D&D 5E Basic rules paperback tweeted by Morrus

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Consumer confusion with trademark.

Then it would be a *trademark* issue, not a copyright issue.

(a) If my thought experiment is valid, it's legal to do it with this pdf, too.

In theory. If you get it exaclty right. Kind of like cloning a game, though, it is risky. And it isn't legal to put it up on another service for printing, because that does involve a copying step you aren't allowed to make.

(b) Bottled. Water. :) People buy free things all the time.

Well, technically tap water isn't free. The price is just very low, or ignored. Moreover, while most bottled waters are just tap water, it may not be (probably isn't) from *my* local tap. So, it is slightly different water. Moreover, bottled water has some convenience attached to it - sure, I can get it for (close to) free at home, but if I am not home?

Your sale of the pdf does not change the content of the pdf, or the convenience. So, what value are you adding?

So why would that apply when re-selling this PDF, but not apply when a I sell the PHB to a used bookstore for them to sell?

If you make it super-clear that you aren't WotC... and you don't use WotC trademarks in your sales, then you might be okay, I suppose. If you can survive the threat of the lawsuit that WotC might level at you. Eventually you might win in court. But you have to pay your retainers until then...

Are you trying to find that gap where something is *technically* legal, but not actually a reasonable thing to do in practice?
 

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What if I was to take a HD photo of it, together with me in a selfie, then stick it on some social media site and have friends print out their own copy from the site and enlarge it to be able to use….but charge them a nominal fee for my own image included?

Would that be illegal? :hmm:
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
In theory. If you get it exaclty right. Kind of like cloning a game, though, it is risky. And it isn't legal to put it up on another service for printing, because that does involve a copying step you aren't allowed to make.

Sure, we're not in disagreement.

Well, technically tap water isn't free. The price is just very low, or ignored. Moreover, while most bottled waters are just tap water, it may not be (probably isn't) from *my* local tap. So, it is slightly different water. Moreover, bottled water has some convenience attached to it - sure, I can get it for (close to) free at home, but if I am not home?

You could say a lot of the same stuff about this PDF. I mean, not everyone interested in the Basic D&D PDF is going to go to the WotC website and access their download page. Maybe I slap it on a thumb drive and go to the local gaming store and sell it to folks off the shelf. Maybe I go to a place with lousy internet access and do the same. Maybe I could just put it up for people who don't know where to find it as an alternate source that they can pay me for the convenience of finding. *shrug*. Likely nobody really buys it, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone could make $20 or so off of people who don't know any better that way.

If you make it super-clear that you aren't WotC... and you don't use WotC trademarks in your sales, then you might be okay, I suppose. If you can survive the threat of the lawsuit that WotC might level at you. Eventually you might win in court. But you have to pay your retainers until then...

Are you trying to find that gap where something is *technically* legal, but not actually a reasonable thing to do in practice?

I mean, "thought experiment." It's not meant to be a true recommendation or course of action. Just an exploration about how copyright is weird. 4e Kalamar weird.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Then it would be a *trademark* issue, not a copyright issue.

Yes it would. Thank you for pointing out the bloody obvious? Not sure what your point is Umbran (or what you thought that added to the conversation), given we were discussing "...legal to do it with this pdf", not just limiting the conversation to copyright.
 

If I were to, say, print off multiple copies…then cut each one into little bits and place into a sealable plastic container, and then sell each one as “Basic D&D - some assembly required”…..would that be illegal?!
 


fjw70

Adventurer
I ordered one. I was thinking of getting it printed anyway. It will make a nice basic player's book.

We will see if WotC puts a stop to this or not.

Well mine got printed and is in route. I guess they let orders already made go through. Nice, saves me from printing it myself.
 

Sadras

Legend
What if I was to take a HD photo of it, together with me in a selfie, then stick it on some social media site and have friends print out their own copy from the site and enlarge it to be able to use….but charge them a nominal fee for my own image included?

Would that be illegal? :hmm:

Only if you didn't declare your income to the relevant tax authorities, furthermore the taxman would have to determine that you did not undervalue your product to sell to connected persons, in which case donation tax might apply depending on the relevant limitations prescribed for donations tax to be applicable in the Tax Act of the country.

For instance if your profession was that of a model, which would mean you were remunerated at a determined rate for your services as a model, the taxman could make the ruling that pictures of you would have to be set at that minimum level of remuneration you were entitled to. Therefore any discount you provided to friends and family (connected persons) would qualify as a donation.
 
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fjw70

Adventurer
Well mine got printed and is in route. I guess they let orders already made go through. Nice, saves me from printing it myself.

I got this in the mail yesterday. It looks great and will be a nice reference for the table. I kind of wish I had ordered a couple of these.

I really hope there is an official POD option once basic is a complete game. A players only version would be nice too.
 



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