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Thread: Wizards of the Coast Illegal Filesharing Suit

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    Wizards of the Coast Illegal Filesharing Suit

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    So, Wizards of the Coast announced today that they have filed suits against some despicable individuals who violated copyright and redistributed PDFs they purchased of the Players Handbook 2. I say bravo to that! I somehow doubt that the persons responsible has any assets worth WotC's time to sue over, but maybe they can at least cause these people some pain and perhaps a couple decades of wage garnishment.

    However, at the same time, Wizards also decided to pull the online sale of all PDFs of their material. Not only that, but they yanked all download access to materials that had already been purchased. And, with what notice? Apparently, none. Paizo sent out emails today notifying people who had access to digital books they purchased from WotC saying that their access would be terminated at 11:59PM the very same day. What time did I receive that email? 7:48PM. Bad move, Wizards. Bad move.

    The fact is that there were illegal PDF copies flying around long before Wizards decided to offer digital copies of their books. In fact, its because someone was foolish enough to redistribute a PDF they bought from Wizards that had encoded information about the buyer that they were able to identify the culprit and bring a suit against them at all. I really doubt that this is going to fix anything at all. But, they have managed to tick off a lot of people.

    At the very least, they should have given people who purchased their PDFs more time to make sure they had a solid backup of their copies. They deserve every ounce of the venom that has already begun to bubble up for making such a brazen, inconsiderate customer service blunder.

    April 6, 2009 — Wizards of the Coast LLC today filed three lawsuits in US District Court for the Western District of Washington against eight individuals, including named defendants located in the United States, Poland and the Philippines, for copyright infringement of its recently-released Dungeons & Dragons® Player’s Handbook® 2. The lawsuits allege that the defendants illegally distributed the Player’s Handbook 2 via free file-sharing websites and that these illicit uploads resulted in a substantial number of lost sales and lost revenue to Wizards of the Coast.

    “Violations of our copyrights and piracy of our products hurt not only Wizards of the Coast’s financial health but also the health of whole gaming community including retailers and players,” said Greg Leeds, President of Wizards of the Coast. “We have brought these suits to stop the illegal activities of these defendants, and to deter future unauthorized and unlawful file-sharing.”

    The complaint alleges, among other things, that one or more of the defendants purchased digital copies of Player’s Handbook 2 and then illegally posted the copies onto popular file-sharing sites for free access and download by the general public.
    Robert A. Howard
    Pen & Paper Games
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    In the navy the saying was, "All pirates be hanged."

    But a court case will do. Too bad it won't be televised.
    -Etarnon
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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Thumbs down

    Received my notice via email at 4:46pm. This didnt give me the time i needed to do what i needed to do. Just another example, in this posters opinion, the backward thinking approach towards its loyal gamers by Wotc and Hasbro.

    I will say this, they have given me plenty to write about in my MBA program. They prove once again that in marketing, they're clueless, and even more amazing, they arent learning from their mistakes. Oh, please, someone buy the rights and get them out of the rpg business.
    Last edited by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon; 04-07-2009 at 09:55 AM.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoth-Amon View Post
    Received my notice via email at 4:46pm. This didnt give me the time i needed to do what i needed to do. Just another example, in this posters opinion, the backward thinking approach towards its loyal gamers by Wotc and Hasbro.

    I will say this, they have given me plenty to write about in my MBA program. They prove once again that in marketing, their clueless, and even more amazing, they arent learning from their mistakes. Oh, please, someone buy the rights and get them out of the rpg business.
    Yeah, I gotta agree that Wizards didn't provide much notice for people to make sure they have good versions of the PDFs they purchased.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



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    Once again another reason Iam so glad I don't pump money into DnD. Way back in the day I felt this type of treatment and total disregard for my well being. They have an attitude of "Give me your freakin' money and shut up." so I dropped of their money wagon many years ago because I could.

    Now, I find myself pumping money into their coffers by buying their AAM minis. Can't get off the wagon because no on else makes those stupid painted plastic minis. One day I will happen to have enough of them I won't care how stupid and vindictive they are to us, their customers. The source of ALL their money. Then I can once again stop contributing to the perpetuation of this poorly behaving bad child.

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    I had previously, optimistically given WoTC about 2 years left in the RPG business before they folded. Now I may have to revise that estimate.

    Yea, suing your customers = not good. Look how well that's worked out for the RIAA.

    And this isn't gonna make a dent in the file-sharing problem, which I'd argue isn't really even a problem for them at all. But that's a topic for another thread.

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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrken View Post
    Once again another reason Iam so glad I don't pump money into DnD. Way back in the day I felt this type of treatment and total disregard for my well being. They have an attitude of "Give me your freakin' money and shut up." so I dropped of their money wagon many years ago because I could.

    Now, I find myself pumping money into their coffers by buying their AAM minis. Can't get off the wagon because no on else makes those stupid painted plastic minis. One day I will happen to have enough of them I won't care how stupid and vindictive they are to us, their customers. The source of ALL their money. Then I can once again stop contributing to the perpetuation of this poorly behaving bad child.
    I was a huge collector/fan of Dnd. But once 4E came out, i stopped collecting. Sure, i still collect the old stuff for use one day, but they definitely changed my purchasing habits.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    Quote Originally Posted by der_kluge View Post
    And this isn't gonna make a dent in the file-sharing problem, which I'd argue isn't really even a problem for them at all. But that's a topic for another thread.
    I would have to agree there. I think it's a waste of time on the vendor's part. If they don't sell PDFs people will make them. If someone will spend their time making a virus for no reason other than to cause trouble someone will take their pirated copy of Adobe and make a decent PDF from copied pages. I remember seeing PDFs of the 3rd Ed stuff that looked like someone made from copies out of the book as opposed to one purchased from WotC.

    I say, don't waste your time, Wizards. All my D&D acquaintances not only purchase their products legitimately but they actually go to their local game store as opposed to Amazon. The people downloading illegal PDFs probably aren't serious about the game anyway. And you sure as heck can't download minis!

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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    "The people downloading illegal PDFs probably aren't serious about the game anyway."

    This line says it all, and i whole-heartedly agree, Otakar.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    The main thing I like about the PDFs is portability. Either I lug all of the books I need to a game, or I carry a laptop/netbook with PDFs on it. Mmmmm, choice between carrying 50 lbs of dead tree or 3 to 10 lbs of hardware with PDFs on it.

    Plus side of the laptop, I can access websites with loads of 3rd party data using the laptop if I can get an internet connection, something I can't do with that 50 lbs of books.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



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    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skunkape View Post
    The main thing I like about the PDFs is portability. Either I lug all of the books I need to a game, or I carry a laptop/netbook with PDFs on it. Mmmmm, choice between carrying 50 lbs of dead tree or 3 to 10 lbs of hardware with PDFs on it.

    Plus side of the laptop, I can access websites with loads of 3rd party data using the laptop if I can get an internet connection, something I can't do with that 50 lbs of books.
    True, true, Skunkape. A few years ago, it really wasnt an issue, but now it isnt uncommon for me to carry my laptop with me for the very reason you mention.

    I'm still old-school, though. Me likes me books at home in tree.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoth-Amon View Post
    True, true, Skunkape. A few years ago, it really wasnt an issue, but now it isnt uncommon for me to carry my laptop with me for the very reason you mention.

    I'm still old-school, though. Me likes me books at home in tree.
    Oh, I still prefer books over PDFs, but I'd rather have those books at home, than at an away game!
    Skunk
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    I wonder how many customers they loose vs. those they gain because of file sharing. Anyway, I'm sure they'll put all of their PDF's back up eventually. My guess is they are looking into some way to further secure their online products against piracy.
    It's as if there are people who play RPGs that don't have computers or something. Seriously, people need to upgrade to 1994 already. - - -TheRedRobedWizard

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    Yarr

    I be playing my RPGs on dual screens, maps and Books to ancient treasure before me. Yarr, WotC be a scurvy dogg, there be many open source games in the vast ocean I sail.... vengeful privateers shant hang me, and my mates are blessed by great joy served with casks of ale and wenches... I say to the foamy brine with the wizards.....Yarr.....Harr....

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    Actually, legally purchased items could come back to haunt them in the butt. Unless the purchase price is returned, they are setting themselves up for a nice class action lawsuit by those who legal purchased items. Just some info for those who are now without out access to items that have been paid for.

    Also, for those who may have just recently made a purchase, if you used a credit card for the purchase, you may be able to get assistance from the card issuer.

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