As a slight follow up to yesterday's spleen venitng, I have found that I have just a tiny bit more.
Now that we know that Wizards of the Coast has beaten the terrible PIRATES OF TEH INTARNETZ, we can all breathe safe knowing our hobby has been saved from having free copies distributed to people who either horde them obsessively or actually use them to play.
Wait a minute! I "accidentally" googled "D&D Torrents" and got 147,000 hits. Lessee here, a 20Gb torrent containing every single book in print, all 1E, 2E, 3E, and 4E....all the green ronin stuff...Kenzer & Co....Necromancer games...hell, they even have scans of the dungeon tiles and poster maps!
So what is stopping me. Notice it's not a question. What is stopping you? (that one was). I'll tell you what is stopping you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodwill_(accounting)
It is the knowledge that doing so would harm the company that makes the things that you support and like. It is the emotional investment, that as a FAN of the product, represents the sum total of all of your time spent and houserules made.
Piracy is a fact of commercial life. Having once been a design/QA department head that worked directly with a Shenzhen manufacturer, I can attest to the low prices for product. Problem is, your manufacturer lies. For every 1000 scaffolds they built for us, they also built 250 more (using our steel) to sell under their own brand name in direct competition. Their government loves it, so it was unproveable. It was a fact of life.
Wizards needs to suck it up. I bought books BECAUSE they were from their people. I bought books BECAUSE they were D&D specifically...And now? I don't know. Despite the "illegality" of downloading their books, the penalties are laughable. So now we are back to goodwill, how much do YOU have left?
IF you are feeling like me, you have noticed Paizo and White Wolf are both having sales...decent sales. If you are like me, you also noticed that they are also available as torrents. Oddly enough, there isn't even a temptation. Figure that one out Wizards, and you win.
Also, RIP Dave Arneson - You seemed like a cool guy, you get the benefit of the doubt. Where are the Fracking horny chinchillas when you need them? Steve Jackson is waiting.