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The next generation of consoles will require Internet connections. No preowned sales allowed.


Video Games

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Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
And your response really just comes across as throwing words into his mouth for you to disagree with. He quoted an actual working (and successful) author to support his position. Now, maybe Neil Gaiman is an outlier, and maybe most authors and publishers do hate people lending books to each other, but I'd expect you to show some support for that claim, otherwise you're doing exactly what you accuse him of doing.

My claim isn't any more involved than: You are not in a position to tell an entire group of industries what is and isn't good for them. These are complex problems, and if you're right, the industries will figure that out (and likely would have by now). And it may well be that the book industry benefits from loaning while the video game industry doesn't. For instance, an individual who is loaned a recent book might go out and buy the author's previously-published works, because the art of printing words on paper is roughly the same now as it was thirty years ago. Meanwhile, someone loaned a video game may not be willing to stomach picking up games from the developer's back catalog, if those games are more than a few years old. It's a nuanced topic, and I'm really only asking that you seriously consider the decisions you make from an ethical standpoint.

Quote:
And, perhaps you're right, maybe we are avoiding discussing the ethical snags involved in loaning books. Book-lending has a lot of cultural momentum--it's been going on for centuries. Maybe it's time we reexamine the issue. So, Scot, what do you think. Is it OK to loan books? Is borrowing a book from a library or a friend unethical? Why, or why not? What do you make of Neil Gaiman's claim that book-lending expands his fanbase and improves his sales figures?

Mr. Gaiman knows his business better than I do. As for myself? Borrowing a book is potentially ethically sound. If you borrow or are loaned a book, you should purchase a book from that author/publisher as a sign of respect and thanks - even if you didn't enjoy the book that much.

Scott Betts wrote:
Not directly, but people (such as yourself) have claimed that reading a book without paying the author for the content (such as by checking it out from a library) presents an "ethical snag". I think it's a big jump to go from "ethical snag" to "anticapitalistic and immoral", but I think Caedwyr knows that, and was employing some hyperbole for emphasis (but I could be wrong. Caedwyr?).

Except I've specifically explained, multiple times, in this very thread, that libraries are a function of a greater societal (and ethical) good that we have, as a country, identified: the free spread of knowledge. That good is considered above the good of compensating authors/publishers for the experience that their creative work provides.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Except I've specifically explained, multiple times, in this very thread, that libraries are a function of a greater societal (and ethical) good that we have, as a country, identified: the free spread of knowledge. That good is considered above the good of compensating authors/publishers for the experience that their creative work provides.

And how is that different in video games? You claim sharing knowledge from books to be high ethical value, but what about knowledge from video games? One form of speach does not inherently have more value than the other.


I have no position on the ethicality of used games sales, but speaking as an ex-GameStop employee who was terminated on VERY spurious grounds, I'd LOVE to see that company go belly-up as a result of digital distribution. Tank, baby, tank.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Caineach wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Except I've specifically explained, multiple times, in this very thread, that libraries are a function of a greater societal (and ethical) good that we have, as a country, identified: the free spread of knowledge. That good is considered above the good of compensating authors/publishers for the experience that their creative work provides.
And how is that different in video games? You claim sharing knowledge from books to be high ethical value, but what about knowledge from video games? One form of speach does not inherently have more value than the other.

Indeed. Scott, this is the argument you haven't been able to credibly adress. If free spread of knowledge is a greater societal good than the author getting paid for his/her work, identified as such, no less, then it is just as applicable to intellectual property in general.


Scott Betts wrote:
My claim isn't any more involved than: You are not in a position to tell an entire group of industries what is and isn't good for them.

This is a logical fallacy. Just because no ones done it yet, doesn't mean it isn't true. Otherwise we have to backtrack on every scientific advance, ever.

Scott Betts wrote:


These are complex problems, and if you're right, the industries will figure that out (and likely would have by now). And it may well be that the book industry benefits from loaning while the video game industry doesn't. For instance, an individual who is loaned a recent book might go out and buy the author's previously-published works, because the art of printing words on paper is roughly the same now as it was thirty years ago. Meanwhile, someone loaned a video game may not be willing to stomach picking up games from the developer's back catalog, if those games are more than a few years old. It's a nuanced topic, and I'm really only asking that you seriously consider the decisions you make from an ethical standpoint.

What about future catalogs? For example, if my friend lent me Batman: Arkam Asylum, then later when Batman: Arkam City comes out and having played the previous game influences my choice. If I buy the second (and future games) does the industry not benefit from me having been lent the first one?

The industry also benefits from the sale of used games in another way. While it is more common for people to sell used games to buy used games, some people also sell their old copy so they can buy the new release. It's like trading in your old car for a new one. Ford doesn't benefit directly from the old car, the dealership does, but Ford benefits from the sale of the new car.

Currently, your best argument is circular and relies on an appeal to authority.


Caineach wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Except I've specifically explained, multiple times, in this very thread, that libraries are a function of a greater societal (and ethical) good that we have, as a country, identified: the free spread of knowledge. That good is considered above the good of compensating authors/publishers for the experience that their creative work provides.
And how is that different in video games? You claim sharing knowledge from books to be high ethical value, but what about knowledge from video games? One form of speach does not inherently have more value than the other.

We haven't, as a society, determined that the free and open spread of video games carries with it a stronger ethical imperative than compensating its creators for each person who enjoys their work. You're free to take a stand on that particular issue, but I honestly think it's going to be a tough nut to crack.

EDIT: And, if and when you do crack it, it doesn't mean that you would suddenly have solid ethical ground to stand on when selling used video games. There's a massive ethical difference between the free and tax-funded, societally-endorsed spread of knowledge, and the private gain made from someone else's creative work without their express consent.


Scott Betts here's a link for you (to another thread with a link so it doesn't hijack this thread) about something that could be very... interesting for your position about intellectual property.

Also: Seems like something that would lead straight to a more 'cyberpunk' type of world if it holds up (personally I don't really think it will).


Irontruth wrote:
This is a logical fallacy. Just because no ones done it yet, doesn't mean it isn't true.

That sounds exactly what I said pages ago to the people whose position was, "But we've always had ownership of the things we've paid for!"

Quote:
What about future catalogs? For example, if my friend lent me Batman: Arkam Asylum, then later when Batman: Arkam City comes out and having played the previous game influences my choice. If I buy the second (and future games) does the industry not benefit from me having been lent the first one?

It depends. Would the first individual have eventually purchased Batman: Arkham Asylum at retail, if you hadn't been able to loan it to him? What about when the retail price was discounted? Or when it went on sale on Steam? Or might he have decided to purchase it based on your recommendation? In all of these situations, the developer/publisher sees a financial gain.

Pretending that eliminating used sales/loans means that everyone who currently uses loaned titles to make purchasing decisions will suddenly decide to stop playing video games is kind of a silly position to take.

Quote:
The industry also benefits from the sale of used games in another way. While it is more common for people to sell used games to buy used games, some people also sell their old copy so they can buy the new release.

Some do. As before, it comes down to a question of whether they would have still purchased the new release even if they hadn't been able to sell the older one used. I think that plenty of people probably would.

Quote:
It's like trading in your old car for a new one. Ford doesn't benefit directly from the old car, the dealership does, but Ford benefits from the sale of the new car.

I don't get why people keep bringing up cars. All the examples people have tried to throw out are bad, but cars are the worst of the lot.

Cars are a requirement for many people. When you sell a used game, you aren't necessarily replacing it with a new one. However, when you sell a used car, you are almost always replacing it with another vehicle (whether used or new). And if you're replacing it with another used car, then the person you bought it from is getting another car to replace that one. And so on up the chain, until one of them decides to replace the car they just sold with a new vehicle. Thus, car manufacturers are practically guaranteed that when an older vehicle is decommissioned, or when a new driver requires a vehicle that they don't already possess, somewhere along the way they are going to sell a new vehicle. This isn't the case for video games.

By the way, manufacturers often do see direct financial gain from the dealer sale of used vehicles. Which is super great for them, because they end up making money off the car twice, and they only had to build it once!

Quote:
Currently, your best argument is circular and relies on an appeal to authority.

Appeal to authority is only a fallacy when the authority in question has no authority-based reason that it should receive extra weight in the argument.

For example, saying, "My cardiologist says that I shouldn't be eating this, and he's the head of the hospital's department of cardiology!" is an appeal to authority, but in this case is valid because the fact that the doctor in question is respected as a leader in his field means that his expert opinion regarding matters within that field ought to be given extra weight.

Similarly, saying, "The professional businessmen who run multimillion dollar companies that are consistently successful probably have a better idea of the direction they should take their business than you do," is an appeal to authority, but a valid one because the fact that the businesspeople in question hold the positions that they do indicates that they have significant expertise, and their expert opinions should therefore be afforded more weight.


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Just to point out but if Sony was doing such a great job I don't think they would have four years straight of Red Ink.

Not so good and expert of them really.


I am really bummed out about this. This ultimately sucks for video gaming in the end. How could anybody be for this change besides the greedy ones behind the scenes? I am utterly shocked they are going this far with it, and I can't support such ludicrous ideas. I'll probably just stick to playing the pre generation old games, and play more tabletop RPG's instead of these new crooked video game systems.


Oh! Almost forgot about this article I saw today - a developer who wants to see console manufacturers put an end to used sales completely.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Caineach wrote:
You take 1 of the most intentionally over the top sexualized fem fatales (Kill Bill) I can think of and 1 character who is cliche, unsympathetic, damsel in distress (Terminator 2) and claim they are empowering images of women? Riddley I will give you, but Sarah Connor is in no way a strong female role.

I have to disagree on this one. While your description would fairly describe Sarah Connor in the original Terminator, by the time Terminator 2 rolls around she's a lot more badass. A bit crazy perhaps (but to be fair, living in a mental institution would do that to you), but certainly not a damsel in distress.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Scott Betts wrote:
Mr. Gaiman knows his business better than I do. As for myself? Borrowing a book is potentially ethically sound. If you borrow or are loaned a book, you should purchase a book from that author/publisher as a sign of respect and thanks - even if you didn't enjoy the book that much.

That doesn't make sense to me though. If the book wasn't good, and I go buy another book from that author/publisher, I'm rewarding that author/publisher for putting out a bad book. Further, I'm encouraging them to put out more bad books, which reduces the overall quality of the book market.

At the same time, I'm taking money out of my book-purchasing budget that I would have otherwise spent on good authors/publishers, who actually earn my money by putting out good material.

Isn't that a bad thing?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scott Betts wrote:


Pretending that eliminating used sales/loans means that everyone who currently uses loaned titles to make purchasing decisions will suddenly decide to stop playing video games is kind of a silly position to take.

I will. I do not trust Sony or Microsoft. I already boycott day-1 DLC and often boycott the game in the first place.

At Drive-Thru-RPG, I purchased pdf copies of several 3.5 books. When WotC removed those games from DTRPG, including my ability to re-download books I had already paid for, I decided I wasn't buying their products any more, unless it was physical. This was a major factor for why I never got into 4E.

BTW, I pointed out this WotC example several pages ago.


Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
That doesn't make sense to me though. If the book wasn't good, and I go buy another book from that author/publisher, I'm rewarding that author/publisher for putting out a bad book. Further, I'm encouraging them to put out more bad books, which reduces the overall quality of the book market.

I'll clarify - if they put out a bad book (and I mean a book you actually don't want to read, it's that bad) then you don't have to reward them. But in that case you probably wouldn't read the book anyway; you'd put it down pretty fast.

What I'm saying is that after you read a book, even if that book is just passable, you owe that author and that publisher. You have created a debt to be repaid, and it's up to you to figure out a way to settle your balance.


Irontruth wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Pretending that eliminating used sales/loans means that everyone who currently uses loaned titles to make purchasing decisions will suddenly decide to stop playing video games is kind of a silly position to take.

I will. I do not trust Sony or Microsoft. I already boycott day-1 DLC and often boycott the game in the first place.

At Drive-Thru-RPG, I purchased pdf copies of several 3.5 books. When WotC removed those games from DTRPG, including my ability to re-download books I had already paid for, I decided I wasn't buying their products any more, unless it was physical. This was a major factor for why I never got into 4E.

BTW, I pointed out this WotC example several pages ago.

And I pointed out that you were sold a bill of false goods by Drivethru RPG, who was never granted permission by WotC to promise eternal redownloading of ebooks purchased through DTRPG. DTRPG made promises to you that they couldn't keep, and instead of blaming them for pulling a fast one on you, you chose to blame WotC for some bizarre and utterly suspect reason.

This is sort of indicative of why a lot of people hate WotC/Sony/Microsoft/EA/whatever - tragically and laughably misplaced blame.

The ironic part is that your trust was betrayed by no one except DTRPG, and yet you've decided that it's appropriate to distrust WotC instead. Go figure. You don't care about who is actually at fault. You care about preserving a narrative, course of events be damned.


Caineach wrote:

I honestly see strict DRM as the death of consoles.

Niche games survive and thrive because of Gamestop. They do not sell well enough to get stocked on shelves at most non-game stores. Gamestop requires secondary market sales to stay afloat. If the secondary market goes away, niche games will move away from consoles. This will significantly reduce the number of games for sale on the consoles, reducing console sales. Basicly, the only things available will the the top sellers, many of which are also available for PC now, so I see it as a very poor buisness decision.

I notice that Dear Ester, Journey, Dustforce, all orcs must die, and cthulhu saves the world are all availible at game spot...oh, no, sorry I was thinking of steam(or in one case PSN). And it is game spot which will be bringing me wasteland 2, shadowrun returns and the double fine adventure right? Oh no, wait that will be kickstarter.

The idea that obsolete bricks and mortar style stores help create a broader range of games for consumers is laughable. Game spot, or game here in the UK, live for the blockbuster games, its what makes them viable businesses. The re-sale of smaller titles, which is where almost all the second or third tier game sales that such shops make, does nothing to support development of games outside of the big franchises.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scott Betts wrote:

And I pointed out that you were sold a bill of false goods by Drivethru RPG, who was never granted permission by WotC to promise eternal redownloading of ebooks purchased through DTRPG. DTRPG made promises to you that they couldn't keep, and instead of blaming them for pulling a fast one on you, you chose to blame WotC for some bizarre and utterly suspect reason.

This is sort of indicative of why a lot of people hate WotC/Sony/Microsoft/EA/whatever - tragically and laughably misplaced blame.

The ironic part is that your trust was betrayed by no one except DTRPG, and yet you've decided that it's appropriate to distrust WotC instead. Go figure. You don't care about who is actually at fault. You care about preserving a narrative, course of events be damned.

This sort of apologetics just drives me up the wall. Yea, Drivethrough RPG was may have been overstating the terms of their contract, but don't try to pretend that WotC comes out of this smelling like roses so to speak.

Yes it was within WotC's legal rights to yank their electronic products, but it can still have been the wrong thing to do. As this thread has hopefully taught us, what is legal and what is right often do not line up. The fact is that WotC pulled a fast one both on the end consumers of their pdfs and on the merchants who sold said pdfs. You can't wave away the fact that it caused a great deal of bad blood by deeming calling out a company that made a business misstep as "laughable" or "preserving a narrative". The way I see it Drivethough RPG was a victim here too, as it seems that WotC expected them to take the fall for them to a certain extent. It doesn't help that some people seem to have drank the kool-aid on that one.

The fact remains that Irontruth is not alone in his feelings, I too chose not to buy 4e after the pdf fiasco.


Scott Betts wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Pretending that eliminating used sales/loans means that everyone who currently uses loaned titles to make purchasing decisions will suddenly decide to stop playing video games is kind of a silly position to take.

I will. I do not trust Sony or Microsoft. I already boycott day-1 DLC and often boycott the game in the first place.

At Drive-Thru-RPG, I purchased pdf copies of several 3.5 books. When WotC removed those games from DTRPG, including my ability to re-download books I had already paid for, I decided I wasn't buying their products any more, unless it was physical. This was a major factor for why I never got into 4E.

BTW, I pointed out this WotC example several pages ago.

And I pointed out that you were sold a bill of false goods by Drivethru RPG, who was never granted permission by WotC to promise eternal redownloading of ebooks purchased through DTRPG. DTRPG made promises to you that they couldn't keep, and instead of blaming them for pulling a fast one on you, you chose to blame WotC for some bizarre and utterly suspect reason.

This is sort of indicative of why a lot of people hate WotC/Sony/Microsoft/EA/whatever - tragically and laughably misplaced blame.

The ironic part is that your trust was betrayed by no one except DTRPG, and yet you've decided that it's appropriate to distrust WotC instead. Go figure. You don't care about who is actually at fault. You care about preserving a narrative, course of events be damned.

Scott, you do understand the difference between 'I am within my rights to do this' and 'this is a reasonable way to treat my customers'.

When WotC started selling PDFs via Drive thru RPG, they entered a social contract with the purchasers. There were within their legal right to do what they did, but that doesn't make it any less of a awesomely stupid move from a customer relations move.

If WotC wasn't up for what DriveThruRPG does, they shouldn't have used it as a retailer to begin with.

Of cause, on top of all that it was a stupid move. Pirate copies of the vast majority of WotC books are still out there, and now all legitimate roots of aquisition for many of them is removed, and all legitimate roots of aquisition for PDF version of all WotS books is removed, which only makes piracy of said books a more attractive proposition, if you either want older books or you use a PDF formate.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

As Zombieneighbours astutely pointed out, it was stupid and it didn't even work. The problem is that WotC essentially refuses to notice those twin points to this day. Although I'm pretty sure that pulling the pdfs was part of the plan to transition everything over to DDI and "piracy" was given as an excuse, which is a whole other issue to talk about.

Shadow Lodge

So, Scott, what about the fact that some libraries ALREADY carry video games as a part of their multimedia sections, along with CDs, DVDs/BluRays, etc?


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Scott Betts wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Pretending that eliminating used sales/loans means that everyone who currently uses loaned titles to make purchasing decisions will suddenly decide to stop playing video games is kind of a silly position to take.

I will. I do not trust Sony or Microsoft. I already boycott day-1 DLC and often boycott the game in the first place.

At Drive-Thru-RPG, I purchased pdf copies of several 3.5 books. When WotC removed those games from DTRPG, including my ability to re-download books I had already paid for, I decided I wasn't buying their products any more, unless it was physical. This was a major factor for why I never got into 4E.

BTW, I pointed out this WotC example several pages ago.

And I pointed out that you were sold a bill of false goods by Drivethru RPG, who was never granted permission by WotC to promise eternal redownloading of ebooks purchased through DTRPG. DTRPG made promises to you that they couldn't keep, and instead of blaming them for pulling a fast one on you, you chose to blame WotC for some bizarre and utterly suspect reason.

This is sort of indicative of why a lot of people hate WotC/Sony/Microsoft/EA/whatever - tragically and laughably misplaced blame.

The ironic part is that your trust was betrayed by no one except DTRPG, and yet you've decided that it's appropriate to distrust WotC instead. Go figure. You don't care about who is actually at fault. You care about preserving a narrative, course of events be damned.

Wizard's of the Coast made the decision. Drive-thru didn't cancel the downloads. If I had bought them through the Paizo website, that also would have been cancelled. This wasn't Paizo's decision, it was WotC's.

Wizard's made the decision to legally offer their products through digital sellers. I made the decision to buy one. Wizards then made the decision to cancel that deal. They legally had the right to do that. I still have the right to not trust them.

Here's another link.

Don't get me wrong, I'm wary of RPGNow and Drive-thru as well, but they aren't IP originators, so they aren't as relevant to the discussion.

WotC forced RPGNow to break their contract with me. To me, the group more in the wrong is WotC. If WotC hadn't made their decision, I wouldn't be mad.


Scott Betts wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
That doesn't make sense to me though. If the book wasn't good, and I go buy another book from that author/publisher, I'm rewarding that author/publisher for putting out a bad book. Further, I'm encouraging them to put out more bad books, which reduces the overall quality of the book market.

I'll clarify - if they put out a bad book (and I mean a book you actually don't want to read, it's that bad) then you don't have to reward them. But in that case you probably wouldn't read the book anyway; you'd put it down pretty fast.

What I'm saying is that after you read a book, even if that book is just passable, you owe that author and that publisher. You have created a debt to be repaid, and it's up to you to figure out a way to settle your balance. [/ QUOTE]
What I'm saying is that after you hear a song, even if it is just passable, you owe that busker, and the song writer. You have created a debt to be repaid, and it is up to you to figure out a way to settle your balance.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Except I've specifically explained, multiple times, in this very thread, that libraries are a function of a greater societal (and ethical) good that we have, as a country, identified: the free spread of knowledge. That good is considered above the good of compensating authors/publishers for the experience that their creative work provides.
And how is that different in video games? You claim sharing knowledge from books to be high ethical value, but what about knowledge from video games? One form of speach does not inherently have more value than the other.

We haven't, as a society, determined that the free and open spread of video games carries with it a stronger ethical imperative than compensating its creators for each person who enjoys their work. You're free to take a stand on that particular issue, but I honestly think it's going to be a tough nut to crack.

EDIT: And, if and when you do crack it, it doesn't mean that you would suddenly have solid ethical ground to stand on when selling used video games. There's a massive ethical difference between the free and tax-funded, societally-endorsed spread of knowledge, and the private gain made from someone else's creative work without their express consent.

Except for the fact that libraries carry video games.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
Caineach wrote:
You take 1 of the most intentionally over the top sexualized fem fatales (Kill Bill) I can think of and 1 character who is cliche, unsympathetic, damsel in distress (Terminator 2) and claim they are empowering images of women? Riddley I will give you, but Sarah Connor is in no way a strong female role.
I have to disagree on this one. While your description would fairly describe Sarah Connor in the original Terminator, by the time Terminator 2 rolls around she's a lot more badass. A bit crazy perhaps (but to be fair, living in a mental institution would do that to you), but certainly not a damsel in distress.

She also has no personality other than save my son and is still a damsel in distress for the whole movie.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Caineach wrote:

I honestly see strict DRM as the death of consoles.

Niche games survive and thrive because of Gamestop. They do not sell well enough to get stocked on shelves at most non-game stores. Gamestop requires secondary market sales to stay afloat. If the secondary market goes away, niche games will move away from consoles. This will significantly reduce the number of games for sale on the consoles, reducing console sales. Basicly, the only things available will the the top sellers, many of which are also available for PC now, so I see it as a very poor buisness decision.

I notice that Dear Ester, Journey, Dustforce, all orcs must die, and cthulhu saves the world are all availible at game spot...oh, no, sorry I was thinking of steam(or in one case PSN). And it is game spot which will be bringing me wasteland 2, shadowrun returns and the double fine adventure right? Oh no, wait that will be kickstarter.

The idea that obsolete bricks and mortar style stores help create a broader range of games for consumers is laughable. Game spot, or game here in the UK, live for the blockbuster games, its what makes them viable businesses. The re-sale of smaller titles, which is where almost all the second or third tier game sales that such shops make, does nothing to support development of games outside of the big franchises.

Atlas produces a huge range of titles for consoles. So does Nipon Ichi. I can't think of one of their games that I've seen at Walmart or Target, but they have strong dedicated fans. My brother works for 1st Playable, and only their disney titles end up in retail stores regularly, which makes up about 1/4 of their DS games. Gamestop makes up a huge portion of their sales.

Not everyone buys games for themselves. Gifts and children make up significant portions of the market, and the people buying them or the ones they are buying for don't necessarily have Steam.


Saint Caleth wrote:
Yes it was within WotC's legal rights to yank their electronic products, but it can still have been the wrong thing to do. As this thread has hopefully taught us, what is legal and what is right often do not line up. The fact is that WotC pulled a fast one both on the end consumers of their pdfs and on the merchants who sold said pdfs. You can't wave away the fact that it caused a great deal of bad blood by deeming calling out a company that made a business misstep as "laughable" or "preserving a narrative". The way I see it Drivethough RPG was a victim here too, as it seems that WotC expected them to take the fall for them to a certain extent. It doesn't help that some people seem to have drank the kool-aid on that one.

Okay, then, here's your task: Justify, ethically-speaking, your antipathy towards WotC for their decision to stop selling PDFs of their products. Obviously this was within their legal rights. So explain how it was ethically wrong of them. Explain where you were given the impression - by WotC - that you would have permanent online access to those PDFs. Explain why WotC, ethically-speaking, should be forced to have their business decisions dictated and restrained by the unlawful promises made by third parties? Explain these things. Because I really don't think you can. I don't think there is a valid ethical reason to hate WotC for this. And I've tried really hard to think one up. I think you were just angry, and needed to direct that anger somewhere, and it was just so much easier to hate WotC (for whatever reason) than to place blame where blame was actually deserved.

One of the best parts is that some of the people who are still raging at WotC for this decision are the same people who say they think physical and intellectual property should be treated the same.

The running theme of this thread has been people's unwillingness to grapple with truths, and their decision to gloss over less attractive realities in favor of more pleasing falsehoods.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I don't give a flying crap about WotC now, there is no hating going on. I don't play Magic any more and Pathfinder is D&D for me now.

Maybe it was naive of some people to expect their purchase of a pdf book to be an actual sale rather than a licence, but it does not change the fact that more draconian schemes to stamp out piracy across the board do not work, whether it is by stricter and stricter DRM, or by attempting to avoid the marketplace altogether. Multiple posters have provided you with evidence of this from a variety of sources.

You also seem to have a near-obsession with calling what Drivethrough RPG did unlawful, do you have a statement (boilerplate legalese or otherwise) from WotC saying that the "sale" of one of their former pdfs is a licence and not a sale? I am not positive, but I suspect that what Drivethrough RPG was doing was standard practice among online retailers of ebooks at the time, so please prove to me that they were in fact doing something illegal, and don't just furiously move goalposts around.

The other issue here is that you have a persistent blind spot in your inability or unwillingness to admit that companies have any reason or need to consider the opinions of their consumers. Additionally, please do not introduce the word ethical, it is loaded, you know it, and I did not use that word in my original argument. I know that you have a reputation as the local apologist for WotC, but the fact remains that they did something that is recognized now (years later) by many IP based businesses to be stupid, namely refusing to engage with the online marketplace. The way that a company combats piracy is to get out ahead, and make their product easily available from a variety of outlets.

My displeasure is perhaps more cynical, since it comes from the fact that as I said before, I suspect that WotC was using piracy as a smokescreen to remove pdfs and position DDI to be the sole electronic source of their product. The subscription model where you cannot keep it when you cancel is something I do not agree with and I will not support, so their disingenuous behavior in furtherance of that is what I object to.

Don't try to be all high and mighty about WotC somehow being ethically better than everyone who objects to their business decisions. You are still "glossing over the unpleasant truth" that they did something in the name of solving a problem which was ineffective and they created a large amount of negative feeling by doing so. I refer you to Irontruth's excellent posts above.


Scott Betts wrote:
Saint Caleth wrote:
Yes it was within WotC's legal rights to yank their electronic products, but it can still have been the wrong thing to do. As this thread has hopefully taught us, what is legal and what is right often do not line up. The fact is that WotC pulled a fast one both on the end consumers of their pdfs and on the merchants who sold said pdfs. You can't wave away the fact that it caused a great deal of bad blood by deeming calling out a company that made a business misstep as "laughable" or "preserving a narrative". The way I see it Drivethough RPG was a victim here too, as it seems that WotC expected them to take the fall for them to a certain extent. It doesn't help that some people seem to have drank the kool-aid on that one.

Okay, then, here's your task: Justify, ethically-speaking, your antipathy towards WotC for their decision to stop selling PDFs of their products. Obviously this was within their legal rights. So explain how it was ethically wrong of them. Explain where you were given the impression - by WotC - that you would have permanent online access to those PDFs. Explain why WotC, ethically-speaking, should be forced to have their business decisions dictated and restrained by the unlawful promises made by third parties? Explain these things. Because I really don't think you can. I don't think there is a valid ethical reason to hate WotC for this. And I've tried really hard to think one up. I think you were just angry, and needed to direct that anger somewhere, and it was just so much easier to hate WotC (for whatever reason) than to place blame where blame was actually deserved.

One of the best parts is that some of the people who are still raging at WotC for this decision are the same people who say they think physical and intellectual property should be treated the same.

The running theme of this thread has been people's unwillingness to grapple with truths, and their decision to gloss over less attractive realities in favor of more...

I don't believe the contract between WotC and RPGNow was public. If I'm wrong, please post a link. If it wasn't public, how can I be expected to know the terms of their contract?

Explain to me why I should trust them? In every "license" is the one-sided option to revoke it at any time. Tell me why I should buy products like that?

WotC revoked my right to download products that I paid for. Legally, they were in the right. Now tell me why I should bother to give them more money? I guarantee, they still have those clauses in all their new stuff whenever they can. They've done it once, why should I as a consumer not assume that they're going to do it again? I don't have a lot of money to waste and I don't feel like having my purchases be at the mercy of people I don't know and never meet.

Here's the other thing to all this, even if its all legal and everyone else is convinced that it is ethical, I'm not handing my money over to people who do it to me. This is how I protest that kind of decision, with my pocketbook.

I'm also tired of being treated like a criminal and degenerate. If a company wants my business, they should treat me like a customer, not a potential criminal. If they can't be bothered to respect me, I can't be bothered to buy their stuff.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Irontruth wrote:

Wizard's of the Coast made the decision. Drive-thru didn't cancel the downloads. If I had bought them through the Paizo website, that also would have been cancelled. This wasn't Paizo's decision, it was WotC's.

Wizard's made the decision to legally offer their products through digital sellers. I made the decision to buy one. Wizards then made the decision to cancel that deal. They legally had the right to do that. I still have the right to not trust them.

Here's another link.

Don't get me wrong, I'm wary of RPGNow and Drive-thru as well, but they aren't IP originators, so they aren't as relevant to the discussion.

WotC forced RPGNow to break their contract with me. To me, the group more in the wrong is WotC. If WotC hadn't made their decision, I wouldn't be mad.

I have to place the blame on DTRPG. Because I remember when this happened. Wizards asked both DTRPG and Paizo to stop selling their PDFs.

What did Paizo do? They contacted Wizards for clarification, and secured the ability to allow existing customers one last chance to download their files before they were pulled. They then contacted their customers and let them know how long they had to download the files.

What did DTRPG do? The petulantly deleted all the files immediately and pouted. They didn't do the same due diligence to protect their customers that Paizo did. If they had, the transition could have been handled smoothly and satisfactorily for all involved.

I am unhappy that Wizards will no longer sell me their PDFs, but I'm not angry at them and understand their decision. I have to put the majority of the DTRPG debacle down to DTRPG, since we can see by how Paizo handled it that Wizards was not unreasonable in their dealing with PDF vendors.

Which just means I've been buying my PDFs here (or Warehouse 23) most of the time and only use DTRPG if I absolutely have to.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Scott Betts wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
That doesn't make sense to me though. If the book wasn't good, and I go buy another book from that author/publisher, I'm rewarding that author/publisher for putting out a bad book. Further, I'm encouraging them to put out more bad books, which reduces the overall quality of the book market.

I'll clarify - if they put out a bad book (and I mean a book you actually don't want to read, it's that bad) then you don't have to reward them. But in that case you probably wouldn't read the book anyway; you'd put it down pretty fast.

What I'm saying is that after you read a book, even if that book is just passable, you owe that author and that publisher. You have created a debt to be repaid, and it's up to you to figure out a way to settle your balance.

Ok, so same issue, just less pronounced :)

I'm rewarding authors/publishers for putting out a mediocre book, and encouraging them to continue to publish mediocre books. And I'm still doing it with money that would have otherwise gone to the authors and publishers of good books.

You know how I resolve my debt to the author/publisher of a book I read for free? I talk about the book. I discuss the book with my friend and family and recommend the book to people I think will enjoy it, and by doing so I increase the chances that other people will buy that book.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Caineach wrote:
She also has no personality other than save my son and is still a damsel in distress for the whole movie.

I'll agree to disagree, since it's not entirely relevant to the thread :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

You know, since "ethics" keeps coming into this, in relation to intellectual property, I'm curious exactly how ethical some think it is for IP holders to support (and in many cases, endorse extending) current copyright terms - terms that were never intended to be this long.

I find it highly unethical that the terms are what they are, and haven't been returned to their original durations.


deinol wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Wizard's of the Coast made the decision. Drive-thru didn't cancel the downloads. If I had bought them through the Paizo website, that also would have been cancelled. This wasn't Paizo's decision, it was WotC's.

Wizard's made the decision to legally offer their products through digital sellers. I made the decision to buy one. Wizards then made the decision to cancel that deal. They legally had the right to do that. I still have the right to not trust them.

Here's another link.

Don't get me wrong, I'm wary of RPGNow and Drive-thru as well, but they aren't IP originators, so they aren't as relevant to the discussion.

WotC forced RPGNow to break their contract with me. To me, the group more in the wrong is WotC. If WotC hadn't made their decision, I wouldn't be mad.

I have to place the blame on DTRPG. Because I remember when this happened. Wizards asked both DTRPG and Paizo to stop selling their PDFs.

What did Paizo do? They contacted Wizards for clarification, and secured the ability to allow existing customers one last chance to download their files before they were pulled. They then contacted their customers and let them know how long they had to download the files.

What did DTRPG do? The petulantly deleted all the files immediately and pouted. They didn't do the same due diligence to protect their customers that Paizo did. If they had, the transition could have been handled smoothly and satisfactorily for all involved.

I am unhappy that Wizards will no longer sell me their PDFs, but I'm not angry at them and understand their decision. I have to put the majority of the DTRPG debacle down to DTRPG, since we can see by how Paizo handled it that Wizards was not unreasonable in their dealing with PDF vendors.

Which just means I've been buying my PDFs here (or Warehouse 23) most of the time and only use DTRPG if I absolutely have to.

I pretty much stopped with DTRPG as well. Honestly, I didn't even remember the specific timeline, it also isn't what concerned me.

I dislike paying for something and having limited downloads. It's a major reason why I don't buy music online. This is why I don't like the fact that WotC pulled their products. Even with the warning, I still don't like being treated like that. There's really no way to sway my personal buying habits either. If I sniff that my purchases aren't my purchases, I'm out. If people want to sell me stuff, they have to actually sell me something, not rent it to me.


Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

Ok, so same issue, just less pronounced :)

I'm rewarding authors/publishers for putting out a mediocre book, and encouraging them to continue to publish mediocre books. And I'm still doing it with money that would have otherwise gone to the authors and publishers of good books.

And this is the part where I say that I don't care. You still have an ethical obligation to compensate the book's author/publisher/whatever.

See, that's the problem with having an ethical framework: you have to follow it, even when it's personally inconvenient.


Brian E. Harris wrote:

You know, since "ethics" keeps coming into this, in relation to intellectual property, I'm curious exactly how ethical some think it is for IP holders to support (and in many cases, endorse extending) current copyright terms - terms that were never intended to be this long.

I find it highly unethical that the terms are what they are, and haven't been returned to their original durations.

What about that do you find unethical?

"Things are different than they originally were," is not an ethical position.


Irontruth wrote:
If people want to sell me stuff, they have to actually sell me something, not rent it to me.

And this may be the fundamental difference coloring our outlooks on this issue. I'm fine with paying for a service rather than a product. You're not.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
"Things are different than they originally were," is not an ethical position.

I would turn that right back around to you, sir, in regards to physical media and electronic media.

Thank you.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
What about that do you find unethical?

And, specifically, what I find unethical is that the Founding Fathers determined that the public good was better served by a limited copyright period, at which time the works would transition to the public domain.

Corporate money bought off politicians to raise that "limited" term to a duration that is, in all effects, unlimited for the life of a person alive when the work is created, thereby promoting absolutely no public good (remember, libraries are public good, aren't they?).

Further, whenever a major copyright is about to expire, more corporate dollars are fed to corrupt elected officials to further extend the copyright.

This is what I find unethical.

And, therefore (and admittedly perhaps slightly irrationally), if the ethics in regards to public good are ignored by copyright holders, why should any of us even come close to paying attention to the ethics of compensating copyright holders for transfer of physical media such as movies, books, etc. to those that have not paid to experience them?

No, sorry. I get that two (perceived) wrongs don't make a right, but the bigger wrong here is that I have yet to see ANY significant copyright holder endorse copyright term limitations/restorations, or voluntarily turning their works into the public domain after the original Constitutionally-mandated terms had passed.

Until that happens? Yeah - I'll continue trading my physical media as I always have, and have zero ethical qualms about it.

(P.S. - exactly who dictates ethics, and who deems another a judge of ethical conduct?)


Saint Caleth wrote:

I don't give a flying crap about WotC now, there is no hating going on. I don't play Magic any more and Pathfinder is D&D for me now.

Maybe it was naive of some people to expect their purchase of a pdf book to be an actual sale rather than a licence,

You've already started out on the wrong foot.

DriveThruRPG had a contract with WotC which allowed them to sell WotC PDFs through their online retail outlet. This contract, apparently, allows WotC to pull all PDFs from DriveThruRPG's online marketplace without notice. Doing so also means, apparently, that previously purchased WotC PDFs cannot be redownloaded.

DriveThruRPG had a provision in their sale to the customer that they would be allowed up to five downloads of the PDF they were sold, as a customer courtesy. It was wildly irresponsible of DriveThruRPG to allow its customers to believe they would have perpetual access to those five downloads, especially given the contract they had with WotC.

WotC wanted to remove their PDFs from online sale, as is their right as a business - both legally and ethically. They exercised that right. DriveThruRPG suddenly found itself in a pickle. They had promised something to their customers that they could no longer provide, and it was something they'd known all along might happen.

You purchased a copy of a file. But you purchased one PDF, and you purchased it from DriveThruRPG, not WotC. You were provided an additional four downloads by DriveThruRPG as a customer service courtesy/warranty.

That's how this works.

The fact that we have some people here who are still trying to blame WotC for denying them their additional downloads, while leaving DriveThruRPG blameless, just demonstrates the truly deplorable way that tabletop gamers (and gamers in general, really) tend to act when things don't go the way they want - especially when any of their favorite big targets are involved (responsibility be damned).


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
If people want to sell me stuff, they have to actually sell me something, not rent it to me.
And this may be the fundamental difference coloring our outlooks on this issue. I'm fine with paying for a service rather than a product. You're not.

I would bet that a large number of people are, as well.

I'm fine with paying for Netflix, Hulu and Prime over physical media. I have ZERO issue with this.

But, then again, I'm also not paying $19.99 to watch a single movie via those services instead of owning the physical product.

And the fact that such services exist, are profitable, and pass profit onto the copyright holders/creators, puts the lie to the claim that "We need to charge the same price for electronic media as we do physical media! You're paying for the content, not the medium!"

Nope. I'm paying for the content AND the medium. I'll pay a premium for a medium that can't be revoked from me. I won't (and don't) pay a premium for an intangible medium that cannot be virtually revoked.

Here's a hypothetical question for you:

A person purchased $1000 in WotC PDFs before they were yanked.

The claim by WotC and yourself is that the person purchased a license to them, and WotC has, effectively, revoked that license, and you no longer have any right to download them.

The physical medium the PDFs were stored upon was stolen, or lost in a house fire.

Is it "ethical" to claim the value of those PDFs on your insurance claim? What legal and ethical recourse should you have for recovering those PDFs?

Given that they're not available through the original distribution means, nor are they, on the surface, legally obtainable otherwise, is their value more or less than the original purchase price?

If the person that purchased them originally wills the storage medium to an heir, is that an illegal (and/or unethical) transfer of license/content? Should the heir delete/destroy them?


Brian E. Harris wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
"Things are different than they originally were," is not an ethical position.

I would turn that right back around to you, sir, in regards to physical media and electronic media.

Thank you.

Except that I'm not making that the entirety of my argument. I went on to explain exactly why those differences necessitated changes in the way we treat intellectual property and its associated works.

You, on the other hand, just said, "I find it unethical that they changed copyright extensions," without offering any kind of explanation as to why that would be considered unethical.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
You, on the other hand, just said, "I find it unethical that they changed copyright extensions," without offering any kind of explanation as to why that would be considered unethical.

Try again.

Brian E. Harris wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
What about that do you find unethical?

And, specifically, what I find unethical is that the Founding Fathers determined that the public good was better served by a limited copyright period, at which time the works would transition to the public domain.

Corporate money bought off politicians to raise that "limited" term to a duration that is, in all effects, unlimited for the life of a person alive when the work is created, thereby promoting absolutely no public good (remember, libraries are public good, aren't they?).

Further, whenever a major copyright is about to expire, more corporate dollars are fed to corrupt elected officials to further extend the copyright.

This is what I find unethical.


Brian E. Harris wrote:
And, specifically, what I find unethical is that the Founding Fathers determined that the public good was better served by a limited copyright period, at which time the works would transition to the public domain.

"The founding fathers thought it was a good idea," doesn't make something ethically-sound. You need to have well-reasoned support for why the extension of private ownership of creative works is unethical.

Quote:

Corporate money bought off politicians to raise that "limited" term to a duration that is, in all effects, unlimited for the life of a person alive when the work is created, thereby promoting absolutely no public good (remember, libraries are public good, aren't they?).

Further, whenever a major copyright is about to expire, more corporate dollars are fed to corrupt elected officials to further extend the copyright.

This is what I find unethical.

This might make the process by which the extension came about unethical (if, indeed, corruption is at the core of the passage of the changes), but it doesn't make the change itself unethical.

If you bribe a politician to fund a humanitarian project, the bribery does not suddenly make funding humanitarian projects unethical.

Quote:
(P.S. - exactly who dictates ethics, and who deems another a judge of ethical conduct?)

We all dictate our own ethics, and we all judge the ethics of others. Ethical frameworks are personal but inevitably vulnerable to societal shaping, and the best we can do is encourage others to hold themselves to the ethical frameworks we deem appropriate.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
You purchased a copy of a file. But you purchased one PDF, and you purchased it from DriveThruRPG, not WotC. You were provided an additional four downloads by DriveThruRPG as a customer service courtesy/warranty.

WotC, as the copyright holder, would have had to allow DTRPG to do this, as part of the license to distribute.

Scott Betts wrote:
That's how this works.

Except it's not.

Scott Betts wrote:
The fact that we have some people here who are still trying to blame WotC for denying them their additional downloads, while leaving DriveThruRPG blameless, just demonstrates the truly deplorable way that tabletop gamers (and gamers in general, really) tend to act when things don't go the way they want - especially when any of their favorite big targets are involved (responsibility be damned).

DTRPG acted as agent of WotC, and would have been operating under a license dictating whta they can and can't do. WotC dictated the revocation of licenses (both to DTRPG to distribute, and to the end-user to download).

The contract to purchase/license the product was with WotC as the copyright holder/IP owner, with DTRPG acting as agent.

WotC *IS* who is to blame for denying additional downloads, or downloads in perpetuity. WotC made the decision to pull the licenses from the distributor and end users, not DTRPG.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
"The founding fathers thought it was a good idea," doesn't make something ethically-sound. You need to have well-reasoned support for why the extension of private ownership of creative works is unethical.

Then you need to have well-reasoned support for why libraries aren't unethical, but private lending is, sir.

Weren't you the one claiming libraries serve a public good?

Scott Betts wrote:
This might make the process by which the extension came about unethical (if, indeed, corruption is at the core of the passage of the changes), but it doesn't make the change itself unethical.

Yet, since the limited duration, pre-extension, was put in place for the public good, and the public good is not served by maintaining private ownership for what are untenable "limited" durations, the change is therefore unethical - it goes against the public good, and benefits nobody but the private holder, against the wishes of those that enacted the law, while defending that "100+ years is still a limited term, and if we extend the term again, as long as we put a finite limit on it, it's still technically limited!"

Scott Betts wrote:
We all dictate our own ethics, and we all judge the ethics of others. Ethical frameworks are personal but inevitably vulnerable to societal shaping, and the best we can do is encourage others to hold themselves to the ethical frameworks we deem appropriate.

And yet, aren't you insinuating (or outright stating) that the societal shaping that has taken place - that which has condoned wanton private lending of copyrighted materials as appropriate - is unethical?


Brian E. Harris wrote:
I would bet that a large number of people are, as well.

They most certainly are. In fact, nearly everyone is.

Quote:

I'm fine with paying for Netflix, Hulu and Prime over physical media. I have ZERO issue with this.

But, then again, I'm also not paying $19.99 to watch a single movie via those services instead of owning the physical product.

Aside from the rather extreme price for a one-time viewing, in what way is this difference substantive?

My cable service, for instance, provides one-time viewing of movies for a few bucks. I select the movie, I pay maybe $4.00, and I get to watch that movie for about a day.

Quote:
And the fact that such services exist, are profitable, and pass profit onto the copyright holders/creators, puts the lie to the claim that "We need to charge the same price for electronic media as we do physical media! You're paying for the content, not the medium!"

I don't think anyone is claiming that electronic media should be as expensive as physical media. There are tremendous costs associated with the distribution of a physical product as opposed to an electronic one.

Quote:
Nope. I'm paying for the content AND the medium. I'll pay a premium for a medium that can't be revoked from me. I won't (and don't) pay a premium for an intangible medium that cannot be virtually revoked.

This is a reasonable position, though when it comes to PDFs, no one is really revoking anything. Just like a physical book, it's up to you to store that PDF copy in a safe and secure place once it has passed into your ownership.

Quote:

Here's a hypothetical question for you:

A person purchased $1000 in WotC PDFs before they were yanked.

The claim by WotC and yourself is that the person purchased a license to them, and WotC has, effectively, revoked that license, and you no longer have any right to download them.

That's not what either myself nor WotC is claiming.

Quote:

The physical medium the PDFs were stored upon was stolen, or lost in a house fire.

Is it "ethical" to claim the value of those PDFs on your insurance claim?

I cannot speak to insurance law. And the ethical value of such a claim would be based on your contract with the insurance provider; if your contract specifically excludes digital goods, then it would be unethical to claim it.

Quote:
What legal and ethical recourse should you have for recovering those PDFs?

Legally, as you note, there may be some insurance claim to the PDFs (again, no idea if that's typically the case or not). Ethically, if you're talking about recourse from WotC, there is none. WotC is under no obligation, legally or ethically, to provide you with an additional copy of the PDF. Now, it would be the nice thing to do, but what's nice and what's ethically required are not necessarily the same.

Quote:
Given that they're not available through the original distribution means, nor are they, on the surface, legally obtainable otherwise, is their value more or less than the original purchase price?

I really have no idea. The concept of data as collectible is novel.

Quote:
If the person that purchased them originally wills the storage medium to an heir, is that an illegal (and/or unethical) transfer of license/content? Should the heir delete/destroy them?

As far as I am aware, there is no binding license in place, in this situation.


Brian E. Harris wrote:
WotC, as the copyright holder, would have had to allow DTRPG to do this, as part of the license to distribute.

I'm sure they did. But I'm also sure that the contract made provision for the removal of WotC's PDFs. In order to act in a responsible manner towards their customers, DriveThruRPG ought to have made it clear that the five downloads are only available as long as DriveThruRPG retains the right to distribute WotC's PDFs. As far as I know, they didn't. And, either way, it doesn't shift the blame to WotC.

Quote:
WotC *IS* who is to blame for denying additional downloads, or downloads in perpetuity. WotC made the decision to pull the licenses from the distributor and end users, not DTRPG.

WotC is responsible for pulling the PDFs. WotC is not responsible for lying to its customers, or misleading them into believing they would have eternal access to redownloadable PDFs. That's something that people can be legitimately upset about, and it's something that DriveThruRPG is responsible for - not WotC.


Brian E. Harris wrote:
Then you need to have well-reasoned support for why libraries aren't unethical, but private lending is, sir.

Because we, as a society, have decided that a greater good exists in encouraging the free (if somewhat controlled) spread of knowledge in the form of libraries than there is in ensuring that every rightsholder is compensated for every person who enjoys the fruits of their work. That doesn't mean the latter isn't a good. It's just less of one.

By the way, I've explained this at least twice in this thread already.

Quote:
Yet, since the limited duration, pre-extension, was put in place for the public good, and the public good is not served by maintaining private ownership for what are untenable "limited" durations, the change is therefore unethical - it goes against the public good, and benefits nobody but the private holder, against the wishes of those that enacted the law, while defending that "100+ years is still a limited term, and if we extend the term again, as long as we put a finite limit on it, it's still technically limited!"

Again, it is an issue of balancing goods against one another. You clearly believe, personally, that copyright extensions are unethical because the good of public domain access to creative works outweighs the good of private financial gain and creative control, past a certain point in time. I don't necessarily disagree, but I also don't necessarily agree that the point in time in question should be fifty years.

Quote:
And yet, aren't you insinuating (or outright stating) that the societal shaping that has taken place - that which has condoned wanton private lending of copyrighted materials as appropriate - is unethical?

Sure. And I'm telling you that my ethical framework, for the reasons outlined in this thread, dictates that the free sharing of creative works without compensation due its creator remains unethical (except in the circumstances outlined above re: libraries and the like). And, in outlining those reasons, I am encouraging you to reexamine your own ethical framework.


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We are fast approaching a situation where copyright is seen as the premier human right. Everything else is generally seen as secondary to copyright. Freedom of speech is relevant... Except when judged against copyright. Freedom of information: copyright is typically toted out in court when people want to get information about company and government malfeasance out. It is today used as a huge, wet blanket on every sort of human endeavour.

The original idea was that copyright was to be for a short period, with the express aim of growing the public domain after term had passed. Since 1928, this has not happened. In fact a new law was passed to allow the government to recopyright works in the public domain. There is a reason we have these Shakespeare and Austen movies. There is a reason more and more songs sound exactly the same today... Because the rightsholders do not need to adapt due to a macabre copyright law situation. The entire sector of law is a putrid swamp of stupidity, vigorously watered by those who stand to gain from it. It is not about the price on movies and such... It is about letting a few companies have the right to deny everyone else IDEAS. With physical goods, you can find replacement goods, but with copyright, anyone providing such will get sued out of existence. The case for copyright reform is rock solid... But money talks, and copyright unfortunately provides the holders with the means to influence lawmaking.

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