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4th ed pdfs


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Just saw and first to post :-D
drivethrurpg.com sells the 4th edition core books as pdfs and at least at the moment they are 30% off print edition cover price.


Yeah I saw, but seeing how everyone has already *ahem* acquired pdf versions of the books, I don't see why anyone would get them unless they had errata. I guess at least they won't have the funky printer things going on.


You never know. There are honest people around... :)


Steerpike7 wrote:
You never know. There are honest people around... :)

Oh sure, I mean I'd buy at least the MM if I had the money, it'd make my life much easier. Oh wait, well what do you know? My life is easy already ;)


Steerpike7 wrote:
You never know. There are honest people around... :)

Less and less everyday it would seem.

Osirion

I'm one of the honest people around here. I have never downloaded pirated stuff. I have lots of PDFs, all legally purchased.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
The Red Death wrote:
I'm one of the honest people around here. I have never downloaded pirated stuff. I have lots of PDFs, all legally purchased.

Me too. I have immense respect for writers, most of whom make little-to-no money for a hell of a lot of effort. Legally purchasing a book or pdf is both symbolic and a practical way of supporting their art and labor.


Andrew Turner wrote:
The Red Death wrote:
I'm one of the honest people around here. I have never downloaded pirated stuff. I have lots of PDFs, all legally purchased.
Me too. I have immense respect for writers, most of whom make little-to-no money for a hell of a lot of effort. Legally purchasing a book or pdf is both symbolic and a practical way of supporting their art and labor.

I must say I have downloaded the pdfs ... But, I've also purchased TWO sets of the Core Rulesets from a LOCAL bookstore. I can afford it and I like the atmosphere of the store. I use the pdfs for anywhere it'd be unpractical to take the books with me. I keep them on a thumb drive for easy reference. And when I get home, and during the game, I use my books.

Osirion

It never seizes to amaze me how happy people are to admit to being thieves?!?!?!

And with a complete lack of repentence, even with glee.


Horus wrote:

It never seizes to amaze me how happy people are to admit to being thieves?!?!?!

And with a complete lack of repentence, even with glee.

It never "ceases" to amaze me how people can jack up basic grammar.

Also, I believe my $160 purchase of two sets of the core books warrants the right to use a tool to make my life easier. ESPECIALLY, considering WotC has promised such tools themselves and made them unavailable.


How valuable will these PDFs be once we have DDI? I thought the idea was to have an electronic format, that is searchable, constantly updated and interactive (character creation for example). That is supposed to be DDI. OK, I can see if you do not have a constant modem connection, but otherwise.


Duncan & Dragons wrote:
How valuable will these PDFs be once we have DDI?

Exactly. Not much. And, once D&DI proves worthwhile, they'll probably have my subscription.


Horus wrote:

It never seizes to amaze me how happy people are to admit to being thieves?!?!?!

And with a complete lack of repentence, even with glee.

People like to brag, especially nerds/geeks/gamers(My character just got this, 3rd is better than 4th, Star Trek TNG is...) so it comes as no surprise that people like to do so for theiving or pirating, especially to a crowd that might be receptive to it.

Imagine if your Rogue PC pulled off one of the heists of the century (Say he stole some gem from the heart of tower of some elephant god in the middle of a city of thieves that hadnt been able to do it)wouldn't he want to add that to his resume? I expect its the same thing.


I am with P1NBACK. This is also why the illegal PDF release is irrelevant. The value is in an electronic tool set, not the rules in PDF. If we are given what is promised with DDI, they will have my subscription.

I guess neanderthals can use printed books and PDFs. Not that there is anything wrong with you if you do. This is what the edition wars should be over; DDI vs. books!


$25 for a PDF? That's ridiculous.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Azigen wrote:
Horus wrote:

It never seizes to amaze me how happy people are to admit to being thieves?!?!?!

And with a complete lack of repentence, even with glee.

People like to brag, especially nerds/geeks/gamers(My character just got this, 3rd is better than 4th, Star Trek TNG is...) so it comes as no surprise that people like to do so for theiving or pirating, especially to a crowd that might be receptive to it.

Whoohoo, threadjack!

You do realize that the vast majority of "copyright violations" (and I'm not going to explain why I put that in quotes) are made by average teens and twentysomethings who download music right? This has absolutely nothing to do with geeks/nerds/gamers and has everything to do with living in a digital era. In the digital era everybody gets to be a geek, and since It's easy, and "everybody does it" is now pretty much the mentality it's commonplace. One could regard it with "glee", but I'd tend to regard it with casual indifference.


Duncan & Dragons wrote:


This is what the edition wars should be over; DDI vs. books!

No, this will be far scarier. It will be known as the Great Book Wars, with DDI siding with the creatures from the amazon known as kindles. Many books will be taken in the night, their spines broken, and scanned. They will then be left helpless, unwanted and unloved to fend on their own. Many trees will spill their sap in an effort to bring this paperless war to a close. Be Afraid, my comrade, be afraid.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't an electronic or paper copy of something you already own legal? The only exception to this that I know of is some sheet music specifically states that you may not make copies of any kind and must order more originals to have more copies. Is there a statement in the Core books that says something to the same effect? If not, wouldn't I be within my legal rights to have copies of the books I have bought?

I'm not stating this rhetorically, I am trying to be serious for a moment because I do not know the legality of the subject and would like to know the answer. And if there is a legal mind out there, hopefully they can give a courteous answer. I can only go on what I have been told in the past.

The other question that comes to mind is that if I can have legal copies that I didn't pay for, do I have to make them myself? Does the copy have to be from my original or can it be from someone else's original?


shieldknight01 wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't an electronic or paper copy of something you already own legal?

I am curious like ShieldKnight01. I own most 3.5 books in both hardcopy and electrons. (Anybody want to sell me the hardcopy versions of the Environment Series?) I won't say where I got the electrons. I like it so I can reference the documents at work or the game table. How criminal is it if I got these through the internet versus my actually copying my own books?

EDIT: Likewise once I have my DDI subscription, how wrong is it to own a bootleg PDF? I am serious also. I want to give WotC my money, I just want what I paid for available in the format most convenient to me. And I know that if I ever let my subscription elapse it would become 'wrong' again to own the bootleg PDF.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
shieldknight01 wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't an electronic or paper copy of something you already own legal?

In the 3.5 corebooks, in the back where the battlemaps and sample PC sheets are, you'll notice a disclaimer on the bottom with something to the effect of "WoTC gives persmission to photocopy for personal use." (not copying verbatim).

Logically, if it were legal to photocopy something you already own, that disclaimer wouldn't need to be there.


MisterSlanky wrote:

Whoohoo, threadjack!

You do realize that the vast majority of "copyright violations" (and I'm not going to explain why I put that in quotes) are made by average teens and twentysomethings who download music right? This has absolutely nothing to do with geeks/nerds/gamers and has everything to do with living in a digital era. In the digital era everybody gets to be a geek, and since It's easy, and "everybody does it" is now pretty much the mentality it's commonplace. One could regard it with "glee", but I'd tend to regard it with casual indifference.

Yes, I do. Not what I was commenting on though.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tiger Lily wrote:
Logically, if it were legal to photocopy something you already own, that disclaimer wouldn't need to be there.

Not necessarily.

It could be there because that's what they want you to think. People who hold copyrights have every reason to make you think you can't ever make any kind of copy (look at the RIAA).

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Azigen wrote:
Yes, I do. Not what I was commenting on though.

But it's the same thing. Let's do a more apples to apples comparison. Books to Audiobooks.

I know lots of people who I would most certainly not claim are geeks/nerds/gamers who download audiobooks instead of purchasing them. These people constantly trade books, talk about books they've downloaded, and to a casual observer could almost be considered "bragging" about what they're doing. Fact of the matter though, they're just doing what's all too commonplace in today's digital download era.

Music has .MP3
Movies have .AVI
Books have .PDF

Different media yes, but in the end it's all about turning media into a digital format and the people who distribute/copy that media.


Has anyone bought the PDFs'? I'm interested in doing so, but want a bit of information before I do so.

I'm curious what kind of rights access we have to the files. Can we copy text? Can we extract images? how about whole pages?

Thanks to anyone who can help.


I am not a lawyer, but I've been told repeatedly over the years that you are able to make copies for your own personal use and for backup in case the original production is destroyed.

Distributing these copies, of course, is strictly prohibited (to quote Sam Eagle).

I believe the photocopy thing for the character sheets is so you can give them to your players, but I could be wrong.

Cheers! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I thought the PDFs were to be available for a "nominal fee". Guess as typical of all things electronic and WotC, they promised much and then realized how hard it would be to meet those promises.

As for the price, if you are looking at the physical books and the PDFs, then, yeah, that's awfully expensive (why I was hoping they would have pulled off the "nominal fee" thing one way or another). If you are looking at just the PDFs without the physical books, then I don't really see a problem. The price is comparable to other PDF publishers for large books, and considering the old "how many hours of entertainment you will get per dollar spent" they are still amazing bargains.

Of course, with "Web 2.0" and other new fangled presentation technology, I still don't understand why publishers stick with PDF "book wannabes". That's so 2002. ;)

Oh, and as to whether it is legal to own a pirated PDF of a book you have in physical form, it's iffy at best. From everything I've read up on and heard from experts, it is perfectly legal for you to scan your own physical books and possess those PDFs as long as you still have the physical books. Changing the media and keeping digital back-up copies is legal.

However, having a digital copy that was given to you by someone else, that is into seriously grey legal territory. Given the fact that the person who distributed it to you is committing an illegal act, I'd say your legal claim to that PDF isn't real solid. About the best defense out there that I can think of is the same as speeding on a highway. So many people are doing it and the harm is rare or minimal. Doesn't make it legal, just questions the priority in enforcement. Plus, if someone wants to go after pirated PDFs, it's more bang for your buck to harass a handful distributing to thousands than thousands who possess a single copy and don't distribute it.

Personally, I was raised to be responsible and not try not get something for nothing. If I want physical books and PDFs, if it's worth that price to me (either buying the PDFs at RPGNow or spending the time to scan my own books) I'll pay it. If it's not, then I'll just have to live without one and deal with it rather than looking for a free copy.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Riley wrote:

Has anyone bought the PDFs'? I'm interested in doing so, but want a bit of information before I do so.

I'm curious what kind of rights access we have to the files. Can we copy text? Can we extract images? how about whole pages?

Thanks to anyone who can help.

From the thread at EN World, someone said you can copy the text. However, some of the special symbols don't copy (and you lose fonts and such, so it's just basic text being copied).

Don't know about images. I'll pose a question over there because it would be interesting to know if you can break them up and merge them as well. (One thing I wish I could do with the Pathfinder PDFs. I'd love to compile the Journals and Bestiaries into a single PDF, but they are password protected and don't want to bother hacking around with them.)


MisterSlanky wrote:
Azigen wrote:
Yes, I do. Not what I was commenting on though.

But it's the same thing. Let's do a more apples to apples comparison. Books to Audiobooks.

I know lots of people who I would most certainly not claim are geeks/nerds/gamers who download audiobooks instead of purchasing them. These people constantly trade books, talk about books they've downloaded, and to a casual observer could almost be considered "bragging" about what they're doing. Fact of the matter though, they're just doing what's all too commonplace in today's digital download era.

Music has .MP3
Movies have .AVI
Books have .PDF

Different media yes, but in the end it's all about turning media into a digital format and the people who distribute/copy that media.

Completely agree with you on this. My wife is certaintly not any of these, and loans people digital stuff etc.


Ken Marable wrote:
Personally, I was raised to be responsible and not try not get something for nothing. If I want physical books and PDFs, if it's worth that price to me...

I disagree completely. The whole intent of making "pirated" copies illegal is to try and prevent people from using these instead of purchasing the books. If you've purchased the books, WotC and the distributers and book stores have their money and they've lost nothing if you happen to copy or come upon a copy of the books you've already purchased. It costs them NOTHING for a digital copy of an image.

If I purchased the books, and WotC has FAILED to come up with an alternative to pdfs for a nominal fee (like making the DDI worthwhile - the compendium up to date and with all the information I need), then who is really hurt if I own a digital copy of the books I have purchased (twice over)?

No one is the answer. WotC has my book store's money. My book store has my money. I have my books and a digital copy of them.

All is well on this front.


P1NBACK wrote:


I disagree completely. The whole intent of making "pirated" copies illegal is to try and prevent people from using these instead of purchasing the books. If you've purchased the books, WotC and the distributers and book stores have their money and they've lost nothing if you happen to copy or come upon a copy of the books you've already purchased. It costs them NOTHING for a digital copy of an image.

If I purchased the books, and WotC has FAILED to come up with an alternative to pdfs for a nominal fee (like making the DDI worthwhile - the compendium up to date and with all the information I need), then who is really hurt if I own a digital copy of the books I have purchased (twice over)?

No one is the answer. WotC has my book store's money. My book store has my money. I have my books and a digital copy of them.

All is well on this front.

I agree with P1N. I'd be willing to pay a small fee to get pdfs from a non-shady dealer, but if my recourse to getting a digital version of a book I've already legally purchased is to either A) break my book and spend a huge amount of time making one myself or B) get one for free from a shady dealer well ...

Let's just say, I'm happy to have a physical and digital copy (even if my wife doesn't let me bring my digital copies to work!)

Cheers! :)


Well, I searched the governments copyright web site, and as usual, they don't take a direct stand on "Fair Use", just that it can be done. I've snipped a couple of there questions from their FAQ.

The first is on Fair Use.

Spoiler:
"One of the rights accorded to the owner of copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords. This right is subject to certain limitations found in sections 107 through 118 of the Copyright Act (title 17, U. S. Code). One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.” Although fair use was not mentioned in the previous copyright law, the doctrine has developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years. This doctrine has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law.

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

1.

the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2.

the nature of the copyrighted work;
3.

amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author's observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”

Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.

The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. The Copyright Office cannot give this permission.

When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of “fair use” would clearly apply to the situation. The Copyright Office can neither determine if a certain use may be considered “fair” nor advise on possible copyright violations. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney.

FL-102, Revised July 2006 "

The second is on the fines for copyright infringements.

Spoiler:
"Is it legal to download works from peer-to-peer networks and if not, what is the penalty for doing so?
Uploading or downloading works protected by copyright without the authority of the copyright owner is an infringement of the copyright owner's exclusive rights of reproduction and/or distribution. Anyone found to have infringed a copyrighted work may be liable for statutory damages up to $30,000 for each work infringed and, if willful infringement is proven by the copyright owner, that amount may be increased up to $150,000 for each work infringed. In addition, an infringer of a work may also be liable for the attorney's fees incurred by the copyright owner to enforce his or her rights.
Whether or not a particular work is being made available under the authority of the copyright owner is a question of fact. But since any original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium (including a computer file) is protected by federal copyright law upon creation, in the absence of clear information to the contrary, most works may be assumed to be protected by federal copyright law.
Since the files distributed over peer-to-peer networks are primarily copyrighted works, there is a risk of liability for downloading material from these networks. To avoid these risks, there are currently many "authorized" services on the Internet that allow consumers to purchase copyrighted works online, whether music, ebooks, or motion pictures. By purchasing works through authorized services, consumers can avoid the risks of infringement liability and can limit their exposure to other potential risks, e.g., viruses, unexpected material, or spyware.

Both these and many other FAQ's can be found at the Copyright web site.

If anyone can find anything more, It would be much appreciated. I don't have a lot of money to spend, and can't get myself to pay for an electronic copy of a paper copy of something I already own (or vice versa).


David Marks wrote:

I am not a lawyer, but I've been told repeatedly over the years that you are able to make copies for your own personal use and for backup in case the original production is destroyed.

Distributing these copies, of course, is strictly prohibited (to quote Sam Eagle).

I believe the photocopy thing for the character sheets is so you can give them to your players, but I could be wrong.

Cheers! :)

I think the disclaimer is also there in case you take the pages to a business that makes copies. Any reputable copy store will not make copies of an obviously copy-righted book. The disclaimer on the character sheet would allow these stores to copy the character sheet legally.


Horus wrote:

It never seizes to amaze me how happy people are to admit to being thieves?!?!?!

And with a complete lack of repentence, even with glee.

Wait...are you talking about WoTC? :)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Larry Latourneau wrote:
Horus wrote:

It never seizes to amaze me how happy people are to admit to being thieves?!?!?!

And with a complete lack of repentence, even with glee.

Wait...are you talking about WoTC? :)

No, I think he's talking about the US Government since they developed the whole US Copyright law thing.


Larry Latourneau wrote:


I think the disclaimer is also there in case you take the pages to a business that makes copies. Any reputable copy store will not make copies of an obviously copy-righted book. The disclaimer on the character sheet would allow these stores to copy the character sheet legally.

Ah! Good catch, that seems like a very reasonable purpose as well. I hadn't considered that angle, since I've had a printer-scanner for years, but if you're going the Kinko's route, those little words no doubt help convincing them you aren't bootlegging in their store. ;)


David Marks wrote:
Larry Latourneau wrote:


I think the disclaimer is also there in case you take the pages to a business that makes copies. Any reputable copy store will not make copies of an obviously copy-righted book. The disclaimer on the character sheet would allow these stores to copy the character sheet legally.
Ah! Good catch, that seems like a very reasonable purpose as well. I hadn't considered that angle, since I've had a printer-scanner for years, but if you're going the Kinko's route, those little words no doubt help convincing them you aren't bootlegging in their store. ;)

About as well as seducing one of the attendants

Osirion

P1NBACK wrote:
Horus wrote:

It never seizes to amaze me how happy people are to admit to being thieves?!?!?!

And with a complete lack of repentence, even with glee.

It never "ceases" to amaze me how people can jack up basic grammar.

Yes posting tired will do that. Also I think you might find that nitpicking is a sign of a guilty conscience, or at least I delude myself into hoping so.

P1NBACK wrote:
Also, I believe my $160 purchase of two sets of the core books warrants the right to use a tool to make my life easier. ESPECIALLY, considering WotC has promised such tools themselves and made them unavailable.

No your purchase entitles you to just what you purchased, no more and no less. I would make no argument were you to copy the document for your own personal use, although I suspect that you would have no qualms distributing copies. No that's unfair since I don't actually know you.

Purchasing, receiving or distributing a free/bought illegal copy of someone else's intellectual/physical property is WRONG.

You can attempt to wiggle the law around till your square conscience fits into the legal hole but it's irrelevant. Right and wrong are just that, RIGHT & WRONG.

I have the deluded belief that people will do the right thing even when it does not benefit them or is even against their best interest. As I get older I am sad to say this illusion becomes more fragile.

Damn! I usually try to avoid people this time of year whether in real life or on the internet. Breaking that tradition has made me break my golden rule about not preaching, I should realise by now that I am rarely disappointed in my low opinion of my fellow man.

I think I'll take a break for a few weeks, I'm finding it difficult to maintain my normally positive attitude in the face of people's statements and actions.

Later days


Horus wrote:
Yes posting tired will do that. Also I think you might find that nitpicking is a sign of a guilty conscience, or at least I delude myself into hoping so.

Deluded.

Horus wrote:
No your purchase entitles you to just what you purchased, no more and no less. I would make no argument were you to copy the document for your own personal use, although I suspect that you would have no qualms distributing copies. No that's unfair since I don't actually know you.

No, that's fair. I would. You want a copy?

Horus wrote:
WRONG.

Wrong? No. Illegal? Yes.

Horus wrote:
RIGHT & WRONG.

It's people like you that look at a law as if it's "right". That's where our country borders on fascism. Jesus... How about we look at WHY the law was put there in the first place, not that it's a law, but what the PURPOSE of the law is...

Because african americans couldn't go to the same schools as whites BY LAW at one point, how does that make it "RIGHT"?

Horus wrote:
I have the deluded belief that people will do the right thing even when it does not benefit them or is even against their best interest. As I get older I am sad to say this illusion becomes more fragile.

You'll never get this - because EVERYONE has different opinions of RIGHT and WRONG. You are imposing your beliefs on others, and we could all argue against it. You are better suited imposing on us that it is illegal to download copyrighted materials. But to try and convince me that it's wrong... Sorry. No go.

As a collective community and nation we need to decide what is right and wrong. Based on this forum's response, obviously this issue is split.

Horus wrote:
Damn! I usually try to avoid people this time of year whether in real life or on the internet. Breaking that tradition has made me break my golden rule about not preaching, I should realise by now that I am rarely disappointed in my low opinion of my fellow man.

I guess we can say the feeling is mutual. You must be religious?

Horus wrote:

I think I'll take a break for a few weeks, I'm finding it difficult to maintain my normally positive attitude in the face of people's statements and actions.

Later days

Peace out.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
P1NBACK wrote:
Ken Marable wrote:
Personally, I was raised to be responsible and not try not get something for nothing. If I want physical books and PDFs, if it's worth that price to me...

I disagree completely. The whole intent of making "pirated" copies illegal is to try and prevent people from using these instead of purchasing the books. If you've purchased the books, WotC and the distributers and book stores have their money and they've lost nothing if you happen to copy or come upon a copy of the books you've already purchased. It costs them NOTHING for a digital copy of an image.

If I purchased the books, and WotC has FAILED to come up with an alternative to pdfs for a nominal fee (like making the DDI worthwhile - the compendium up to date and with all the information I need), then who is really hurt if I own a digital copy of the books I have purchased (twice over)?

No one is the answer. WotC has my book store's money. My book store has my money. I have my books and a digital copy of them.

All is well on this front.

Does RPGNow have their money?

But really, I'm not interested in condemning anyone. I just disagree on what people are entitled to.

Ideally, WotC wouldn't have over-promised and been able to deliver an option for people who have physical books to get a low cost digital copy. (At least like Paizo who bundled subscriptions and free PDFs. Nice work outdoing WotC again.)

OR WotC wouldn't have over-promised and actually had a digital set of tools worth using. (I've been more impressed with Excel spreadsheet search and filters than the D&D Compendium.)

OR WotC wouldn't have been so panicked about competitors out-performing them and right from the start allowed the same range of 3rd party electronic tools and SRDs for 4e that 3.x has.

OR WotC would realize like many other publishers are starting to that free electronic versions of books often increase sales of hardcopies or at the very least rarely ever take away sales. (Although, this is a tough one to swallow and the major publishers are still testing out this one. So it's not fair to criticize WotC for not being a publishing industry leader and instead follow the rest of the pack.)

But they didn't do any of those, so here we are. Personally, I feel that if I want the physical books and the PDFs, I'll buy both. You feel that your purchase of the physical books entitles you to the electronic version as well. *shrug*

Personally, I think the real issue is that trying to sell direct PDF copies of physical books is already outdated and is just leftover momentum from centuries of publishing. A truly electronic book can be so much more than just saving the layout files as PDFs and calling it done. The best explanation of this was years ago by Clark Peterson when he said (paraphrasing) that selling a normal PDF of a book is like making an adaptation of a novel by filming someone sitting in an empty room reading the book aloud. It completely misses the entire point of the medium.

And no, enabling cut-n-paste isn't it either. I'm just amazed that no one has tried to find the real potential yet. Even WotC's DDI promises are just packaging tools that others built in their spare time years ago.

Plus, completely separate from the technological dead end that PDFs are, is the reality that the internet can support vastly different business models than before, and in many instances those are even more profitable than traditional ones. But again, that's pretty forward thinking for a corporation, so I don't fault WotC for sticking with what has worked in the past. It'd be cool if they went with truly industry leading technologies and business models, but the 20th century was good to WotC and corporations in general, so I don't fault their nostalgia. ;)

Qadira

Andrew Turner wrote:
Me too. I have immense respect for writers, most of whom make little-to-no money for a hell of a lot of effort. Legally purchasing a book or pdf is both symbolic and a practical way of supporting their art and labor.

Not only that, I can't STAND to read on the computer. Message boards - okay. Emails - okay. Books? Gouge my eyes out with a stick - oh wait, you already have!

While I respect the convenience of the electronic format, and find its uses as an electronic index somewhat valuable, it is this reason that I hate the electronic format for D & D magazines (although I do find that they've formatted them to fit the standard computer screen pretty saavy.) I do, however, concede the issues of accessibility, convenience and ease of use under certain conditions. In other conditions (sitting on the john, for example) the ol' foolscap reigns supreme!

V/R
D


Ken Marable wrote:
smart stuff...

Ken, let the record be shown I would pay for a pdf file of the books that did amazing things, like hyperlinked to other files and websites (maybe the Compendium), searchable format, copy and paste easily, and other things...

What I have now is a digital copy of what I've paid for TWICE.

It'd be like me downloading Terminator 2 after I already own the DVD boxed set and Blue Ray...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
P1NBACK wrote:
Ken Marable wrote:
smart stuff...
Ken, let the record be shown I would pay for a pdf file of the books that did amazing things, like hyperlinked to other files and websites (maybe the Compendium), searchable format, copy and paste easily, and other things...

Ah... hyperlinks, searches, copy and paste... that's only the beginning. I'm talking clickable/zoomable maps (with DM view and player-view), extensive customization, digital magazines that auto-build the index & table of contents with each issue you download, user generated content feeds, etc. etc.

THAT is were electronic books could be right now. Not just PDF dumps with copy-n-paste enabled. Of course, I'm not talking about PDFs anymore either. :)

Oh, and thanks for the paraphrase. I may be imagining a market desire that isn't there, but thanks for the compliment.

-Ken (who really needs to get back to building most of the stuff listed above)


Ken Marable wrote:
Riley wrote:

Has anyone bought the PDFs'? I'm interested in doing so, but want a bit of information before I do so.

I'm curious what kind of rights access we have to the files. Can we copy text? Can we extract images? how about whole pages?

Thanks to anyone who can help.

From the thread at EN World, someone said you can copy the text. However, some of the special symbols don't copy (and you lose fonts and such, so it's just basic text being copied).

Don't know about images. I'll pose a question over there because it would be interesting to know if you can break them up and merge them as well. (One thing I wish I could do with the Pathfinder PDFs. I'd love to compile the Journals and Bestiaries into a single PDF, but they are password protected and don't want to bother hacking around with them.)

This is pretty standard for a PDF. FWIW, most postscript files require you to have the fonts locally if you want to do any serious PDF editing or copying. The fonts should be id'd in the PDF itself, but many are probably custom fonts, and thus not widely available.

You should be able to crop the images out of the PDF using the image manipulating software of your choice, but will be constrained by the resolution of the image within the PDF. Note, to use image manipulation software like this usually requires rasterizing the PDF, making the thing one big image, and removes any text selection or search functionality.

There are several free-as-in-GNU pdf editors (some feature rich [scribus], some wyswyg [flpsed]) that will allow you to add new text to, or otherwise annotate, a pdf, but cannot edit existing text. The upshot is that the added text and original text remain selectable. This can be useful for adding in errata.


P1NBACK wrote:


Ken, let the record be shown I would pay for a pdf file of the books that did amazing things, like hyperlinked to other files and websites (maybe the Compendium), searchable format, copy and paste easily, and other things...

Even InDesign created PDFs should be fully searchable, or at least allow for basic text search. Hyperlinks can also be done.

I'm not familiar enough with InDesign to know how these are embedded, but it is quite possible with other typesetting systems/applications that generate PDFs (latex, anything with an SGML/XML back end). See for example some of Wolfgang Baur's excellent Kobold Quarterly PDFs.

The tricky bits with this are 1. making sure the page at the other end of your url is either always valid or redirects to a valid address and 2. proof reading your urls to make sure that they are well formed.

Copy and Paste will probably never happen with closed content. Some folks who publish under Creative Commons licensing allow this, as they don't necessarily care how the content is used. A traditional publisher will probably not include this functionality, as they would be giving away the cow with the milk (or whatever other metaphor you prefer.)

Scaling of individual elements or art within a PDF if possible would probably run into limits on file size. Getting actual 600 -1200 dpi art in a PDF drastically increases PDF size (geometrically, maybe?)

Ken, are you familiar with the NT Times Times Reader? still very much in beta, but it looks to have some of the functionality you are interested in.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
P1NBACK wrote:
Horus wrote:

It never seizes to amaze me how happy people are to admit to being thieves?!?!?!

And with a complete lack of repentence, even with glee.

It never "ceases" to amaze me how people can jack up basic grammar.

Also, I believe my $160 purchase of two sets of the core books warrants the right to use a tool to make my life easier. ESPECIALLY, considering WotC has promised such tools themselves and made them unavailable.

Okay, I may be mistaken here, but I'm pretty sure that at one point WotC mentioned selling .pdfs to core book purchasers at a nominal price, i.e., each book would have a code inside to get the massive discount.

So, if I'm not mistaken - what happened?


Saurstalk wrote:


Okay, I may be mistaken here, but I'm pretty sure that at one point WotC mentioned selling .pdfs to core book purchasers at a nominal price, i.e., each book would have a code inside to get the massive discount.

So, if I'm not mistaken - what happened?

Too complicated. How can you prevent others from getting the code? What if the code had already been hacked and used? How do you prevent someone from distributing a code, or providing a replacement code if their's didn't work?

I really wanted to see that work out myself, but I think in the end the logistics of the idea ended up killing it. Shame, that. :(


David Marks wrote:
Saurstalk wrote:


Okay, I may be mistaken here, but I'm pretty sure that at one point WotC mentioned selling .pdfs to core book purchasers at a nominal price, i.e., each book would have a code inside to get the massive discount.

So, if I'm not mistaken - what happened?

Too complicated. How can you prevent others from getting the code? What if the code had already been hacked and used? How do you prevent someone from distributing a code, or providing a replacement code if their's didn't work?

I really wanted to see that work out myself, but I think in the end the logistics of the idea ended up killing it. Shame, that. :(

They should have just added a disc with each book and shrink-wrapped those books. The disc would contain .pdfs of the book you bought as well as other software that might be marketing stuff, demos of D&D Insider content, and other goodies.


P1NBACK wrote:
Wrong? No. Illegal? Yes.

Debatable point. Most societies believe there is a moral and/or ethical responsibility to respect the community's rules and standards.

P1NBACK wrote:
It's people like you that look at a law as if it's "right". That's where our country borders on fascism...

Rule of law and fascism are two very different concepts. Among other things, the rule of law keeps people from rationalizing illegal and unethical behaviors. See earlier posts for examples.


Saurstalk wrote:
Okay, I may be mistaken here, but I'm pretty sure that at one point WotC mentioned selling .pdfs to core book purchasers at a nominal price, i.e., each book would have a code inside to get the massive discount... So, if I'm not mistaken - what happened?

WotC management (uncharacteristically) recognized a dumb decision. Once they saw this as a threat to their profits, they had no problem reneging on the committment.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The discussion of the "justification" of illegal acts in all seriousness is making me very uncomfortable. I'd rather not lock a thread that does have other value, so let's please drop that kind of talk before we get into territory that *makes* me lock it.

Ken Marable wrote:
From everything I've read up on and heard from experts, it is perfectly legal for you to scan your own physical books and possess those PDFs as long as you still have the physical books. Changing the media and keeping digital back-up copies is legal.

I believe that copyright law only allows for archival copies to made in two cases:

1. Libraries and archives may create archives of phonorecordings.

2. Owners of a copy of a computer program may copy the software if it's required for use as part of the installation process, and they may make an additional archival copy.

That's it: phonorecordings and software, and only under certain conditions. Beyond that, look to Fair Use.

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