I just don't understand something

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It that must no... It that must not be named's picture
I just don't understand something
I know someone who bought the EP rules pdf for 15$, which I see as a good price. Now he's telling me I can have a copy, and shows me this "license" that says he can share the pdf and the creators say it's OK. I really can't understand the economics of this, and I hate to seem a little dense maybe, especially since I usually score pretty damn high on IQ tests, but it seems to be that the creator is saying "Go ahead and fileshare this!" and I just can't understand how that could possibly be their actual intent. It seems like economic suicide. I'd read through a friend's copy and am fairly impressed, although I admit that the critics do have a point re typos and grammar in places. I would say it was worth 15$ for the pdf easily and it was a remarkably low price, now I hear that you don't even have to pay that. Can someone just clear up what this all is supposed to mean? How do the creators stay in business telling people they can give away copies if that's what they're saying? I almost feel like I have to buy a copy of the pdf after reading a friend's and seeing it's like less that 4 cents a page for the PDF. I think I'll buy the pdf as I feel 15$ is an incredibly fair price for it even if I don't have to, unless the creators want you to take a free copy and buy the expansions. IF that's their wish/intent I'll honor it. I almost feel like someone is trying to create some new economic model here, like ones mentioned in the book, and I'm not quite certain if they're really trying to or how it's supposed to work in reality. Someone want to explain things a little here?

"I learned the hard way that if you take a stand on any issue, no matter how insignificant, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it." -Jesse "the mind" Ventura.

It that must no... It that must not be named's picture
Again, the feeling I seem to
Again, the feeling I seem to be getting is the creator is letting people have the rulebook more or less in the hopes that they'll buy the follow ups. Hmm, ok, if that's what they want, fine, I'm seriously thinking about getting the companion already and I haven't even really looked at the rules/chargen yet. This just seems to be like some weird experiment in some new economic/marketing model...

"I learned the hard way that if you take a stand on any issue, no matter how insignificant, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it." -Jesse "the mind" Ventura.

Aleksander Aleksander's picture
Creative Commons

Hey :)

Authors of the EP are indeed, creating the open-source economic model, but they're not the first! There are lots of free (CC or GNU/GPL licencsed) stuff on the net, like music on Jamendo (google it!), vector cliparts, games, and even operating systems (Linux!). As an amateur photographer I share my photos for free, and anybody is permitted to use and share them, as long, as I'm mentioned as the author of them.

It's called open-source movement and it's spreading on the net, as information is basically copiable infinity number of times without loss. I hope it'll success, as closed economy is going to fall in the world of free information :)

And as to the EP itself, I think that authors are going to make most money on hardcovers, as some people just don't like reading on a PC screen. Their price is quite high (at least I think so), but they're totally worth it. PDFs are meant to eliminate the hypocrisy, when a group buy one book, which is kept by MG, and read pirate versions online for the rest of the players. We should remember, that most of PDFs available in shops like DTRPG are on 4hared and rapidshare, too.

So, with that EP devs made a great and brave step forward, promoting their book (people like us talk about it and recommend it to their friends!), and showing us, that open-source model is a good business one :D

If You really like it, You can buy EP for $15 showing Your support to this idea. I've already done that, and I'm going to buy a hardcover, too :)

The Fnords The Fnords's picture
The distribution of EP under
The distribution of EP under the creative commons license isn't just a nice thing to do, it also gives the game and the authors significant good karma among a large number of internet groups. "Here, take this, pay for it if you want" is the ultimate try-before-you-buy. It's also showing a bit of savvy in the way things often happen: New games and supplements are often leaked onto filesharing networks, but if you embrace instead of alienating that crowd you have a larger number of people who like the company behind the game, and thus more people who are willing to buy the game, or pay for the copies they have.

If you don't see the fnord, it can't eat you.

Cardul Cardul's picture
I admit...I have gotten
I admit...I have gotten Yo-Ho-Ho'ed copys of PDFs before when I was uncertain about a game. They were my "What is this like?" I got them, and if I liked them, I bought the book. If I did not, well...that is what they make the Trash Bin in Windows for.

It is also a cool thing, as, I can share the game with my players right now, without feeling guilty. Since, right now, the only way they can get it is through PDF, or borrowing my copy of the book...
Admini Admini's picture
You have players? *Jealous*

You have players? *Jealous*
Cardul Cardul's picture
Try being a little friendlier
Try being a little friendlier to people, Admini ;) I mean, seriously..your post spam today has been just a WEEEE bit abrasive feeling. (like when you accused someone of cheating, when what they were saying was actually fully within the clarifications elsewhere on the forums as posted by the lead developer!)
Admini Admini's picture
Sorry Card. You're right,

Sorry Card. You're right, I'm an abrasive person. I'll try to rein it in a little.

Apologies as well to giblfiz@gmail.com, I suppose I meant to say "cheating the system", and even that was probably too harsh. (But I still think those clarifications need clarification.)

But I'm not short of players because I'm mean, I'm short because most of my players don't want to play in a new setting and learn new rules. They just want me to keep running D&D 3.5, like I have been.
It that must no... It that must not be named's picture
Well, I'll admit that I've
Well, I'll admit that I've gotten some game stuff from "Saucy Mare software" (I dare you to try placing that reference!) but I have bought and paid for a copy of EP to show my support for the game and the concept behind it.

"I learned the hard way that if you take a stand on any issue, no matter how insignificant, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it." -Jesse "the mind" Ventura.

It that must no... It that must not be named's picture
BTW, some people are still
BTW, some people are still claiming that the fileshare is a beta version on a SFRPG board. I'm trying to refute that.

"I learned the hard way that if you take a stand on any issue, no matter how insignificant, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it." -Jesse "the mind" Ventura.

Admini Admini's picture
I bought the book at GenCon

I bought the book at GenCon and pirated the pdf. I feel like I did enough.
Cardul Cardul's picture
I bought the book at Gencon,
I bought the book at Gencon, AND bought the PDF off of Battlecorps! ;)
jackgraham jackgraham's picture
Yup, we would like you to pay for it.
Thing is, digital media mean that we cannot stop people from pirating it, and any attempt we might make to do so would be completely ineffectual. I could hit up piratebay.org right now and download not just our game, but almost every popular game in the industry. The RPG industry is not the music industry or Hollywood. We don't have an army of lawyers to go after people, and there is no evidence that that approach works anyway. Hollywood and the music biz have made examples of a few people unlucky enough to get singled out, yet their product still gets pirated like crazy.

Instead, we're appealing to something that's hopefully much stronger: your desire for a good game. Download it. Read it. Try it out with your players. If you enjoy the writing, if you're loving the art, if you like playing the game, then pay us for it. If we make enough money (and right now it seems like we're on the right track to do so), we'll keep making more of the game. If we don't... we won't. Sorry, game designers gotta eat, too. :)

That said, I personally would rather see one GM buy the book and all of their group pirate it so that they can have a campaign, than for that campaign to not happen at all because the players aren't sure they want to pay the startup cost. Free distribution removes a barrier to people adopting the game, and in the long run, that helps us. If you're playing, you're part of our community... and likely a future customer, even if you didn't pay to get the book the first time around.

Also, doing things this way forces us to make the best product we possibly can. No one's ever going to have to buy an EP supplement with lousy writing or art just to get their hands on some vital piece of info they need for their character or campaign. We can't ever afford to make a lousy supplement, because we know that under this model, people won't have to buy it. (And I don't know about you, but as a gamer, I feel ripped off when I have to buy a substandard book to get game info I need).

I think it's important to understand that this isn't just some crazy notion Rob & Brian had. This is the way things are headed across all media. You can't fight this change, and virtually all writers, musicians, and filmmakers will face it in the coming years. We as creators of content need to learn how to work with it. And those of you who consume our content need to recognize that if we don't at some point get paid, we'll stop making it and instead do something else where we can make a living.

But it's really up to you, because at the end of the day, people can file share our book whether we like it or not. So what's it worth to you? You don't have to decide right now; finish reading the book first. Then decide whether you want more Eclipse Phase, and do what's in your conscience.

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!   http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham
It that must no... It that must not be named's picture
Well, my POV, and yes I know
Well, my POV, and yes I know "THE LAW!!!" doesn't agree, is that if you buy the book you're entitled to the PDF as a way of saving the book from wear and tear, and of printing out the material you own to take to conventions to run games with. Nice thing with PDF, you can just print out a few pages of rules and take that to a con with you instead of lugging big, expensive, heavy book and risking same. Yes, I know the law says otherwise, well, I don't care. :p So if you buy a game book and see a PDF on a network, while it may still be illegal to down it it's not wrong, AFAIC. You paid for the book, you have a right to an electronic backup. The law is written by and for big businesses, not people, and therefore people have little obligation to it.

"I learned the hard way that if you take a stand on any issue, no matter how insignificant, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it." -Jesse "the mind" Ventura.

The Doctor The Doctor's picture
You might want to consider...
...creating a case study on the Creative Commons wiki for Eclipse Phase.
It that must no... It that must not be named's picture
Well, I did buy the PDF,

Well, I did buy the PDF, which I guess puts as much $ in your pocket as buying the rulebook, so I can look you in the eye without shame.

I've also tried to help by giving EP honest reviews on RPGGEEK that were largely favorable as it's a good piece of work, typos aside.

So, FWIW, at least some people are in there swinging for you and your nobel experiment in new economics.

"I learned the hard way that if you take a stand on any issue, no matter how insignificant, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it." -Jesse "the mind" Ventura.

It that must no... It that must not be named's picture
Hallelujah and praise be! I
Hallelujah and praise be! I finally entered a message and didn't have it all squashed into one paragraph! Thank you, user who uses the handle "puke", if you come over to rpggeek I'll give your some geekgold for the help!

"I learned the hard way that if you take a stand on any issue, no matter how insignificant, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it." -Jesse "the mind" Ventura.

puke puke's picture
happy to help
happy to help
Cardul Cardul's picture
Well, we also see what
Well, we also see what happens when a big company tries to fight Piracy:
Wizards of the Coast has stopped and banned all PDF production of their
products. Yeah, they claim they will make them available on their own
site....but who really believes that?

Honestly, I think this approach to combating piracy is novel. Pirates
get their kicks, after all, in "fighting the man!" and "information
wants to be free!" By doing this, you actually kick those pirates in
the nuts. I mean, what is the point in pirating and disseminating
something if people WANT it distributed? There is no "illegal thrill"
in "depriving those bastards of their stolen moneys!" I like it!
Admini Admini's picture
Pirates get their kicks,

Pirates get their kicks, after all, in "fighting the man!" and "information wants to be free!"

And in saying "Arrrr".
Taleran Taleran's picture
Not to mention this gives
Not to mention this gives people in not very good locations a jab at it, me and my friends do this so we can try things before they hit our local gaming shop, and if we continue playing it we try to eventually buy it.
Iv Iv's picture
Re: Well, I did buy the PDF,
It that must not be named wrote:
I've also tried to help by giving EP honest reviews on RPGGEEK that were largely favorable as it's a good piece of work, typos aside. So, FWIW, at least some people are in there swinging for you and your nobel experiment in new economics.
What is funny is that you can even do more according to the licence : correct the typos and share this version. I'll try the game and buy the harcover if I intend doing anything with it. I think the authors are giving a try to this reputation economics thing. They know that the interesection between free-licenses geeks and RPG geeks is big and try to get some credit through it. That's how you play it ! Hope it will cash out in the end.
Grabula Grabula's picture
Re: I just don't understand something
Quote:
I think it's important to understand that this isn't just some crazy notion Rob & Brian had. This is the way things are headed across all media.
I think this shows a solid understanding of where technology is leading us. The game itself is a solid nod to the creators abiliy to understand the import of emerging and even theoretical tech, but in the 'real world' this sort of marketing scheme shows some real comprehension of the challenges of print media these days. I'm a mostly honest person who understands the need to support the hobby where I can. It doesn't mean I haven't downloaded the occasional PDF. 9 out of 10 times I do it to decide if I really want to invest in the hard copy. I personaly prefer hard copies of games I'm going to be running or playing in and I also try to keep the use of computers to a minimum while running a game, if only because inevitably people begin checking their email, facebook or playing videgames while waiting for other players to do stuff. It takes away from the game so it's nice to have the hard copies laying around. It is however nice to have an e-copy to read say at work, when things are slow. anyway, a nod to the intelligence and foresight of the catalyst crew on EP, and I look forward to paying full price for hard copies of all EP related products...and occasionally free pdf copies to accompny them :P
RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Re: You might want to consider...
The Doctor wrote:
...creating a case study on the Creative Commons wiki for Eclipse Phase.
This is a great idea. Anyone want to volunteer? Don't think I can get to it anytime soon.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: You might want to consider...
Doc are you still creating the case study? Searched for EP there and couldn't find it.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: You might want to consider...
I need to start on it. I was going to e-mail the creators for some information that is necessary for the case study but work and an emergency kept me from doing so in previous weeks. Gentlefolk, would you mind if I did so soon?
RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Re: You might want to consider...
Sure thing, just let me know what info you need.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

chrisweuve chrisweuve's picture
Re: Yup, we would like you to pay for it.
"That said, I personally would rather see one GM buy the book and all of their group pirate it so that they can have a campaign, than for that campaign to not happen at all because the players aren't sure they want to pay the startup cost." Thank you -- someone who finally gets it! chrisw
Cardul Cardul's picture
Re: Yup, we would like you to pay for it.
chrisweuve wrote:
"That said, I personally would rather see one GM buy the book and all of their group pirate it so that they can have a campaign, than for that campaign to not happen at all because the players aren't sure they want to pay the startup cost." Thank you -- someone who finally gets it! chrisw
Heck, even tossing around teh PDF to my group makes it easier, as then, one does not need to have a hardcopy of the book for every player(and, two of my players have lap-tops!)
PhantomBlack PhantomBlack's picture
Re: I just don't understand something
Actually, i got the PDF first, read through some pages of it, and bought the bound hardcopy straight, because it's a good setting and decent game. EP being published as a pdf under CC licence is IMO a real good idea, because it makes the game available and new players can check it out before they spend their money on it.
Paradox Paradox's picture
Re: I just don't understand something
All I can add is that it worked on me. I loved the PDF, so I bought a hardcopy with hard cold cash.. And then I told everyone I knew about the game. That's not bad marketing.
The suspense is terrible. I hope it'll last. from The Importance of Being Earnest, Act III by Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]