Pathfinder RPG Paizo Copyright Issues at Obsidian Portal? - Page 7


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  1. #61
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    Mayhaps I'm one of these hypocrites.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dannager View Post
    GMforPowergamers makes a noteworthy point: if this were WotC, the reaction would be very different. And it's tough to argue with the fact that a lot of the difference in reaction would be on behalf of Paizo fans (or, perhaps more accurately, anti-4e/anti-WotC folk).
    I was upset with WotC for their C&D pattern across a few different individuals....some of which I found totally reasonable, some of which seemed VERY oddly timed (crystalkeep's 3e summary pdfs long after 4e had been started), some seemed odd/inappropriate (I don't remember the person's name, but some very nice character sheets).

    I'm not upset at Paizo here.


    I'll be happy to say that straight out. "I was outraged at WotC for (some of) their behavior and I'm not outraged or even upset at Paizo here." To some that may make me seem to be a hypocrite (or, less labeling, hypocritical). I don't believe it does, personally.


    The things I was upset about were third edition items while WotC was promoting (and it was in print) 4e. They were "protecting" prior edition IP to some, and to others it appeared as if they were attempting to kill 3e as best they could to "encourage" a switch to 4e. In essence, the situation was different. (Yes, a company does have a right to protect out of print IP, but the reaction from fans due to context might well be different due to situation rather than being fanbois of one company or another).


    Also, I'll point out the "elephant in the room". Why are people angry when Paizo "gets away with" things that WotC "gets called on" or "gets yelled at for"? I think there are a number of reasons for this.

    First and foremost, WotC has stepped on toes. That's somewhat inevitable, even if they were the gawshdang nicest company you ever could meet. Due to sharing of some items (licensing Dungeon and Dragon, licensing Ravenloft, Dragonlance, etc) and the eventual need or desire to take back those properties when the licenses were up, people's toes got stepped on (WotC was not wrong here, at all, but to take away a license from Margaret Weiss, creator of Dragonlance so that she can no longer produce for the setting, and then not do anything with it might just wrankle some Dragonlance fans --full disclosure, I don't really pay much attention to Dragonlance). WotC can be totally right and still generate ill will for these reasons. Paizo is becoming large enough that they may eventually fall into this trap as well.

    Second. WotC is quiet. The folks at Paizo interact with us. We see them as people. They try to give explanations when they do something that people see as distasteful, and we often, whether we like the reasoning or not, come to understand the reasoning. The folks at WotC tend to be very hush hush, resulting in people jumping to conclusions (which we do for Paizo as well, until someone from Paizo clears things up...or which we DON'T do for Paizo, because we can actually ASK THEM why and expect a reasonable chance for an answer.)

    Third, WotC seems less invested in the fans and other supporters of the game (3pps) at this point than does Paizo. I'll point at the GSL and the "fan website policy" of WotC versus the OGL and "fan website policy" of Paizo as the official markers of this, but also there's the aforementioned interaction with fans, as well as apparent utilization of fan feedback and relationship building with other publishers (sometimes not even Pathfinder/d20 publishers, e.g Chaosium).



    In essence, Paizo and WotC are different animals, are percieved differently, and most importantly, have different relationships and levels of support with/for the fans (and with fan websites). (edit) Here I don't mean their own fans necessarily, but all fans of D&D.

    Decrying one while not the other is not hypocritical. In my mind, it makes good sense.
    Last edited by Aberzanzorax; Wednesday, 6th July, 2011 at 10:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zil View Post
    But they were so polite about their request (and dealing with their community of customers/fans in general) that it is difficult to be outraged. I know that the letter I received was almost apologetic at their being forced to take this action (i.e. to request my removing offending material from a publicly accessible campaign site). After the initial shock, it was hard to actually be angry with them because (a) they were in the right and (b) they were so polite about it.
    IMO, a large part of good business is building good relationships - especially with fans.

    Paizo gets this right almost all of the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Mona View Post
    Might as well turn the thread into an edition war, eh?
    So, as long as you're heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere, I don't suppose there's anything you can tell us about the reasoning behind the issuance of the C&D in question? Or even if the events described by the guy on his Obsidian Portal site are even accurate?

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    From what I understand it was not a C&D, but more of a request sent to the site through their feedback mechanism. I have no idea what the site said to the GM, but I suspect our message was a polite note requesting that they not make our copyright images available in the manner in which they were being used.

    We have a fairly generous community use policy. Item Card images are not included in the packet of images we allow folks to use, so we made the request that they be removed or put behind a firewall.

    Which is what eventually happened.

    --Erik

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    It's hard to be more critical without seeing the message or the images in question.

    But I'll bite; I criticized WotC's lawsuits, and remained a 4E player. I really, really like Paizo and really, really like the folks there, and I now also play the Pathfinder RPG. From reading the messages on Obsidian Portal, I suspect the person there has at least overreacted a bit, and it's certainly possible that the message was delivered third hand (IE, Paizo -> OP -> OP User).

    From the Paizo boards, I know that some folks (and I'm not saying that these people are Paizo employees, only posters) don't understand that the Community Use policy, as generous as it is, is not the only way you can use Paizo's copyrighted material. The most obvious example is fair use; the vagueness of fair use under US copyright law makes too much of a deep discussion in this context moot, since each person will have his or her opinion. In my opinion, if the depiction of the images is as reported, its use is probably fair. As various assertions and corrections on this board and in this thread show, though, an RPG board is probably not the best place for a copyright discussion. ^_^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Mona View Post
    From what I understand it was not a C&D, but more of a request sent to the site through their feedback mechanism. I have no idea what the site said to the GM, but I suspect our message was a polite note requesting that they not make our copyright images available in the manner in which they were being used.

    We have a fairly generous community use policy. Item Card images are not included in the packet of images we allow folks to use, so we made the request that they be removed or put behind a firewall.

    Which is what eventually happened.

    --Erik
    Thanks Erik.

    I feel confident that this can be chalked up to hyperbole and overreaction on the part of the DM.

    A few years back I had a number of Paizo's images up on my website - a public website, but one originally intended for a small audience. When it became clear that the website was getting a lot more attention than I originally anticipated, I sent off an email to James Jacobs and asked if Paizo would prefer that the images be taken down. He asked that they be removed, and I complied. Now, these were not thumbnails, but it's good practice to seek permission to make anything public that you are not already granted license to.

    I'm certain that there are other ways the DM in question could have handled this without having to close his page off to the public - replacing the item card pictures with different placeholders, or removing them entirely - but I have to imagine that there was a bit of spite that factored into his decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Mona View Post

    We have a fairly generous community use policy. Item Card images are not included in the packet of images we allow folks to use, so we made the request that they be removed or put behind a firewall.

    Which is what eventually happened.

    --Erik
    By my quick count there are at least 60 or so Item Cards that have been posted to the blog, so the guy could have investigated and used those instead of scans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by czak View Post
    By my quick count there are at least 60 or so Item Cards that have been posted to the blog, so the guy could have investigated and used those instead of scans.
    Excellent point, so long as he adheres to the PFCUP. I think a lot of people don't understand just how much art is available to them by virtue of being able to use anything posted to the blog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caerin View Post
    It's hard to be more critical without seeing the message or the images in question.

    But I'll bite; I criticized WotC's lawsuits, and remained a 4E player. I really, really like Paizo and really, really like the folks there, and I now also play the Pathfinder RPG. From reading the messages on Obsidian Portal, I suspect the person there has at least overreacted a bit, and it's certainly possible that the message was delivered third hand (IE, Paizo -> OP -> OP User).

    From the Paizo boards, I know that some folks (and I'm not saying that these people are Paizo employees, only posters) don't understand that the Community Use policy, as generous as it is, is not the only way you can use Paizo's copyrighted material. The most obvious example is fair use; the vagueness of fair use under US copyright law makes too much of a deep discussion in this context moot, since each person will have his or her opinion. In my opinion, if the depiction of the images is as reported, its use is probably fair. As various assertions and corrections on this board and in this thread show, though, an RPG board is probably not the best place for a copyright discussion. ^_^
    Well, so far thumbnails have only been found to be fair use for search engines correct (google and some other one)? Taking an image already on the internet and thumbnailing it to provide a public service (finding porn on the internet w. regards to google) is a different from scanning a piece of artwork and mixing it in with your campaign and campaign setting. It would require a whole new run through the test.

    *shrug*

  • #70
    Quote Originally Posted by czak View Post
    By my quick count there are at least 60 or so Item Cards that have been posted to the blog, so the guy could have investigated and used those instead of scans.
    If they were posted in the blog and he investigated it then why did he need to scan them at all?

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