people who want to play.

    But what disturbs me, is that I suspect this latest move by Hasbro is part of a long term strategy by big intellectual property companies to get government to pass increasingly restrictive laws to limit internet activity, because business will claim that it's necessary to protect their rights. In some EU nations strict laws have already hit the books.

    Today I am a very sad worm.

    nematode
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:15 am  

    nematode wrote:
    But what disturbs me, is that I suspect this latest move by Hasbro is part of a long term strategy by big intellectual property companies to get government to pass increasingly restrictive laws to limit internet activity, because business will claim that it's necessary to protect their rights. In some EU nations strict laws have already hit the books.

    Today I am a very sad worm.

    nematode


    I suspect we will see an explosion in file trading over this move. Mind you, i'm not advocating it at all, but if US history is any guide then the response to situations like this has ALWAYS resulted in smuggling (or in this case, digital piracy).
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:28 am  
    PDFs..

    If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on WotC wanting to distribute the .pdf files themselves. I believe there is enough interest in the older material that they would now want to remove the middle-man. They would know since I'm sure they get a royalty for every copy sold through third-parties.

    I'm not a betting man, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. ...Though I said the same thing about Castle Zygag and nothing has happened yet that we can see.
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:34 am  
    Re: PDFs..

    Raymond wrote:
    If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on WotC wanting to distribute the .pdf files themselves.


    They'll get into some moderately serious legal troubles for going about it in this manner then. They have to find a way to deal with the people who already purchased PDF products and now can't download them anymore.

    Not to mention the fact that as news of this spreads through the gamer forums and chat rooms, the nearly universal opinion is not in favor of WoTC's actions. And these are people who will spend days arguing over the 'proper spelling' of a term listed in a book that is over 20 years old.
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:43 am  

    weaver95 wrote:
    nematode wrote:
    But what disturbs me, is that I suspect this latest move by Hasbro is part of a long term strategy by big intellectual property companies to get government to pass increasingly restrictive laws to limit internet activity, because business will claim that it's necessary to protect their rights. In some EU nations strict laws have already hit the books.

    Today I am a very sad worm.

    nematode


    I suspect we will see an explosion in file trading over this move. Mind you, i'm not advocating it at all, but if US history is any guide then the response to situations like this has ALWAYS resulted in smuggling (or in this case, digital piracy).


    Yeah, I expect you're probably right. Sadly, our history also shows that government crackdowns in response to activity like this end up helping no one in the final analysis, while hurting basically everyone, particularly joes in the street like you and me.

    nematode
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:47 am  

    nematode wrote:
    Yeah, I expect you're probably right. Sadly, our history also shows that government crackdowns in response to activity like this end up helping no one in the final analysis, while hurting basically everyone, particularly joes in the street like you and me.

    nematode


    not entirely true - the newly minted 'criminals' make out like a bandit by trading the newly controlled item on the black market. the only real losers are the people who play it straight and obey the law.
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:03 am  

    weaver95 wrote:
    nematode wrote:
    Yeah, I expect you're probably right. Sadly, our history also shows that government crackdowns in response to activity like this end up helping no one in the final analysis, while hurting basically everyone, particularly joes in the street like you and me.

    nematode


    not entirely true - the newly minted 'criminals' make out like a bandit by trading the newly controlled item on the black market. the only real losers are the people who play it straight and obey the law.


    I was going to ask who profits from cutting the Player's Handbook 2 out of its spine and feeding it through a scanner, but on second thought, I really don't want to know.


    nematode
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:58 am  

    Nematode,

    As far as I can tell there is no profit in putting D&D ebooks up on torrents other than the fact that you can do it.

    I don't think this is an organized operation for profit kind of thing. Its not like you can put a pdf on a blanket on a NY street and sell bootleg copies of the PH2 or Temple of Elemental Evil.

    The economics of it is a mystery to me.

    No question putting up and downloading someone's IP on torrents is an illegal act.

    Ethically there is definitely a clash between old and new paradigms of what is theft. Its a little weird arguing that because technology has changed how IP can be delivered that it has passed from a private to public good. On the other hand WotC's take down of PDFs in total with little or no notice was on shaky ethical ground.

    Philanthropically speaking does the pirate or WotC leave the world a better place by their actions? I don't have an answer for that.

    In those 4 filters this debate can get a bit tangled. As someone who's heraldry work has appeared without permission or attribution on many different sites (ironically including ENworld) I have mixed feelings on this issue.

    What I am sure of is WotC has mishandled this badly and taken a not so great situation and made it far worse than it ever had to be.

    My Two Coppers
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:09 pm  

    Too little too late, or not understanding the technology doesn't apply here seeing as the movie studios, music companies, and software developers haven't shut down torrent sites in general either, and I'm pretty sure that those industries more than understand the technology. I don't expect HASBRO to accomplish anything either with their comparatively meager resources, but its not unresonbale to expect them to actually make the effort.

    Perhaps they'll pull all of the PDFs in-house, and hopefully upgrade some of the older crappy scan PDFs so that they are actually worth purchasing. In the mean-time they are likely only losing some slight business as I imagine many people are simply going for the illegal copies rather than actually pay for legitimate copies. Never underestimate the cheapness of the average gamer(8 years of working in a huge hobby shop bears this out). Wink

    The only bad thing that could result is that older material ends up not being offered at all.
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:07 pm  
    Who Profits?

    Hi all -
    I too have mixed feelings on this. While I've never purchased a WotC item from RPGNow.com I have purchased several OGL items. I'm hopeful that these don't go the way of WotC. However, when I last ordered the SORD for PF Beta, I was informed that I would be limited to 5 downloads. I was informed of this at the time of my purchase so thus I am OK with this.
    As to who actually benefits from scanners/PDF traders? While WotC will state that they infact do not benefit, they do. So do all companies with whom there are PDF's. In fact, just this week I purchased Complete Eldritch Might from Monte Cook because of his PDF's (his original EM for 3.0 was one of the first PDF's I ever purchased). Because I prefer books over PDF's (as I don't DM with a laptop), I went out and purchased the book.
    Same with Warlords of the Accordlands. There is a PDF out there - a scanned copy of the Monsters & Lairs book. I liked what I saw and I bought it from my local store.
    While it can be said that by downloading the book (Monsters & Lairs) I hurt AEG's sales. Unless they sell that book in PDF (which since this was a poorly done scan at 100MB, it's doubtful) I in fact helped their sale. I would not have purchased the book unless I'd had the chance to see the Devil of Kvar that I wanted to use. I even printed those pages from the PDF.
    Thus, AEG and my local store (and my local community due to the taxes vs. Amazon) won.
    While this might be the odd aspect of my purchase from PDF to book or might be a rare aspect in general it is often the case (per one of RPGNow.com's survey's a few years ago - as well as in their ePDF book).
    I'm not saying that PDF book sharing is wrong or doesn't exist - as evidently it does. What I believe is that if it does, does it really hurt their bottom line? This is the same argument that RIAA and Hollywood have been declaring for years. With the release of Wolverine - 1million downloads - we'll see how badly the movie is hurt by the downloads.
    With WotC doing away with the "legal" aspect of their products - how far underground are they going to drive the PDF file sharing? How underground is it now? Is it realitvely easy for a neophyte to find a place to pick up PDF's? What about other places besides Torrents? Can you just go somewhere and download the files you'd like?
    This is what the community needs to wonder. If so, is it something worth stopping? Is it worth supporting, or just supporting quietly?

    As to why would someone want to slice off the binder on their PHB, well I did it for my 3.5 PHB so that I could then print/photocopy pages from other sources (Kalamar Players Guide, AEG's Mercenaries and others) for classes, spells and feats to insert. I had what I called my ULTIMATE PHB, well over 600pages and had to have it re-bound for use.

    But is it OK to have a scan of a product in which you do own? I own a Dragon Feat Collection that someone posted. I own every single Dragon mag from issue 100-360. This is only 309-360. I then took it to my local shop and printed just this past week and bound it. Thus I don't have to carry around 51 different Dragon Magazines just for the feats. This would follow under the concepts of fair use, but while I have several source books that apply, I'm sure only a lawyer would know for sure. And even then....
    Be Well. Be Well Copyrighted.
    Theocrat Issak
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:51 pm  
    Re: Who Profits?

    TheocratIssak wrote:
    With WotC doing away with the "legal" aspect of their products - how far underground are they going to drive the PDF file sharing? How underground is it now? Is it realitvely easy for a neophyte to find a place to pick up PDF's? What about other places besides Torrents? Can you just go somewhere and download the files you'd like?
    This is what the community needs to wonder. If so, is it something worth stopping? Is it worth supporting, or just supporting quietly?


    I can answer some of those questions.

    For starters - it's not going to go very far underground at all. there's little need to do so, as the software behind bittorrent makes it difficult (if not impossible) to catch even a newb who's seeding a torrent and sharing the file while being mostly anonymous. sure, WoTC *could* spend time and money digging out who's on the seeder list...but that would take time, cost some fairly serious money and be ultimately useless in a court of law (for reasons I won't go into here).

    Is it easy to pick up PDFs? yes and no. it depends on what people seed and how many/often said torrents get seeded. It's a fair bet that right now you can easily find a LOT of D&D torrents, and I'm going to guess and speculate that we will see more access to those torrents than was previously the case. Telling bittorrent users that they can't seed something is probably the best was I know of to make sure they seed something far and wide.

    As to availability - again, it depends on what the torrent community feels like seeding. some days you catch what you want, some days you don't. But in terms of availablity, essentially you ask for someone to seed something and depending on which tracker site you use, it's possible to get it relatively quickly. As to easy of use, most bittorrent clients are extremely user friendly. disturbingly so. And they're free to boot, as are the instruction sites on how to set up and use them. plus the forums of said community are robust and fairly helpful.

    And for the last question - is it worth stopping? I cannot answer that question for you. I can only point to the efforts of RIAA/MPAA. they've waged a 10 year war against file trading, spend MILLIONS of dollars in court cases alone (not to mention hiring lobbyists, renting congressthings, running PSA campaigns, etc etc) and file trading has not only continued, the technology behind it has actually improved by leaps and bounds. Can it be stopped? Maybe. But not without a lot more money being spent, and a lot of laws being rewritten in ways that would probably cause more harm than anything currently on the books. it's very much a case of the cure being FAR worse than the disease! So I would suggest carefully doing your own research on that subject and consider for yourself what you want to believe.

    Bah. sorry for the edit(s). But if you want proper spelling, get a mage.
    GreySage

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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:18 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Too little too late, or not understanding the technology doesn't apply here seeing as the movie studios, music companies, and software developers haven't shut down torrent sites in general either, and I'm pretty sure that those industries more than understand the technology.


    "Haven't shut down torrent sites in general either?" I wasn't aware WotC had made an effort in that direction. As far as I know, all they've done is pulled the license for people to sell their PDFs - and, considering this accomplishes nothing in regards to internet piracy, it reeks of not understanding the technology, and it's certainly far too little, far too late.

    When movie studios, music companies, and so on decide, after something like ten years of steady business (I think I bought my first AD&D PDF in 2001), to stop trying to sell things over the internet in the strange misguided belief that this will make bootlegs rarer, your comparison might begin to make some sense. The opposite has happened, though; the music industry has, by and large, moved from a DRM model to a DRM-free model (I've bought DRM-free tracks on Amazon, for example), because after years and years of fighting the obvious with all the resources at their disposal, they've figured out that DRM only penalizes people who've bought their stuff legally. They understand the technology now; WotC apparently doesn't.

    As for bad things that result - well, they're losing all the sales they might have gotten until they figure out a new business model (I can't be the only one who's bought quite a few), they've lost a fair amount of customer goodwill, and yes, there's some risk they'll decide it isn't cost-effective to bother converting some of the older material. And DRM can make files less useful; for example, if they limit the amount of copies we can make, or the amount of computers we can put it on (as iTunes has), it becomes very hard to make back-ups or to continue using the file when you buy a new computer. A file can become useless if the proprietary format is no longer supported.

    Upgrading some of the older crappy scans is a splendid idea, and I hope it happens.
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:13 pm  
    I was considering non-torrect aspects

    Hi all -
    Weaver posts several good points about Torrent sites. I use torrent sites but never for PDF's. In fact it never occured to me to do so. And I'm not a torrent neophyte. With torrent download programs such as uTorrent, you can see the IP of fellow downloaders. So even WotC could follow up on people, provided they weren't using an anonymous program.
    I was referencing non-torrent aspects of PDF's. I"m certain that there is other areas to get PDF's.
    These other areas is what I'm interested in. As in - ftp sites, e-mail sharing and other front end aspects. I am not asking for the locations and for those that are interested in sharing (Holian frowns upon such things, as well as being against the ToS, and as an Admin I think it would be further frowned upon!).
    I am wondering about these aspects. Are they a viable aspect that confronts WotC to a degree? Is there a group that provides the original purchase or scan that then uploads for others. Is this something that WotC must also look at besides just torrents? If it is so widespread that torrents are everywhere with WotC IP, then is this the area that people will utilize to "hide" from WotC's online forces?

    What affect does this have on WotC's other online features? I'm sure that DDI will be hacked, in fact I've seen a potential release on one of the torrent sites - but will this work? I'm unsure of the amount of hacking done with things like WoW, but I'm sure it's out there on private servers. Is this the sort of thing that will become the norm?
    Again, I'm not asking for locations or even real discussions. I'm asking what us - internet savy people think of the situation, what steps WotC can and should take as well as what steps PDF sharers will likely take.
    Just to understand the issue from all points of view.

    Be Well. Be Well PDF'd, some more.
    Theocrat Issak
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:48 pm  
    Re: I was considering non-torrect aspects

    TheocratIssak wrote:
    What affect does this have on WotC's other online features? I'm sure that DDI will be hacked, in fact I've seen a potential release on one of the torrent sites - but will this work? I'm unsure of the amount of hacking done with things like WoW, but I'm sure it's out there on private servers. Is this the sort of thing that will become the norm?
    Again, I'm not asking for locations or even real discussions. I'm asking what us - internet savy people think of the situation, what steps WotC can and should take as well as what steps PDF sharers will likely take.
    Just to understand the issue from all points of view.

    Be Well. Be Well PDF'd, some more.
    Theocrat Issak


    hmm.

    well, anything I might have on the subject would be purely speculation so keep that in mind.

    I would hazard a guess that in the short term not much would happen with 4ed sales of dead tree product. as word spreads to various/sundry gamer communities online, puzzlement and shock will (in some quarters) turn to anger and resentment. how far and widespread that resentment will be is anyone's guess, but I think it's fair to say that the more technologically adept gamers will find this move by WoTC contemptible. It's safe to say that they will not be well disposed to new releases of WoTC products in the future.

    Speculating further, I would also feel confident in saying that given current market conditions, WoTC (and Hasbro) will find that consumer anger at what is widely perceived as corporate arrogance (and/or stupidity) could easily translate into a much bigger impact on their bottom line than they anticipated. It's never a good time to tick off your customers, but when the entire market is on shaky ground, it's even more risky than is the norm. Gamers are vocal, particularly those of us with technological skills. Investors listen to loud voices, and in a volatile market that is already VERY skittish.....well, it's best not to roll that particular set of dice if you don't have to do so.

    WoTC hasn't yet made much (if anything) of any further announcements concerning this action. they claim that 'stopping piracy' was at the core of their motives....but again, speculation is rampant that WoTC plans on opening their own PDF sales site. If true, and this does happen, the perception of greed on their part combined with a certain amount of brutal heavy handedness in their actions will provide a significant handicap for them to overcome. Add to the fact that Paizo and other companies are already exploiting the ill will generated by WoTC over the way they handled this 'anti-piracy' move, and any move to establish an online store of their own will face quite an uphill battle.

    As news of all this trickles out to the rest of the gamer community, WoTC will face yet more confusion and perhaps even anger. 4e books already have a reputation (in some cases unearned) for being of shoddy manufacture. Additional bad press will only convince still more of the customer base that WoTC isn't to be trusted.


    But as I said, that is pure speculation on my part. So take it for what you will.
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    Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:12 pm  

    WoTC forum reps are really cracking the whip on their discussion board(s). they're going pretty hard nose on any post that might even walk CLOSE to thinking about a positive attitude towards supporting 'piracy'.

    So i'm guessing that they all got a stern talking to from someone up in corporate about how to handle customer complaints.
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    Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:26 am  

    I understand all the whys and wherefores of WOTCs actions. They want to sell them inhouse, or limit 3.5 distribution, or stop piracy. Yadda yadda yadda.

    What is consistent, and the only thing that really bothers me is the cosistent and utter lack of concern for their real customer base. The ridiculously short timeline which they established to download demonstrates that they dont care, which is a fundamental business failing.

    I was able to get all of the PDFs that I purchased, though it was a close thing. However, I was not able to get all of the online content that supports the Dungeon Magazines that I faithfully purchased over the years. And I have not had time to sit down and download any of it as of yet.

    Can I still get it? Dont know, I am looking now.

    WOTC, Hasbro, like banks and insurance companies, has decided their business is making money. Their business is selling materials that people want, and thereby they will make money. Subtle but critical in running a succesful business.

    Good Luck WOTC, your going to need it. I, personally, will never buy another e-product that has any WOTC participation. They are clearly unworthy of the basic trust that makes business function.

    For several years now I have depended upon this forum and similar for most good gaming material. I can live with that in the future.
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    Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:50 am  

    Saracenus wrote:
    Nematode,

    As far as I can tell there is no profit in putting D&D ebooks up on torrents other than the fact that you can do it.

    I don't think this is an organized operation for profit kind of thing. Its not like you can put a pdf on a blanket on a NY street and sell bootleg copies of the PH2 or Temple of Elemental Evil.

    The economics of it is a mystery to me.


    There is no economic rationale to it. It's instead people who have an anarchistic idea that anything they want should be free -- it's the same rationale that fired Napster back in the day. These people aren't looking for an economic incentive, they're looking for kudos, to be able to say "we got it on line first." In the same vein, back the old anime fansubbing days (and the VHS fansubbers had ethics, mind you... well... most of them, at least) you'd see the credits on fansubbed shows obscured by "Timed by K3wl Gui 238, Subtitles by ^NekoCh4N^," and so on.

    Quote:
    No question putting up and downloading someone's IP on torrents is an illegal act.


    Agreed. It's reprehensible. As you mention further down in your OP, that's taking away your right to enjoy the credit to the sweat of your brow and brain.

    Quote:
    Ethically there is definitely a clash between old and new paradigms of what is theft. Its a little weird arguing that because technology has changed how IP can be delivered that it has passed from a private to public good. On the other hand WotC's take down of PDFs in total with little or no notice was on shaky ethical ground.

    Philanthropically speaking does the pirate or WotC leave the world a better place by their actions? I don't have an answer for that.


    That's a good question. I am for the idea ofd a robust public domain -- where after a fixed (and NON-PERPETUAL) period of exclusivity to copyright, the material is freed into the public sphere to become the cultural patrimony of the nation and world. On the other hand, the rights-holder deserves, during that exclusive period, to benefit from their work, financially, creatively, and morally. To rip the book and spread it online because you can robs the artist of those three rights. Now, any of us could post an entire verbatim script to "Hamlet" right on this forum if we wanted to, and I'd have no problems (Cebrion, on the other hand, would probably like it not to happen though Laughing ). I'd even go as far forward as to say anything published before 1945 ought to be right now in the public domain, as there is a fairly good chance that the authors have passed by now, and for those who haven't, they hopefully have written other works that can still be covered under copyright.

    But a work of today? No. That is theft. It's theft because nothing exists to say it's free. It's the difference between taking an abandoned sofa from a street corner or breaking into a house and stealing a new sofa from someone's living room.

    The thief adds nothing creative to the work. He does not respect its entry into the world of cultural philanthropy. And I doubt he's doing it for the altruistic notion of "Information should be free" so much as "Waaaaah... I don't wanna pay $35 for the book."
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    Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:08 pm  

    [quote="Pat_Payne"]
    Saracenus wrote:
    The thief adds nothing creative to the work. He does not respect its entry into the world of cultural philanthropy. And I doubt he's doing it for the altruistic notion of "Information should be free" so much as "Waaaaah... I don't wanna pay $35 for the book."


    that's all well and good, but - and pardon me for being blunt - so what?

    Look, i've seen literally hundreds of thousands of gigabytes of online arguments all claiming to 'prove' that 'illegal downloading' is a morally reprehensible act and some sort of vile crime that should have harsh penalties. Hell, some of those arguments might even be right. I'm not a lawyer, how would I know for sure? But you know what - it doesn't matter. Because right or wrong, legal or not, file trading exists RIGHT NOW. it's going on RIGHT NOW. All of your well reasoned arguments are precisely useless because it stops nothing.

    so for the record, let's just clear the air and all agree that 'file trading' (or to be more exact - pirating WoTC pdf property at any rate) is 'illegal'. You've won that argument. it's done. we all agree is a bad, bad thing.

    Now what do you?
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    Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:00 pm  

    weaver95 wrote:

    Now what do you?


    My short answer is, sad to say -- nothing. Trying to corral all of those PDFs being traded is like the farcical notion of some that the US Government can confiscate all guns whenever it wishes. The Genie is out of the bottle, and it can't be crammed back in.

    The only way to surely stop online piracy is to ban the Internet. Full stop. Smash the servers, disband ICANN, basically put an end to the Net. It's an axiom in security circles that no amount of protection can completely stop a committed, fanatical assassin from reaching his target. In the same way, no amount of DRM is going to stop a determined pirate from copying works.

    This isn't to say that they shouldn't go after the most egregious offenders. But realizing that piracy is bad and knowing that realistically it's here to stay are not two diametrically opposed opinions.
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    Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:08 am  

    Unless people at Wizbro have gone completely nuts, this can mean only two things:

    1. DI users will sooner or later get access to a digital library of earlier editions.

    2. The D&D license is to be sold/something global is going to happen.
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    Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:09 am  

    Ivid wrote:
    Unless people at Wizbro have gone completely nuts, this can mean only two things:

    1. DI users will sooner or later get access to a digital library of earlier editions.


    Possible. My own thoughts run to them wanting the whole of the PDF revenue to themselves, without having to share with Paizo or OneBookShelf.

    Ivid wrote:
    2. The D&D license is to be sold/something global is going to happen.


    I wish this were so, O undying one. But I've got a feelng WotC is going to ride D&D the full way. After all, from what I hear, 4e is actually doing fairly well -- just not meeting what may have been unrealistic expectations from WotC and Hasbro. So, I don't see them divesting D&D anytime soon. As for the second, what "global" event had you in mind?
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    Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:18 am  

    Smile

    A lot of possible events are coming to my mind.

    Re-licensing of the materials the older editions, maybe.
    An update to 4.5.
    A flatrate on oldschool books for DI subscribers.

    Or, much worse, legal actions against fan sites that publish material for older editions/cancelled settings.

    Everything, purely theoretical, but all of this has already been discussed in other occassions.
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    Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:23 pm  

    Welp, evidently the level of nerd rage on the subject of PDFgate is significant enough for WotC's CEO, Greg Leeds, to speak out on the issue.

    There are two interviews (see links below), staggering in their lack of information provided. That is, if you don't count the statement that WotC will not get back into the PDF market, ever.

    http://www.enworld.org/forum/news/254134-exclusive-interview-wizards-coast-president-greg-leeds.html

    http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/14726.html

    Enjoy,

    ~~Saracenus


    Last edited by Saracenus on Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:46 pm  

    This really frustrates me on several levels. I had purchased a few PDFs from Paizo a while back and was just looking them over again the other day before I got the email stating they were gone forever.

    This happens to be occuring at the same time I am starting a new campaign and was looking at adding a book or two to my collection as fresh fodder. I am exactly the kind of customer that is hurt by this. Someone who has cash in hand, wants to purchase the product and cannot.

    My fear is that this is a mechanism to push people toward 4th edition. :(
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    Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:09 pm  

    From the interview, their primary concern seems to be the pirating of 4th edition books; while by their numbers 10% of all downloads of the PHbII put money in their pocket, they thought it would be better if the number was 0% until such a time as they found an alternative to the popular PDF format.

    Ending PDF sales before they have an alternate system in place is the most bewildering part of this boundless stupidity; I almost have to conclude they want to encourage piracy.
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    Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:29 pm  

    What rasgon has said.

    Apart from that, just because I think there have been some very good ideas in this thread, but I am alltogether a lazy person, I'd like to quote what I wrote on another message board.

    Rafael wrote:
    The problem, from all I get so far, is that 4e simply is not doing well.

    Why so? - Out of all the reasons the fans usually name.

    Now, not to say it isn't hard to work on the base of what 3e left - a basically open source rule system and almost every setting and theme of roleplaying already covered extensively by themselves or a 3pp.

    Still, the kind of mismanagement Wizbro has displayed for the rpg market since 4e is stunning.

    First, the killing off of the print magazines.
    The GSL that noone accepted.
    The cancellation of Living Greyhawk.
    The cancellation of Living Death.
    The ending of the 3e Dragonlance line that was very well-liked.
    The FR revamp that noone liked.
    Then, the cancellation of the PDF distribution.

    I like to think that people who have supposedly learned their business
    take some measures out of a reason, but this looks to me like deliberately raining on the D&D parade by destroying functioning and doing-well structures.

    Not that I really care, but I guess the damage to D&D as a brand could not be worse if the Hasbro CEO committed public seppuku.

    Not wanting to revert to one of those pseudo-businessmman discussions,
    but that doesn't make sense to me at all.

    Other companies seem to be successful WITHOUT constantly trying to castrate the hobby - like White Wolf, Mongoose, Atlas Games, Troll Lord Games, or even Paizo.

    All this entire matter gives me is yet another TSR-related facepalm and the certainty that the days of D&D are numbered.

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    Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:18 pm  

    Ivid,

    I think 4e is doing just fine. There are many playing it and the books are selling.

    As someone who is taking business courses on the way to being an accountant I can tell you that WotC (and its parent company Hasbro) are meticulous in their use of cost accounting and marketing to make a profit. Trust me there wouldn't be PH3 material ready for play test in June or July if they were failing economically*.

    I am deliberately emphasizing that last word. Economically speaking, the D&D brand is doing quite well. It is failing in other interesting ways that my intended profession does not always quantify.

    If you look at the world of business as an ecosystem (trust me some do, a lot of companies don't) then you will be aware of the impact of your actions in said environment.

    Back in the days of Ryan Dancey WotC was trying to practice what is called mutualistic behavior (both WotC and their competitors benefit) which culminated in the creation of the OGL and the D20 license. But there was a countervailing force at work in WotC that felt this was giving up precious market share for little in return.

    This led to WotC drifting to a Commensal phase when Dancey left the company. WotC benefited while it did not significantly harm or help competitors. This was most obvious in the benign neglect of updating the SRD and with newer material that remained closed.

    Now WotC is treading on the dark side and heading into Parasitic behavior (They win, everyone else is damaged or dying). They are not full blown black hat yet, but they keep stepping over the line intentionally or unintentionally and are damaging the hobby in the long term in the blind pursuit of the profit of now.

    You will notice I say long term. Right now their methods will produce results for them. I am sure that my accounting brethren are dutifully providing them with facts and figures that support the executive teams vision for the gaming market.

    What they are not seeing is the loss of good will, healthy competition, and sustainable product releases. This is a problem. D&D is not dead, yet. But it will probably die by little cuts over time as future product doesn't perform as well as past. Once a tipping point is reached then WotC and Hasbro will do what they do well, be ruthless with underperforming product then you can worry about the death of D&D.

    * = WotC is ruthless about killing game lines that don't perform. Just breaking even is not good enough, a game has to contributing heartily to the bottom line.
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    Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:38 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    From the interview, their primary concern seems to be the pirating of 4th edition books; while by their numbers 10% of all downloads of the PHbII put money in their pocket, they thought it would be better if the number was 0% until such a time as they found an alternative to the popular PDF format.


    I found this comment particularly interesting:

    Another theory out there is that Wizards plans to sell PDFs itself, and wanted to get the entire margin, rather than sharing it with third party Websites. Whatís your response to that theory?

    Simply put the theory is incorrect. We donít plan to sell PDFs at all, and are looking into other options for the digital distribution of our content.

    So they say they AREN'T punishing those who purchased legal PDF files of their content BUT they aren't going to allow legal sales of those PDF files ever again. And this is all because they want to 'stop piracy', which they cannot PROVE has increased at all because they won't share the source of their data, we just have to take their word for it.

    Ok, granted - it's their intellectual property. they can do whatever the heck they want to it. But they're nuts if they think this will go over well with the gamer community.

    Quote:
    Ending PDF sales before they have an alternate system in place is the most bewildering part of this boundless stupidity; I almost have to conclude they want to encourage piracy.


    I did some quick and dirty Google research on Greg Leeds. I don't find him listed in Forbes database of industry leaders. I also find very little information on his previous experiences with running a corporation and it looks like his major job prior to his promotion to the head of WoTC was chief bottlewasher for a couple executives at Hasbro corporate offices.

    Hmm.

    Actually, that makes rather a lot of sense. If Leeds is what I suspect, then he's a standard issue MBA clone who was looking at WoTC as being a checkmark on his career path. Not necessarily a bad thing, but he has little to no experience with the hobby and no understanding of his market. I strongly suspect that this PDF move was simply something that him and his golf buddies decided to do on their own and that Hasbro had no real idea of it's wider impact. Leeds is probably wondering why he should even care about what the gamer blogs are chattering on about, and seems fairly clueless about just what sort of people he's dealing with here. Gamers are, as a rule, intelligent and fairly obsessive/compulsive about the hobby. feed 'em a line of bullpucky and they'll figure it out pretty quick. And if you do something they don't like, you'll hear about it. you'll also hear about their 12th level paladin and the time they killed Vecna.....but you take the good with the bad I suppose.
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    Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:04 pm  

    hmm.

    further research on Gary Leeds:

    his jobs listed prior to assuming the mantle of leadership at WoTC include:



    * General Manager at Samsonite
    * Marketing Director at Procter & Gamble

    And....that's it. He's also a graduate of the University of Toronto. I don't have a login for the U of T alumni site, so I can't pick up any other data on him at this time. I'd have to do some sort of magic voodoo to get access to those databases and it'd nearly 2am.

    Looks to me like his resume is more than a bit thin for his job, and he's got damn near zero job experiences that would make him qualified deal with the realities of an online retail market. That's speculation on my part, but so far as I can see he's just a standard issue corp drone with a plug and play attitude towards marketing.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:16 pm  

    Oh the humanity! Somebody might need to cut the guy after that combination. Wink
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    Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:21 am  

    Saracenus wrote:
    Ivid,

    *snip*


    Good point. I doubt that these tactics will pay out, though.

    In the last few years, Wizbro has gained most of its publicity by remaking/relaunching/rebooting old franchises, not exactly because of the coherence and comprehensibility of their rule system.

    For the last years, they have done nothing but killing off their own brand names. Surely, it might pay of on the long term, but so far, it does few more than to annoy the base of the fans.

    Anyway, doesn't bother me at my gaming table...

    And if Wizbro fails me, there's plenty of old and new rpg stuff I'd like explore... Happy
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    Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:26 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Oh the humanity! Somebody might need to cut the guy after that combination. Wink


    I don't have a lot of respect for corporate leaders who run their companies into the ground. And it looks like Leeds is going to end up doing just that.

    This is why it's important to have a CEO who understands the primary product produced by his company AND a good grasp of his customer base. Leeds seems to have neither.
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    Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:19 am  

    Ivid wrote:
    Good point. I doubt that these tactics will pay out, though.

    In the last few years, Wizbro has gained most of its publicity by remaking/relaunching/rebooting old franchises, not exactly because of the coherence and comprehensibility of their rule system.

    For the last years, they have done nothing but killing off their own brand names. Surely, it might pay of on the long term, but so far, it does few more than to annoy the base of the fans.


    I think you misunderstood me, I agree with what you are saying.

    I think WotC's strategy is incredibly short sighted and purely good for them in the short term. I think its long term that they are going bite themselves in the butt (and as a consequence the rest of the industry).

    Hasbro has made it's bones on repackaging their old IP. I mean they have 5 billion versions of Risk and Monopoly. They also rely heavily on licensing. As a 14 billion a year company they would survive the loss of the D&D RPG as a money maker (its just a drop in the bucket for them, walkin' around money). But they would hold on to the IP and probably repackage it (so if you think they will sell it off, think again).

    For those of us that have it and have been playing it that is not an issue. But for the continued health and growth of the hobby it would be a disaster.

    My Two Coppers.
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    Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:49 pm  

    I completley agree with this, and having talked to somebody with HASBRO just after the acquisition of Avalon Hill, they were(and probably still are) very much about collecting all of the primary IP out there and controlling it. It's all about simple dominance and control of their particular industry. Unfortunately, they do no have the time/resources/inclination to fully support all of this IP and so much of it will frustratingly languish in a forgotten dungeon somewhere.

    It is very unlikley that IP as well known as Dungeons & Dragons will ever be sold.
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    Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:10 pm  

    Hi gang! Happy Been moving around, no longer living in the County of Urnst. First time I've been to the site in some months. Probably won't see any replies to this post for another couple of months. Sad

    I think these PDF's are "lost" to us. Sad

    Paizo has moved on with Pathfinder and will use this opportunity to promote Galorian to the detriment of Oerth and Greyhawk. But, in defense, it's only wisdom to support their own product over someone else's. Wink

    And WotC chose Faerun over Oerth long ago. Personally, I can never find any Greyhawk novels, but Faerun is everywhere. Confused

    I'm not going to look for these PDF's to make a legitamized comeback anytime soon. Mad

    Just my thoughts. And hope to "see" you all again soon. Cool
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    Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:23 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    I completley agree with this, and having talked to somebody with HASBRO just after the acquisition of Avalon Hill, they were(and probably still are) very much about collecting all of the primary IP out there and controlling it. It's all about simple dominance and control of their particular industry. Unfortunately, they do no have the time/resources/inclination to fully support all of this IP and so much of it will frustratingly languish in a forgotten dungeon somewhere.

    It is very unlikley that IP as well known as Dungeons & Dragons will ever be sold.


    Yeah, but how does Hasbro (via WoTC) plan on 'controlling' intellectual property in an online/wired world? Look at how RIAA and the MPAA have failed in their every effort to accomplish that same goal. WoTC has much more limited resources and has no fresh ideas on just how to fight this battle.

    I'm thinking Leeds done dropped the ball on this one and that WoTC is in serious trouble.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:47 pm  

    Do I really need to go so far as saying "legally controlling it" in regards to IP when I'm talking about one company purchasing another company legally and not downloading them from a torrent site? Wink

    Of course they cannot control pirating anymore than anyone else can.
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 15, 2003
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    Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:11 pm  

    I think the interesting point made in this conversation is how Hasbro controls its IP. A point was made about their repackaging of old board games, to drive profit. This is what I see them doing to D&D. When they release "new" versions of old boardgames, the old ones go away. Forever. Case in point... RISK. THere have been about 8 different iterations of RISK in the past 6 or 7 years, all with tweaks and changes to the rules, or themes... and every time a new one comes out, the last one goes away. Go into T'R'U, and I doubt you will find more than one version of RISK on the shelves, unless it's old stock they are trying to get rid of. Look at the last few years... Star Wars Risk.. LOTR Risk... Transformers Risk... Risk 2210.... Godstorm RISK... RISK Reinvented.... the last one is the only one you'll find Wal-Mart carrying (at least in Canada).

    Also, mention was made of Hasbro ownership of the AH catalog. What have they done with it since they acquired it? Nothing... they have sat on it, leasing out the license t produce some of the smaller games, but sitting on the biggies like ADVANCED SQUAD LEADER. They have not expressed an interest in rereleasing it... only in holding onto it.

    This is the future I see for the older versions of D&D. Hasbro has locked down their IP by removing all sales of PDFs, which was the only "new" way of acquiring the old material. They have (probably in their mind) also simultaneously made 4ed the only D&D edition legally out there. Expect them to push this... this is the same reason they said that after a set date, no more 3rd Ed stuff could be sold. They are training their customer base that there is only one way to play their game, and that is the current edition. When 5th Edition inevitably comes out, they will end the sales of everything 4th Edition related, even by third party, so that the buyer will have no choice but to upgrade. This is how they see them retaining their customer base. I would not be surprised to also see them going after any (and all?) pirates aggresively. I imagine they would start with the big ones...maybe they'll even join sides with the MPAA.

    What I *AM* interested to know, however... have the removed the free PDFs that you could download from their website, or old FR supplements, and the EX series?

    I also don't see them ever releasing the old IP to DDI subscribers, beacuse that would be counterproductive. Why would you give them access to stuff that they would not need the current system to use? It would be anathema to them.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:42 am  

    Saracenus wrote:
    Ivid wrote:
    Good point. I doubt that these tactics will pay out, though.

    In the last few years, Wizbro has gained most of its publicity by remaking/relaunching/rebooting old franchises, not exactly because of the coherence and comprehensibility of their rule system.

    For the last years, they have done nothing but killing off their own brand names. Surely, it might pay of on the long term, but so far, it does few more than to annoy the base of the fans.


    I think you misunderstood me, I agree with what you are saying.

    I think WotC's strategy is incredibly short sighted and purely good for them in the short term. I think its long term that they are going bite themselves in the butt (and as a consequence the rest of the industry).

    Hasbro has made it's bones on repackaging their old IP. I mean they have 5 billion versions of Risk and Monopoly. They also rely heavily on licensing. As a 14 billion a year company they would survive the loss of the D&D RPG as a money maker (its just a drop in the bucket for them, walkin' around money). But they would hold on to the IP and probably repackage it (so if you think they will sell it off, think again).

    For those of us that have it and have been playing it that is not an issue. But for the continued health and growth of the hobby it would be a disaster.

    My Two Coppers.


    Hehe, no, I think we agree - their tactics are certainly not your idea or responsibilty. Smile

    In any case, what I get from all this, here and on other boards:

    1. An universal discontent among the fans about this.

    2. Another damage to our hobby.

    3. Another occasion in which WotC could have done something intelligent, and didn't.

    Will this bother me at my gaming table? - Most likely not.
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    Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:39 am  

    SUPrUNown wrote:

    This is the future I see for the older versions of D&D. Hasbro has locked down their IP by removing all sales of PDFs, which was the only "new" way of acquiring the old material. They have (probably in their mind) also simultaneously made 4ed the only D&D edition legally out there.


    This is what I think as well, you just stated it more plainly than I did. If access to the old version dries up, then their assumption is that people will migrate to the new edition. This is likely true for some, but I wonder how well they know their market. Do they ever visit this forum and others like it? Do they realize the number of gamers that still use older rules with no intention of buying the new stuff?

    I am not sure that it would be detrimental to their bottom line to offer the old material for sale in some digital format. Consider, if we could only get the latest edition in print format that would lead some to move to the new edition and be good for sales. If I could access the older content via digital format, but not have the beauty and tactile pleasure of a printed book, that would still appeal to some and earn them more sales.

    In fact, I would actually prefer something OTHER than PDF. A wholly digital copy of some sourcebooks would be awesome!
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:42 pm  

    I don't think that Wizbro will ever release any of the old stuff in any digital format again. Remember.. all the older stuff has OTHER COMPANIES that also produced stuff for it. If you release older editions, then you could be ENCOURAGING your customers to buy products from OTHER COMPANIES. Whereas, if you keep a tight grip on the current and future version of the game, all the money is coming to you. Also, you rerelease older editions... they get pirated anew, and you still don't make any money. Case closed.

    As for the free module dloads, if you poke around an AWFUL LOT on WOTC's site, you can still find some free modules as of yesterday. Wonder if they'll keep this up? It almost seems... hypocritical.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:15 pm  

    And once again WotC demonstrates it's utter disdain for the people that buy their stuff by yanking it off the shelves AND out of the already paid for third party accounts across the interwebz. Brilliant.

    It's like gun control. Criminals do criminal stuff so we do things to harass and restrict the law abiding ones. We would pester the criminals too, but the actions we can take don't effect them. They get their stuff through illegal means anyway. Because, well, they are criminals.

    My god! WotC is run bu people no smarter than congressmen!
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