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Paizo Staff: Watermarked, Pirated PDFs - What to Do?


Paizo Publishing General Discussion

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Dark Archive

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
And, failing that, it would be nice if the laws stepped in to regulate the people who won't stop unless there is a law against it. And no, I don't mean "fine them $40,000 per copied PDF or MP3."

I think if they were just forced to pay double for every copied product, that would be enough.

Or heck, even MSRP.

I know the base reaction will be that this would not be a punishment as it's no more than they would have paid for in the shop, but consider that most of that they would not have bought anyway and you see that in the end they are paying far more than if they'd stayed legit. Even if they would have, I can't imagine having to pay for my entire collection up front in one lump sum. It would bankrupt me.

There are two types of pirates: those that dabble, who don't need more than a slap on the wrist (like any five year old experimenting with shoplifting bubblegum) and the dude who gets caught with 50 gigs of pirated music.

Any idea how much 50 gigs of $.99 songs will cost you? I'll give you a hint, it's about 300 songs per gig. Enough to cripple you, but not so insurmountable it becomes meaningless.

But yeah, I think there needs to be more reasonable punishment, more often. Instead, there's one court case that makes the news every few years about some absolutely ridicuolous half a million dollar settlement against a ten year old kid. It's too big and too rare for pirates to wrap their heads around.

Most damage done by pirates is the experimenters. If every 15 year old pirate personally knows someone that got tagged for $2k, he might be far more hesitant to do it.

The Exchange

Brian E. Harris wrote:
And, yes, MANY 3PPs have done closed content. I've looked at the OGL statements for several books, and the only open content in them is the open content they leeched for their product.

And this is why there are very few products from some publishers on d20pfsrd.com.

The Exchange

Astral Wanderer wrote:
...if you sum up PRD, PF SRD and Golarion Wiki, you basically have the full content of all Pathfinder books;

Well not really. If you like and appreciate the incredible art that Paizo spends so much money on, a very large portion of it can ONLY be found in the books. They post some art on the blog and in the Community Use Packages but the majority of it is only found in their books. That's one of the key reasons I like having the books. The art is almost always practically worth the price of admission alone.


brock, no the other one... wrote:
There is considerable added value in the PDF. It's a standardised format, meaning that you can put it easily onto a phone or tablet device and access it off-line. There is the phenomenal artwork. There is the bookmarking and search capability. All of this requires the considerable expertise of the digital products folks at Paizo. That's what they are asking for some cash for, even though the rules text is identical.

I'm not sure that can be a valid argument, beyond a certain point. Today almost everyone has the possibility to be online every moment... or at least, it's quite rare, as far as I see, that someone buys a tablet and doesn't have a web connection for it. Also, things in the websites are as much indexed as a .pdf's bookmarks. Or maybe even better, since the pages are full of links every two words. Art, too, is widespread in the PF SRD and Golarion wiki. And that's a thing that really puzzles me, although, as mentioned, I wouldn' rejoice at all if it was removed, of course.

I can understand that Paizo didn't include art in its own PRD (which, by the way, I'm probably one of the few who prefer it over the unofficial one, unless I'm looking for... guess what? Pictures), and if it was the only RD-site there wouldn't be much to discuss. But when you allow another site to give away a fair amount of it, you can hardly make it a point that ".pdfs have art; if you want it, you have to pay".
(I know that PF SRD and Golarion Wiki don't have ALL the art that is in the books -or if they do, I haven't found it- but they still do have a large amount. Is it all "free" art that was posted on Paizo's blog and various previews?)

EDIT

d20pfsrd.com wrote:
Astral Wanderer wrote:
...if you sum up PRD, PF SRD and Golarion Wiki, you basically have the full content of all Pathfinder books;
Well not really. If you like and appreciate the incredible art that Paizo spends so much money on, a very large portion of it can ONLY be found in the books. They post some art on the blog and in the Community Use Packages but the majority of it is only found in their books. That's one of the key reasons I like having the books. The art is almost always practically worth the price of admission alone.

Me too, but... see above.

Also, the real reason you buy a book is for the content (dunno if all the current customers would buy all the books, if they were artworks-only), and if the art isn't all online, well, am I wrong if I say the content instead is? As said, I don't usually use the PF PRD, but I glance at it now and then, and it's quite full of things that aren't in the official PRD.

(Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely NOT saying that Paizo should tear apart PF SRD and Golarion Wiki... that would be like shooting cannons on my own feet; it's just that I see a sort of inconsistency in allowing them when you despise piracy, since the end result is the same.)

The Exchange

Astral Wanderer wrote:
brock, no the other one... wrote:
There is considerable added value in the PDF. It's a standardised format, meaning that you can put it easily onto a phone or tablet device and access it off-line. There is the phenomenal artwork. There is the bookmarking and search capability. All of this requires the considerable expertise of the digital products folks at Paizo. That's what they are asking for some cash for, even though the rules text is identical.

I'm not sure that can be a valid argument, beyond a certain point. Today almost everyone has the possibility to be online every moment... or at least, it's quite rare, as far as I see, that someone buys a tablet and doesn't have a web connection for it. Also, things in the websites are as much indexed as a .pdf's bookmarks. Or maybe even better, since the pages are full of links every two words. Art, too, is widespread in the PF SRD and Golarion wiki. And that's a thing that really puzzles me, although, as mentioned, I wouldn' rejoice at all if it was removed, of course.

I can understand that Paizo didn't include art in its own PRD (which, by the way, I'm probably one of the few who prefer it over the unofficial one, unless I'm looking for... guess what? Pictures), and if it was the only RD-site there wouldn't be much to discuss. But when you allow another site to give away a fair amount of it, you can hardly make it a point that ".pdfs have art; if you want it, you have to pay".
(I know that PF SRD and Golarion Wiki don't have ALL the art that is in the books -or if they do, I haven't found it- but they still do have a large amount. Is it all "free" art that was posted on Paizo's blog and various previews?)

Depends where you are in the world - ubiquitous web access isn't common.

You've just made the argument that the PDF offers little benefit over the PRD. There is therefore, little point for you to pay for the PDF. There is also no point in pirating it either.

I don't think that Paizo make the majority of the art available for reuse. In any case, I love reading physical books, so the artwork and layout on the page has a value of its own, to me.

It's the cognitive dissonance in what some people are saying here that is getting me. "This has no value to me so I'm not going to pay for it but I still want a copy, but not the free copy."


brock, no the other one... wrote:


There is also no point in pirating it either.

And I agree with you in that. I too love having paper in my hands and everything, but that is from an user perpective, while I'm speaking from a company one.

If I want to profit of something, I don't give it for free by any means. Or if I want to let it be free, I don't care about the form. Giving it free "yes this way", but "not that way" when the end result is the same (namely, that whoever doesn't want or can't pay, can still play with more or less the same pile of material he'd have if he buys everything), just with minimal differences, that's what I just don't get.


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:

Good point! I probably could have been more clear ...

Hopefully it was clear that I was comparing those things in order to show that stating a given crime or 'wrong act' is going to happen and there's nothing one can do about it so you might as well not worry about it is a terrible way to operate. We don't think this way for other crimes, why think this way about digital piracy?

I certainly was not implying that the severity or grievousness of digital piracy comes anywhere close to that of murder or rape! That's what I meant when I said "I was simply making a point and I suspect everyone reading my post understood that ... including you"

So, my standard disclaimer here applies: I am neither endorsing nor condoning illegal behavior, and those that choose to disobey laws/regulations have only themselves to blame for the consequences, no matter how ridiculous those consequences are.

OK, so, to answer your question, of "why think this way about digital piracy?"

A lot of it stems from the fact that it WASN'T a crime a short while ago. It was a civil matter, and, quite honestly, a lot of folks believe that it still should be.

Another aspect stems from the very nature of the "crime" - i.e. the oft-quoted fact that "digital piracy" does not result in a measurable loss for the "victim" in any sense. It's not theft in any sort of the traditional sense, where the theft of the object means that the victim has lost a tangible thing.

Because of these very items, I can see how it's incredibly easy for one to justify copyright infringement from a standpoint of not having the disposable income with which to purchase copyrighted material.

Here's another example:

I've been parts of debates on this very forum where it was discussed that while I would be in my right to produce a PDF version of a book from my dead-tree book, it would be wrong of me to simply download the PDF for that book I own.

When the end result is the same, and the only "cost" involved is my own personal time, it's kind of hard to reconcile the rightness vs. wrongness of these particular acts.

Certainly, it's been argued that my time is worth something, and that is true, but one can also make the counter argument that since my time IS worth something, instead of scanning a book I already own, I can use that time to earn money, to buy more books, and therefore the copyright holder makes more money.

Finally, as also quoted in this thread, respect for copyright is not an absolute.

I wholeheartedly agree with the poster that said (and I paraphrase) that one's argument that copyright is too long, and a drastically reduced copyright term is undermined by infringing copyright of items that would still be protected by the reduced term they're arguing for.

But, past that?

And what about infringement of materials that are no longer available in any form legitimately? It's been argued that the copyright holder has and should have the sole right to choose not to allow their content to be reprinted/redistributed after it becomes unavailable. Certainly, under our current laws, they do have that right, but I and a lot of others wholeheartedly disagree, and while you can, quite accurately, argue that behavior such is illegal, I can argue that it's ridiculous that it is illegal and that infringing copyright of a work no longer providing income/revenue to anyone harms nobody.

Just because something is illegal doesn't mean that it's right that it should be illegal, and bad laws should not be obeyed.

This is why it's SUCH a grey area in my view. In that view, not all copyright infringement is bad, because not all copyright infringement is negatively impacting the copyright holder, and because I don't agree that a copyright holder should have an effectively unlimited term to their copyright.

To close, once again: I am neither endorsing nor condoning illegal behavior, and those that choose to disobey laws/regulations have only themselves to blame for the consequences, no matter how ridiculous those consequences are.

The Exchange

Astral Wanderer wrote:
brock, no the other one... wrote:
There is also no point in pirating it either.

And I agree with you in that. I too love having paper in my hands and everything, but that is from an user perpective, while I'm speaking from a company one.

If I want to profit of something, I don't give it for free by any means. Or if I want to let it be free, I don't care about the form. Giving it free "yes this way", but "not that way" when the end result is the same (namely, that whoever doesn't want or can't pay, can still play with more or less the same pile of material he'd have if he buys everything), just with minimal differences, that's what I just don't get.

But it isn't the same - the differences aren't minimal. They are sufficient to get me to subscribe. Believe me, if I could get the product I want, legally, for free, I would - I could do with the extra cash each month!

Now, the bolded statement above - that's a silly company. There are all sorts of free that a company can exploit. Paizo have chosen one that works well for them. Some give the product away and charge for support. Some give the product away and rely on donations. Some give a base product away and charge for enhancements. There is a whole spectrum of 'free'.

Given Lisa's business acumen, I am 100% sure that free PRD and non-free PDFs containing much of the same material is a decision that gives the best result for Paizo. I'm sure it would give even better results if some folks paid for the PDFs they are using ;)

The Exchange

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Astral Wanderer wrote:
(I know that PF SRD and Golarion Wiki don't have ALL the art that is in the books -or if they do, I haven't found it- but they still do have a large amount. Is it all "free" art that was posted on Paizo's blog and various previews?)

We can only use Paizo art that appears on the Paizo blog or that is included in the Community Use Package. This is a very small subset of the amount of art Paizo commissions each month.

Outside of Paizo art, we can use whatever either we have explicit written permission to use, or that which is already open content (such as much of what appears on Wikipedia.)

Astral Wanderer wrote:
Also, the real reason you buy a book is for the content (dunno if all the current customers would buy all the books, if they were artworks-only), and if the art isn't all online, well, am I wrong if I say the content instead is?

Yes. All of the "mechanical" "crunch" of the books is on d20pfsrd.com (and some other SRD sites run by others.)

Astral Wanderer wrote:
As said, I don't usually use the PF PRD, but I glance at it now and then, and it's quite full of things that aren't in the official PRD.

Paizo generally only adds content from their "RPG" line, such as the hardcover books (like the Core Rulebook, Advanced Players Guide, Ultimate books, Advanced Race Guide etc. d20pfsrd.com includes ALL open content Paizo releases in addition to open content created and released by 3rd Party Publishers and fans (in the various "Labs" areas.)

Astral Wanderer wrote:
(Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely NOT saying that Paizo should tear apart PF SRD and Golarion Wiki... that would be like shooting cannons on my own feet; it's just that I see a sort of inconsistency in allowing them when you despise piracy, since the end result is the same.)

Allowing sites like d20pfsrd.com isn't really a choice so long as they release Open Game Content. However, supporting it (via positive words online, using it openly at conventions, continuing to release OGC etc.) IS a choice. That choice builds massive amounts of community goodwill and customer relations. Think about it. How many people look at this scenario (that of the stuff being available online for free) and yet still subscribe and/or send Paizo massive piles of cash every month? A good amount of that HAS to be due to the insanely positive view customers have of Paizo as a whole. Much of that being due to their open support for the OGL. Some of that might be expected since if you think about it, their entire company right now exists virtually BECAUSE of the OGL. Turning around now and stabbing the OGL in the back would probably be pretty poor business-sense.

So I don't see supporting the OGL and continuing to release Open Game Content and not being fans of piracy as mutually exclusive. Meaning, just because you support the OGL doesn't mean you are all cuddly with pirates. You have to have a business also in order to continue to pay your writers, artists, editors, warehouse staff etc. Just throwing your hands in the air and openly embracing digital piracy might negatively impact your ability to conduct business/buy groceries.

brock, no the other one... wrote:
Given Lisa's business acumen, I am 100% sure that free PRD and non-free PDFs containing much of the same material is a decision that gives the best result for Paizo. I'm sure it would give even better results if some folks paid for the PDFs they are using ;)

Word. I suspect if you look at Paizo's current market position they must be doing something right. I posit that their community relations are a massive part of that "something right."

Contributor

Coridan wrote:
I was under the impression you can not create closed rules content underthe OGL and that only Wizards could do that.

Not true. I think you're thinking of a provision of the d20 license, which required people using the official Wizards d20-compatible logo to have at least X% Open content (which was in the license to encourage creating Open game content in order to strengthen the network of people using d20). If you didn't want the d20 logo on your book, it could have no new Open content at all.

Now that the d20 license is gone, there's just the OGL, and the OGL has no requirements about how much must be Open or not.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules Subscriber
d20pfsrd.com wrote:

brock, no the other one... wrote:

Given Lisa's business acumen, I am 100% sure that free PRD and non-free PDFs containing much of the same material is a decision that gives the best result for Paizo. I'm sure it would give even better results if some folks paid for the PDFs they are using ;)

Word. I suspect if you look at Paizo's current market position they must be doing something right. I posit that their community relations are a massive part of that "something right."

This relation goes both ways. As a customer, I feel welcome here and happily spend money for their products, which are of high quality as well. I want paizo to continue publishing things i like, so I support them by buying stuff, not pirating.

Paizo does not need to maintain the PRD, the infrastructure does cost money as well. They don´t even need to have these messageboards. They don´t need to put out additional community use stuff beyond anything that is in the OGL. They do so (I guess) because they have a loyal customer base and can afford to do so.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Considering the outright hostile elements of DRM against legitimate customers in the videogame and music* industry, we've got it good here.

*What Sony BGM did should be enough to scare anyone off putting new music CDs in a work computer for life.


d20pfsrd.com wrote:
How many people look at this scenario (that of the stuff being available online for free) and yet still subscribe and/or send Paizo massive piles of cash every month? A good amount of that HAS to be due to the insanely positive view customers have of Paizo as a whole.

That brings up the previously mentioned matter about the positive effects that piracy too can have. One gets a pirated .pdf; he either doesn't have money to bleed on it, or just doesn't want to buy something before knowing if it's good enough. Then reads the .pdf, falls in love with it and purchases it (or adds it to his "to buy" things for when he'll be able to afford it) and spreads the word of how good Pathfinder is, perhaps bringing additional customers.

You see, piracy just brought money to Paizofolks, rather than making them lose it. If the guy wouldn't have had the opportunity to get that pirated .pdf, maybe he would have used the web, but wouldn't have fallen in love with the layout, art, and structure in general, so he would have sticked with online content. Most probably, the word he'd spread would have been "play Pathfinder, it's all free online, you don't even have to pay for it", and so no money for Paizo wallets. Or maybe he wouldn't play Pathfinder at all because he has those old 3.5 books who look much better than that wall of text on the web.
Of course, that isn't the reality of everyone, and I don't doubt there are many who take for free what they would pay for, if money was the only way to get it, but still, there's also that other reality; at which point, saying that pirated .pdfs make damage while the "free on the web" brings happiness and rainbows, is walking a deeply grey road where everything is right as much as it is wrong.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Astral Wanderer wrote:
d20pfsrd.com wrote:
How many people look at this scenario (that of the stuff being available online for free) and yet still subscribe and/or send Paizo massive piles of cash every month? A good amount of that HAS to be due to the insanely positive view customers have of Paizo as a whole.
That brings up the previously mentioned matter about the positive effects that piracy too can have. One gets a pirated .pdf; he either doesn't have money to bleed on it, or just doesn't want to buy something before knowing if it's good enough. Then reads the .pdf, falls in love with it and purchases it (or adds it to his "to buy" things for when he'll be able to afford it) and spreads the word of how good Pathfinder is, perhaps bringing additional customers.

This may, indeed, be a successful marketing tool. But the point is - it's Paizo's decision to make. If they decide they don't want to market their product this way, it's disingenuous to try and justify a decision to go against Paizo's wishes on the grounds that you might be helping them.


Coridan wrote:
I was under the impression you can not create closed rules content underthe OGL and that only Wizards could do that. Have other 3PPs ever done closed rules content?

You were wrong, then.

Companies always had the option of creating closed rules content while working with the OGL. WotC's Experience Point Chart for leveling characters was never (and still is not) open rules content, as a simple example. As another example, The early OGL included Mind Flayers, but WotC REMOVED THEM from the open content after several years, so things CAN BE removed from the OGL. Sharing is not forever.

Without digging through the stuff on my shelf, I have a bunch of D20 stuff from a company called Paradigm Concepts, Inc. I believe that SOME bits of their additional rules were never included in the OGL, also, but I'm not going to spend the time digging through the shelf in order to find a specific example either way.

Dark Archive

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Sorry for being a little late to the party as my question deals mostly with questions addressed up thread.

Say a loyal Paizo customer selects the next PFS scenario he or she plans to run the next weekend and loads it on to a flash drive. Being without a home printer, this person goes to their local favorite print shop and asks for one copy, duplexed, three hole drilled, black and white, please. The person behind the counter asks for the flash drive and plugs it into the store's computer. The employee grabs the pdf and drags it to the desktop, opens the file, gives the drive back to the customer, and prints the file. The customer pays for their copies, thanks the employee, and walks out of the store a happy person. The next customer enters and the employee forgets to delete or simply does not delete the PFS customer's file.

A little while later, employee #2 is working at the store's computer. He or she sees a file on the desktop labeled "Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment" and thinks, "Sweet! I've heard that scenario totally rulz!", loads it onto his or her own flash drive and goes home. Employee #2 reads said scenario, agrees that it does in fact totally rule, and thinks to upload it to a file sharing site, or a torrent site. It is not his or her pdf, so this person does nothing to hide or eliminate the watermark.

Paizo discovers the pdf and refuses to sell pdfs to the original customer, who is completely baffled as to why, or how this happened.

So, who is at fault? I am genuinely curious to know what people think of the above situation.

(Disclosure: I am a printer and the above situation is not that out of the ordinary.)


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I was not aware that Mind Flayers were ever open content, nor had I heard that things once made open could be made closed. Are you absolutely certain of this?

Ken

Liberty's Edge

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The question of 3rd party products that are available only as a digital copy create some further problem.

I have recently purchased the the Spell-less ranger PDF. It is very interesting and exactly what one of my players was trying to build, so I have brought it as I am the one with the account at Paizo and the one that regularly browse this site. This product don't exist in a printed format.
After purchasing it I have printed a copy of the PDF and given it to the player so that he could create his character. At this point I am a digital pirate?
If I am one, how I should have proceeded to keep it legal? As the product don't exist in a physical format I couldn't purchase it and loan it to the player.
I should have show it to the player, said "look how interesting it is, if you want to use it go to the producer site and buy it"?

Some product is meant to be shared or it will not be useful at all, and pretending that each interested person playing at the same table should buy all the books and products is a bit insane.

If that is the law and how it is intended to work most of the products without a physical support are useless at a gaming table.

The Exchange

Leg o' Lamb wrote:

Say a loyal Paizo customer selects the next PFS scenario he or she plans to run the next weekend and loads it on to a flash drive.

... snip ...

Paizo discovers the pdf and refuses to sell pdfs to the original customer, who is completely baffled as to why, or how this happened.

So, who is at fault? I am genuinely curious to know what people think of the above situation.

Who is at fault? The person who uploaded the file.

Who end up punished? The poor owner of the file.

It's not fair, but I can't think of any other way to address it other than Paizo taking no response at all to files that appear on sharing sites. I don't claim any knowledge of the process they employ - maybe they do interact with potential offenders and try and divine guilt.

It does suck, but that's the situation that we choose to buy the PDFs under and we should act accordingly. I've avoided getting PDFs commercially printed for this exact reason.


kenmckinney wrote:
I was not aware that Mind Flayers were ever open content, nor had I heard that things once made open could be made closed. Are you absolutely certain of this?

Absolutely.

Paradigm Concepts, Inc. had written up a smaller pamphlet product ABOUT the Illithids, paid the author, paid the artists, finished the lay-out and sent it to the printers.

During the period while they were awaiting delivery of the product, WotC removed Mind Flayers from the OGL. They received permission from the WotC lawyers to distribute and sell the product NOW based on closed content PROBABLY (I'm guessing here) because WotC didn't want to be fiscally responsible for the costs of somebody else's product which was created in good faith using property advertised as open content before it was sent to the printer . . ..

I have a copy of this book in the other room. I know the story because I know the guys who are Paradigm Concepts, Inc, and one of them vented at me about this before WotC gave them permission to sell the product anyway.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Brian E. Harris wrote:

Here's another example:

I've been parts of debates on this very forum where it was discussed that while I would be in my right to produce a PDF version of a book from my dead-tree book, it would be wrong of me to simply download the PDF for that book I own.

When the end result is the same, and the only "cost" involved is my own personal time, it's kind of hard to reconcile the rightness vs. wrongness of these particular acts.

Certainly, it's been argued that my time is worth something, and that is true, but one can also make the counter argument that since my time IS worth something, instead of scanning a book I already own, I can use that time to earn money, to buy more books, and therefore the copyright holder makes more money.

The problem here is that while you may have the right to have a digital copy of your own printed material, by obtaining it from someone else, you've participated in their infringement of the copyright. After all, they're the ones distributing the IP without the right and you are participating in and benefiting from their illegal activities.

Your motives might be relatively pure, but your methods are not. Nor can you be sure your content providing pirate's motives are as pure as your own. He certainly can't verify that you're only using the PDF for your own use (and chances are he doesn't really care either).

The Exchange

Diego Rossi wrote:

The question of 3rd party products that are available only as a digital copy create some further problem.

I have recently purchased the the Spell-less ranger PDF. It is very interesting and exactly what one of my players was trying to build, so I have brought it as I am the one with the account at Paizo and the one that regularly browse this site. This product don't exist in a printed format.
After purchasing it I have printed a copy of the PDF and given it to the player so that he could create his character. At this point I am a digital pirate?
If I am one, how I should have proceeded to keep it legal? As the product don't exist in a physical format I couldn't purchase it and loan it to the player.
I should have show it to the player, said "look how interesting it is, if you want to use it go to the producer site and buy it"?

You need to check the copyright statement to see what your rights are under the license. The text for Paizo actually forbids reproduction, so you are not allowed to print any copies. However, a separate statement on the website gives permission to do so for personal use.

Presuming this 3PP has the same terms as Paizo, you have created a copy for personal use - fine. Loaning that to a friend would likely be seen as personal use - probably ok. Printing yourself a second copy while it was on loan might be frowned upon. Selling that copy or charging money to loan it out would be a likely violation of the license.

None of this is 100% definitive until a specific case is mauled by the lawyers in a court room.


hustonj wrote:
kenmckinney wrote:
I was not aware that Mind Flayers were ever open content, nor had I heard that things once made open could be made closed. Are you absolutely certain of this?

Absolutely.

Paradigm Concepts, Inc. had written up a smaller pamphlet product ABOUT the Illithids, paid the author, paid the artists, finished the lay-out and sent it to the printers.

During the period while they were awaiting delivery of the product, WotC removed Mind Flayers from the OGL. They received permission from the WotC lawyers to distribute and sell the product NOW based on closed content PROBABLY (I'm guessing here) because WotC didn't want to be fiscally responsible for the costs of somebody else's product which was created in good faith using property advertised as open content before it was sent to the printer . . ..

I have a copy of this book in the other room. I know the story because I know the guys who are Paradigm Concepts, Inc, and one of them vented at me about this before WotC gave them permission to sell the product anyway.

This is still weird though... I too was under the impression that mind-flayers were never open content.

I could be wrong but my understanding is that the OGL is not revocable. Once something is made available under the OGL it cannot be retracted. If that was possible then what would stop WotC (or even Paizo) from removing all content that they have made available under the OGL. The OGL would be practically pointless if it was partly or in whole revocable at will...


Leg o' Lamb wrote:

The person behind the counter asks for the flash drive and plugs it into the store's computer. The employee grabs the pdf and drags it to the desktop, opens the file, gives the drive back to the customer, and prints the file.

<snip>

(Disclosure: I am a printer and the above situation is not that out of the ordinary.)

I regularly print gaming material at a local print shop using the above sort of process.

The employees never drag anything to the PC desktop when printing from my thumb drive because it makes extra work for them to do so. There are only two reasons why an employee would copy the file to the desktop before printing it: 1) They intend to keep an illegal copy of the file and 2) They have not been properly trained and are ignorant of the liability and extra work they are creating.

If you are a printer who sees this happening, then I have to assume you aren't bothering to train your people.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks "brock, no the other one..."

And that kind of grey area is very disturbing. If those rules are taken literally there is little incentive on purchasing 3rd party PDFs without a physical copy.

In that Gorbacz is right, the law is slow and hasn't jet adapted to an age of PDFs, printers and digital copies.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jarreth Ivarin wrote:
hustonj wrote:
kenmckinney wrote:
I was not aware that Mind Flayers were ever open content, nor had I heard that things once made open could be made closed. Are you absolutely certain of this?

Absolutely.

Paradigm Concepts, Inc. had written up a smaller pamphlet product ABOUT the Illithids, paid the author, paid the artists, finished the lay-out and sent it to the printers.

During the period while they were awaiting delivery of the product, WotC removed Mind Flayers from the OGL. They received permission from the WotC lawyers to distribute and sell the product NOW based on closed content PROBABLY (I'm guessing here) because WotC didn't want to be fiscally responsible for the costs of somebody else's product which was created in good faith using property advertised as open content before it was sent to the printer . . ..

I have a copy of this book in the other room. I know the story because I know the guys who are Paradigm Concepts, Inc, and one of them vented at me about this before WotC gave them permission to sell the product anyway.

This is still weird though... I too was under the impression that mind-flayers were never open content.

I could be wrong but my understanding is that the OGL is not revocable. Once something is made available under the OGL it cannot be retracted. If that was possible then what would stop WotC (or even Paizo) from removing all content that they have made available under the OGL. The OGL would be practically pointless if it was partly or in whole revocable at will...

I believe what actually happened is that at the very early days of 3E, the SRD wasn't finalized yet. But a provisional OGL was available early. So companies could start working on products with the assumption that most of the core books were going to be open content. When the SRD was released and listed specifically what was allowable, some things like mind flayers and beholders weren't there.

I remember this came up in a discussion of reprinting some of Monte Cook's early 3PP work, as Demon God's Fane had a beholder in it. So if it were ever reprinted he'd have to change it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Astral Wanderer wrote:


That brings up the previously mentioned matter about the positive effects that piracy too can have. One gets a pirated .pdf; he either doesn't have money to bleed on it, or just doesn't want to buy something before knowing if it's good enough. Then reads the .pdf, falls in love with it and purchases it (or adds it to his "to buy" things for when he'll be able to afford it) and spreads the word of how good Pathfinder is, perhaps bringing additional customers.
You see, piracy just brought money to Paizofolks, rather than making them lose it. If the guy wouldn't have had the opportunity to get that pirated .pdf, maybe he would have used the web, but wouldn't have fallen in love with the layout, art, and structure in general, so he would have sticked with online content. Most probably, the word he'd spread would have been "play Pathfinder, it's all free online, you don't even have to pay for it", and so no money for Paizo wallets. Or maybe he wouldn't play Pathfinder at all because he has those old 3.5 books who look much better than that wall of text on the web.

Sorry, but I think now you are making excuses for piracy. I don´t agree with all the copyright laws as they are now, and surely not as the music industry wants to have it. But cobbling together a justification for breaking the laws as they are now, building on a lot of "ifs", does nothing to make the basic fact any better: it is illegal as it stands now.


I think I know what is going on with the Mind Flayer thing. Early in 3E, before the OGL was out, certain publishers were told they could temporarily publish things under a 'Gentleman's Agreement', a private document detailing what they could use. I heard about this from Clark Peterson at Necromancer Games.

My guess is that Mind Flayers were permissible in the 'Gentleman's Agreement' text, but where not included as open content under the terms of the OGL.

Think about it: The OGL is the only thing that allows Paizo to exist. Do you think for a minute that Hasbro wouldn't just remove all content from the OGL, if they had the right to do so?

Ken


LOL, ninja'ed by Deinol!


deinol wrote:
Jarreth Ivarin wrote:
hustonj wrote:
kenmckinney wrote:
I was not aware that Mind Flayers were ever open content, nor had I heard that things once made open could be made closed. Are you absolutely certain of this?

Absolutely.

Paradigm Concepts, Inc. had written up a smaller pamphlet product ABOUT the Illithids, paid the author, paid the artists, finished the lay-out and sent it to the printers.

During the period while they were awaiting delivery of the product, WotC removed Mind Flayers from the OGL. They received permission from the WotC lawyers to distribute and sell the product NOW based on closed content PROBABLY (I'm guessing here) because WotC didn't want to be fiscally responsible for the costs of somebody else's product which was created in good faith using property advertised as open content before it was sent to the printer . . ..

I have a copy of this book in the other room. I know the story because I know the guys who are Paradigm Concepts, Inc, and one of them vented at me about this before WotC gave them permission to sell the product anyway.

This is still weird though... I too was under the impression that mind-flayers were never open content.

I could be wrong but my understanding is that the OGL is not revocable. Once something is made available under the OGL it cannot be retracted. If that was possible then what would stop WotC (or even Paizo) from removing all content that they have made available under the OGL. The OGL would be practically pointless if it was partly or in whole revocable at will...

I believe what actually happened is that at the very early days of 3E, the SRD wasn't finalized yet. But a provisional OGL was available early. So companies could start working on products with the assumption that most of the core books were going to be open content. When the SRD was released and listed specifically what was allowable, some things like mind flayers and beholders weren't there.

I remember this came up in a discussion of...

That would make a lot more sense. I am pretty sure that what is declared as OGC under the (now finalized) OGL is perpetually OGC and free to use per the OGL terms and cannot be retracted.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:

Thanks "brock, no the other one..."

And that kind of grey area is very disturbing. If those rules are taken literally there is little incentive on purchasing 3rd party PDFs without a physical copy.

In that Gorbacz is right, the law is slow and hasn't jet adapted to an age of PDFs, printers and digital copies.

I hope this kind of use would be considered to be fair use (or similar) if it were ever called upon. But then, in court and on the sea, you are in the hands of god...


deinol wrote:
Jarreth Ivarin wrote:
hustonj wrote:
kenmckinney wrote:
I was not aware that Mind Flayers were ever open content, nor had I heard that things once made open could be made closed. Are you absolutely certain of this?

Absolutely.

Paradigm Concepts, Inc. had written up a smaller pamphlet product ABOUT the Illithids, paid the author, paid the artists, finished the lay-out and sent it to the printers.

During the period while they were awaiting delivery of the product, WotC removed Mind Flayers from the OGL. They received permission from the WotC lawyers to distribute and sell the product NOW based on closed content PROBABLY (I'm guessing here) because WotC didn't want to be fiscally responsible for the costs of somebody else's product which was created in good faith using property advertised as open content before it was sent to the printer . . ..

I have a copy of this book in the other room. I know the story because I know the guys who are Paradigm Concepts, Inc, and one of them vented at me about this before WotC gave them permission to sell the product anyway.

This is still weird though... I too was under the impression that mind-flayers were never open content.

I could be wrong but my understanding is that the OGL is not revocable. Once something is made available under the OGL it cannot be retracted. If that was possible then what would stop WotC (or even Paizo) from removing all content that they have made available under the OGL. The OGL would be practically pointless if it was partly or in whole revocable at will...

I believe what actually happened is that at the very early days of 3E, the SRD wasn't finalized yet. But a provisional OGL was available early. So companies could start working on products with the assumption that most of the core books were going to be open content. When the SRD was released and listed specifically what was allowable, some things like mind flayers and beholders weren't there.

I remember this came up in a discussion of...

The online SRD already existed. One day certain things were deleted from it, including the Mind Flayer.

There was no warning, no indication that the rules were going to change.


hustonj wrote:
deinol wrote:
Jarreth Ivarin wrote:
hustonj wrote:
kenmckinney wrote:
I was not aware that Mind Flayers were ever open content, nor had I heard that things once made open could be made closed. Are you absolutely certain of this?

Absolutely.

Paradigm Concepts, Inc. had written up a smaller pamphlet product ABOUT the Illithids, paid the author, paid the artists, finished the lay-out and sent it to the printers.

During the period while they were awaiting delivery of the product, WotC removed Mind Flayers from the OGL. They received permission from the WotC lawyers to distribute and sell the product NOW based on closed content PROBABLY (I'm guessing here) because WotC didn't want to be fiscally responsible for the costs of somebody else's product which was created in good faith using property advertised as open content before it was sent to the printer . . ..

I have a copy of this book in the other room. I know the story because I know the guys who are Paradigm Concepts, Inc, and one of them vented at me about this before WotC gave them permission to sell the product anyway.

This is still weird though... I too was under the impression that mind-flayers were never open content.

I could be wrong but my understanding is that the OGL is not revocable. Once something is made available under the OGL it cannot be retracted. If that was possible then what would stop WotC (or even Paizo) from removing all content that they have made available under the OGL. The OGL would be practically pointless if it was partly or in whole revocable at will...

I believe what actually happened is that at the very early days of 3E, the SRD wasn't finalized yet. But a provisional OGL was available early. So companies could start working on products with the assumption that most of the core books were going to be open content. When the SRD was released and listed specifically what was allowable, some things like mind flayers and beholders weren't there.

I remember this came up

...

I am sorry but in light of what the OGL does with regard to OGC what you say simply cannot be true. As others noted Hasbro could simply shut down Paizo in a moment by removing all OGC content from the 3.5 SRD.

Paizo could do the same to anyone using their Pathifinder GRD.

The way I read it (and I think the way pretty much everyone reads it) once something is declared as OGC thats the end of it. It can never be retracted and made into PI.

Perhaps someone with more experience on these matters would care to shed some light into this?

I do not doubt that what you say happened in some way. But the devil is always in the details, and the actual details of what happened might have been different enough to warrant this weird situation.

In the end what is open content now cannot be closed content ever again.

Shadow Lodge

hustonj wrote:


Paradigm Concepts, Inc. had written up a smaller pamphlet product ABOUT the Illithids, paid the author, paid the artists, finished the lay-out and sent it to the printers.

During the period while they were awaiting delivery of the product, WotC removed Mind Flayers from the OGL. They received permission from the WotC lawyers to distribute and sell the product NOW based on closed content PROBABLY (I'm guessing here) because WotC didn't want to be fiscally responsible for the costs of somebody else's product which was created in good faith using property advertised as open content before it was sent to the printer.

I own a PDF of this 100+ page "pamphlet". It clearly states that Mind Flayers are closed content used under license from WotC. Hell, it's even still availible from DriveThruRPG.

Even Rappan Athuk Reloaded used some closed content, albeit with the following disclaimer:

Quote:
Note Regarding Non-SRD Content: This product is a revision of material that was first published prior to the finalizing of the OGL and d20 STL. As a result, it contains some materials from an earlier product or products that would otherwise not be compliant with the current d20 STL, including but not limited to use of terms such as mind flayer, beholder, and several names of deities from the Player’s Handbook. Such content was then and is now used with original permission from Wizards of the Coast by and through Ryan Dancey and, subsequently Anthony Valterra, including permission to reuse said content in subsequent revisions of the work, which this product does. No use of such “Non-SRD” content in any way changes that content to open content. Such content is NOT Open Game Content. Use of said content without specific permission from Wizards of the Coast will get you in big, big trouble. In other words, if you see some content here that isn’t in the SRD then you better go ask Wizards before you use it!


Thanks Kthulhu!

This also points to the direction (as someone else posted before) that publishers were initially working on an unofficial pre-release version of the OGL and the SRD.

Until that was finalized and made official all bets were really off and the only thing that kept things in place was WotC's word basically.

Things are quite different now.


The business about mind flayers and other closed content monsters occurred because of delays in creating the first official SRD. 3rd party publishers were told that the open content that would be in the SRD approximated the first three core rulebooks, so they went on that assumption until the SRD was completed -- at which point it was revealed that certain monsters would be closed content. Since the 3rd party publishers had no advance warning about this, Wizards worked out deals with those publishers who had works based on those monsters ready to publish to allow them to use those monsters in their upcoming works -- once.

However, now that multiple versions of the SRD and the OGL are complete and 3rd party publishers can use any official version of either document, nothing that was ever made open content in any official version of the SRD can be re-closed.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
hustonj wrote:
Leg o' Lamb wrote:

The person behind the counter asks for the flash drive and plugs it into the store's computer. The employee grabs the pdf and drags it to the desktop, opens the file, gives the drive back to the customer, and prints the file.

<snip>

(Disclosure: I am a printer and the above situation is not that out of the ordinary.)

I regularly print gaming material at a local print shop using the above sort of process.

The employees never drag anything to the PC desktop when printing from my thumb drive because it makes extra work for them to do so. There are only two reasons why an employee would copy the file to the desktop before printing it: 1) They intend to keep an illegal copy of the file and 2) They have not been properly trained and are ignorant of the liability and extra work they are creating.

If you are a printer who sees this happening, then I have to assume you aren't bothering to train your people.

Thanks for the personal attack. Any other aspects of my job you want to tell me how to do?

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:

1. It's for federal courts only, and does not apply to foreign copyrights. Also, US copyright laws fall under the "undefended is unprotected" doctrine which makes IP laws lawsuits a bit of different beast than in Europe.

2. The registration does not "create" copyright, it merely gives you the power to claim it before a specific range of courts. I'm sure you will find a country or two with a similar system, but they're an exception, not a norm - IIRC every EU country does not require you to register a copyright in order to use it before a court. And that's, errr, 99% of courts I deal with :)

If you're dealing with copyrights in the US, there's only federal courts. The registration does give you the power to claim it, which is exactly what you said wasn't needed.


Diego Rossi wrote:

This product don't exist in a printed format.

After purchasing it I have printed a copy of the PDF and given it to the player so that he could create his character. At this point I am a digital pirate?
If I am one, how I should have proceeded to keep it legal? As the product don't exist in a physical format I couldn't purchase it and loan it to the player.
I should have show it to the player, said "look how interesting it is, if you want to use it go to the producer site and buy it"?

I say this as someone who has produced over two-hundred pages of original content available for free on d20pfsrd.com, as well as a smaller amount of content which I hope people will purchase to help me make ends meet while striving to produce more content:

If someone already has access to a legally-purchased copy of a non-software product (at, say, a library or a friend's house), I would have a hard time arguing that it is unethical for them to then acquire a digital copy of that same product without paying for it. (The law disagrees with me, so I don't encourage this behavior.)

The logic I use to arrive at this conclusion is as follows:

If a person with access to a legally-purchased copy of a non-software product has a photographic memory, that person already gains the full benefits of a digital copy of the product without ever having to download a digital copy of that product. Their photographic memory already stores a perfect copy of the product, and does so without requiring any unethical actions on their part. There is no way one can argue that merely memorizing something is immoral.

Now let us suppose there exists a device that can be implanted in a person's brain to give that person a photographic memory. If such a device existed, anyone making use of the device would gain the full benefits of a digital copy of any non-software product they consume without having to actually download that digital copy. As a group, they could purchase one copy of a non-software product, pass that product around, and legally gain the full benefits of one digital copy per person, all without performing an unethical action.

Now let us suppose that this photographic memory device isn't directly implanted in the brain. Now let us say the device is external, and is merely wired into the brain. The above argument still holds. Persons with the memory-enhancing device, internal or external, still gain the benefits of digital copies of non-software products without actually acquiring digital copies and without doing anything unethical. They are just committing something they read or heard to memory.

But what if the memory-enhancing device is wireless instead of being wired directly into the brain? What if it requires the user to activate it using a keyboard instead of operating continuously? What if it interacts with the electrochemical memories in the user's brain by transmitting remotely-stored memories via the user's optic nerves?

From a purely ethical standpoint, I find it difficult to make a distinction between a person who memorizes a non-software product using a naturally-occurring photographic memory, a person who memorizes a non-software product using a medically-induced photographic memory, and a person who memorizes a non-software product using a prosthetic device that simulates a photographic memory.

And, of course, a prosthetic device that simulates a photographic memory is just an ordinary computer. The interface between the computer and the user's brain involves fingers on a keyboard and responses sent to the user's sensory nerves, but the end result is no different than it would be if the interface were a direct electrode-to-neuron connection: the computer allows the user to review things the user once experienced in the past in perfect detail.

Thus, I find the use of a computer to create a digital copy of a non-software product the user has already viewed in any capacity to fall into the same ethical category as the use of a naturally-occurring photographic memory to picture the exact details of that same product, provided the user is creating a copy for personal use.

(I am unsure at this time if this argument can be effectively extended to software, because software does something that no human brain has ever been able to do naturally. That makes it difficult to establish a baseline set of ethics for that activity.)

All of that being said, while I don't necessarily find it unethical to acquire digital copies of things without paying for them, per se, I do consider empathy for other human beings to be an even higher moral imperative than the above argument. I would consider freeloaders who regularly benefit from the efforts of others to be non-empathetic, and therefore unethical, unless they also strive to benefit others to the best of their ability.

(And no, I would not consider simply re-sharing something one didn't produce in the first place to qualify as making an effort to benefit others, because little or no actual effort was involved.)

Contributor

hustonj wrote:
As another example, The early OGL included Mind Flayers, but WotC REMOVED THEM from the open content after several years,

Not true.

Quote:
Things CAN BE removed from the OGL. Sharing is not forever.

Not true.

kenmckinney wrote:
I was not aware that Mind Flayers were ever open content, nor had I heard that things once made open could be made closed. Are you absolutely certain of this?

Mind flayers (and similar WotC-proprietary creatures) were never Open content. You cannot make Open content closed content; once Open, it is always Open.

(I'll throw in a caveat: if someone tries to make something Open content and they don't have the right to do so, such as a fan printing the script to Mary Poppins and declaring that text Open, the content never was actually Open because it wasn't declared Open by the owner of the material. So in this example, you're not making something closed that was Open, it never was Open.)

deinol wrote:
I believe what actually happened is that at the very early days of 3E, the SRD wasn't finalized yet. But a provisional OGL was available early. So companies could start working on products with the assumption that most of the core books were going to be open content. When the SRD was released and listed specifically what was allowable, some things like mind flayers and beholders weren't there.

That is a much more likely scenario.

It's right there in the OGL. It's short, everyone should read it. Here's the important part:

4. Grant and Consideration: In consideration for agreeing to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Game Content.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Bill Dunn wrote:

The problem here is that while you may have the right to have a digital copy of your own printed material, by obtaining it from someone else, you've participated in their infringement of the copyright. After all, they're the ones distributing the IP without the right and you are participating in and benefiting from their illegal activities.

Your motives might be relatively pure, but your methods are not. Nor can you be sure your content providing pirate's motives are as pure as your own. He certainly can't verify that you're only using the PDF for your own use (and chances are he doesn't really care either).

And I would argue that, in the end, the methods used are immaterial - in the end, utilizing both methods, I have a digital copy of the book.

Given that nobody has lost any tangible item whatsoever, how do you reconcile that (per my earlier statement that one owns a physical copy of the book) that PDF A is good, but identical PDF B is bad?

Do you see the grey area here?

Now, Paizo definitely makes things easy for me - they provide me the books, shipped to my door, at a discount, and a free PDF for download - and, certainly, it's a better PDF than one I would (not could) create for myself.

It's so totally worth it to me to pay for this packaged service, so I do it.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
You cannot make Open content closed content; once Open, it is always Open.

There's a catch to that, though. The OGL can be revised, and if you accept the terms of a hypothetical new OGL revision that closes earlier-opened content, it's closed for you, and everyone else that accepts the terms of the new revision.

For example, a new revision could decide to make Mind Flayers open, but close off Blink Dogs (say, by declaring them Product Identity), and by accepting the license and using the Mind Flayers, poof. The dogs done blinked.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Brian E. Harris wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
You cannot make Open content closed content; once Open, it is always Open.

There's a catch to that, though. The OGL can be revised, and if you accept the terms of a hypothetical new OGL revision that closes earlier-opened content, it's closed for you, and everyone else that accepts the terms of the new revision.

For example, a new revision could decide to make Mind Flayers open, but close off Blink Dogs (say, by declaring them Product Identity), and by accepting the license and using the Mind Flayers, poof. The dogs done blinked.

The OGL specifically says that's not so:

OGL wrote:
You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.

The genie cannot be stuffed back into the bottle.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

The OGL specifically says that's not so:

OGL wrote:
You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.
The genie cannot be stuffed back into the bottle.

You CAN use any version you want, but if you used a version that opened up Mind Flayers, but declared Blink Dogs as PI, then you'd be using that version, and not the earlier version that declares Mind Flayers as PI, and Blink Dogs as open content.

It doesn't say you can mix and match versions.

Edit: ERRR, nevermind. You would be correct.

Edit #2: Removing to separate post.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Coridan wrote:
Paizo has the support of a very loyal fanbase who are going to buy their product period, not because it's "illegal to download it" (it is actually only infringement to upload) but because they like the company and support it.

You're right about the loyal fanbase, but you're mistaken about the legality issue.

Copyright is literally the right to copy, and when you initiate a download, you are initiating the creation of a copy that may be in violation of copyright law. It's true that content owners rarely pursue litigation against downloaders who don't also upload, but that doesn't mean that downloading is not an infringing act.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Waitaminnit. What if the new license specifically removed that clause and said something to the effect of "by using this license, you agree that all earlier licenses are null and void" or similar? Aren't you, by using the new license, agreeing to it? Wouldn't that be a valid revision to the new license, which could then close off content?


I don't even get the issue, never in my whole life as gamer had my group have every book for all the members, except the player's handbooks. If anything else came out only one person from the group had it, and the books or Dragon Magazines were bought after discussing who wants them/who has cash at that moment. What was needed was at the game sessions present, and usually handed to the GM. My earliest gamer memories are about a small group GM-ed by one guy who had ALL AD&D and Ravenloft/Spelljammer stuff, no one else ever had AD&D stuff, and we played for lots and lots of year like this. (Now he lives in the UK, but we swapped to 3rd+ edition anyway)

A huge amount of material wouldn't have been possible to get/use otherwise, 99% of material is not translated for my language, it is even harder to actually get them here, and ordering from oversea just recently became something plausible as an option and often makes the books cost almost double due to fees. Finding stuff free on the net is just barely 1-2 clicks away through Google as well in this age. God bless d20pfsrd.com as example

Right now, I guess most would bit... erm, complain about "copyright infringement" due to sharing/copying these even inside a single rp group, right? Given a few years it may mean jail in some nations, world just gets more and more crazy as time passes.

Quote:
"There's a catch to that, though. The OGL can be revised, and if you accept the terms of a hypothetical new OGL revision that closes earlier-opened content, it's closed for you, and everyone else that accepts the terms of the new revision."

Stuff that already got sold earlier can't be changed (by common sense), if you give out free Pepsi Cola one day you can't demand the next day from those who took and drunk it to pay 100$ for it.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Brian E. Harris wrote:
Waitaminnit. What if the new license specifically removed that clause and said something to the effect of "by using this license, you agree that all earlier licenses are null and void" or similar? Aren't you, by using the new license, agreeing to it? Wouldn't that be a valid revision to the new license, which could then close off content?

I suppose it's possible, but you'd have to *agree* to using it—you can't be forced to use it.

(I'd also point out the Wizards hasn't revised the OGL in 12 years... I don't think they have anyone there who's even *thinking* about it.)


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
joriandrake wrote:
Stuff that already got sold earlier can't be changed (by common sense), if you give out free Pepsi Cola one day you can't demand the next day from those who took and drunk it to pay 100$ for it.

We're not talking about retroactively charging.

We're talking about accepting a NEW license that supersedes the old, and alters the terms.

To use your flawed analogy, you could offer a different brand of cola the next day, but require that anyone who accepts your new cola pay $100 for the previous cola, but there's no requirement to accept the new cola.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Vic: I agree - the cool part of the OGL is that you can't be forced to use a new version.

But, you could possibly be provided incentive to do so, as I illustrated above.

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