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WOTC, PDFs and My Table Rules

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As everyone reading this probably know, WOTC pulled another public relations disaster yesterday, suddenly yanking all PDFs from sale because they discovered some were being pirated and sued the pirates. What a way to do business, punish paying customers to stop non-paying pirates. Especially when all you've done is force everyone who wants a PDF to pirate instead of pay you. More evidence that "corporate intelligence" is far lower than "military intelligence."

My reaction to this latest bit of "paying customer be damned" from WOTC is simple:

First, I've decided not to buy anything else published by WOTC new. If I really want it, I'll buy it used. That way none of my money ends up in WOTC's corporate pocketbook. In so far as possible, this will also apply to any products put out by a Hasbro-owned company.

Second, I am removing my "do not used pirated PDFs/illegal copies at my gaming table" rule from the "player info sheet" I give new players. I've never played copyright police unless someone was stupid enough to brag about their pirating in front of me, but now I will not even go this far. While I'm not going to pirate stuff myself, I will not longer stand up for copyright owners at my gaming table unless they pay me very large sums of money to play "copyright police" for them. I'm tired of doing it for free only to be stabbed in the back by the "corporate masters." From now on, if they want my help, it's not free -- and I set the price and the terms and conditions, both non-negotiable.

Anonymous said...
April 7, 2009 at 3:20 PM  

While I don't care if people pirate or not, I find it... questionable to justify it the way you do. totally honestly, pirating... go for it dude, whatever. But owning these books in pdf format isn't a right. If you want to pirate, pirate... but don't think that "Well, I can't buy it anymore so they /forced me to/" is actually justification.

Tom said...
April 7, 2009 at 3:27 PM  

Re-read the post. H's not justifying it, he's just not going out of his way to stop it. I'm surprised he ever tried to begin with.

Randall said...
April 7, 2009 at 3:31 PM  

anonynos said "While I don't care if people pirate or not, I find it... questionable to justify it the way you do."

I'm not justifying piracy nor even condoning it, I'm just saying that I will no longer go out of my way to prevent people from using pirated material at my game table. I'm tired of being the unpaid copyright police for some large corporation that can't even be bothered to buy a clue.

Anonymous said...
April 7, 2009 at 3:56 PM  

I did read it... you're condoning it by looking the other way. And also by stating publicly "Hey, I won't stop you from using pirated material". You may not be advocating it, but you are letting it happen. That's acceptance. I'm not saying you should or shouldn't, just that it's not exactly the high road.

Anonymous said...
April 7, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

You know, after thinking about it I'm arguing with you for what is a bad reason. I can't delete that post so... sorry, never mind.

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