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Author Topic: PDF Ethics Gray Zone?  (Read 9323 times)

Ghost Whistler

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« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2008, 08:28:47 am »
The writer has not any say necessarily over who and when can buy it. The publisher probably will.

Copyright laws aren't moral principles, they are merely ways to protect control of income. They aren't always a good thing at all: many times piracy is a good way to promote interest in a product as the music industry has found out.

The idea that these quaint notions of piracy equal theft is very anacrhonistic.

If a book is OOP then I see no problem in 'pirating' it, and would hesitate against calling it that. In fact such 'piracy' is generating interest which could potentially see a new edition/further related works being published. Was it not such interest (piracy or otherwise) that saw WFRP in print again, and there are other examples of games (Dragon Warriors?).

This interest should be encouraged and supported. It is healthy and creative. No one is losing out, including the writer, if the book is already OOP. Calling it 'fucking with their money' is needlessly emotive and pretty ad hoc.
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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2008, 09:25:06 am »
Quote from: Cranewings;273347
A lot of good books don't sell many copies. Palladium's Beyond the Supernatural only sold like 10,000 copies, and I got three of them. Two first edition, one second.

If it goes out of print, I'm glad I got to enjoy it while I could, and I hope I don't lose the book. If people like me illegally acquire too many copies, and the marketing guy at Palladium figures it out, then it won't come back into print. Maybe the author wants to wait a while, let some enthusiasm build up, and then print it to make some cash. Ripping it off guts his effort.


See, this is last-century thinking.
If I was a "marketing guy" for an RPG company (or a book publisher, or just about anything else in entertainment media), I'd be desperately checking out what is being pirated and what is not; and whatever is being pirated most, THAT'S exactly what I would print. Because that's where the demand is.

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Ghost Whistler

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« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2008, 10:09:58 am »
Funny, i bet people wouldn't think twice about buying an OOP book over ebay or amazon.
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Cranewings

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« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2008, 10:34:06 am »
Quote from: RPGPundit;273357
See, this is last-century thinking.
If I was a "marketing guy" for an RPG company (or a book publisher, or just about anything else in entertainment media), I'd be desperately checking out what is being pirated and what is not; and whatever is being pirated most, THAT'S exactly what I would print. Because that's where the demand is.

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Well, I haven't taken any marketing classes, so I'm not an expert. As a lay person with an opinion, what you said sounds like an excuse, and not really a sound reason. Is there any evidence that isn't just anecdotal?

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« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2008, 11:29:18 am »
Quote from: RPGPundit;273357
See, this is last-century thinking.
If I was a "marketing guy" for an RPG company (or a book publisher, or just about anything else in entertainment media), I'd be desperately checking out what is being pirated and what is not; and whatever is being pirated most, THAT'S exactly what I would print. Because that's where the demand is.

RPGPundit


This is not necessarily true, IME. It would show you what is being pirated the most. People who do this type of behavior have a very low turn over to purchasing that which they download illegally. It is the old, but still correct, adage of "Getting something for free...". Now, viral marketing is something I have been interested in (and exploring) for a long time. If that was what you meant then yes, I would agree. VM often has illegal downloading as a part of it but pirating should not be considered the primary indicator of a viable product.

All of this, of course, is just my opinion, I could be wrong.
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CavScout

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« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2008, 11:48:17 am »
Quote from: RPGPundit;273357
See, this is last-century thinking.
If I was a "marketing guy" for an RPG company (or a book publisher, or just about anything else in entertainment media), I'd be desperately checking out what is being pirated and what is not; and whatever is being pirated most, THAT'S exactly what I would print. Because that's where the demand is.


Except we know that with things like movies and music, when the items are clearly available for purchase, they still get pirated.
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Ghost Whistler

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« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2008, 12:38:17 pm »
Quote from: HinterWelt;273373
This is not necessarily true, IME. It would show you what is being pirated the most. People who do this type of behavior have a very low turn over to purchasing that which they download illegally. It is the old, but still correct, adage of "Getting something for free...". Now, viral marketing is something I have been interested in (and exploring) for a long time. If that was what you meant then yes, I would agree. VM often has illegal downloading as a part of it but pirating should not be considered the primary indicator of a viable product.

All of this, of course, is just my opinion, I could be wrong.


Do you have evidence for this?
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« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2008, 12:43:42 pm »
Quote from: CavScout;273375
Except we know that with things like movies and music, when the items are clearly available for purchase, they still get pirated.


Piracy exists because the recording industry/movie indsutry (et.all) can't meet the demands of the consumer. Instead it resorts to odious behaviour and tries to paint people who 'download' as evil with spurious bullshit about supporting everything from international terrorism to child molestation. Even though people don't pay for pirate stuff by and large (ie the majority of pirates download stuff, they don't need to buy it anymore from a bloke in the back of the pub).

There will always be piracy - so long as there is capitalism; one is an effect of the other. The issue then is how far will the publisher go to meet the demand of the consumer. In the case of the recording industry, not very far. They don't want to reduce prices, even though they could easily do so given that it costs peanuts to press a cd. They are also completely blind to how people want to consume music these days.

Some of this applies to rpg's, some doesn't. But if people want to release big fat full colour glossy books that people can't afford they can't really argue about piracy IMO. I'm all for supporting the creator, but I don't agree with the idea that creators can expect to get away with charging what they like just because. Clearly that just isn't the case.
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« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2008, 03:02:05 pm »
Quote from: Cranewings;273362
Well, I haven't taken any marketing classes, so I'm not an expert. As a lay person with an opinion, what you said sounds like an excuse, and not really a sound reason. Is there any evidence that isn't just anecdotal?


Listen, its common sense: "hmm, that book got 202482 downloads, that must obviously mean that demand for it is satisfied, I'd better go for publishing that other book that only got 3 downloads instead, clearly that's where the money will be!" is just asinine.

The fact is: anything CAN be "pirated". Whether or not it WILL be "pirated" depends on whether there's even the slightest amount of demand for it, if there is, it will be, sooner or later.
Once there is, the amount of filesharing that's going on is the clearest indicator of whether a product is in any kind of demand anymore or not: anything with a metric fuckload of hits/downloads/whatever is obviously something people want.
Stuff that gets "pirated" is stuff that will actually sell, and the more "Pirated" it is, the better it will do commercially.
To think "oh well, its been fileshared so now there's no point in publishing it" is utterly moronic: as if the Watchmen TPB, with thousands of filesharing downloads, would clearly flop in sales on paper. Its idiotic, because people fail to understand that if you fileshare a comic/book/etc., and its any good, you're going to want to own a physical copy of said product.

The real fear these corporate fuckwits have is that their mediocre product will not be bought anymore if people have a chance to "try before they buy" in the form of filesharing; because the corporate fuckwits often depend on CHEATING people into buying second- or third-rate products that they KNOW are second or third rate.  Filesharing won't stop excellent products from being sold, it will only challenge companies who rely on mediocrity rather than excellence (which is why the music industry is so damn worried).

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« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2008, 03:09:39 pm »
Quote from: HinterWelt;273373
This is not necessarily true, IME. It would show you what is being pirated the most. People who do this type of behavior have a very low turn over to purchasing that which they download illegally. It is the old, but still correct, adage of "Getting something for free...". Now, viral marketing is something I have been interested in (and exploring) for a long time. If that was what you meant then yes, I would agree. VM often has illegal downloading as a part of it but pirating should not be considered the primary indicator of a viable product.


Baen Books seems to disagree with you. They are the publishers of some of the best-known sci-fi authors out there, and they offer (in the link up there) a huge part of their back catalogue as free material because they've recognized the value of filesharing as something that adds to sales.  To quote:

" Losses any author suffers from piracy are almost certainly offset by the additional publicity which, in practice, any kind of free copies of a book usually engender. Whatever the moral difference, which certainly exists, the practical effect of online piracy is no different from that of any existing method by which readers may obtain books for free or at reduced cost: public libraries, friends borrowing and loaning each other books, used book stores, promotional copies, etc."

And, also on the subject:

"Any cure which relies on tighter regulation of the market — especially the kind of extreme measures being advocated by some people — is far worse than the disease. As a widespread phenomenon rather than a nuisance, piracy occurs when artificial restrictions in the market jack up prices beyond what people think are reasonable. The "regulation-enforcement-more regulation" strategy is a bottomless pit which continually recreates (on a larger scale) the problem it supposedly solves. And that commercial effect is often compounded by the more general damage done to social and political freedom."

Baen's has the right idea of how to deal with the utterly bullshit "piracy" issue.

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« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2008, 03:10:20 pm »
Quote from: CavScout;273375
Except we know that with things like movies and music, when the items are clearly available for purchase, they still get pirated.


Yes, and the most "pirated" items are often also the ones that make the most profit in terms of sales.

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Ghost Whistler

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« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2008, 03:16:01 pm »
Quote from: RPGPundit;273400
Its idiotic, because people fail to understand that if you fileshare a comic/book/etc., and its any good, you're going to want to own a physical copy of said product.

RPGPundit


Or, you might not want it (perhaps because you pirated it, let's assume for the sake of argument), in which case there was never a sale to be made and so nothing is actually lost.
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« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2008, 03:30:35 pm »
Quote from: Ghost Whistler;273385
Piracy exists because the recording industry/movie indsutry (et.all) can't meet the demands of the consumer. Instead it resorts to odious behaviour and tries to paint people who 'download' as evil with spurious bullshit about supporting everything from international terrorism to child molestation. Even though people don't pay for pirate stuff by and large (ie the majority of pirates download stuff, they don't need to buy it anymore from a bloke in the back of the pub).

There will always be piracy - so long as there is capitalism; one is an effect of the other. The issue then is how far will the publisher go to meet the demand of the consumer. In the case of the recording industry, not very far. They don't want to reduce prices, even though they could easily do so given that it costs peanuts to press a cd. They are also completely blind to how people want to consume music these days.

Some of this applies to rpg's, some doesn't. But if people want to release big fat full colour glossy books that people can't afford they can't really argue about piracy IMO. I'm all for supporting the creator, but I don't agree with the idea that creators can expect to get away with charging what they like just because. Clearly that just isn't the case.


So basicaly, no matter what the pirate always has an excuse... nice.

PS: I call bullshit on the claim that "Piracy exists because the recording industry/movie indsutry (et.all) can't meet the demands of the consumer." Unless you mean "free" when you say "demand".
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« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2008, 03:33:26 pm »
Quote from: RPGPundit;273402
Yes, and the most "pirated" items are often also the ones that make the most profit in terms of sales.


That simply shows that it is desirable. That's why thieves steal fancy cars... you know, they are worth something.
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« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2008, 03:35:28 pm »
Quote from: Ghost Whistler;273403
Or, you might not want it (perhaps because you pirated it, let's assume for the sake of argument), in which case there was never a sale to be made and so nothing is actually lost.


I may not be able to afford a Lamborghini either, so no possible sale there, but it doesn't  make it right for me to steal one because there would be "no loss of a sale".
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