Many people seem to have missed my point, so I'll attempt to be as clear and factual as possible.
This should be good. I am looking forward to this!
In the case of both the 4e and 5e core books, WotC has revised them via errata. Any currently published hard copy you buy of the 5e PHB or DMG has different content than the 2014 versions (and the Beyond versions continue to be revised regardless of when you purchased them) , and any pdf of the 4e core books you buy will be of the heavily revised versions, not of the original.*
Yes. Errata. Errata. Not wholesale rule changes. Not extensive changes to the PHB. Errata. So putting aside the fact that you can buy the 2014 version (and the multiple printings of it afterwards) if you want- because millions of copies have been printed, it's still just errata.
It is a fact that the original 4e and 5e core books are the only ones WotC has ceased to make available.
Oh no. No no no.
And yes, I have copies, but the new friends I will want to have play original 5.0 with me 5 or 10 years from now will not have access to those copies.
What ... are ... you ... talking about? How do you know what will happen in 5 or 10 years?
You can get .pdf verisons of the old rules. The reason they don't do it with the current rules is because ... they are the current rules. I mean, in addition to the fact that there is an SRD, CC, and the Basic Rules that are free.
That is the problem. New players will be able to buy perpetually available original OD&D, 1e, 2e, 3.0, and 3.5 (as they should), but they will not be able to buy original 4e or 5e, which hampers the ability of players who prefer those two editions to play them, because they can't get new books for their new players.
I cannot see anything in these statements that is not simply factual (other than my prediction based on treatment of 4e that WotC will not in the future decide to offer 2014 5e pdfs).
Now obviously, if one personally isn't interested in those versions, this won't matter to them, just like it probably didn't matter when we couldn't buy pdfs of any of those other versions. But I would like it if we could all pull together in support of others' ability to continue to purchase the copies of their preferred editions that will allow them to introduce new players to them.
*Let me here clarify that it is not the nature of the changes (some of which were already how I ran things, or clarifications that seemed superfluous but maybe are helpful for new players, or (in the case of 4e) mechanical changes that I'd be onboard with), but the fact of them that I'm criticizing.
So let me point out the obvious-
Past versions of the past books have also had multiple printings. You don't get every single version of every single printing of every rulebook available - try to get an official copy of the first run of Deities & Demigods, for instance.
But if your new position is that .... wait for it .... WoTC is no longer offering, for sale, all print runs of the 5e PHB with and without the errata, then .... wait ...