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Have you ever downloaded old WW books

Matt-M-McElroy

What Are You Afraid Of?
Validated User
Profound questions tend to come up in small things. With White Wolf we are looking at a publisher that for all intents and purposes has stopped publishing. The purpose of copyright is to encourage creativity. What is the status of a publisher that, instead of creating, is simply going to stand pat on it's back mers.
Hmm, Scenes of the Embrace, Vampire Translation Guide, Two expansions for WoD: Mirrors and The Danse Macabre are all recent new releases. WW is also putting several formerly PDF-only products into full print+distribution, take a look at your local store for print copies of New Wave Requiem and Block by Bloody Block.

Plus many of the oWoD titles are being added to the Now in Print program at DriveThruRPG.

The WoD MMO is looking a bit like Duke Nukem Forever.
Not from what I've seen. Quality games of that size take time to create.

Matt
 

mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
I'm not questioning WW's legal right to ownership but their moral right to control the work. While in print WW profited from the community of gamers adopting their product for a face to face community event. By, basically, taking all their marbles and going home WW has caused great harm to the community of gamers. We are in both an economic and cultural recession and are unable to generate the social capital required to generate a replacement for the oWoD corpus. Simply put the oWoD is something that people want to play, and that still attracts new gamers to the hobby. We have no suitable substitute. At what point does the moral right of the community of gamers, who provided the demand for the product in the first place, to exist trump the rights of a company that has basically exited the table top RPG business to
concentrate on MMOs?

Keep in mind though this isn't a general call to piracy. We are dealing with a company that has basically locked down it's IP and pulled out of table top gaming. While a moral duty might exist to obay IP laws I find it hard to say that the company has a moral right to profit off this product (this conclusion would be different if WW hadn't made it abundantly clear that th oWoD is dead no matter how much they make off of backcatelog PDF sales.)
Uh.

While I'm all for a flexible approach to copyright in cases of out of print stuff, and greatly trimming copyright lengths, White Wolf has done the opposite of locking down it's IP, compared to the usual company. Almost all of their catalog is legally available, at much lower prices than in paper form. In multiple editions! You can buy MtA in either Second or Revised (not First) for less than $9 each, just for examples. As publishers go, this is remarkably responsible (and, of course, potentially responsible.) Pretty sure I can't get RuneQuest III that way. (Last I looked, I couldn't even find illegal scans of RQIII).

And as for copyright length, IIRC the long-term norm was a 14 year term, renewable for another 14 year term or two. So short length, but renewable if the rights-holder was still alive and attentive. oWoD is what, about 20 years old? So we're not in the grand abuse period yet.

Only 'problem' I see is that it's a lot easier to download with a clean conscience when something is truly out of print. "I'd give them money if they'd take my money." WW calls the bluff...

No, a percentage would have done, and ae just taking advantage to get it for free. But nobody can determine what that percentage is. Publishers have to assume it's 100%, "pirates" assume it's 0%, and in reality it's somewhere in the middle (But determining it is tricky; the Humble Indie Bundle had a 25% piracy rate, and that was a pay-what-you-want deal).
On the flip side, some of the pirates would never have bought the stuff, not because they're too poor or entitled to shell out the money but because they'll never read the stuff they downloaded anyway. Ranging from "I might get around to reading it someday and will grab it while I can just in case" to alleged file hoaders and collectors who maybe aren't even that interested in the content, just the size of their collections.
 

Baroness Nerak

Nothing lasts forever but stories and stone.
Validated User
I'll have to agree with Matt and Mindstalk here. WW is coming out with new books (not new old WoD books, mind, but new books...though the Translation Guide straddles that line) and makes most of their old WoD stuff available to buy, which is frankly awesome. My biggest problem with many lines was how it would go OOP and you could not buy books to have important data, now you can for either WoD. More and more going into PoD is a good thing for those of us who prefer physical copies as well.

I won't lie, I would prefer to see more books coming from White Wolf (and would not mind more Vampire: The Masquerade, Mummy: The Resurrection or Demon: The Fallen) but it seems like they are taking steps toward responsibly making their IP available, not away from it.
 

Zenoseiya

Retired User
If CCP is smart, the MMOG will not correspond to either oWoD or nWoD, but to a new new World of Darkness specifically designed for the MMOG format, free of all the horrible baggage that makes oWoD and nWoD so abhorrent (yes, I hate both games). This would allow them to draw in new viewers and an overall larger audience. Because seriously, the PnP demographic simply isn't large enough to sustain an MMOG. MMOGs are more profitable than PnP RPGs for this reason (larger demographics/audiences).

Redemption and Bloodlines were cult classics. That means while they had good critical reviews, they were not smash hits. Bloodlines, in fact, was a market failure due to it's horribly buggy nature (hint: never hire former Black Isle employees to make your game, because they make buggy games). Even the lauded Planescape: Torment, made by (some of) the same folks who made Bloodlines, only sold 400,000 copies according to one of the developers, and it didn't suffer from game-breaking bugs (but there were bugs, so many bugs).
 

theBeorn

Retired User
i'm gonna be honest: yes i have. i download the books first and if i like them i buy the hardcopy or pdf.
 

nikink

Rampant Green
RPGnet Member
Validated User
... free of all the horrible baggage that makes oWoD and nWoD so abhorrent (yes, I hate both games). This would allow them to draw in new viewers and an overall larger audience.
By 'larger audience' you mean, you.

Right?

Because I don't think any game that is 'abhorrent' would have as many fans as either iteration of WoD has.
 

Solar

Active member
Validated User
So, just to clarify, I thought that on these boards we were not allowed to discuss such things? Though maybe it is a case of not being allowed to share links and so on rather than discuss the issues in an academic sense. Because as to the latter, the idea of illegally downloading RPGs is an interesting one.

I mean, generally speaking one would only do it if one couldn't buy the book anyway. Which leads me to think that the majority of people who are downloading books would not have bought the books meaning that the company hardly loses sales. Secondly, if we look at posthuman studios busines plan where they allowed legal, free torrenting of EP and yet have been very successful with their hard copies, we could argue that allowing people to freely taste your merchandise increases product awareness and actually can be good for sales.

Thirdly piracy is surely not the same as stealing or IP theft. Unlike the former you are not taking goods that someone else would have sued otherwise and unlike the latter you are not using that IP to create or make money, just for personal consumption. Maybe it's just me but piracy seems like much less of a moral crime than "hard" stealing or IP theft.

I mean, to be honest I know people who have downloaded stuff illegally as I am sure we all do (and may have done, at times) and maybe they might consider it morally wrong but not to any great extent. It's probably that they either don't consider it wrong or just don't give a shit. Piracy is, after all, one of those crimes where breaking it is hardly a great moral issue in the yes of a lot of people.
 

molikai

Crazy Scot - 1st Grade
Validated User
Eric Flint Says.. pretty much al lthat needs t obe said, really, here
You are invited to look at the later 'Prime Palaver 'posts - a few of them graph sales with relation to free downloads.
hard data is always nice, as opposed to conjecture.
 

Matt-M-McElroy

What Are You Afraid Of?
Validated User
If CCP is smart, the MMOG will not correspond to either oWoD or nWoD, but to a new new World of Darkness specifically designed for the MMOG format, free of all the horrible baggage that makes oWoD and nWoD so abhorrent (yes, I hate both games).
For someone who hates both editions of the World of Darkness you certainly start a hell of a lot of threads about them.

-Matt
 
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