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> making copies of the history section, is it ok to help newbs?
Mordrid Soud
post Jun 1 2007, 12:14 AM
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I was wondering if it was illegal to make copies of the history section in the book to hand out to potential players to help them get a handle on what the SR universe is like. I have a few people who seem interested, but know jack about past. As there are no stats listed, and as I only have one book and don't want to lend it to everyone who may be interested in playing. If it isn't legal as of yet, who should I contact? I think it would be great if a pdf was put together that could be donwloaded, and printed.
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Demerzel
post Jun 1 2007, 12:17 AM
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My first impressions is that yes it would be illegal.

Try some of the other dumpshock sites and print information from the sixth world wiki for example. There are free resources, which may not be conviniently compiled, but are availiable.
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Kyoto Kid
post Jun 1 2007, 12:43 AM
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...I would think if it were for your campaign and you were providing the information free of charge to your players, there would not be a copyright issue.

Of course, given how pesky lawyers can be, I could be wrong.

...then again, I've always sided with with Dick the Butcher...

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

--King Henry the VI Pt II Act IV Scene 2
:grinbig:
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Backgammon
post Jun 1 2007, 01:20 AM
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Why ask? Who's going to know? You think Wizkids is going to send goon squads to your house?

As long as you're not mass distributing them or selling them, who cares.
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Demerzel
post Jun 1 2007, 03:11 AM
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Well, you'll note he didn't ask if anyone would care, he asked if it would be illegal.

It is an owned intellectual property. Permission has not been granted to distribute whole sections...

When it comes to theft of any sort I'm somewhat of an ass about it, and that includes intellectual property violations.
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mfb
post Jun 1 2007, 03:52 AM
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well, you could always just link them to the official introduction/timeline at srrpg.com. it only covers up to 2060, so you'll have to fill them in on the events of the second Crash and whatnot, but it's still a nice primer.
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sunnyside
post Jun 1 2007, 04:43 AM
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You can also use that and just set things in 2060 or earlier especially if you have the older books. Just use SR4 rules (and put comlinks in whatever decade you play. Wireless works SO MUCH BETTER in games)
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Cain
post Jun 1 2007, 05:17 AM
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If you look on the bottom of the character sheets, you'll notice a line that says: "© 2005 WizKids Inc. Shadowrun® is a Registered Trademark of WizKids Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Permission given to photocopy for personal use." Nowhere on that line does it say that they mean the character sheet exclusively. In fact, since it referrs to Shadowrun as a whole, it implies permission to photocopy the entire book for personal use. This argument was sufficient to sway the guys at Kinko's to attempt to print out my pdf, so it should settle your conscience.
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mfb
post Jun 1 2007, 05:29 AM
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i'm not an expert on copyright law by any means, but that sounds pretty flimsy. i mean, it doesn't say that the permission only extends to SR, either--you could actually read that as giving permission to copy anything ever written, since it's not even specifically limited to WizKids properties. granted, WizKids doesn't actually have that permission to give, on anything except the stuff they've got rights to, so at worst it only allows you to copy any WizKids property for personal use.

lawyers are just min-maxers who forgot how to have fun.
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psykotisk_overle...
post Jun 2 2007, 11:35 AM
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If you however look at page thirteen of SR4 you will find:

QUOTE
Copyright© 2005 WizKids Inc. All
Rights Reserved. Shadowrun, Matrix,
and WK Games are registered trademarks
and/or trademarks of WizKids,
Inc. in the United States and/or other
countries. No part of this work may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted in any form or by any
means, without the prior permission in
writing of the Copyright Owner, nor be
otherwise circulated in any form other
than that in which it is published.


On the other hand, no one will care if you photocopy the history in order to introduce your group to shadowrun, you're not making money by doing it, neither are you distributing it to the mass public.
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Abstruse
post Jun 2 2007, 01:47 PM
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Technically, yes, it is illegal. However, there is zero chance of you getting in trouble for it unless you get in trouble for something else and the DA wants to fluff up the charges. The fact of the matter is that intellectual property theft is more of a civil offense than a criminal one and it would have to be WizKids that sues you. Unless you're posting entire books on torrent sites or charging for photocopied rulebooks at conventions, odds are they won't bother because they're not losing any money.

If you want to feel better about it, go to their website and print out the copy they have on the website. Or just send the link to your players.

So to answer the question...yes, it is illegal but no one's going to care. Technically, these forums would be illegal as would most of the material on dumpshock except for things specifically authorized by WizKids. However, pursuing that sort of thing would be shooting themselves in the foot. Yes, let's alienate our customer base by shutting down the website they're putting hours upon hours upon hours of work into just to support our products! Doesn't stop some companies from doing it, but it's horribly bad business sense.

The Abstruse One
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Cain
post Jun 2 2007, 03:49 PM
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QUOTE (mfb)
i'm not an expert on copyright law by any means, but that sounds pretty flimsy. i mean, it doesn't say that the permission only extends to SR, either--you could actually read that as giving permission to copy anything ever written, since it's not even specifically limited to WizKids properties. granted, WizKids doesn't actually have that permission to give, on anything except the stuff they've got rights to, so at worst it only allows you to copy any WizKids property for personal use.

lawyers are just min-maxers who forgot how to have fun.

Oh, I agree that it's not the most solid of arguments, but it does referr to Wizkids properties alone, and Shadowrun specifically. And like I said, that line was enough to persuade the guys at Kinko's to print out my pdf (although that's another horror story for another day). They were going to refuse, when I pointed out the line.

QUOTE
If you however look at page thirteen of SR4 you will find: <snip>

If that's the case, not only is it illegal to print out a pdf for your own use, it's illegal to keep a copy of the pdf unless you've got written permission from Wizkids! And since Fanpro wrote the book, they can't even hold copies for themselves without an affadavit. I know I don't have written permission to keep the pdf on my computer, which means every electronic sale on DriveThru is illegal.

Unless you take the line in the back as "written permission", the entire thing gets very silly, very quickly.
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mfb
post Jun 2 2007, 03:57 PM
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well, the key phrase there would be "nor be otherwise circulated in any form other than that in which it is published." so you can store it (because it was published in an electronically-storeable format), but you can't transmit it, etcetera. DriveThru has written permission to transmit electronic copies.
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OneTrikPony
post Jun 2 2007, 04:49 PM
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What If I change and distribute SR3 material to my players. (not that I have any players but hypotheticly) SR3 is still owned by someone right?

I've been updateing the Contact's section of MJLBB to SR4 stats. I'm directly copying the fluff text from the PDF and pasteing it into a word document then I'm using the listed stats and gear to develop an SR4 stat block for each NPC.

If I run a F2F game I'd planed to email the word document with the copied text and converted NPC stats to my players. I also really like the Vehicle conversions that I found here and I'd planned to use those too.

From reading this thread it seems to me that that might be Illegal.
Im not worried about the legality so much as I'm worried about doing damage to Rob, Adam and Synner. Would I be takeing food off their plates?

QUOTE
On the other hand, no one will care if you photocopy the history in order to introduce your group to shadowrun, you're not making money by doing it
It seems to me that the point is more one of who's not makeing money.
When you're trying to get a player into the game it's unreasonable to expect someone to buy the book before they've tried it. "you might like this so pay your 35$ admission fee and you can try it." On the otherhand it pisses me off when someone has been playing for several sessions and still expects to borrow the core books.
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Abstruse
post Jun 2 2007, 05:58 PM
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Hey, to some people $35 is a lot of money.

To your question about 3rd Edition...YES It's still owned. Yes, it's still illegal to copy and distribute it. This is the same for 2nd and 1st edition stuff as well. If someone owns the intellectual property (IE it's not public domain), then it's illegal to copy or distribute it without permission.

The Abstruse One
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coolgrafix
post Jun 3 2007, 09:00 PM
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Photocopying 5 or 10 pages of the book as a handout to players it a perfect example of what's called Fair Use.

Check it out here.
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coolgrafix
post Jun 3 2007, 09:09 PM
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Additionally, it's important to keep this sort of thing in perspective. Let's just say that it WAS illegal. What would happen? The absolute worst case would be that some WizKids/FanPro/InMediaRes lawyer would issue a cease and desist letter asking you to stop and threatening legal action if you don't. Talk about things to NOT be concerned about.

It's not worth anyone's time to track down some kid who's handing out 10 photocopied pages of a book to people he is playing the game with. This is also all beside the fact that's in their interest for him to hand out those pages to his players.
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Abstruse
post Jun 4 2007, 12:19 AM
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...especially since it's information that's mostly available completely for free on the company website...

The Abstruse One
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Mordrid Soud
post Jun 4 2007, 11:04 PM
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Wow, thanks to all for the imput. While I agree with most of you that the 8 or so pages wouldn't be a big deal, and that the worst that I would probably recieve is a cease and desist order, I have this nack for defying the odds of others being reasonable. In other words, with my history of luck (or lack there of), I would be the one who wiz kids decided to make an example of. I am trying to get some sort of "official" response from them on this matter with the ultimate goal of them making available a pdf with an up to date history run down. I will let you know what they say.
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Jaid
post Jun 5 2007, 12:31 AM
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you're never gonna get an affirmative response from them. it's something that simply won't happen. now that you've asked them, they probably have to either legally tell you no, or risk their copyright's integrity, as i understand it...
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JongWK
post Jun 5 2007, 01:15 AM
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Mordrid, no one is going to send in the Game Police if you photocopy a few pages (especially when most of that information is already available on SR's official website).

Now, what was your address again? :P
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coolgrafix
post Jun 5 2007, 02:34 AM
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Somewhere Adam is laughing outloud, wondering why we're still talking about this.

In any event, if you are concerned about the pages in question, try this instead. In case you weren't aware of it.

Also, Knasser has some good stuff here and a PDF version of it here.
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