Author Topic: So, about book piracy.  (Read 24532 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Kuroimaken

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 6733
So, about book piracy.
« on: June 15, 2008, 07:41:27 PM »
First off: if I'm in the wrong forum for this, I apologize, but I'm seeking a mature audience. Move as you will if necessary.

I believe I'm a little different from the rest of the community in that English isn't my native language. It came to me relatively easily, which I understand is not the norm for the people in my country (I'm Brazillian, by the way). As such, I'm usually unaffected by this.

"This", in the context of this thread, is what I refer to as "the Devir Fallacy".

It goes like this: Devir is the publishing company in charge of delivering D&D products to Brazil. Their service is downright ugly at best: their translations suck, they favor certain parts of the country over others (which is justifiable in some cases but NOT in the rest of them), and their books are overpriced. There are certain translation groups out there that are offering to bring a better done job by means of the internet, but this, obviously, puts them among the 'riffraff' known as copyright pirates.

So I come to ask you guys this. How do you feel about "book piracy"?
Gendou Ikari is basically Gregory House in Kaminashades. This is FACT.

For proof, look here:

http://www.layoutjelly.com/image_27/gendo_ikari/

[SPOILER]
Which Final Fantasy Character Are You?
Final Fantasy 7
My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Katana of Enlightenment.
Get yours.[/SPOILER]

I HAVE BROKEN THE 69 INTERNETS BARRIER!


Ieniemienie

  • Donkey Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 690
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2008, 07:46:25 PM »
Why not order your books in the US and ship them to Brazil?

In the Netherlands it is allowed to download everything, as long as you do not distribute it or upload it.
[spoiler]I have all Greyhawk books for example[/spoiler]
'DnD is not a game; it is a membership in a tribe that I joined long ago.'

Stupidity should be painful!

ShaggyShaggs

  • That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
  • ****
  • Posts: 293
  • He's just this guy, you know?
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 01:18:54 AM »
I feel the same way about book piracy as I do about any other information piracy -- Take what you can get when you can get it, and if you consistently enjoy what you get from a particular source, do what you can to support them.  I don't think information is valueless, but I do believe that it is heavily overpriced in a lot of cases.  Given that, I don't think it's wrong to thoroughly investigate a book/game/album/etc before deciding whether to pony up the dough for it, nor do I have any problems with adjusting what financial support you'll give a source to amounts you feel more reasonable about.  Beyond that, I think that development and refinement of tools used for piracy of information-based products such as those is important to keep those tools available, easy to get, and up to date for people that would send rather than receive data around some attempt at a roadblock -- mostly people that would report covered-up problems in regions with secretive controlling govts, but I'm sure other examples come to mind if one thinks about current and recent historic events for awhile.


As an aside, I don't know how the BGs feel about this, but for me, can we not call everything The Foo Fallacy (particularly those things that aren't even fallacies, or are poorly-defined if they are)?  Stormwind and Oberoni were unnecessary, but useful for getting people's attention.  The others are just part and parcel of the rampaging asshat behaviour over at Gleemax, and I'd really rather not see stuff like that become habit around here, this place is too good for it.  Agree, disagree?
"Your STFU N00b roll fails!"
"Crap. Can I make a saving LOL?"

"I think either we have unlimited rights, or we have no rights at all. Personally, I lean toward unlimited rights. I feel, for instance, I have the right to do anything I please; but, if I do something you don't like, I think you have the right to kill me. So where you gonna find a fairer fucking deal than that?" - George Carlin

Prak, the Mad

  • Donkey Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 648
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 01:53:17 AM »
I have to say I agree with Shaggy. I have many of WotC's books on pdf ill-ly gotten. Many of them aren't worth the paper the paper they're printed on(I mean, in the stores) so I don't see any problem with dl-ing. especially stuff where you're only using about five pages of an otherwise lackluster book.

I also don't make enough money to support my hobby by buying books.

ShaggyShaggs

  • That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
  • ****
  • Posts: 293
  • He's just this guy, you know?
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 03:12:50 AM »
I've got more digital books than dead trees books myself, but I do think some support is warranted.  For example, I picked up a digital copy of Libris Mortis just to check out Corpsecrafter and the related feats after hearing they might be of some use to a character I was working on.  After reading the book I liked it a lot (some editing errors bugged me but not enough to be dealbreakers) and I purchased the dead trees version because to me it was worth it.  I did the same thing with Eberron Campaign Setting.  I can't afford as many books as I want, but I'll cough up some cash when I can if I feel the product is worth it.  I'm not going to put up $20-40 for a book that has maybe one thing useful to me, and lately I'm leery of giving money to WotC at all, but I'm not suggesting rip everyone off 100% of the time either.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 03:15:24 AM by ShaggyShaggs »
"Your STFU N00b roll fails!"
"Crap. Can I make a saving LOL?"

"I think either we have unlimited rights, or we have no rights at all. Personally, I lean toward unlimited rights. I feel, for instance, I have the right to do anything I please; but, if I do something you don't like, I think you have the right to kill me. So where you gonna find a fairer fucking deal than that?" - George Carlin

heffroncm

  • Bi-Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 374
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 03:46:49 AM »
I preview RPG books before I buy them.  Maybe it's wrong of me, but if I'm not going to use a book then I'm not going to buy it.  Likewise, I'm not going to buy a book for a single feat or Prestige class.  For example, I purchased Tome of Magic, and proceded to play 6 different characters made with classes or prestige classes from that book.  I feel I got my money's worth.

For a book that's only half worthwhile to me (most of the Complete books, for example, only contain a handful of feats and PrC's that are actually worth owning), I usually look through to decide if they are worth supporting the company for.  If so, I buy the book at my favorite small-time game shop, and trade it in at a large evil-ish gaming store that buys used books.  Both of my local game stores and WotC profit from the exchange, and I get something closer to worthwhile for my money.

It's nothing like legal, and perhaps it's not moral.  It is, however, right for me, and fits with my philosophy of capitalism.  Pay for what's worthwhile, and always try to make a buck.

Kuroimaken

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 6733
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 04:46:16 AM »
Quote
Why not order your books in the US and ship them to Brazil?
Typically, anything imported around here is REALLY overtaxed (in order to support our own financial development, they say), so it's not considered to be a very good option. Yet, when you think about it, around here the imported is STILL cheaper than the national counterpart.

I agree that when I feel the product is worth it, that it should be purchased. In most cases, the only things that can actually give you trouble for DLing off the internet are software and electronic games (ironically, in most cases, because of the anti-piracy protection countermeasures they sport), but people get around it all the time.  Further: this is even more of a problem here because the big companies complain about piracy even before they've released their products, so they claim that their reason for not bringing it here is that piracy is too rampant. They fail to take into account, however, that their own shoddy localization is what brings the sales down, and not so much piracy. As a general rule, people with low income do not own computers around here. A halfway decent computer costs in the upwards of R$ 1400 (approximately 800 dollars): broadband connections can be as hefty in price as R$ 150 a month (about 100 and something dollars). Dial-up ISPs are free, but due to how the connection is priced here, they're typically not worth the investment. In the particular case of RPG books, their public is already even smaller than it would normally be, just a fraction of the middle and upper classes. Production, sale or even base materials for printing aren't taxed (which we have 20-something years of military dictatorship to thank for, ironically enough), which means the majority of the price comes from the company getting too greedy.

In that regard, I frankly feel insulted when a "defender of copyright" comes up and tells me to my face I'm a "pirate", a "criminal", that I'm "breaking the law" and "starving book authors to death".
Gendou Ikari is basically Gregory House in Kaminashades. This is FACT.

For proof, look here:

http://www.layoutjelly.com/image_27/gendo_ikari/

[SPOILER]
Which Final Fantasy Character Are You?
Final Fantasy 7
My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Katana of Enlightenment.
Get yours.[/SPOILER]

I HAVE BROKEN THE 69 INTERNETS BARRIER!


Nox_Noctis

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1236
  • A Simple Exchange
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 08:02:03 AM »
As an aside, I don't know how the BGs feel about this, but for me, can we not call everything The Foo Fallacy (particularly those things that aren't even fallacies, or are poorly-defined if they are)?  Stormwind and Oberoni were unnecessary, but useful for getting people's attention.  The others are just part and parcel of the rampaging asshat behaviour over at Gleemax, and I'd really rather not see stuff like that become habit around here, this place is too good for it.  Agree, disagree?

The one thing that has always bothered me about the "Stormwind Fallacy" is that the fallacy does not refer to what Tempest has said, but to what he tried to answer.

I do think it's a little unnecessary at times as well, as I also feel about the entirety of the Gospels (not for their content, but for their presentation, which is ostentatious and arrogant, even if it's meant to be a joke). It gets carried too far sometimes. You can't take yourself too seriously when your topic is role-playing games (or games in general, possibly to the exception of war games).
[spoiler]
[/spoiler]

Straw_Man

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1145
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2008, 08:31:44 AM »

  It's tricky business when we say we're going to support something so we keep the industry going but have access to something so freely. I know I used to buy more deadwood books before I met torrent files. Now I do by deadwood for the core material, but often a lot of my material is .pdf.

  I wish I could do a market analysis about how much they jack up they products and buy accordingly. Weird example: I had to buy nail clippers for my cat $12.99 CND. Base price 65 cents for material and labour. Really, how much profit do you need to make?
"No, no, don't think, Maya." Ritsuko chided. "We will not gattai the Evas or their pilots.

Such thoughts lead inevitably to transformation sequences."

Runestar

  • King Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 820
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2008, 11:38:26 AM »
Quote
The one thing that has always bothered me about the "Stormwind Fallacy" is that the fallacy does not refer to what Tempest has said, but to what he tried to answer.

He is however, the most eloquent proponent of it I have ever known, so I have no qualms about naming it after him. Seeing him debate this issue with "non-believers" with iconic catchphrases like "You can't roleplay if you are dead", you will think that he did indeed come up with such a concept. :lol

I do try my best to support wotc as well, but I am wondering if a line should be drawn somewhere. To cite an example, I bought my 3.0 PHB and DMG from a CCG store at just $29.99 each. But that store went belly up a few years later and the only avenue left for me was Borders, which sells the books at $55 each (or 73 for thicker books like draconomicon and FRCS). I usually wait for their seasonal discount coupon promotion period where I can get up to 30% off, but I sometimes feel I am paying more for their rent and utility bills than I am for the book in my hands or to wotc for their material.

The worst scenario I had seen was Kinokuniya pricing BOVD at well over $100! I asked the manager if it was a pricing error, and he assured me that it was definitely not the case, though he could not justify its price, simply saying he was just following orders.  ???

Preposterous, but I still end up buying them in the end, so I am a fine one to talk... :eh
A clear conscience is the surest sign of a failing memory.

Stratovarius

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1215
  • Player Resource Consortium
    • Player Resource Consortium
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2008, 12:49:24 PM »
I would buy a lot more of the books if they weren't overpriced. I'm far more likely to get a book from a smaller publisher like DSP or even Paizo than I am from the $40+ WotC dead tree books, almost all of which I own in digital formats. Plus, for me in the work I did on the PRC, I wanted every book to see all the material, but I only used certain fragments, and in many cases, not at all. I wasn't going to pay for something I might not use ever.
Arhosa Campaign World - Always Recruiting
Past, Present, and Future
Osteomancy - Rune Magic - Astral Magic
Class and Rule Collection
Player Resource Consortium
That is not dead which can eternal lie
And with strange aeons even death may die

EjoThims

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1945
  • The Ferret
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2008, 02:50:09 AM »
I buy the books I regularly use as paper, but I download just about all of them for reference.

Same with music. If I just want to listen to it and keep it in my random library, I download it.

If I like it and want to make cds or playlists of it and such, I buy it.

Kuroimaken

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 6733
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2008, 03:44:14 AM »
I'm assuming it's a safe bet to say people here feel RPG books in particular are way too overpriced. It's darn touchy to think about, that for every conscious consumer there are at least four asshats who are, so to speak, actually hurting the publishing companies (I realize my proportion is likely way off, though) not because they can't buy the books, but because they can actually get it for free.

As far as music and videos are concerned, I usually feel a lot safer about it. Pretty much next to nothing I consume in terms of music is available either through local stores or importers around here, and if they are, thanks to the absurd amounts of taxes in this country I'd have to pay up to two or three times the product's actual price (even though the dollar has been dropping in 'worth' as of late)...
Gendou Ikari is basically Gregory House in Kaminashades. This is FACT.

For proof, look here:

http://www.layoutjelly.com/image_27/gendo_ikari/

[SPOILER]
Which Final Fantasy Character Are You?
Final Fantasy 7
My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Katana of Enlightenment.
Get yours.[/SPOILER]

I HAVE BROKEN THE 69 INTERNETS BARRIER!


awaken DM golem

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 3294
  • PAO'd my Avatar
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2008, 11:28:03 PM »
A safe assumption here, but elsewhere ...

I think the average company looks at enforceability and cost, for whether they pursue piracy.
China gets alot of attention because they are a huge market, growing faster than most anyone else, and the proportionately biggest piracy problem. Nows the time to mention the problem is the (post)Communist government, not the people trying to deal with their situation. Netherlands can be considered Free Advertising, if a bit annoying.

The music industry is dying because of piracy.
The music Touring industry is not dying at all.
There's almost no reason to put out good music anymore, except to get defacto Free advertising for your Concert sales.
The Musician's Union "should" ban together, to get you tube to pay click in fees like google's paying ads.
But I have no idea how to make that work.

D&D ain't having that problem.
The had/have the Complete Psionic problem, though ...
Some of the v3.0 books are available for $2 at Amazon now. That's how ~good that were then, heh.

EjoThims

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1945
  • The Ferret
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 11:39:17 PM »
The music industry is dying because of over pricing.
The music Touring industry is not dying at all.
The music industry has seen little reason to put out good music for 40+ years, since they rake in so much more promoting the mindless sales of music which is absolute garbage but that they can exploit the artists of.
The Musician's Union "should" band together, to get the industry to stop such exploitations, and lower prices while paying higher returns to GOOD artists.
But I have no idea how to make that work since they've dug themselves such a deep hole.

I fixed that for you.

The music industry dug it's own grave by promoting such absolute garbage into the spot light for so very, very long. Only the big players that continue to shovel drivel onto the masses are hurt by the 'piracy' industry.

All the small time guys that actually produce quality stuff that their customers enjoy instead of buying simply because they've heard it so often on the radio have actually seen sales increase as piracy becomes more prolific.

Callix

  • Donkey Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 622
  • Not cool enough for a custom title.
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2008, 04:13:02 AM »
On the music piracy issue: There are songs and artists that I downloaded, and now fully intend to buy, but I can't because they aren't stocked in Australia. I never would''ve picked up my latest musical obsession (Nerdcore rap) if it weren't for online availability.
I know gameology-fu.

Nox_Noctis

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1236
  • A Simple Exchange
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2008, 04:43:12 AM »
Quote
The one thing that has always bothered me about the "Stormwind Fallacy" is that the fallacy does not refer to what Tempest has said, but to what he tried to answer.

He is however, the most eloquent proponent of it I have ever known, so I have no qualms about naming it after him. Seeing him debate this issue with "non-believers" with iconic catchphrases like "You can't roleplay if you are dead", you will think that he did indeed come up with such a concept.

Yes, but my point is that Tempest committed no fallacy. He explained why what others were saying was fallacious. To attach his name to it and call it the Stormwind Fallacy is misleading, in my opinion. That's what bothers me.

As for the topic of books, I think they are ridiculously overpriced at roughly forty dollars a piece when they're new. The same goes for card games (one of the many reasons I stopped playing them, the primary reason being disinterest). What we pay for is barely at all about the production costs but about the payment of the workers (service charge) and then the excess, of course, goes to the company's profit (and executives and whatnot). Luckily, I have no intention to purchase 4E now because of G0, so that saves me the worry over hundreds of dollars.
[spoiler]
[/spoiler]

altpersona

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 2939
  • BG forum Emperor Ad Litem
    • Altpersona.net
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2008, 04:54:49 AM »

+1 for buying anything that is 'worth' it.

that goes for books or what ever 'product' you want to consider.
The goal of power is power. - idk
We are not descended from fearful men. - Murrow

The Final Countdown is now stuck in your head.

Anim-manga sux.


Ubernoob

  • Man in Gorilla Suit
  • *****
  • Posts: 2217
  • Happy Panda
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2008, 05:51:45 AM »
@Nox: I've skimmed the 4E core and read quite a lot of review.  4E is too limited ATM for system heads to really enjoy.
Ubernoob is a happy panda.

Josh

  • Brilliant Gameologist
  • Grape ape
  • *
  • Posts: 1835
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2008, 08:11:19 AM »
On the music piracy issue: There are songs and artists that I downloaded, and now fully intend to buy, but I can't because they aren't stocked in Australia. I never would''ve picked up my latest musical obsession (Nerdcore rap) if it weren't for online availability.

Nerdcore = awesome

Check out Radio Free Hipster
Site: http://www.hipsterplease.com/
Feed:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/RadioFreeHipster


Ennies Nominees - Best Podcast 2009