Digital Version of the Rules

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Rhuvein
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Post by Rhuvein »

Wasgo wrote:
I don't think it's appropriate to comment on that. For all intents and purposes, it shouldn't even exist.

Understood. My only reason for wondering is, that there is some real crap out there and there is real crap that's being sold legally.
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Post by Traveller »

That is what's currently available on one file sharing network as of about thirty minutes ago (as of the time stamp on this post). The file size of the PHB though trends towards not being text selectable, unlike Castle Zagyg. While it's not shown on the screenshot, at one point the condensed PHB was also available through the file sharing network.

I don't recall what the exact purpose of the condensed PHB was, and am not terribly concerned because I have physical copies of the books. As an introductory product and a reference I'm sure it works on some level. I'm just not sure how many people are interested in a stripped-down version of the rules, especially when they can get an actual PHB for close to the same price and get more value out of it, as portions of the condensed PHB that are not in the print version of the PHB are available as separate PDFs in the downloads section.
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Post by Fiffergrund »

Interestingly enough, the C&C files have only one source, except for Castle Zagyg. I'd bet they are all from the same individual P.O.S.
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Post by serleran »

I am also sure the C&C files (except Yggsburgh) also share a similar hash, indicating they come from the same physical source.

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Post by Wasgo »

serleran wrote:
I am also sure the C&C files (except Yggsburgh) also share a similar hash, indicating they come from the same physical source.

They don't come from the same physical source. Those file sharing networks are always the last place that things end up. If you want to stop the piracy, I'd suggest posting in the rpg ebooks newgroup and ask them politely to stop. That's worked before.

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Post by serleran »

There should be no need to ask politely, seeing as it is illegal anyway. But, I suppose that is of no concern... so, why should those sharing care? I don't see it happening, and it will never stop.

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Post by Wasgo »

serleran wrote:
There should be no need to ask politely, seeing as it is illegal anyway. But, I suppose that is of no concern... so, why should those sharing care? I don't see it happening, and it will never stop.

No, but given how difficult to stop them through legal action, and how easy it is to ask them to stop, I'd suggest the later. Especially since I do remember that working at one point a while back.

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Post by moriarty777 »

A bit of research... and only a little led me to find this:
http://www4.webng.com/moriarty777/Image1.jpg

As you can see... 404 people (thus far) have downloaded this torrent. It has a copy of the condensed, as well as (presumably) full PHB as well as M&T and a variety of modules... some of which are a couple of the fan based ones.

It may only take one source to start spreading it... but once it's out, it's out.

Moriarty the Red

EDIT : Slight clarification... what I found was on a site... not the screen shot itself.
I took the screenshot and cropped it to keep the relevant info and posted it on my site and provided the link to it in case anyone wanted to see it. I should've used photobucket instead.
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Post by moriarty777 »

serleran wrote:
There should be no need to ask politely, seeing as it is illegal anyway. But, I suppose that is of no concern... so, why should those sharing care? I don't see it happening, and it will never stop.

Illegal... yes... but it costs money to go after these guys. That, and the fact that laws can differ from country to country rendering this near hopeless.

Just to give you an example... I'll use Canada (since I'm Canadian). It is perfectly legal for me to borrow the latest [insert favorite artist/band here] album from my neighbor and make a copy for myself. This can be onto a blank tape, CD, or straight to MP3. However, it would be illegal for the same friend to copy it for me (that part is a bit weird).

Why is this (some of you may be wondering)? Because just over 10 years ago they amended (or created) a tax to be levied on blank media figuring that something like this might happen. This hidden tax is collected and distributed or is used to support the recording industry. Of course, back then a blank CD was between $15 and $20 each, tapes were more common and expensive than they are now, and no one even heard of 'mp3'

As such there is a big push to amend some of these laws for the past couple of years.

However because of those guidelines put in place, for me to Download an MP3 from a stranger it is very much like I'm borrowing and copying a CD from that person. This makes it legal... or at the very least a 'grey' area. The RIAA can't touch us... and the Canadian equivalent can only wag their fingers.

Sweden have a very liberal view towards copywrite in general.

So bottom line... yes it's wrong... but outside of North America, this becomes a headache to try and enforce.

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Post by Fiffergrund »

When I was growing up, anything D&D was extremely hard to come by, so we had to work with what we had. When we could borrow a book, we copied everything we could by hand into notebooks. It wasn't until I was much older and able to afford books of my own that this became unnecessary. Did I cost TSR money? Nope. I didn't have the money to give them anyway, and I paid it back tenfold when I got some disposable income.

I tend to think that apart from a few genuinely cheap individuals, those that like a game will patronize the publisher and buy the real thing. I know that if I saw a PDF of a game I liked, I would purchase the actual book just to have it.

As far as books are concerned, I know very few people who would prefer PDF over print. E-books are nifty, for example, but most people still like to turn pages and feel the book in their hands. I'm not basing this on any sort of empirical data, but if gamers out there are like me, I have to think that piracy of these materials is probably leading to more sales for TLG than losses.

Offering a PDF of the PHB for purchase seems reasonable to me. Some will buy the PDF to introduce their players to the game for a lower expense. Once the players are hooked, they'll most likely buy their own hardcopies. Some (including some posters in this thread) will use it as a suppliment to the hardcopies they've already purchased, for house rules and the like.
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Post by serleran »

Yes, I'm aware of the complexities and impossibilities of international law, but it doesn't change my opinion that its a steaming pile of snot-laced monkey manure. Where's my world government?

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Post by moriarty777 »

Fiffergrund wrote:
When I was growing up, anything D&D was extremely hard to come by, so we had to work with what we had. When we could borrow a book, we copied everything we could by hand into notebooks. It wasn't until I was much older and able to afford books of my own that this became unnecessary. Did I cost TSR money? Nope. I didn't have the money to give them anyway, and I paid it back tenfold when I got some disposable income.

I seem to remember reading how when the first OD&D box set was assembling by hand, people still managed to make copies of the original material (the booklets) and those got spread around quite a bit. Don't recall exactly where I read this but it didn't slow that game down any.
Fiffergrund wrote:
I tend to think that apart from a few genuinely cheap individuals, those that like a game will patronize the publisher and buy the real thing. I know that if I saw a PDF of a game I liked, I would purchase the actual book just to have it.

As far as books are concerned, I know very few people who would prefer PDF over print. E-books are nifty, for example, but most people still like to turn pages and feel the book in their hands. I'm not basing this on any sort of empirical data, but if gamers out there are like me, I have to think that piracy of these materials is probably leading to more sales for TLG than losses.

I always will prefer having a book at my fingertips and... I seem to have a tendency to blow my disposable income every chance I get. It is also at this point in time (when I'm packing and getting ready to move) where I regret it too. DAMN THOSE GAMING BOOKS ARE HEAVY!

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Post by moriarty777 »

serleran wrote:
Yes, I'm aware of the complexities and impossibilities of international law, but it doesn't change my opinion that its a steaming pile of snot-laced monkey manure. Where's my world government?

I'm sure it'll come as soon as we all agree on a world government model to abide by and inequalities of the world are balanced. Assuming the human race lives that long...

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Post by magehammer »

Yeah, we will be living in the world of Ruins and Radiation before we establish a working world government (or we find a sentient threat outside of our world to make a world government truly necessary).

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Post by Storm Queen »

I would also like to request a decent PDF of the player's handbook that I can buy legitimately.

Not having a PDF means that honest customers who want to pay for a legit PDF are penalised, and that TLG is losing out on revenue from them.
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Post by Wasgo »

Well, my final comment is I have three reasons I want a digital copy.

1.) I want to be able to read my copy at work, and I'm not about to take my books here.

2.) When I recommend it to people, I want something they can pick up today. They can easily gets a set of 3.5 by walking into most book and hobby stores, but often have to order a set of C&C online. By that point, you've lost a sale.

3.) Finally, I want to be able to make quick player aids, without copious amounts of retyping. Things like spell cards, monster cards, or even just character creation handouts require too much effort for me to make right now. I tend to play with people that don't like flipping through rulebooks, but want all the right information. Handouts and cards get that done.

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Post by Treebore »

Is it illegal to have a "illegal PDF" if you already own the print version? 2 to 5 copies of it in my case.

I would bet its murky enough, legally speaking, that it is.

Precedence, which is set by the music and computer game industry, says it is legal for you to make your own copy of a product for which you own the original. Note, if you sell the original, the copy goes with it or must be destroyed. You can't have copies of something you used to own. So if your original is destroyed, keep it as proof of your legally having back up copies.

So I guess the real question is, do you have to make the copy yourself, or can you use a copy made by anyone, as long as you own the originals? Even if their copy is illegal? Which we don't know, since they may own the original. The only thing they are doing illegally is to distribute it to people who do not own the originals.

Hmm. Any lawyers familiar enough with law, and copyright law, to say how legal it would be for me to download and have a copy made by someone else? With me owning originals?

Especially since they are products for which TLG does not offer PDF copies of, for sale?
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Post by moriarty777 »

Treebore wrote:
Is it illegal to have a "illegal PDF" if you already own the print version? 2 to 5 copies of it in my case.

I would bet its murky enough, legally speaking, that it is.

Precedence, which is set by the music and computer game industry, says it is legal for you to make your own copy of a product for which you own the original. Note, if you sell the original, the copy goes with it or must be destroyed. You can't have copies of something you used to own. So if your original is destroyed, keep it as proof of your legally having back up copies.

So I guess the real question is, do you have to make the copy yourself, or can you use a copy made by anyone, as long as you own the originals? Even if their copy is illegal? Which we don't know, since they may own the original. The only thing they are doing illegally is to distribute it to people who do not own the originals.

Hmm. Any lawyers familiar enough with law, and copyright law, to say how legal it would be for me to download and have a copy made by someone else? With me owning originals?

Especially since they are products for which TLG does not offer PDF copies of, for sale?

I think *murky* is the bottom line. I guess it comes down to an interpretation of what is 'fair us' though those kind of arguments seem to usually relate to people who own and want to back up music and movies.

Books is a different case though and I think it would fall on the 'illegal' side of things. But I'm no legal expert here either.

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Post by Wasgo »

Treebore wrote:
Is it illegal to have a "illegal PDF" if you already own the print version? 2 to 5 copies of it in my case.

With civil law like this, the better question is could they successfully sue you. The answer is probably not, but it would depend on the judge. The current state of copyright law is always determined by the next lawsuit.

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Post by Gleemax Jr »

If only everyone had the initiative to go digital.

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Post by magehammer »

If only everyone had the initiative to go digital.

Hmmm..."One of us is not like the other..."
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Post by imweasel »

gideon_thorne wrote:
The trouble with pdf's is that, even if you get one dishonest person, the file is out and all over the place and doing major damage to the company revenue.

As opposed to someone scanning it in pdf and making it available on torrent?

Might as well meet demand, because I guarantee someone will if you don't.

Make the money while you can.

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Post by imweasel »

Wasgo wrote:
I don't think it's appropriate to comment on that. For all intents and purposes, it shouldn't even exist.

While I understand your view quite well, you could say the same about war.

It exists whether we want to or not.

However, I do agree that this should not be discussed openly here.

Someone pm me a link?

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Post by Wasgo »

imweasel wrote:
While I understand your view quite well, you could say the same about war.

It exists whether we want to or not.

However, I do agree that this should not be discussed openly here.

Someone pm me a link?

I don't think that war is the same at all. This is something that is definitively illegal to have created. As such, and due to profound respect for the company that created the content, I will not do anything other than acknowledge that it exists.

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Post by ssfsx17 »

I'm one of those insane people who actually prefers PDFs to printed books most of the time. I'm short on physical space, both me and my players have a tendency to ruin all paper products we lay our hands on, we oftentimes can only communicate by computer or phone, and we're all used to using PDFs for work and school. I bought Monsters & Treasure and C&C Condensed on DriveThru and bought a lot of BattleTech materials on BattleCorps. In fact, BattleTech PDFs are some of the best I've ever seen. An official PDF release of the C&C PHB would make me very happy.
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Post by magehammer »

Maybe after the print run of 3rd edition print run sells out, we could see the PDF?
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Post by gideon_thorne »

imweasel wrote:
As opposed to someone scanning it in pdf and making it available on torrent?

Might as well meet demand, because I guarantee someone will if you don't.

Then I hope they don't mind the condemnation of society. Just cause someone wants to be a crook, doesn't mean I, for one, have to cater to it.^_~`

I will say this for a sure fact. Any personal product I put out will not be available in pdf.
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Post by imweasel »

gideon_thorne wrote:
Then I hope they don't mind the condemnation of society. Just cause someone wants to be a crook, doesn't mean I, for one, have to cater to it.^_~`

I will say this for a sure fact. Any personal product I put out will not be available in pdf.

Of course not.

However, if the need is there, it will be met.

Good intentions or not.

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Post by imweasel »

Not to rez an old post, but is the final answer no pdf's on rule books?
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Post by Traveller »

Ummm...that was the final answer a long time prior to this thread.
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