PDF Theft


Paizo General Discussion

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Wolfthulhu wrote:

Pfft. Miss the 'thulhu' part of my name? Sanity blasting runs in the family.

Seppuku, seppuku, seppuku. :p

You've been warned

Spoiler:
Seppukake

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Just a friendly reminder that one of our few rules for the board is "Do not advocate illegal activities or discuss them with intent to commit them." Nobody has quite crossed that line yet; I'm just throwing up the reminder to be safe.


Toadkiller Dog wrote:

In Land of Happy Ponnies and Rainbows, yes.

Have we insulted you personally, or is your life bad right now? Or are you rude just because you think it's okay?

Toadkiller Dog wrote:
If MOST people didn't use piracy, then it wouldn't be such a major problem in every industry where products can be downloaded.

Piracy isn't a problem because too many people do it. Piracy is a problem because those industries are full of whiny, greedy jerks who use it as an excuse.

While some people will always steal software, films, music, and all that, others will buy stuff if they get decent value for their money.

If the value is not decent, they will not buy. Some will just not get the stuff, others will steal it.

Toadkiller Dog wrote:


I'd wish it was so, but it's not. Illegal or no, illegal downloads are

... illegal. Because they're, well, illegal downloads. If they were legal, they would not be illegal.

Toadkiller Dog wrote:


far too numerous that they can be tracked individually and every offender legally pursued (not to mention jurisdiction). So it's not even a risk to download something illegally (unless you're on a monitored network, such as in Universities).

In your rush to get in people's faces and call them naive, you seem to overlook that this isn't really about downloading the stuff. It's about the uploading. Of making it available for others.

Sure, it's hard to trace everyone who downloads the stuff, what with all the possible avenues, it's a lot easier to track those who uploaded it in the first place. Unless they're good enough to have completely de-personalised their books before throwing them out there, they can be tracked to them. And then they're in trouble.


Brian E. Harris wrote:


One can't attribute every single illicit download of copyright material to a direct loss of sale. Based on anecdotal claims/evidence, I don't believe one can even attribute the majority of illicit downloads to direct losses of sale.

Exactly. I guess a lot of people will just grab whatever they can on those channels (by which I mean all the websites, networks, programmes and whatever you can use to download illegal stuff, none of which I will mention). If God himself stroke down all these channels with furious anger today, the next guy wouldn't go and just buy everything he'd download tomorrow. They'll get it if it just costs HD space and bandwidth, but not if they have to pay the asking price.

If we're talking about people who download certain programmes, they couldn't even hope to afford that stuff.

So SuperCAD (for all I know, an imaginary programme, but that CAX stuff is usually quite expensive, especially the pro stuff) is downloaded 100 times? Some of that will probably be by companies trying to save some money. The rest will be by people who see SuperCAD on Pirates-R-Us.com (for all I know, an imaginary piracy website), go "Cool! That stuff costs 20 grand! I'm so downloading it!" Say it's only 10 people who download it for the heck of it. That doesn't mean SuperCAD, Inc. just lost 200 thou, because without the possibility, 5 of these people would never have gotten anything, and the others would have used FreeCAD or CheapCAD (for all I know, a - you get it).


Toadkiller Dog wrote:

If MOST people didn't use piracy, then it wouldn't be such a major problem in every industry where products can be downloaded.

You're leaving a few things out of your analysis.

A big one is convienience.

Look at the heyday of Napster etc.: finding illegal songs via filesharing was easy (even fairly non-technical people could do it) and downloads were fast even in a world of dialup because mp3s aren't very big files. Contrast that to record company policies at the time as far as selling mp3s: they weren't. There they had put their would-be customers in a position where piracy was not only cheaper, it was also much more convienient.

Piracy always occurs; piracy occurs much, much more when it's easier for people to pirate than pay you, with the extreme case being that you won't even allow them to pay you for what they want. (And, just like physics, a person used to stealing from you will tend to keep stealing from you, and a person used to buying things from you will tend to keep buying things from you -- so even if a media company with a bad strategy changes their tune, it may be too late.)


Vic Wertz wrote:
Just a friendly reminder that one of our few rules for the board is "Do not advocate illegal activities or discuss them with intent to commit them." Nobody has quite crossed that line yet; I'm just throwing up the reminder to be safe.

But I have to sell that liver quick or it's ruined! My original buyer croaked before the deal could happen, and I don't know where else to look for buyers. Do you want that sucker I harvested it from have died in vain?

;-P


Brian E. Harris wrote:
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
In Land of Happy Ponnies and Rainbows, yes. Otherwise, no. If MOST people didn't use piracy, then it wouldn't be such a major problem in every industry where products can be downloaded.

Unfortunately, there's no verifiable statistics to show that it's actually a problem.

We know that people pirated 4E books. Yet WotC claims record sales.

We know that people pirate Paizo books. Pathfinder is outselling 4E by many industry claims.

By no means am I condoning copyright violation (I'm not going to use weasel words like "theft" and "piracy"). It's illegal. It's wrong. These days it's even criminal.

One can't attribute every single illicit download of copyright material to a direct loss of sale. Based on anecdotal claims/evidence, I don't believe one can even attribute the majority of illicit downloads to direct losses of sale.

Kthulhu has a point about reasonable pricing on product. Don't price things unreasonably, and most people will pay for them.

Obviously, there's always going to be illicit trade, but if the vast majority of them weren't going to buy in the first place? I'm not saying ignore it, and I'm not saying not to take steps to curtail or limit that from happening (as long as it doesn't interfere with my use of legally purchased product).

Take the case of previous edition D&D product: I can't judge someone's morality lacking for them acquiring that old product illicitly. There's no way for them to legally purchase it, and as evidenced from claims on this board and a number of others, people WANT to pay for it, but they can't. What are their options? The "legal" or "moral" answer is "suck it up and do without", but that's not an optimal solution for the end user (and really, it's not an optimal solution for the copyright holder).

Just to build on Brian's points here, Piracy can sometimes generate sails for a company.

For example, I know more than a dozen gamers who got into the hobby and became avid purchasers of quality material through illegal downloads, and can attest to having been one of them.

Each of these noted individuals spends over 200$ a year on the industry (some of them much more) but they never would have done so if it weren't free to start.

In Paizo's case I've developed a trust for them as a developer, and I just flat out buy anything they've made that runs along a theme I like, and proceed to tinker away at it until it suits my tastes.

In the case of some other developers, however, I don't have that trust. I haven't done so in the past year or two, but I would be much more likely to download some material from some other publishers (especially unknowns), read it through, form an opinion, and maybe test a few things before making a judgement. If it's good stuff, I would keep the download and continue to use it while seeking purchase of the material. And if it was bad? I'd just delete it and move on.

So while Piracy is illegal, and wrong, and you really shouldn't do it, when considering the grand scheme you should keep in mind that every cloud has a silver lining.

The Exchange

KaeYoss wrote:
Wolfthulhu wrote:

Pfft. Miss the 'thulhu' part of my name? Sanity blasting runs in the family.

Seppuku, seppuku, seppuku. :p

You've been warned

** spoiler omitted **

haha, I actually considered using that myself. Demented minds, and all that. :D


Dire Mongoose wrote:
Toadkiller Dog wrote:

If MOST people didn't use piracy, then it wouldn't be such a major problem in every industry where products can be downloaded.

You're leaving a few things out of your analysis.

A big one is convienience.

Look at the heyday of Napster etc.: finding illegal songs via filesharing was easy (even fairly non-technical people could do it) and downloads were fast even in a world of dialup because mp3s aren't very big files. Contrast that to record company policies at the time as far as selling mp3s: they weren't. There they had put their would-be customers in a position where piracy was not only cheaper, it was also much more convienient.

Bingo.

Digital music is now readily available in convenient pay formats, and people pay for it, and pay often. An entire industry was created and millions, if not billions, of dollars are made where before all trade was illicit. A lot of those lost sales are due to the failure to get on board early enough to reap those profits.

The success of iTunes, AmazonMP3 and others is a testament to the fact that a lot of people would rather pay and not dink around with that illicit trade, as long as it's not a difficult process to do so.

Dark Archive

Wolfthulhu wrote:
Evil Genius Prime wrote:
Wolfthulhu wrote:
Lyrax wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:

The Paizo copyright ninjas show up and seppuku you. They see everything, know everything.

Either that, or someone finds the PDFs with your name all over them, tells Paizo, and I guess they might press charges.

(WARNING: link goes to TVtropes. You have been warned.)

Seppuku is strictly 'suicide', not 'homicide'. It's totally incorrect to say you seppuku somebody else. Even 'assisted suicide' can't be seppuku, really.
Except that ritual seppuku ended in decapitation by the samurai's second, so was totally an 'assisted suicide'. If you're going to nit pick, do so correctly. ;)

Except that it ONLY ended in decapitation if the person commiting Seppuku cried out in pain. The person chosen to do the decap was selected by the individual who was commiting seppuku strictly for that purpose.

Commiting seppuku was a last ditch effort to restore your honor, or that of your family/Daimyo.

The "Second" as the chosen decapitator was called, only did so if the person cried out in pain. The act of taking the head ensured that the persons honor would be restored.

I like you Wolfthulhu. But to use your own words, "If you're going to nit pick, do so correctly. ;) " LOL!

I could nit pick your nit pick of my nit pick regarding the original nit pick, but to what purpose? And besides, if I had, I wouldn't have been able to type that last sentence, and that was fun. :D

I think we need a "Nitpick" button beside the "FAQ" button. LOL!!!

Dark Archive

kyrt-ryder wrote:


Just to build on Brian's points here, Piracy can sometimes generate sails for a company.

Would those be "sails" that go on a ship? LOL!!!


Evil Genius Prime wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


Just to build on Brian's points here, Piracy can sometimes generate sails for a company.
Would those be "sails" that go on a ship? LOL!!!

And thus we see the failure of spell-check. It does you no good if you're accurately spelling the wrong damned word lol.

Indeed, I meant the word 'sales' instead.


Evil Genius Prime wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


Just to build on Brian's points here, Piracy can sometimes generate sails for a company.
Would those be "sails" that go on a ship? LOL!!!

Yep, on a pirate ship.


This problem actually worries me alot, as I lost a jump drive a while back at the college library. It has copies of many of my pdf's on it. I just hope he wanted the jump drive and not the stuff on it.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Just to build on Brian's points here, Piracy can sometimes generate sails for a company.

I know you were already corrected, but this is just too Freudian, what with the pirates and the sails. "Piracy gives you sails!" I guess that's an early version of "Red bull gives you wings!".

But you are, of course, right: A lot of customers started as virtual thieves (the whole piracy theme is just too ridiculous, since nobody is forced to walk the plank or anything!).

Sure, it's not the incorrigible guys who will get the stuff illegally even if legal versions are all but given away. But despite what some corporate fat cats want us to think, they're not the only ones who download stuff illegally.

And many of those who download stuff for other reasons but will also buy things under the right circumstances will get something and find it so great that they not only buy it afterwards, but also more of the same.


Wolfthulhu wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
Wolfthulhu wrote:

Pfft. Miss the 'thulhu' part of my name? Sanity blasting runs in the family.

Seppuku, seppuku, seppuku. :p

You've been warned

** spoiler omitted **

haha, I actually considered using that myself. Demented minds, and all that. :D

Don't do it, you have so much to live for!


Arnwolf wrote:
This problem actually worries me alot, as I lost a jump drive a while back at the college library. It has copies of many of my pdf's on it. I just hope he wanted the jump drive and not the stuff on it.

I don't know what Paizo's policy is, but were something similar to happen to me, I'd immediately notify Paizo to attempt to cover myself and my ability to access my already purchased PDFs and to buy more in the future.

Dark Archive

The pirate and ninja discussions are starting to converge, which begs the question...who wins?


Squeatus wrote:
The pirate and ninja discussions are starting to converge, which begs the question...who wins?

The zombies always win.


Squeatus wrote:
The pirate and ninja discussions are starting to converge, which begs the question...who wins?

Dinosaurs, duh. Especially big sea dinosaurs. :P


Squeatus wrote:
The pirate and ninja discussions are starting to converge, which begs the question...who wins?

Don't you mean the pirate and samurai discussions? Ninjas have no honor.

*sneaks back out of the room because he forgot his flame shield*


Dorje Sylas wrote:
Squeatus wrote:
The pirate and ninja discussions are starting to converge, which begs the question...who wins?
Dinosaurs

Dinosaur zombies!

Go Sue!


Piracy does nothing but generate sales. It is free advertising, nothing more. most of those who pirate something are too cheap to buy it anyway. Very few people get it. But some do: www.baen.com/library/


JRR wrote:
Piracy does nothing but generate sales. It is free advertising, nothing more. most of those who pirate something are too cheap to buy it anyway. Very few people get it. But some do: www.baen.com/library/

I'd hesitate very seriously to state that. I believe there's a fair amount of copyright violations happening where the violator is creating a lost-sale scenario.

I just don't think it's at the level that some groups claim it is, and unfortunately, just as there's no data to actually prove orbackup the huge figures behind some of these claims, there's no data to prove or backup my belief that at least some of those lost sales are made up for by purchases where a violator purchased something he/she wouldn't have, had the item been unavailable for violation.


I purchased my pathfinder books at a local game book store. Later, I found out that if I had purchased the books from the website I would also gain access to the PDF version. I have seen the PDF version used, and I would value it immensly. Is there a way to verify that I have legitimate copies of the books, so can get access to PDF versions? I doubt I have reciepts, but I bet the store guy remembers me...

I know it is only ~$10 per PDF or so (a bargain!), but I have around 10 to 15 books (couple core, lots of adventures and extras)... I'd much rather use the extra cash on minis or maps ... or candy.


darkonion wrote:

I purchased my pathfinder books at a local game book store. Later, I found out that if I had purchased the books from the website I would also gain access to the PDF version. I have seen the PDF version used, and I would value it immensly. Is there a way to verify that I have legitimate copies of the books, so can get access to PDF versions? I doubt I have reciepts, but I bet the store guy remembers me...

I know it is only ~$10 per PDF or so (a bargain!), but I have around 10 to 15 books (couple core, lots of adventures and extras)... I'd much rather use the extra cash on minis or maps ... or candy.

You only get the PDF for free if you receive the book as part of a subscription. Even if you just bought the book outside of a subscription straight from Paizo, you would have to purchase the PDF separately if you wanted it as well. It's one of their big selling points for most of the subscriptions.


darkonion wrote:

I purchased my pathfinder books at a local game book store. Later, I found out that if I had purchased the books from the website I would also gain access to the PDF version. I have seen the PDF version used, and I would value it immensly. Is there a way to verify that I have legitimate copies of the books, so can get access to PDF versions? I doubt I have reciepts, but I bet the store guy remembers me...

I know it is only ~$10 per PDF or so (a bargain!), but I have around 10 to 15 books (couple core, lots of adventures and extras)... I'd much rather use the extra cash on minis or maps ... or candy.

As Sniggevert mentioned, the only way to get the PDF for "free" is to subscribe.

Further, it's worth mentioning, as it underscores how great of a deal the subscription service is, is that only the RPG line PDFs (Core Rulebook, Bestiary, Bestiary 2, APG, GMG and likely Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat) that have the $9.99 PDF deal.

The rest of the lines (Chronicles/Campaign Setting, Companion, AP, Modules, etc.) have PDFs with pricing discounted from the print version, but not for the awesome deal for the RPG hardcovers.


Gorbacz wrote:
Hardcover PDFs for 10 bucks was the best anti-piracy move in the history of digital RPG publishing, really.

I am pretty sure that Eclipse Phase has the best anti-piracy measure in the history of digital RPG publishing. It is released under creative commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike. Last I heard they were seeding their own torrents.

Here is a good chunk of the explanation of why they did it.

Here is an article by Adam Jury about his opinion of piracy.

Dark Archive

I am living in a country in which you can not legally buy digital content from the internet. You can order paper books or dvds from Amazon and similar sites, but you can not buy anything in digital format, including apps from Apple Store. So, many people download stuff from the torrents, and many have downloaded Pathfinder stuff. But, this is where gets interesting, many of those who can afford are buying Pathfinder products from local gaming stores. At substantialy greater prices than in USA because of import duties, taxes and euro being more expensive than dollar.

So, I don't know what this means for Paizo or any other company that deals in ideas, basically, but I know that there are a lot of collectors - me included - who buy stuff because they like to have it in material form, or they like pretty box or whatever.

Most likely the greatest part of those who download things from the net can not afford to buy them anyway.


nightflier wrote:

I am living in a country in which you can not legally buy digital content from the internet. You can order paper books or dvds from Amazon and similar sites, but you can not buy anything in digital format, including apps from Apple Store. So, many people download stuff from the torrents, and many have downloaded Pathfinder stuff. But, this is where gets interesting, many of those who can afford are buying Pathfinder products from local gaming stores. At substantialy greater prices than in USA because of import duties, taxes and euro being more expensive than dollar.

So, I don't know what this means for Paizo or any other company that deals in ideas, basically, but I know that there are a lot of collectors - me included - who buy stuff because they like to have it in material form, or they like pretty box or whatever.

Most likely the greatest part of those who download things from the net can not afford to buy them anyway.

Interesting, what nation is that?


Hahah, by description, I'd say it's Serbia.

And yeah, Pathfinder CRB costs about 80$ and it's the only Pathfinder book available for purchase, last time I checked.

Dark Archive

Yeah, it's Serbia. Are we countrymen, Toadkiller? I have managed to find some other books, but not many, that is true.


Yup. As soon as I read your post I thought it sounded like Serbia which made me check the Prancing Pony forums to see if you're a member there. I recall that you talked in the D&D forum about DMing some PbP campaigns here.

No point trying to find other rulebooks, it's cheaper to order them online anyways. Even though it takes 3-4 weeks for order to be delievered, but there's no alternative... But once you add the increased shipping costs for heavier books (like CRB) and customs tax and the local post service tax... It becomes a very, very expensive hobby, especially in a country with an unstable economy, such as ours.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

Just out of curiosity, why is it not allowed in Serbia? This sounds like a very odd legislation - and surely is anachronistic IMO.

Stefan


You can buy Paizo PDFs, but Apple Store doesn't provide servise here. Why is that? Ask Steve Jobs. :D You can also buy games via Steam, but it's hard to get access to some forms of digital contents because a lot of those sites, like Apple/Itunes, don't have us as a listed country.

And even if you do manage to gain access to some of them (becuase we also don't have PayPal), that stuff isn't as cheap as it is in, let's say, USA, because you guys have much higher standards there.

In addition, given the fact that there are no anti-piracy laws whatsoever, people have grown accustomed to just downloading everything.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

Ah, so it is not a matter of legislation, but rather of services offered (or not offered). Fits with the topic of this thread: If there are no legal offers of digital stuff, the temptation for illegal downloading that stuff grows if you know it exists. (I never thought that WotC pulling all downloads was a wise decision, anyway, and I suspected that this would increase piracy instead of fighting it).

Stefan


The point is, here there's really no temptation. If you can't obtain it otherwise, why wouldn't you download it? You're not actually harming the sales of the company (because you couldn't buy it anyway).

Dark Archive

The problem with digital market in Serbia is legislation, in fact. The reason why Serbia is not listed in many of said services is because our Parliament hasn't ratified several international conventions dealing with copyright.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

Is there any reason why these conventions won´t get ratified there? (Other than politicians not understanding whats going on). I guess these things will have to be solved if Serbia wants to become part of the EU, as I can´t imagine that any country in the EU will be able to get away with this. (But then, Hungary is just re-introducing censorship through the back door, so the EU is not nearly as unified as it should be.)

Stefan

Dark Archive

Stebehil wrote:

Is there any reason why these conventions won´t get ratified there? (Other than politicians not understanding whats going on). I guess these things will have to be solved if Serbia wants to become part of the EU, as I can´t imagine that any country in the EU will be able to get away with this. (But then, Hungary is just re-introducing censorship through the back door, so the EU is not nearly as unified as it should be.)

Stefan

You are from Hungary? Yeah, similar stuff with the censorship is happening here as well. And those ratifications - that is simply the case of politicians not caring for things like that.

Dark Archive

Toadkiller Dog wrote:

Yup. As soon as I read your post I thought it sounded like Serbia which made me check the Prancing Pony forums to see if you're a member there. I recall that you talked in the D&D forum about DMing some PbP campaigns here.

My mail is i.jovanovich@gmail.com - and my username on the Pony and Znak Sagite is Nightflier as well.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber
nightflier wrote:


You are from Hungary? Yeah, similar stuff with the censorship is happening here as well. And those ratifications - that is simply the case of politicians not caring for things like that.

No, I´m not - I´m from Germany, but I follow the news very closely. And I´m with the majority of politicians that say Hungary should amend or even repeal that law, as censorship is not something that is condoned within the EU - the situation in Italy notwithstanding, where that dirty old man is not only Prime Minister but owns most of the media.

Somewhat back to topic, if international copyright treaties are not ratified in Serbia, then it is not surprising that the services are not offered there. The consequence of pirating data is not very surprising as well. Even though it might be not even illegal in Serbia as a consequence, it is still not ok. It is like dangling a carrot in front of folks wanting to download - you know it is there. If they can get the carrot easily, many probably will. But as a said above, it is probably a matter of time if the Serbian government truly wants to be part of the EU, which is a wise thing to do IMO.

Stefan

Dark Archive

Government says it does, and huge majority of people really want to become the part of EU - in fact, already consider themselves to be a part of European community of peoples, but the main problem is that several billionaires are blocking almost everything, using bought politicians. That's why Serbia, an agricultural country with strong tradition of organic farming imports garlic from China, which is beyond ridiculous. There are other examples as well, but essentially digital content is just a small thing that got sacrificed to huge business interests.

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