Thursday, October 20, 2011

Random Fall Thoughts

I've made it to October 20th with short sleeves and no jacket, but I think I'll have to dig into the closet shortly. While it would be fun to say I made it to November 1st without putting a jacket on, I don't think it is feasible ;)

There is a difference between taking pieces of another's work, adding your own name to it and claiming ownership and making a copy of a PDF or a music track for a friend. The first one, you are actually taking claim to another's creativity - in the second case, while you may be causing a publisher a loss of potential income, in many cases, the friend would never have made the purchase anyway. Torrenting and such is a whole other level - that is organized distribution of works one does not have the right to distribute.

Yes, it's all shades of grey. I think the responsibility of a writer / publisher to produce works that don't infringe on the rights of other writers / producers is huge. Not just from a legal standard, but a moral standard too.

So, if I were asked, I'd have to say a writer / publisher that improperly uses the work of others is more offensive to me then someone who torrents the works of others. Someone that copies a PDF for a friend to peruse? On the same level as the photocopied copy of Deity & Demigods I have with Elric and the Mythos stuff that was later removed

As for using somebody else's copyrighted work in a houserules project that is staying within your group? Have at it. That's what gaming is all about.

1 comment:

  1. I'm inclined to agree. Plagiarism is intellectual dishonesty, copyright violation is merely financial.

    I'd rather have my creations copied without my permission and given away than have someone get credit for creating something that actually I did.

    Mind you, I also realize (as you allude to) that most copyright violation is not in fact 'lost sales' in that the recipient is unlikely to have bought my material anyway, so it's not like I'm out of pocket.

    Who knows, it might even make my material available to people who now will buy it, in which case I'm ahead because of the copyright violation.

    But don't take credit for something you didn't write, that's more wrong.


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