6/19/2015

Rant: "Stealing" RPGs

Rant: "Stealing" RPGs
I really don't like getting on my soapbox here on the Frugal GM blog and have only done so once before. Usually I save this for my personal blog, but like last time it belongs here.

I've spent over three years now trying to contribute to the larger RPG community in a specific fashion. Time will only tell if I'm either getting traction or just spinning my wheels, but I do this for the love of the game....most any game....and because I get some small measure of gratification out of it.

I've been blessed to get to know like-minded individuals and some folks within the game (specifically RPGs) industry and while I know some of them are financially well-off, it sure as hell wasn't because they made a killing off of writing & publishing. Sure some do make a living at it, but the majority just get by like most of the rest of us do. Life tends to ebb and flow, filling in to take up all the resources (money, time, & energy) that are available to it. My assumption is that most people do what they do in life for one (or both) of two reasons: it gets them by or they have a passion.

Little infuriates me more than when I see people ripping publishers off simply because they can*.

Recently I was doing a little web research for something I was working on and BAM!...right on the 1st page of Google, hell it was the 1st fricken result!...was a "free" copy of the game. Some yahoo had gotten a copy of the game...maybe he bought it or stole it from somewhere else...and put it up on his wiki-based website.

Seriously....I don't understand how people think this is OK?! I could maybe understand if you were placing a purchased PDF in your Dropbox or Google Drive for you own use, but to share it openly with the world. At best this is stealing at worst.....I don't even want to think of that.

I'm probably just as PO'd because I feel guilty by association because I did click on that file to see what it was.....I downloaded several legit files while I was at it. Now I have deleted the offending RPG sourcebook, but not before capturing the name and order number so I could send that information off to the publisher to let them deal with it.

I get that some publishers might push their price-point up to recockulous amounts and others might want way too much for way too little. That should never justify disseminating their work for free. If you can't afford to buy the game, then don't play that game. If you just don't want to pay the asking price for a game, then wait for a sale or try a trade....borrow a buddy's copy or put together a lending library...anything but stealing or, obviously worse, disseminating other's work unauthorized for free. Just because the product is in an electronic format and not a physical product it doesn't make it any less valuable....less expensive maybe....

I can get off this now...
A year or two ago I had this happen to me...and I was pissed. The rub for me was that it was a friend giving my work away, and it was already free to begin with! I wasn't being hurt financially, but it greatly reduced my exposure and simply hurt my feelings. I'd have given this guy a copy of the product to specifically give away on his site with the simplest of requests. Since I don't think there was any malice intended I'm not holding a grudge....any inferred grudge is probably due to my overall opinion of the subject.


*Sheep and people lying to me are on this short list....