Wednesday, 8 April, 2009
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    Wednesday, 8 April, 2009

    • [imager] 37[/imager]Dave Arneson Seriously Ill Dave Arneson, co-creator of D&D, is in hospital as his cancer has significantly worsened.
      • UPDATE: It has been confirmed by Dave Arneson's daughter that he passed away last night.

    More on the WotC PDF/lawsuit issue

      • Names of the 8 defendants: Stefan Osmena, Thomas Patrick Nolan, Mike Becker, Arthur Le, Krysztof Radzikowski, and three unnamed. According to US District Court for the Western District of Washington, these are the defendants in the three lawsuits WotC filed yesterday. The case numbers are C09-0459TSZ, C09-0461RSM, and C09-0460RSM.

    Steve Wieck from DTRPG/RPGNow:
    First, there are no "contract negotiations" with Wizards that led to the current situation. We have been doing business with Wizards on downloads for over six years now and always enjoyed a positive and co-operative license relationship. The thread's hypothesis that the situation might be a result of a negotiation issue is a reasonable hypothesis but is incorrect.

    On Monday I spoke with Wizards' legal department in a call that I thought would discuss the lawsuits Wizards has filed. We had been co-operating with Wizards to supply information on pirated files for those lawsuits (as allowed under our site privacy policy). Instead I was informed of Wizards' decision to cease all PDF sales at this time. It was a complete surprise to me.

    Wizards gave us legal notice to remove their titles. Due to what I'll characterize as a miscommunication on intent, we complied immediately and removed all public access to Wizards' products from DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. In turns out this was not a situation that either we or Wizards desired. I am in discussions with Wizards legal and it looks highly probable that we will be able to offer customers time to come back and re-download prior purchases for their personal archives. We will email and post information on sites once we have final confirmation on this.

    I regret that some customers have inferred that our download counts are any guarantee of availability to re-download titles. We really do not like iTunes' approach of "one download, you lose it, pay again" so we do our best to offer perpetual downloads of purchased titles. Our agreements with publishers though do not let us guarantee this - as this situation makes clear. We have learned a lesson here by reading that some customers inferred otherwise, and we will make some changes soon to clarify this on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

    We are offering full refunds to anyone who purchased a Wizards title from us but never downloaded it. These are extremely rare cases, as most everyone downloaded the goodies as soon as they were originally purchased.

    I am otherwise as confused as anyone else here on the rationale behind Wizards' decision. I know there are some smart people at Wizards like Scott who get it, so I can only speculate that there are others who are not as informed and who are making the call on this.

    As many other folks on this forum have stated, I also believe that piracy for the foreseeable future is unavoidable for books. So long as printed copies and scanners and torrents exist, rpg books have been and will be pirated. It's sad and fatalistic, but it's true.

    Given that rpg books will always be on file-sharing sites, it means that anyone who purchases a legal PDF is doing so because they prefer to make that choice over pirating the file. Thankfully, the number of rpg fans who make that decision are legion and it lets us send payments every month to hundreds of rpg publishers and creators. By making this choice to legally support thier hobby, fans are keeping rpgs alive. I say that without one bit of exaggeration or melodrama. Around seven new rpg titles go live every day at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. The hobby could not be nearly that prolific if not due to fans choosing to support their hobby.

    This makes DRM an extremely poor choice for any publisher. DRM inevitably restricts ease of purchase and ease of use, and anything that tips customer choice from legal purchase toward pirating is a bad business decision. DRM does nothing to prevent pirated files from being available, since the files will already be available anyway from scanned copy.

    We already learned lessons on DRM the hard way in the past, so I know the issue intimately. For many years now, we have embraced watermarking as the preferable solution.

    The posts by D&D fans across all gaming forums, while angry at times, are ultimately posted out of concern for Wizards and the desire to see Wizards make the best choices. Whether I ever do business with Wizards again or not, Wizards is a big part of the hobby that I love and for that reason alone, I hope that they reconsider. Especially given the ongoing fan feedback on this, I am optimistic that they will.

    • Remarkable Races: The Xax The very random Xax was released today from Alluria Publishing. The Xax is the next race in the line of Remarkable Races, new and unusual PC races fro your 4e game.
    • Gen Con staying in Indy until at least 2015 Gen Con has signed a five-year extension with the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA).
    • ōone's Blueprints: Hell Gate Keep The Demonís Head was a high rock jutting from the ground in the very center of a star-shaped crevice. The rock is said to contain a demon from hell.
    • AGP Customer Appreciation Sale Adventure Games Publishing is holding a Customer Appreciation Sale on 16 PDFs for Castles & Crusades and the Wilderlands of High Adventure.
    • Monsters of NeoExodus: Nocternal Nocternals (also known as swift shades, swifts, shadowlings or darklings) are shadowy humanoid beings native to the Endless Labyrinth of Neverlight.
    • Official D&D Updates:
      • Tell us what you think! Weíd like to learn about your experiences with D&D and Dungeon Mastering, and get your opinions about the 4th Edition Dungeon Masterís Guide. Please take our survey. If you own the 4th Edition Dungeon Masterís Guide, it might help to have it handy when you take the survey.
      • [sub] The Scales of War, part 10: Alliance at Nefelus The island nation of Nefelus, a lush tropical realm isolated from the dealings of the world, has recently found its tranquil peace disturbed by a mysterious ice floe. Now warm and pleasant Nefelus grows cold...
      • Legacy of Acererak Wallpaper The legendary demilich Acererak was supposedly slain years ago by a band of fearless adventurers. But his legacy lives on. Could you be one of those touched by the demilich in some way?
      • Penny Arcade/PvP Ep8 D&D Podcast It starts with a scream. It continues with a battle standard being planted (augmented with another scream). And it ends with archers perforating BinwinÖ and Jim Darkmagic struggling to regain consciousness.
      • Arcane Heroes D&D Miniatures Today's preview peers into the first of the arcane heroes boxes, at the Male Tiefling Warlock, Female Eladrin Wizard, and Male Half-Elf Bard. We also show off the warlock's new power card, eldritch strike.
      • Success Along the Adventure Path The Scales of War adventure path continues with "The Shadow Rift of Umbraforge." Broader in scope than previous Adventure Path series, these adventures take characters from 1st level all the way to 30th level. To enhance the fun of these adventures and make preparation a little easier for you, the DM, this series explores how to handle expected trouble spots in the adventure. In addition, you can find lists of suggested Dungeons & Dragons Miniature figures and suggestions on how to make the encounter maps using Dungeon Tiles products.

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    Last edited by Morrus; Saturday, 11th April, 2009 at 02:17 AM.

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