Daily Archives: August 12, 2010

Enormously stupid moves

A small game company by the name of Die Cast Games, Inc. has released the module pictured to the left. Anyone with more than 2 brain cells will immediately see what is wrong here. Using “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” in big lettering is bad enough, then just to rub more mud in the sleeping dragons face, he uses “TSR”, then to top it all off the cover uses a style similar to the modules TSR used in the 80′s. This idiot is begging to be sued for trademark violations. This is such an enormous violation, I can not see how Wizard of the Coast (WotC) can not be forced to act. The fact that it will be against this company does not bother me, the web page has a huge logo on all their pages, which looks bad and shows a lack of basic web site design and layout skills. If their web site is any clue as to the quality of the product, it is probably not worth the $12. What bugs me most about this is he may bring down others with them. The Old School Renaissance (OSR) depends at least a little bit on the continued good will of WotC and when they release the horde of lawyers, WotC may start smacking around at anything which looks even vaguely infringing, forcing legitimate companies and individuals defend themselves in court.

On the other hand, it is very possible he actually wants WotC to bring the hammer down on him. If he gets a Cease and Desist (C&D) letter from WotC and pulps the whole run, he can play martyr, he can be a hero of the revolution so to speak. I see two ways to profit from this, first, people will buy at least a few of his other products simply as a show of solidarity and second, who is to say he pulped the whole run, perhaps a few escaped and make their way to ebay selling for 10 times the cover price. I am certainly not saying this is definitely what he is up to, but it sure seems to me judging from some of the authors comments on Dragonsfoot and Knight & Knaves that he is almost hoping to get a C&D.

The Tiered Internet

For me, on the surface of this issue, it should be easy for me. I should be adamantly for net neutrality. However, to me, this does not seem like a black and white issue. On the one hand I use the Internet for a fairly narrow group of tasks, web browsing, email, online banking, blogging, pretty basic stuff. I seriously doubt any of these services will be greatly impacted by a tiered Internet. On the other hand, I also do not want to be banished to a 3rd tier ghetto either as a content provider or as a content consumer.

Tiered Internet Pros: TANSTAFL, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Everyone pays for what they use one way or the other. If I pay for tier one access, I do not have to worry about all those WoW players clogging up my bandwidth during peak hours, I am guaranteed a minimum threshold at all times, day or night. Third tier access will be paid for by ads in much the same way broadcast TV is so even the poor will have some access to the network. Content providers who want premium access to consumers are free to pay for it, otherwise they can do as they have always done and allow ads on their site to finance their access.

Tiered Internet Cons: Have you been to a ghetto ? If you have you will notice something very interesting, there are no bookstores or clothing shops, but there are plenty of liquor stores, payday loans and casinos. This is most likely what the third tier of the Internet will like. When I look at other tiered services, such as cable TV, I don’t really like it very much. With cable TV I have to buy 20-30 channel package to get the 2-3 channels I actually want. With cable TV I still have to watch the same crappy ads I have to watch on broadcast TV. The worst part of it is there are no alternatives, I can’t switch to another cable provider because there isn’t one, its Time Warner or nothing. Does anyone really believe the tiered Internet will be any different ?