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D&D 4E Piracy and 4e

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djdaidouji

First Post
MichaelSomething said:
If you want material for your D&D and you don't want to pay for it, why pirate it? There's dozens and dozens of homebrew classes, monsters, feats, etc. that people post on the internet for free. You can create a dozen campaigns from nothing but forum creations.

The reason I don't do this often, and I bet most other people as well, is because we're stuck on the idea that if it's official, it's balanced. Stuff other people make is either over or underpowered.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Copyright law doesn't really care if the copyrighted material is a song, a book, or lines of code.
I don't even really agree with this. For example (at least in Australia) the courts will take account of the character of a book - ficiton or non-fiction reportage - when determining what counts as a copyright violation.

The same laws apply regardless of the IP industry. In what you're describing, the courts aren't applying different laws to different industries, they are making distinctions within the law that the text of the law expressly makes them do.

The courts you mention are making a distinction because reportage of mere facts- a hallmark of non-fiction- cannot be copyrighted. Interpretation of those facts can, as can fictionalization of events surrounding those facts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
And economics doesn't care if you're talking about IP, personal property or real property.
Initially you said that economics was indifferent to markets, not property types. Of course, some economic theories do distinguish between real property, goods, intangibles, labour and other inputs of production.

You're misunderstanding me.

Economics does not have distinct rules for markets for IP, markets for personal property or markets for real property- all markets for all goods follow the same rules for supply and demand, all follow the same macro and micro rules. All markets are affected the same way by Keynsian manipulations. Giffen goods may be the sole exception, but so far, no economist has successfully proven the existence of one.
But taxation-funded public education shows that there are non-market, non-private-property-based ways of organising certain sectors of the economy.

And generally speaking, they're less efficient than market based solutions.

However, natural monopolies and those derived from IP are a different story. For one thing, IP monopolies are statutorily limited in duration.

This doesn't seem to tell us whether or not they are obstacles to production

Someone else being first to market with a particular idea or product is definitionally an obstacle to production by someone else.

. Natural monopolies, for example, are often highly regulated in order to prevent them becoming obstacles to efficient production (eg most countries' telecommunications or transport networks).

No, natural monopolies are highly regulated for the public good, such as to prevent them from exercising monopoly power on the consuming public by jacking up prices, such as by intentionally engineering a shortfall in supplying its product to market, ensuring higher than normal prices. Efficiency has nothing to do with it.
If you don't reward free human beings for their efforts, they'll stop making those efforts.

This is not true in all cases - a good deal of production in our economy (eg domestic production, volunteer firefighting, parents reading in public schools) is unpaid. The factors that underpin productive efforts are many and varied.

In many of the cases you cited, the reward of the volunteer is the psychic reward of being a good citizen, and in many places, those exact same services are paying jobs. (I'm not sure what you mean by "domestic production"- that seems vague to me.)

Yes. The bit I was referring to, which you seem to have missed, is Article 31 ("Other Use Without Authorization of the Right Holder"), which includes the following provision:

This requirement may be waived by a Member in the case of a national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency or in cases of public non-commercial use. In situations of national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency . . .

And its still subject to all the other limitations of TRIPS.

I just put it forward as a counter-example to the thesis of "all IP, all the time" ie a it is a recognition that some goods can only be achieved in spite of, rather than by means of, IP laws.

Nowhere have I asserted that vigorous IP rights & enforcement thereof are the only path to achieving certain goods- just that they are 1) the fastest way to meet those goods and 2) fairest to the creator of the IP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
Per capita incomes, GNP, etc- all follow the same trend. If your country protects IP, it does better.
The USA, which has perhaps the world's most robust IP laws, has lower life expectancies than most other OECD countries.

Post hoc ergo procter hoc? I don't think so.

Americans generally eat a crappy diet heavy in fats & salts and we are sedentary as we sit around enjoying our Ipods, flat-screens, and Wiis- the fruits of the worlds' various IP rich economies. How could we not have a lower than expected life expectancy.

Besides, another factor in lower life expectancy in the USA is the heterogeneous nature of our gene pool. We have people in this country with genetic predispositions to all kinds of diseases all over the world, and that is a burden, and our open society means that any infectious disease has a host of potential vectors. Norway has ZERO problem with Sickle Cell Anemia, for instance and China doesn't have to deal with Tay-Sachs. And its arguable that totalitarian regimes with travel restrictions don't have as much to worry about from a relative of the 1918 flu pandemic as a country in which "Patient Zero" can expose everyone in the country with a simple indirect flight from NYC to LA through a couple of hub cities. In contrast, the US healthcare system potentially has to deal with nearly every pathogen in the world.
And China, notorious for its poor enforcement of IP laws, has much better GDP, growth, life expectancy etc than those countries in Easteran and Southern Africa where strictly enforced IP laws constitute obstacles to the distribution of certain pharmaceuticals.

China's GDP is based on having a huge economy with an underpaid workforce along with artificially lower costs of production due to government subsidy/ownership of industry and- surprise!- not having to pay those pesky R&D costs for all that IP they use. Oh yeah- they also took over the economic powerhouse Hong Kong a few years ago, and are only monkeying with its economy a little bit.

Per capita, the average Chinese citizen is economically worse off than their counterparts in countries with westernized economies.

That's why Hong Kong is being handled with such kid gloves.

I think some of your claims are a little exaggerated.

Nah- not so much.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Humanity's progress has nothing to do with IP. What about ancient greece? What about your language? What about agriculture?
IP is just one regulation of our current financial system.

Humanity's progress has everything to do with IP.

Its just recently that we've figured out we can positively affect the rate of change within society by protecting IP creation in a variety of ways.

This is how Robert Townshend made his first movie, by taking out dozens of credit cards and running them up to their max, leaving him $100k's+ in debt...until his movie Hollywood Shuffle became a hit.

Allrighty. Yes, this is very realistic. It reminds me of Cinderella story.

He was but one example. There are several examples of captains of industry, inventors and other IP creators who did just what I described- finding investors or going into debt to finance the transformation of their inspirations into physical forms- including people like Andrew Carnagie, Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla, Ben Franklin, etc.
 

Ace

Adventurer
Dannyalcatraz said:
Once upon a time, the Russian Czars protected IP and their country prospered for it- go to St. Petersburg and see the Hermitage- their version of the Smithsonian or the Louvre. Its a testiment to the wealth that the Czars attracted to the country.

After the Revolution, however, you don't see much native innovation added to the things gracing its halls.


I am probably bending two rules but here goes

Sorry but No. Thats a red herring

Russian Czars protection of IP did nothing for the majority of the population most of whom were treated little better than farm animals. National Prosperity that effects only a few isn't.

For most Russians in any period life was and is suck. I'd argue that (except perhaps under Stalin) most Russians were better off under communism than under the Czars. Life may suck but it pretty much sucks the same for everyone and there was bread, borscht and booze.


I would say I think piracy will jump a bit in the US -- simply because our economy here is starting to tank . Much of the US culture is driven by advertisements and consumption and people still want stuff, much of which they can't afford. If its free and easy to get and folks feel entitled to it they will take it.

As for copyright infringement being a big deal to most folks -- well no. Anti piracy arguments driven from moral systems are futile as the folks committing the act do not subscribe your moral system on this matter. Besides morality is subjective not objective anyway (except in D&D where copyright infringement is an objectively chaotic act.


As for us gamers if we want more games to be made we must buy them -- otherwise (speaking as someone who has done paid work) we writers don't get paid and while we might make and post some stuff for free, gaming at least the variety of cool stuff for it will suffer.

Lastly massive bandwidth throttling won't slow piracy of small PDF"S at all it it happens -- A blostred one is what 80 megs
 

Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
We're starting to spin off to culture and politics. Back on topic, please, or closed the thread goes.
 

xechnao

First Post
Dannyalcatraz said:
Humanity's progress has everything to do with IP.

Its just recently that we've figured out we can positively affect the rate of change within society by protecting IP creation in a variety of ways.

That is your opinion atm.

Dannyalcatraz said:
He was but one example. There are several examples of captains of industry, inventors and other IP creators who did just what I described- finding investors or going into debt to finance the transformation of their inspirations into physical forms- including people like Andrew Carnagie, Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla, Ben Franklin, etc.
Whatever. You seem to not want to admit anything but that your formula or whatever scheme incorporates it is the best instance of social health.

I will debate with you no more on this cause it is pointless since you are circling around the exact same argument over and over.
 


Olli

First Post
djdaidouji said:
The reason I don't do this often, and I bet most other people as well, is because we're stuck on the idea that if it's official, it's balanced. Stuff other people make is either over or underpowered.



sorry, but i think it´s more the "convienience" of fullcolored bookscans over drab word documents.

btw, i don´t think that wotc (or any other company) has any idea how to balance splatbook against splatbook, because mostly you face the problem of the "armsrace", where the stuff from the new book must be cooler and stronger than the old. the reliance on crunch in the recent 3,5 splats made this only worse.

so, in short: NO, i don´t think it has to do with balance
 


ianleblanc

First Post
But taxation-funded public education shows that there are non-market, non-private-property-based ways of organising certain sectors of the economy.
Dannyalcatraz said:
And generally speaking, they're less efficient than market based solutions.

Indeed in the US public services are often less efficient then private ones because a significant segment of private services are subsidized at the expense of the public industry.

In the US private health insurance companies spend on average 25% of your money on administrative costs. Medicare’s administrative costs are 2%. Massive government bureaucracies can be more efficient then the private sector (in most developed countries they often are).

The USA, which has perhaps the world's most robust IP laws, has lower life expectancies than most other OECD countries.
Dannyalcatraz said:
Besides, another factor in lower life expectancy in the USA is the heterogeneous nature of our gene pool. We have people in this country with genetic predispositions to all kinds of diseases all over the world, and that is a burden, and our open society means that any infectious disease has a host of potential vectors. Norway has ZERO problem with Sickle Cell Anemia, for instance and China doesn't have to deal with Tay-Sachs. And its arguable that totalitarian regimes with travel restrictions don't have as much to worry about from a relative of the 1918 flu pandemic as a country in which "Patient Zero" can expose everyone in the country with a simple indirect flight from NYC to LA through a couple of hub cities. In contrast, the US healthcare system potentially has to deal with nearly every pathogen in the world.

I thought America’s low life expectancies had to do with it being the only country in the G8 that does not provide universal health coverage for its citizens.

PS: Genetic diversity makes a gene-pool stronger not weaker.

Genetic diversity plays a huge role in the survival and adaptability of a species. When a species’ environment changes, slight gene variations are necessary for it to adapt and survive. A species that has a large degree of genetic diversity among its individuals will have more variations from which to choose the most fitting allele. Species that have very little genetic variation are at a great risk. With very little gene variation within the species, healthy reproduction becomes increasingly difficult, and offspring often deal with similar problems to those of inbreeding.
 

HeavenShallBurn

First Post
Scott_Rouse said:
Wrong. Printed in the USA.
Good to know, I'd thought I heard earlier they were being printed in China like many other companies seem to be doing. Regardless of my opinions on the new edition I have to say I appreciate having them printed in the US despite the higher costs.

Also read through the supposed 4e PHB scan and it was a very good fake. Contained large amounts of preview art and used preview material along with the fan-compilation Demo material all using a font that almost exactly matched the WoTC font. Then filled out the rest with old scans from 3e books that had been re-dressed to match page scans of the PHB from the DDXP. The entire thing was a fancy package to cover the series of zombie-net viruses inside.
 


Family

First Post
Kudos to store owners/employees and the gamer community.

My Net-Fu is fairly strong and even though store copies have been out for about a week now no [pirate copies] of the content is availible online.

I can go down to my F.riendly L.ocal G.aming S.tore FLGS and thumb through Keep on the Shadowfell though.

Well done gamers, lets keep voting with our pocketbooks as much as we are able, we'll reap the rewards in the long run.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
PS: Genetic diversity makes a gene-pool stronger not weaker.

No question, but its still a hassle for your health care system to deal with, both diagnostically and financially.

US health care workers deal with things on a daily basis that won't show up in a decade in Norway or China or [insert country here]

This means that some of the $$$ and resources that could have been going to treatment of Affliction X must instead go to treatment of Affliction XXZ.

Ditto R&D to cure various afflictions.

And that costs lives.
 

Family

First Post
This is why we need more Clerics of Pelor, but lost profits due to piracy don't leave us with enough gold to entice them to our fiefdom :D
 


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