Dear DTRPG: This is why we have Piracy

Anon Adderlan

New member
Banned
Before anyone does anything with hackles, I pledged $100 on the Cortex Hacker Kickstarter, and I am NOT condoning piracy, but criticizing the conditions which make it even more prevalent than it should be.

To pirate something, all I need to do is Google for what I'm looking for, click a link, click another link, and I have it. And sometimes I can even get whole sets like this.

To get the products I paid for on DTRPG...

  • First I had to find the emails the coupons were in, and there were several as each coupon was sent in an individual email. They should have been sent in one.

  • The email(s) explains that I can redeem the coupon during checkout. So I have to find the products I'm looking for, add them to my cart, and then enter the code at checkout. I should be able to enter the code and have all this done for me.

  • But what the email(s) DIDN'T explain is that I can only use ONE coupon per checkout. So now I have to remove all the items in my cart, and add each individually and checkout 8 F****** TIMES! And I do NOT look forward to doing this another 10 times when I get the coupons for the Leverage Companions. I thought doing things this way wasted DTRPGs resources, as they keep telling me it does when I download.

  • The PDFs are secured and watermarked, which while being a minor inconvenience, is still enough of an inconvenience because I can get clear versions of these products through nefarious means much more easily than by purchasing them. And that's the big deal.

The fact that DTRPG makes money with a setup like this gives me great hope that there's even MORE money to be made by businesses that fix these problems. And the fact that DTRPG still even HAS these problems makes me both sad and angry because it makes me unable and unwilling to use them for my projects. I'd say fix it, but DTRPG has been around long enough to realize these problems, and if they haven't addressed them already, I don't have high hopes they'll address them now.
 

akajdrakeh

Pronounced 'akkadrakka'
RPGnet Member
Validated User
FWIW, the securing and watermarking of PDFs is, I believe, the publisher's prerogative, not something that DriveThru/RPGNow does for all PDFs.
 

Adam

Posthuman
Validated User
[*]The PDFs are secured and watermarked, which while being a minor inconvenience, is still enough of an inconvenience because I can get clear versions of these products through nefarious means much more easily than by purchasing them. And that's the big deal.
For what it's worth, this is up to the publisher, not OneBookShelf. OneBookShelf doesn't modify the PDF if the publisher doesn't instruct them to.
 

Doctor Futurity

Camazotz the Death Bat
Validated User
Yep, watermarks are the publisher perogative, not onebookshelf's.

Also, to be honest, I buy from dtrpg and rpgnow all the time and have experienced nothing like you are going through....I just load up my basket, click to complete order, pay and download. Are these coupons coming from the publisher as gifts or purchases from a third party site? That's not the normal routine in my experience.
 

Matt Greenfelder

former armageddonsock
Validated User
Repeated checkouts do not waste resources - there is some additional overhead, sure, but I thought it was a 'be kind, download once and make copies, please' request, since their biggest expenditure is likely on throughput/bandwidth.

The watermarks do not bother me in the slightest.

Other than that, yeah, multiple coupons on a single checkout would be a nice convenience.
 

Imban

Registered User
Validated User
Yep, watermarks are the publisher perogative, not onebookshelf's.
While this is sadly true, "watermark everything. always." seems to be some sort of OBS default - I've had to ask quite a few publishers why they insist upon watermarking free PDFs, given that the loss from me sending a copy to a friend is utterly negligible, and quite frequently just gotten an "oops!" and had the watermarks removed.

Also, to be honest, I buy from dtrpg and rpgnow all the time and have experienced nothing like you are going through....I just load up my basket, click to complete order, pay and download. Are these coupons coming from the publisher as gifts or purchases from a third party site? That's not the normal routine in my experience.
Since he said it was from a Kickstarter, it'd basically be as gifts from the publisher.
 

Master_Forcide

Registered User
Validated User
Before anyone does anything with hackles, I pledged $100 on the Cortex Hacker Kickstarter, and I am NOT condoning piracy, but criticizing the conditions which make it even more prevalent than it should be.

To pirate something, all I need to do is Google for what I'm looking for, click a link, click another link, and I have it. And sometimes I can even get whole sets like this.

To get the products I paid for on DTRPG...

  • First I had to find the emails the coupons were in, and there were several as each coupon was sent in an individual email. They should have been sent in one.

  • The email(s) explains that I can redeem the coupon during checkout. So I have to find the products I'm looking for, add them to my cart, and then enter the code at checkout. I should be able to enter the code and have all this done for me.

  • But what the email(s) DIDN'T explain is that I can only use ONE coupon per checkout. So now I have to remove all the items in my cart, and add each individually and checkout 8 F****** TIMES! And I do NOT look forward to doing this another 10 times when I get the coupons for the Leverage Companions. I thought doing things this way wasted DTRPGs resources, as they keep telling me it does when I download.

  • The PDFs are secured and watermarked, which while being a minor inconvenience, is still enough of an inconvenience because I can get clear versions of these products through nefarious means much more easily than by purchasing them. And that's the big deal.

The fact that DTRPG makes money with a setup like this gives me great hope that there's even MORE money to be made by businesses that fix these problems. And the fact that DTRPG still even HAS these problems makes me both sad and angry because it makes me unable and unwilling to use them for my projects. I'd say fix it, but DTRPG has been around long enough to realize these problems, and if they haven't addressed them already, I don't have high hopes they'll address them now.
All of this is on Margaret Weis Productions, not One Book Shelf. The way Onyx Path have been distributing their Kickstarter pdfs has been dramatically different.
 

Alyx

Anti-Authoritarian
Validated User
To support the OP, it's often been said in discussions of software piracy that one significant advantage to piracy is that pirates frequently have access to a better class of product. In particular when it comes to DRM protected products, the pirated version gives users a much better experience in the case of the more onerous DRM protections.

I personally feel much the same about watermarks. Were I inclined, if I legally purchase products that are watermarked I'd consider pirating them just to get a copy that didn't contain watermarks.
 

craggle

Registered User
Validated User
I believe the Leverage Companion Bundle was in part created such that MWP would be able to provide a single coupon for all ten items together, so hopefully you might have less of a problem there.
 

urbwar

Hallowicked
Validated User
While this is sadly true, "watermark everything. always." seems to be some sort of OBS default - I've had to ask quite a few publishers why they insist upon watermarking free PDFs, given that the loss from me sending a copy to a friend is utterly negligible, and quite frequently just gotten an "oops!" and had the watermarks removed.
Yeah, you need to pay attention during the upload process if you don't want to watermark your product. I don't watermark mine, as I provide printer friendly versions, and don't want people to sweat having watermarks on their print outs
 
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