[necro]Watermarks on DriveThruRPG books are ill-conceived

Zenoseiya

Retired User
When I first started buying books on RPGNow, there were no watermarks. Suddenly, within the past few years, every book suddenly has watermarks on them. Why is this necessary? As an anti-pirating measure it's completely ineffective, because any pirate worth their salt will simply crack the security and remove the watermarks using publicly available software sold at bargain prices.

Furthermore, free products also have watermarks, despite being free and not needing to be protected from pirates. In fact, several free products were in fact available for download on the publisher's website without watermarks before they were offered on DTRPG.
 

Skywalker

Back Off the Buddha!
Validated User
Re: Watermarks on DriveThruRPG books are ill-conceived

As an anti-pirating measure it's completely ineffective, because any pirate worth their salt will simply crack the security and remove the watermarks using publicly available software sold at bargain prices.
Watermarks deter pirates that are not worth their salt.
 

Corinthi

IPlay
Validated User
Re: Watermarks on DriveThruRPG books are ill-conceived

Conversely, watermarks don't bother me in the least, and that email address at the bottom of the page proves I paid for the product, supporting the content providers.

If the watermark was emblazoned across the center of the text or art, that'd be one thing, but I've never seen a OneBookShelf watermark that interfered with my use of the product.
 

GAAAHHHH

Retired User
Re: Watermarks on DriveThruRPG books are ill-conceived

When I go to print out the PDF, I can prove to the copy place, that yes, I bought this and I can legally print it out. The watermark doesn't interfere with reading the product, and I know the authors and publishers are getting paid for their work.
 

Ace

New member
Banned
Re: Watermarks on DriveThruRPG books are ill-conceived

My objection to watermarks is that they turn me into a renter instead of an owner. I can't transfer something I bought and instead would have to buy it again.

For really cheap PDF's its fine but I resent paying say $10-15 US and bnot being able to resell or gift it.
 

Mailanka

Honest Eshu
Validated User
Re: Watermarks on DriveThruRPG books are ill-conceived

Who cares? DRM is only a problem when it interferes with me or lessens the value of my product. Watermarks do neither.

Now, perhaps they don't deter pirates in the least either, but that's a problem for the creators, not for me.
 

Stormfalcon

Just slumming
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Re: Watermarks on DriveThruRPG books are ill-conceived

It's also worth keeping in mind that the watermarks were a compromise after DTR's initial forays into Adobe Reader-based DRM, and a very workable compromise at that. Watermarks are nothing compared to how much of a pain that early DRM was.
 

Ace

New member
Banned
Re: Watermarks on DriveThruRPG books are ill-conceived

It's also worth keeping in mind that the watermarks were a compromise after DTR's initial forays into Adobe Reader-based DRM, and a very workable compromise at that. Watermarks are nothing compared to how much of a pain that early DRM was.
A system in which you can't access an offline product you bought without Internet connectivity is less than useful.

JMO but DRM and to a lesser degree watermarks are an attempt to introduce more scarcity and thus higher prices into a system with very low scarcity. I can't blame anyone for it, we all like to be paid but its really futile.

However as compromises go, I can live with watermarks and for something I pay a nominal price for I could care less.
 

D S A

pop!
Validated User
Re: Watermarks on DriveThruRPG books are ill-conceived

My objection to watermarks is that they turn me into a renter instead of an owner. I can't transfer something I bought and instead would have to buy it again.
I on the other hand would prefer not to be locked out of being able to copy my digital products, which would pretty much be a prerequisite of any system that allowed for free transfer of pdfs.
 

Stephen Lea Sheppard

Be seeing you
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Re: Watermarks on DriveThruRPG books are ill-conceived

I feel watermarks are ideal in that they're a way to seeming exercise due diligence in protection against piracy that doesn't negatively affect legitimate customers -- the only way to do this, in fact.

I doubt DTRPG would have a library its size if it wasn't able to tell potential contributors "Hey, we do something to deter piracy."

I remember the bad old days of DTRPG's other anti-piracy measure -- the one that only let you open the .pdf on a registered PC. That shit was terrible. Watermarks are great.
 
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