Author Topic: So, about book piracy.  (Read 23944 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

EjoThims

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1945
  • The Ferret
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #60 on: July 31, 2008, 01:58:38 PM »
Given royalty rates in the oh-so-profitable world of tabletop gaming, I typically wind up making about a third of what I'd make working at McDonald's on a per-hour basis.

And this is the problem across all these industries.

I'd gladly pay the author directly for just about anything I've ever downloaded, but I'm not going to pay 10x what the author actually makes to buy it through another company unless all of the material is worth that inflated cost to me.

Like Serpent Kingdoms. I have a copy to reference, but I'm not going to spend money on that, which is exactly the situation I was in when I still lived in Bloomington and my friend had a copy I would reference.

And I well know the troubles of writing, and have seen many, many people shafted by them, but that doesn't mean I'm going to inflate the pockets of overpriced middle men if I'm not going to be making great use or getting great enjoyment out of the product. I'm still dismayed about the money my gf wasted buying me the 4E PHB after I downloaded the pdf for preview and decided that I wouldn't even try playing the system for at least a year and seeing the other books they release.

Rev

  • Ring-Tailed Lemur
  • **
  • Posts: 62
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #61 on: July 31, 2008, 08:41:56 PM »
As someone who actually writes books, I have to come down firmly on the side of IP rights.  A couple of people have argued that information is overpriced; I would suggest that they try sinking in the man-hours it takes to write a book.  Given royalty rates in the oh-so-profitable world of tabletop gaming, I typically wind up making about a third of what I'd make working at McDonald's on a per-hour basis.

That's assuming people actually buy the book, rather than downloading it.  If you don't like my writing, that's fine; don't read it.  Please, though, don't declare that it's good enough to download for free, but not good enough to buy.  And please, please, PLEASE, don't try to tell me that you're doing me a favor by doing so because "It raises awareness of the product."

Caelic, I agree with you completely. An author deserves to be paid for his work.

Now, on the other hand (note this is not intended as a defense of piracy - just a discussion), a friend of mine (who will remain nameless) has worked in the industry for Mongoose publishing. His mandate as an author was to produce X (where X is a high amount) words a week for a trivial amount of money. The only way he could keep up with the request was to lower his standard of writing.

As time went on, the number of words per week went up & the quality (accordingly) went down as he rushed to get it done. None of the manuscripts he handed in were rejected or commented on. All of them were published.

This kind of "never-mind-the-quality-feel-the-width" publishing went into overdrive during the D20 boom & really damaged the market.

Now, my point is this: for a lot of gamers that was the scene in which they first bought books. A lot of the piracy culture seen today comes from that sickening feeling of cracking a E30 book to find it is illiterate drivel.

Now, there are companies I'll happily shell out money for a book sight unseen (Pinnacle is one*) because I trust them not to put out complete rubbish. WotC isn't one. Neither are the majority of companies which subscribe to the D20 license. The 4 inches of hardback waste paper** propping up my monitor may go some way towards explaining why I prefer to read gaming books, then purchase them.

That said - the emphasis in that sentence should be on purchase.


*I happily own a copy of pretty much everything they've ever published at this stage. Some exceptions of course (to both happily and everything :P).
** I was young, foolish & bought some surprisingly badly written d20 supplements in my early days gaming.
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

Caelic

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 979
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #62 on: August 01, 2008, 12:51:11 AM »
also, what do you write? / have you written? lemme see.. please..



Lately, not all that much gaming stuff--teaching is a full-time job, if you're doing it right.  I did some bits and pieces for Kenzer and Company, while they were putting out Hackmaster, and a few odds and ends articles for Knights of the Dinner Table.  Before that, I did some work for Emperor's Choice, and back in the early 90's, I did quite a bit for several smaller publishers.  I'm working on a couple of things right now, but they're not work-for-hire...I'll have to find a publisher when they're finished.

BowenSilverclaw

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 5337
  • Walking that fine line between genius and insanity
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #63 on: August 01, 2008, 12:53:53 AM »
also, what do you write? / have you written? lemme see.. please..



Lately, not all that much gaming stuff--teaching is a full-time job, if you're doing it right. 
What do you teach, Caelic?

"Weakness? Come test thy mettle against me, hairless ape, and we shall know who is weak!"

Quote from: J0lt
You caught a fish.  It was awesome.   :lol

Caelic

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 979
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #64 on: August 01, 2008, 12:54:55 AM »
Rev,

You make a good point.  In the best of all possible worlds, I see your post as anticipating one road publishing could go down: towards author-owned and digitally distributed copy that cuts out the middleman.

Of course, the other road leads towards writers simply not being able to make a living, and thus a decline in both the number of professional writers and the quality of material they put out.

Caelic

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 979
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #65 on: August 01, 2008, 12:56:06 AM »
What do you teach, Caelic?


English.  If I seem marginally crankier than usual, it's because I'm teaching summer school, and every one of the students I'm teaching failed every single class during the regular year.

It's not a big class, but it's challenging.

BowenSilverclaw

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 5337
  • Walking that fine line between genius and insanity
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #66 on: August 01, 2008, 12:59:46 AM »
That's okay, I understand :)

Good luck :)
"Weakness? Come test thy mettle against me, hairless ape, and we shall know who is weak!"

Quote from: J0lt
You caught a fish.  It was awesome.   :lol

Kuroimaken

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 6733
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #67 on: August 01, 2008, 01:08:18 AM »
Quote
English.  If I seem marginally crankier than usual, it's because I'm teaching summer school, and every one of the students I'm teaching failed every single class during the regular year.

It's not a big class, but it's challenging.

I applaud teachers, myself. Though I only marginally imagine what it takes to be a good one, I know I wouldn't stand up to the challenge. I have been known to have a long-ish temper when it comes to patiently teaching, but I frustrate easily. In your position I would probably be clawing my hair out.
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!


CountArioch

  • Man in Gorilla Suit
  • *****
  • Posts: 2110
  • I <3 termites
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #68 on: August 02, 2008, 06:27:24 AM »
What do you teach, Caelic?


English.  If I seem marginally crankier than usual, it's because I'm teaching summer school, and every one of the students I'm teaching failed every single class during the regular year.

It's not a big class, but it's challenging.

Eww, English.  English teachers are my natural predators, judging by my grades in their classes.   :mad
She hasn't come to crush your bones, nor tear your flesh
She has come to steal your sanity with just one glance

Sacrapos - At First Glance, Eluveitie

Caelic

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 979
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #69 on: August 02, 2008, 07:30:53 AM »
Eww, English.  English teachers are my natural predators, judging by my grades in their classes.   :mad


English teachers are, indeed, natural predators of the Thesaurus family.  You can identify them by their dangling participles and pronounced gazetteer. 

altpersona

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 2939
  • BG forum Emperor Ad Litem
    • Altpersona.net
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #70 on: August 03, 2008, 06:29:24 PM »
you have my sympathies sir.

regarding teaching summer school english.

as my great grand mother used to say "ha ha"
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.


Sirperry

  • Ring-Tailed Lemur
  • **
  • Posts: 58
  • Pbbbbth !
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #71 on: August 03, 2008, 06:38:53 PM »
I thought English teachers hated dangling participles ?

Anyway, as I see it piracy breaks down to the following circumstance:

First off, there is sampling.  In the real world this is called window shopping.  I see no 'wrong' in downloading a few songs from a CD to listen to them before deciding to buy or not to buy.  It is just like reading the cover before buying a book.  I 'sampled' Firefly, for instance, and this lead to me spending a couple hundred dollars on Joss Whedon's stuff.  I hope he actually got some of that money.

B, out of print or otherwise unavailable stuff.  If, after searching for a legal copy, I can't find it, I will download a pirated copy.  This is a morally grey area, but I personally think it's okay.

4th,  there may be (theoretically, of course) certain companies that I intentionally steal from because they have pissed me off or somehow let me down.  This is wrong but I do it anyway  :P

I agree that artists of all sorts deserve to get credit for their work.  Most artists are drastically underpaid.  Then again there are also a few who are paid way too much.  But anyway, in short, my opinion is that it is wrong to pirate INSTEAD of buying stuff.  But other uses are okay, depending on the circumstances.
There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Hazren

  • Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
  • **
  • Posts: 114
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #72 on: August 06, 2008, 06:58:28 AM »
I thought English teachers hated dangling participles ?

Anyway, as I see it piracy breaks down to the following circumstance:

First off, there is sampling.  In the real world this is called window shopping.  I see no 'wrong' in downloading a few songs from a CD to listen to them before deciding to buy or not to buy.  It is just like reading the cover before buying a book.  I 'sampled' Firefly, for instance, and this lead to me spending a couple hundred dollars on Joss Whedon's stuff.  I hope he actually got some of that money.

B, out of print or otherwise unavailable stuff.  If, after searching for a legal copy, I can't find it, I will download a pirated copy.  This is a morally grey area, but I personally think it's okay.

4th,  there may be (theoretically, of course) certain companies that I intentionally steal from because they have pissed me off or somehow let me down.  This is wrong but I do it anyway  :P

I agree that artists of all sorts deserve to get credit for their work.  Most artists are drastically underpaid.  Then again there are also a few who are paid way too much.  But anyway, in short, my opinion is that it is wrong to pirate INSTEAD of buying stuff.  But other uses are okay, depending on the circumstances.

Let me start off by saying that I'm  pirate. Not your standard downloading kind. No, I'm more of the flying spaghetti monster kind.

I would add one more to this list. For those who aren't made of money and have something stolen from them that they can't afford to replace I think downloading is a realistic if not shining alternative.
"My solution way too often is to press the red button and see the world burn, which brings us back to the fiery pits of Hell..."
Tshern

Nox_Noctis

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1236
  • A Simple Exchange
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #73 on: August 06, 2008, 09:58:22 AM »
My post refers to this transcript: http://www.copyright.gov/docs/regstat031308.html

I was a little offended (intellectually) by this statement: “While we would like to think that everyone obeys the law simply because it is the law and out of a sense of obligation, we also know that laws without penalties may be widely ignored.” - Statement of Marybeth Peters The Register of Copyrights before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, Committee on the Judiciary. For me, it just flies in the face of reality. You shouldn't accept something just because it's the law. By her logic, slaves should have remained slaves, because it was the law. As a matter of fact, it defies the (less defensible in the eyes of some people in Britain and other parts of the world) first sentence of our Declaration of Independence: "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." If we simply submit ourselves to rules because they are the established rules, our entire republic would cease functioning. The fact that she holds such an office is an insult in itself to America, in my own personal opinion. I'm not disagreeing that copyright infringement is a problem. But her defense of it is absolutely illogical, and reminds me very much of Kohlberg's fourth stage of moral development: conventional morality (as opposed to the fifth stage (post-conventional morality), which would make sense for a government worker to exhibit - the social contract - and the sixth and final stage, the universal ethical principles).

And that, of course, reminds me of Michael Kohlhaus and Martin Luther because of the social contract itself: that a government or authority must ensure certain securities and liberties of its people or else the people have no duty (of self-restraint or service) to their government or authority. This should be the face of the government, not someone who can only imagine static law codes. I say this because that's the social contract is the reason that a government should emphasize as meriting such restrictions on copyrighted information. Without the government (that is, any sort of government), there would be no reason for a person who feels wronged by your actions (which would constitute copyright infringement in the real world where the government does exist) to not take action against you - physical, verbal, psychological, or otherwise. The government, however, does protect us from such acts of revenge. In exchange, however, it compromises with the freedoms of the other party by allowing them to file suit against copyright violators.
[spoiler]
[/spoiler]

AndyJames

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 3112
  • Meep?
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #74 on: August 06, 2008, 10:31:13 PM »
I download or get pirated stuff for a few reasons (most of which has already been said here):

1) Preview. I want to know if I am going to like that album or not. I don't like spending 40 bucks on a CD with only 1 good song. It pisses me off, and when some company pisses me off, it loses me as a customer. Forever.

2) Giving :fo to a company. Gleemin, for instance. I absolutely refuse to buy any products from that misbegotten spawn of a camel of a company. So, if I need something, I look for it on the Internet, find what I require and continue on. Not a single cent more shall come out of my pockets and into theirs.

3) Giving a :fo to that stupid Movie and Film guys (ARAA??) you have over in the States that keep spreading that sob story of how poor ole Lucas is losing *billions* to pirates. Hello! Those guys that buy from the pirates were never going to buy your stuff to begin with. There are people out there who can't *afford* hundred dollar games, but can afford 5 dollar ones. You lost nothing. It was never yours, dickhead. Why don't you come over here and whine about how many percent of my wages should be yours based on the spending habits of the average person and see what I'd do to you, asshole?

I think the copyright people have become the new Femi-Nazis... :P

Kuroimaken

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 6733
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #75 on: August 07, 2008, 03:22:27 AM »
Quote
3) Giving a to that stupid Movie and Film guys (ARAA??) you have over in the States that keep spreading that sob story of how poor ole Lucas is losing *billions* to pirates.

I believe it's called the RIAA (not that I care much for the right name to call an asshole institution). And if we're talking about George Lucas, perhaps we should ask that he look back on his own work and compare his original trilogy to the crap-pile he spewed out with the three other movies (heck, don't even get me started on Greedo. Episode III was about as redemptive to the second trilogy as it gets, though).

Quote
There are people out there who can't *afford* hundred dollar games, but can afford 5 dollar ones. You lost nothing. It was never yours, dickhead. Why don't you come over here and whine about how many percent of my wages should be yours based on the spending habits of the average person and see what I'd do to you, asshole?

I think the copyright people have become the new Femi-Nazis...

Time to lower my G-Fu some more.

I don't think the RIAA can be compared to feminists. I mean, we'd be clearly insulting both in the process. The RIAA, for being compared to people who whine because they never got laid, and the feminists, because they actually got something valid to complain about, albeit they did it the worst, wrongest way imaginable.

And not to be PC or anything, but I think the jews would be VERY upset if you compare the people who slaughtered them to a bunch of people who claim they are the superior half of humanity because they are "exploited" and "smarter" and whatnot (and I'm really making an effort to contain myself here. I absolutely HATE extreme feminists).
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!


EjoThims

  • Grape ape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1945
  • The Ferret
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #76 on: August 08, 2008, 01:28:03 AM »
I don't think the RIAA can be compared to feminists.

Not feminists in general, no. But the brand of feminists who ended up with said label shared a similar entitlement through false superiority outlook to life and viewed people outside their group as nothing but objects in a similar way (very ironically in the case of that group of feminists, btw).

And not to be PC or anything, but I think the jews would be VERY.

Again, it's more a philosophy comparison than anything else.

Kuroimaken

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 6733
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #77 on: August 08, 2008, 02:33:46 AM »
I understand where you're coming from, EjoThims. Just poking a little bit.
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!


Sirperry

  • Ring-Tailed Lemur
  • **
  • Posts: 58
  • Pbbbbth !
    • Email
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #78 on: August 08, 2008, 02:49:38 AM »
I agree.  I hate extreme feminists too.  I am so glad we were able to solve the purpose of this thread.  :lol
There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Caelic

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 979
Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #79 on: August 08, 2008, 05:02:44 AM »
I thought English teachers hated dangling participles ?


We do.  We also know to vehemently oppose split infinitives.


Improper grammar is the one thing up with which we must not put.