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

DVexile

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In local law under copyright and "format shifting" it says:
"You must also keep the original work. It is not permitted to make a reproduction and then dispose of the original. If the original copy is sold, traded or given away, then the reproduction must be destroyed. "

Given the high degree of commonality in copyright laws here and internationally I wouldn't be surprised if that is the essentially the same in other Western nations. That may sound like it's just to prevent reselling but disposing does include destroying.
US copyright law is, unfortunately, not so clear. I’ve noticed the UK, and it would appear Australia, have much more specific regulations.

US copyright law at present only makes specific declarations about personal copies of digital recordings and software. In those cases it does not say you can’t destroy the original, in fact the reason you are allowed to create a copy is specifically so you can still use the media if the original is destroyed. It is very clear you can’t copy and then sell or give away the original however, but destroying the original is fine.

For paper media it does not give specific direction at all. Personal copying of paper media at present largely falls under the nebulous “fair use” laws which apparently by design are not specific at all since they are largely directed at things like editorial use of excerpts, which are about the degree of use rather than absolutes. There really isn’t any specific statute on creating copies of physical copyrighted material you own since that wasn’t really the focus of “fair use” to begin with.

So in the US there is absolutely no statute that says you must preserve the original if you make a copy for personal use of a paper scenario you own. For digital media there is a part of the law that specifically allows you to use a copy even if the original is destroyed.
 

PTY

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Just discovering this thread now. Here is my take.

First of all, as the OP said, no printing cost, no shipping cost, put out a high quality, graphically pleasing PDF. No paper copies. All you need is a printer. All that is appealing.
As for cost of the issues. I intend to charge 2.00 per scenario and variable rates for the HASL maps, which will be in printable pdf that can be taken to a printer such as Staples, Kinkos etc and knocked off for a reasonable rate. For that reason, the average cost of an item from me will be lower, to allow for the fact that if it does have a HASL map, the player will have to print it. Every item that possesses HASL maps will also have a VASLized version of that HASL map included. That way the VASL players get instant gratification too and if they are a primarily VASL oriented player, they don't even need to print the map.

Now some people, who I lovingly refer to as counter fondlers, ;-) enjoy the physical product and that is all well and good. None of my products will ever include new counters, as this is not possible in this medium. However, a player in say, Austrailia or Belgium will be able to purchase my products and pay the same freight as someone in the next town over from me. I think that is a huge advantage and opens things up for the international market considerably. We in the states don't quite get what a pain it is to get this stuff internationally. Click a button then print it out and it looks pretty isn't a bad gig.

As for quality, yes, there is a lot of work that goes into all of these. If you have never been part of a design team, then you honestly have no idea. I played competitively for years, still do on occasion, but I didn't get the whole picture for what goes into it, until I tried my hand at it myself. It is a lot of work and everyone on the team really does bust it to make the product better. Why? Our name goes on it. I'm a bit old fashioned, but that definitely matters to me and really, everyone I have worked with. (Fine almost everyone, but I won't derail a fine thread).

Should that reflect in the price? Well, here is the counterbalance to that. As the profit is 100% and shared equally among the design level participants, and where this is a far higher profit margin than if you did it by print, or through a publisher other than yourself, the quality/price aspect is already being compensated for as it is baked into the business model already.

Do I think it should replace traditional print publications? No. I think there is a niche for both. I just intend to stay in my lane and work my niche ;-).
Does this mean some product is on its way?
 

PresterJohn

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Yep, laws specific to format shifting (not just format copying) shows greater effort being made to protect the rights of the copyright holder. Which is a good thing.
 

Carln0130

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Does this mean some product is on its way?
Several are in the works. Closest to completion is Best Of The Bunker. IMHO, the 20 best of the Dispatches scenarios and the 4 best articles. Reformatted with LFT's beautiful scenario card artwork, errata added. Several other projects are in the works. By several, over ten. Some are for Yankee ASL, some in conjunction with other publishers.
 

hongkongwargamer

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US copyright law is, unfortunately, not so clear. I’ve noticed the UK, and it would appear Australia, have much more specific regulations.

US copyright law at present only makes specific declarations about personal copies of digital recordings and software. In those cases it does not say you can’t destroy the original, in fact the reason you are allowed to create a copy is specifically so you can still use the media if the original is destroyed. It is very clear you can’t copy and then sell or give away the original however, but destroying the original is fine.

For paper media it does not give specific direction at all. Personal copying of paper media at present largely falls under the nebulous “fair use” laws which apparently by design are not specific at all since they are largely directed at things like editorial use of excerpts, which are about the degree of use rather than absolutes. There really isn’t any specific statute on creating copies of physical copyrighted material you own since that wasn’t really the focus of “fair use” to begin with.

So in the US there is absolutely no statute that says you must preserve the original if you make a copy for personal use of a paper scenario you own. For digital media there is a part of the law that specifically allows you to use a copy even if the original is destroyed.
Just reading thru this https://edri.org/our-work/uk-format-shifting-and-parody-copyright-laws-come-into-force/#:~:text=On 1 October 2014, new,includes format shifting and backups.

Under UK 'format shifting & parody copyright" law, is there a requirement for the "personal copy maker' to retain (ie not destroy) the original? It's not specifically stated in the above doc.
 
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PresterJohn

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Reading the UK legislation, it only prohibits the transfer of the original copyright work and keeping the copy. It might be okay to destroy the original copyright work but I wouldn't be surprised if there is a legal interpretation that upon destroying the original copyright work you also lose your entitlement to the format shiffted personal copies of that original copyright work. I don't know. It's not quite the same thing as making photocopies.
 

hongkongwargamer

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Reading the UK legislation, it only prohibits the transfer of the original copyright work and keeping the copy. It might be okay to destroy the original copyright work but I wouldn't be surprised if there is a legal interpretation that upon destroying the original copyright work you also lose your entitlement to the format shiffted personal copies of that original copyright work. I don't know. It's not quite the same thing as making photocopies.
Please let me know if you come across such interpretation.
 

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Several are in the works. Closest to completion is Best Of The Bunker. IMHO, the 20 best of the Dispatches scenarios and the 4 best articles. Reformatted with LFT's beautiful scenario card artwork, errata added. Several other projects are in the works. By several, over ten. Some are for Yankee ASL, some in conjunction with other publishers.
Looking forward to them.
 

hongkongwargamer

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Several are in the works. Closest to completion is Best Of The Bunker. IMHO, the 20 best of the Dispatches scenarios and the 4 best articles. Reformatted with LFT's beautiful scenario card artwork, errata added. Several other projects are in the works. By several, over ten. Some are for Yankee ASL, some in conjunction with other publishers.
Will "Best of the Bunker" be released under the LFT banner?
 

WuWei

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If they sell digital versions of their products, they definitely shouldn't sell scans, but a file directly generated from the original digital source!
(I presume no one still glues photos and typed text pieces on a sheet of paper to generate the scenario card.)
 

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If they sell digital versions of their products, they definitely shouldn't sell scans, but a file directly generated from the original digital source!
(I presume no one still glues photos and typed text pieces on a sheet of paper to generate the scenario card.)
Yes. All of the packs on the archive come directly from the publishers as high-res PDFs generated from source and not scans. When purchased, the user's email address is stamped on the PDF and stored online for subsequent retrieval.

Thanks to Carl, the Nor'Easter pack should be available soon, on the archive - I'm just waiting on final confirmation for everything. is now available on the archive. Thanks Carl!
 
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Carln0130

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Yes. All of the packs on the archive come directly from the publishers as high-res PDFs generated from source and not scans. When purchased, the user's email address is stamped on the PDF and stored online for subsequent retrieval.

Thanks to Carl, the Nor'Easter pack should be available soon, on the archive - I'm just waiting on final confirmation for everything. is now available on the archive. Thanks Carl!
Thank you sir.
 
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Carln0130

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If they sell digital versions of their products, they definitely shouldn't sell scans, but a file directly generated from the original digital source!
(I presume no one still glues photos and typed text pieces on a sheet of paper to generate the scenario card.)
I can't speak for other folks, but no, certainly not us. Now our playtest scenario cards, well those are in my hands, so bear skins and stone knives would be an improvement. Not the final product though, the pros handle that. ;-)
 

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I don't claim to have read every post in this thread, but I'd like to offer the following observations.

1. I think the question posed by the OP was about an e-formatted publication of original work, and not scans of same. The side issue regarding the scanning of originals is largely although not completely irrelevant to the OP's topic.

2. I don't have a problem with e-copies per se. It's another means of getting publications directly to the consumer with minimal delay, at lower costs of production, without added shipping costs, and with lower environmental impacts. That said, I believe that most jurisdictions would insist on collecting goods and services taxes regardless of the format in which a publication is sold. So if we're honest, we're mainly talking about saving on shipping.

I mention this because while most claim to be upstanding citizens when it comes to protecting a publisher's IP, few are as forthcoming with their dough when customs demands its pound of flesh. Not many people are fans of goods and services taxes, but countries with higher taxes tend to see these taxes returned to their citizens in the form of services such as universal health care, generous welfare benefits, etc. IOW, our beef with high import fees should be directed at our legislators and not at publishers. In fact, a case could be made that ASL magazines and scenario packs, for instance, should not be subject to taxes, just as books in Canada were originally not taxed. This changed with the imposition of the Goods and Services Tax in Canada. Today books are subject to a 5% GST.

3. Contrary to what others have said already, I think that some people value e-pubs less than hard copies. I know I do. And some therefore undervalue the work that has gone into creating an e-pub. I don't.

Undervaluing has at least two consequences. Some will expect to pay a lot less for an e-pub than a hard copy. And some will place so little value on an e-pub that distributing it to others is even easier to rationalize and do than scanning and reselling a hard copy.

4. Lastly, wargame collectors will invariably prefer the real McCoy. As do I. That said, I think MMP and certain TPP are missing an opportunity to earn a little on the side by making poster-quality e-files available for purchase. Even collectors might be enticed to buy the rights to have a poster made of a box, magazine, or pack cover.
 
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You actually can't do this legally, but I get the idea.

You can't copy the material then eliminate the originals...
You can if you KEEP the originals...
I doubt that. I can scan the originals. I agree, that's fair use if not prohibited. I cannot then sell or transfer the originals. That injures the copyright holder.

The question posed is whether destruction of the original harms the copyright holder. The legal concept is diluting the value of the right. If I "had" an original and did not transfer title to that original, I did not dilute the value of the copyright. Ergo, scanning and destroying the original is probably permissible as long as the copyright does not limit the ability to change the format from paper to electronic in the first instance.

For example, MMP sells e-versions of the ASLRB and certain scenario packs/magazines. MMP could state that the purchase of a paper copy of this product excludes the right of the purchaser to transfer that work into any other medium. Then, we would not be able to legally scan and retain or destroy the original. But if the limitation in scanning is not present, then I can scan and do whatever I want with the original so long as I do not transfer legal title of the original or a copy to any other person.

CAVEAT: not my area of law, not my expertise, based on my lay review of cases and general knowledge of IP from 38 years ago. Consult with your own legal counsel. This post is not legal advice.
 

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There might be some common law claim that the rights of the buyer of the published material cease to exist with the destruction of the "original" printed matter, in so far as the law applies specifically to that "original" printed version of the work which is sold by the owner of the copyright. But who would want to argue that case unless there was some monetary gain? Publication of traditional printed matter is on the decline, but those who still do so might want to ensure the value of their productions. Perhaps there is no answer until it is tested in court.
 

hongkongwargamer

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ASL items are more expensive here in Europe. It's the shipping and import taxes.

Hence this thread...............
The $132 Beyond Valor (v3) that costed £95.4 a year ago now costs £114.3 (a 19.8% increase) .. and then there are customs and shipping.
 
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