Citizens of the Imperium

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-   -   RPG Illegal File Sharing Hurts the Hobby (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=1408)

Jeff M. Hopper November 11th, 2005 04:24 PM

I ran across an excellent article by Andrew Bernstein of Polymancer magazine about illegal file sharing and its effects on the RPG industry. Its worth a read.

http://www.polymancerstudios.com/ind..._w12_part1.htm

Gnusam Netor November 12th, 2005 05:36 AM

Ok, so i've read the article too now -it sure was well written and he described reality (how it is and how it should be) well. I would like to make one comment though.

"You like the law? well then, enforce it."

(or rather, make sure it is enforced by the government)

here comes another one. [img]smile.gif[/img]

"might makes right."

Theo D Lite November 12th, 2005 09:18 AM

I, too, have read the article and can sympathise with the view.

Can I also, for the sake of ballance, publish a link to an alternative point of view:

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/copyri...alization.html

Tobias November 12th, 2005 12:52 PM

I think that everyone can agree that obtaining unpaid PDFs of products that are still in print, or to be reprinted, by companies, is hurting the gaming industry. I'll also say that the gaming industry has a much better point to make here for unlike the music and movie industries, who collect royalities for sold tapes, CD-Rs etc., they don't get a penny per download of Acrobat Reader or something ludicrous like that.

However, I would like to tackle one of the points made in the article: '"Out of print" does not matter legally.' While it is true that it remains illegal to distribute copyrighted material as long as the copyright holds (= several decades), it is likewise true that in case of products that are not in print and are not going to be reprinted, the damage to the copyright holder is not there. It is also true that situations in which legal copyrights are not enforced and free distribution is tolerated - without making the work PD - exist in other fields, namely "Abandonware" entertainment software. Ubi non accusator ibi non iudex.

Regards,

Tobias

Gnusam Netor November 12th, 2005 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Tobias:
I think that everyone can agree that obtaining unpaid PDFs of products that are still in print, or to be reprinted, by companies, is hurting the gaming industry.
I respectfully disagree.

1. I don’t see that – without exception – the gaming industry is hurt by “obtaining unpaid PDFs” as you wrote. In some cases sure, but not all.

2. In order to “hurt” the creator or copyright owner, you need to remove something from them. I don’t believe that income that they never got is something they lost – you can't lose what you never had.

RandyT0001 November 12th, 2005 03:21 PM

I like this idea of not having to pay for books or songs. Why can't I just copy one of my friends CD's or books? Why shouldn't it be free to file share music and books?

Hey! Here's an idea why not make cars free, when I need a new car I just go to the dealership and take one. Or when I need some electrical work on the house done I get an electrican to come over and fix the problem for free. If I really like the car I could send the manufacturer say a reasonable amount for it's value, say $5000 (if I have it to spare) or give the electrican $10 for fixing my wiring problem (if I have it to spare at the moment). I could go to the grocery store and take the food I need without paying, fantastic idea! Hell if we made everything free I wont have to work (of course if everything is free I wouldn't get paid for my work) then I could spend all my time playing games on the computer or sleeping in late.

Yes I like this idea of free, via file sharing, music and books.

Gnusam Netor (and others with similar views) what is your job? How do you earn money to live on? Would you do it for no pay? Why do you expect somgwriters, musicians, singers, authors and game designers to accept file sharing of their work without compensation? How would you like it if someone came to your house and borrowed your vehicle who loaned it to another, then another, etc. for weeks on end until somebody finally returns it to you only to have it borrowed the next day and the process repeats? Would you feel as if taken advantage of, exploited, abused? Don't you think the musicians, authors, etc feel that way when some one copies their work through file sharing?

And this comment:
Quote:

"You like the law? well then, enforce it."

(or rather, make sure it is enforced by the government)

What keeps you from commiting murder, vigilant law enforcement or a sense of self responsibility and respect for your fellow man? Why not show that respect for another human by not file sharing?

RainOfSteel November 12th, 2005 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Gnusam Netor:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Tobias:
I think that everyone can agree that obtaining unpaid PDFs of products that are still in print, or to be reprinted, by companies, is hurting the gaming industry.

I respectfully disagree.

1. I don’t see that – without exception – the gaming industry is hurt by “obtaining unpaid PDFs” as you wrote. In some cases sure, but not all.

2. In order to “hurt” the creator or copyright owner, you need to remove something from them. I don’t believe that income that they never got is something they lost – you can't lose what you never had.
</font>[/QUOTE]Under US law, this is a rationalization to support theft.

The whole point of copyright law is to prevent what you are suggesting.

Jeff M. Hopper November 12th, 2005 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Gnusam Netor:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Tobias:
I think that everyone can agree that obtaining unpaid PDFs of products that are still in print, or to be reprinted, by companies, is hurting the gaming industry.

I respectfully disagree.

1. I don’t see that – without exception – the gaming industry is hurt by “obtaining unpaid PDFs” as you wrote. In some cases sure, but not all.

2. In order to “hurt” the creator or copyright owner, you need to remove something from them. I don’t believe that income that they never got is something they lost – you can't lose what you never had.
</font>[/QUOTE]Oh boy, do I disagree with Gnusam Netor here.

Now, one thing that I have learned from the Internet is that gaming is a cottage industry for most people, the profits are very marginal. If they are making any money off of their intellectual property, it is because people have to pay for it. If they were not interested in making money off of their intellectual property, then they would not be asking for money in exchange for that intellectual property. By illegal file sharing, you are saying that a RPG writer's hard work is worth nothing through your actions. If enough RPG writers find that they are not making any money at what they do, then they will go and do something else in order to make money - leaving being an RPG writer behind. As this happens, the source material for the RPG which is so desireable that you find it necessary to steal dries up - leaving nothing eventually.

In short, illegal file sharing of RPG material is robbing from the poor. Why do that and damage an already marginal industry?

parmasson November 12th, 2005 09:51 PM

Granted that the 100 year rule in US copyright law is a bit whacked but if that author is alive we really need to be sure that we compensate them for their work. Even if it is out of print we owe it to the author to pay them for their work.
It is how they make their living.

Straybow November 12th, 2005 09:54 PM

Quote:

2. In order to “hurt” the creator or copyright owner, you need to remove something from them. I don’t believe that income that they never got is something they lost – you can't lose what you never had.
They have a right to make money from their intellectual property. If you don't pay them, it is no different from your employer failing to pay your wage or salary by saying "it isn't that hard to show up and sit on your arse."


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