Should Third Party Producers sell scans of their product rather than paper copies?

lluis61

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Pandemic has taught new ways to all of us. Years ago I wrote Dave Mareske at Kansas City ASL asking about buying the last March Madness pack. The kindly answer was polite and appreciated, but the shipping costs were so huge that, to make it fairly expensive, I needed to conjure four ASL'rs wanting to buy the pack in one shipment. Then came the no FTF tournaments period and the people making the March Madness packs opted for selling PDFs, lacking the opportunity to bring the packs to tournaments. I'm been very happy to regularly buy the March Madness packs PDFs at ASL Scenario Archive since then. Same price, no shipping, no customs dues, no delays. About the quality of printing them, I'm the one who decides; and I have them there to print again if battered, stained, chewed or just ripped by a furious opponent ;)
 

Paul_RS

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THIS

I mean ... Jezussss .. the number of times I hear people going over and over about how pretty (or not pretty) the counters are and/or the production value of the map etc etc.

YOU ARE BUYING METICULOUSLY RESEARCHED SCENARIO DESIGNS WITH CAREFULLY WORKED OUT INTELLECTUAL CONSTRUCTS.

You are not swapping money for colored cardboard here .. well, you shouldn't be anyway, not at our intelligence level.
Might be time to take a chill pill. ;)
 

Paul_RS

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Charge the same for a PDF as a paper scenario pack. From my European POV it's the shipping and taxes that make the products unorderable from overseas.
There 2 10 scenario packs from different TPP for sale in the U.K. at the moment one costs £15.95 the other costs £38. Excluding postage. something ain’t right.
 

hongkongwargamer

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There 2 10 scenario packs from different TPP for sale in the U.K. at the moment one costs £15.95 the other costs £38. Excluding postage. something ain’t right.
True. They all should be £38. Cartel style oligopoly pricing is the only way to go!
 

pensatl1962

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In my opinion, all scenario "cards" could be electronic and I'd be happy with that. I'm going to scan them all when I get them anyway. In fact, for a recent move from Atlanta to Pittsburgh, I tossed away "binders full of scenarios" (all of which were already scanned as PDFs). Downsizing is very liberating. Of course for core modules and HASLs, we need physical counters and map sheets, but not the scenarios and rules (e.g., eASLRB!).
 

JoeArthur

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In fact, for a recent move from Atlanta to Pittsburgh, I tossed away "binders full of scenarios"
Jim Bishop has done the same when moving to Germany. He scanned everything he could and threw all the paper out.

He buys paper copies of the new stuff, scans them, then shreds them.

Hearing that was one of the reasons for starting this thread...............
 

Stewart

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He buys paper copies of the new stuff, scans them, then shreds them.
You actually can't do this legally, but I get the idea.

Charge slightly less for the e-Versions. BUY whatever form of Cardstock you enjoy. NOTE: the New HL scenarios are Fine as HELL...they feel REALLY good in the hands...

Some like the eVersion for obvious reasons. AND it will give MORE profits to the TPP and less to the Shipping!! Thus MORE money to buy other eVersions. It's as simple as that.

YES paper is like GOLD, but cmon...pass on that Starbucks tomorrow morning and your first break....that'll go a LONG way in your paper costs.
 

JoeArthur

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You actually can't do this legally, but I get the idea.
I'm not sure about that. Seems legal - but I am no lawyer.

If asked where the scans came from you just produce the purchase receipts for the scanned products? Or scans of those :D

Probably also depends where in the world you are?
 

lluis61

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You actually can't do this legally, but I get the idea.
Yes, you can. You have paid for the product, so the private use is free for you. You cannot distribute copies to another persons, for free or charging money for it, not even if that money is the printing cost. It's your copy and your personal use is unlimited. Take in account, for instance, that the MMP stuff in Wargame Vault is downloadable unlimited times. I have my eASLRB in all my electronic dispositives (four PCs and a tablet); but of course all the copies are watermarked with your name, to prevent foul play. But, personal use? If you want to write an AAR in the back of the privately printed scenario and preserve all the scenarios you have played in a binder, you're free to do it, as you paid for the product and is your personal use.
 

DVexile

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You actually can't do this legally, but I get the idea.
It’s perfectly legal (in the US at least). Once you buy it you can do anything you want with it as long as you don’t redistribute it. Scan it, burn the original, reprint your scan to wallpaper your ASL themed breakfast room. Fair use of copyright is well documented online if you want to learn more.

As to the original topic, I actually presently have been avoiding VASL simply because I’m on screens enough already and am lucky to have close by FtF players. So I’m a cardboard pusher at the moment.

That said I see significant value in PDF distribution of scenarios and other publications:
  • PDFs never go out of stock. Buyers don’t have to pay stupid E-Bay prices for OoP stuff that of course gives the creator no profit. Creators don’t have to make hard decisions about reprinting and carrying inventory and instead reap a more steady income stream.
  • No shipping costs (shipping in general costs as much or more than printing the cards at home does).
  • PDFs are searchable.
  • Errata easily incorporated over time.
  • Carry thousands of scenarios, articles and rules on a single tablet. Sure, print what you know you need for a given session, but everything is at your fingertips if something comes up during a game.
I am a new player and having the Annual and Journal bundles available as PDFs at very reasonable prices is a godsend to me and gives MMP profits instead of E-Bay hawkers.

Having picked up Vic’s collection of Dispatches as PDFs it seems to me the issues after the switch to PDF are actually better and more meaty than the earlier issues. I’m guessing that is because without the constraints and costs of physical printing an author can run a bit more wild on a topic instead of being given a column and a half to fit in.

Anyway, as others already said, each vendor has likely made their choices based on what works best for them.
 

pensatl1962

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Yes, you can. You have paid for the product, so the private use is free for you. You cannot distribute copies to another persons, for free or charging money for it, not even if that money is the printing cost. It's your copy and your personal use is unlimited. Take in account, for instance, that the MMP stuff in Wargame Vault is downloadable unlimited times. I have my eASLRB in all my electronic dispositives (four PCs and a tablet); but of course all the copies are watermarked with your name, to prevent foul play. But, personal use? If you want to write an AAR in the back of the privately printed scenario and preserve all the scenarios you have played in a binder, you're free to do it, as you paid for the product and is your personal use.
Yes, thank you.
 

daveramsey

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So, the obvious thing to mention here is that there are 16 digital packs available on the archive - mostly from the March Madness set and a few from ESG and Break Contact. I'd love more TPPs to get in touch and sell more through there, and I'm trying to talk to MMP about it, too.

The reality is we all have almost 5 foot of cupboard space taken up by 7 folders worth of scenarios that we've bought - and I've often thought of going down Jim's route of scanning everything but the challenge was how best to search, store and archive these scans. You need a back-up, you need to be able to find scenarios by name, by publisher, by pack name and, ideally, you need access to them when you're at your friend's house, too.

So, of course, the scenario archive (for me) is the answer, but that doesn't help anyone else - unless I'm able to do something amazing. Think Spotify for scenarios. Access to any scenario at any time, and you pay a small monthly fee which goes to the scenario publisher. Hopefully we can get some support for it - I think it's a cool idea, and the platform would work.

Any thoughts?
 

Grumblejones

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So, the obvious thing to mention here is that there are 16 digital packs available on the archive - mostly from the March Madness set and a few from ESG and Break Contact. I'd love more TPPs to get in touch and sell more through there, and I'm trying to talk to MMP about it, too.

The reality is we all have almost 5 foot of cupboard space taken up by 7 folders worth of scenarios that we've bought - and I've often thought of going down Jim's route of scanning everything but the challenge was how best to search, store and archive these scans. You need a back-up, you need to be able to find scenarios by name, by publisher, by pack name and, ideally, you need access to them when you're at your friend's house, too.

So, of course, the scenario archive (for me) is the answer, but that doesn't help anyone else - unless I'm able to do something amazing. Think Spotify for scenarios. Access to any scenario at any time, and you pay a small monthly fee which goes to the scenario publisher. Hopefully we can get some support for it - I think it's a cool idea, and the platform would work.

Any thoughts?
And Grumble Jones for free on the ASL Archive.
 

Carln0130

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So, the obvious thing to mention here is that there are 16 digital packs available on the archive - mostly from the March Madness set and a few from ESG and Break Contact. I'd love more TPPs to get in touch and sell more through there, and I'm trying to talk to MMP about it, too.

The reality is we all have almost 5 foot of cupboard space taken up by 7 folders worth of scenarios that we've bought - and I've often thought of going down Jim's route of scanning everything but the challenge was how best to search, store and archive these scans. You need a back-up, you need to be able to find scenarios by name, by publisher, by pack name and, ideally, you need access to them when you're at your friend's house, too.

So, of course, the scenario archive (for me) is the answer, but that doesn't help anyone else - unless I'm able to do something amazing. Think Spotify for scenarios. Access to any scenario at any time, and you pay a small monthly fee which goes to the scenario publisher. Hopefully we can get some support for it - I think it's a cool idea, and the platform would work.

Any thoughts?
Dave, you do have the original Nor'easter Pack, correct? The second one was published through LFT, so I can't offer that one. If Xavier reports that it has sold out, then I would, but even then, would want to check first to make sure he was not considering a reprint. The original though was PDF from the get-go. Please let me know.
 

von Marwitz

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So, of course, the scenario archive (for me) is the answer, but that doesn't help anyone else - unless I'm able to do something amazing. Think Spotify for scenarios. Access to any scenario at any time, and you pay a small monthly fee which goes to the scenario publisher. Hopefully we can get some support for it - I think it's a cool idea, and the platform would work.

Any thoughts?
I find the ASL Scenario Archive being among the few most important and valuable websites for the ASL hobby.

A 'Spotify' for scenarios? It might have some merits, but my personal opinion?

No.

Why?
I just hate the idea of regular subscription fees.

Further questions would arise:
  • Who 'owns' the scenarios?
  • Do you pay for the 'right to use' them, but in the end you personally 'own' nothing in the legal sense (insta-death of the idea for me if the final result is payment without any legal ownership of purchased product just like with a paper original)?
  • Could you download scenario PDFs in such a model?
  • Could you do so without limits?
  • If so, what happens if people pay the subscription for a couple of months, then take their time to download the PDFs of ALL of them?
von Marwitz
 

Stewart

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Yes, you can. You have paid for the product, so the private use is free for you. You cannot distribute copies to another persons, for free or charging money for it, not even if that money is the printing cost. It's your copy and your personal use is unlimited. Take in account, for instance, that the MMP stuff in Wargame Vault is downloadable unlimited times. I have my eASLRB in all my electronic dispositives (four PCs and a tablet); but of course all the copies are watermarked with your name, to prevent foul play. But, personal use? If you want to write an AAR in the back of the privately printed scenario and preserve all the scenarios you have played in a binder, you're free to do it, as you paid for the product and is your personal use.
You can't copy the material then eliminate the originals...
You can if you KEEP the originals...
Otherwise, you just copy scenario packs and sell the originals...OH WAIT...that's never been done.

I've printed pages out of the RB online....NO WATERMARK was printed on them.
All you need to do is increase the bottom margin just a tad.
 

Stewart

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  • If so, what happens if people pay the subscription for a couple of months, then take their time to download the PDFs of ALL of them?
von Marwitz
Most subscription services allow this but then state end of contract terms means no copies are to be kept.
 
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