April 9, 2009

Pirates to Pay $194,950 for Players Handbook 2 PDF

Of course, the pulling of the PDF's by Wizards is all over the blogosphere and even in the news. As is the fact that this move by Wizards, warranted or not, followed closely on the tails of an indictment of 6 individuals for distributing the Players Handbook 2 via file sharing network. Thanks to Wyatt Salazar, a link was provided to Stirge's Suck where (what looks like) a copy of the legal documents filed by Wizards against the 2 of the 6 Defendants. You can read through the whole thing at the previous link, but here's the part that jumped out at me:

WHEREFORE, plaintiff Wizards of the Coast LLC prays for the following relief:
  1. A permanent injunction enjoining and restraining Defendants Nolan and Osmena, and all persons in active concert or participation with them from copying, distributing, displaying, creating derivative works or otherwise using protected elements of Wizards’ copyrighted works, including, but not limited to, Wizards’ Player’s Handbook 2;
  2. An award of damages sustained by Wizards pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504(b) and as otherwise permitted by law;
  3. An award of statutory damages pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504(c) and as otherwise permitted by law;
  4. An award of Wizards’ costs of suit, including reasonable attorneys’ fees pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 505 and as otherwise permitted by law;
  5. An award of prejudgment and post-judgment interest; and
  6. Such other relief as the Court may deem just and proper.
DATED: April 6, 2009
So, if you follow through to Title 17  and take a look at "§ 504. Remedies for infringement: Damages and profits" - and keep in mind that -- at the time of this filing the PDF's had been downloaded over 1,000 times from Scribed.com as well as god-only-knows how many times from Bittorrent or other services. These numbers translate into $34,950 (for § 504(b)) plus up to an additional $150,000 in liability for each defendant; plus legal fees.


Also... here's an example of a true knuckleheadery...
B.31. The electronic copy of Player’s Handbook 2 purchased by Defendant Osmena included both the visible watermark added by OBS with the name of “Aya Shameimaru” and Defendant Osmena’s order number at the bottom of each page and the micro-watermark added by OBS identifying Defendant Osmena’s account number. Wizards verified Osmena’s actual name and address based on his e-mail and registration information provided by OBS through use of Wizards’ own internal database.

Emphasis mine. So... One word of advice... don't go pirate stuff using the same email address you used to register at the company who stuff you are pirating. Durrrrr.....


  1. Professor Salazar totally missed that bit of boneheadedness. Thanks!

  2. Somebody is going to spend the rest of their lives paying for that PHB2... the ironic part being that the thousands of people who downloaded it for free won't pay a cent.

  3. Lawsuits are always filed with ludicrous sums. Judgment won't be anywhere near that, if anything.

  4. Not to mention that Osmena is from the Phillipines and I don't know what kind of laws they have in place to enforce American judgments.

    Even then, you can't take something from nothing.

  5. And for more reading fun, check out this thread on ENW. I guess one of the defendants thought it would be smart to "plead their case." Moron.


  6. Can a lawsuit like this be applied to fan-made gaming aids (like Monster Cards) as well?

  7. IANAL ; but copyright infringement lawsuits are different from what these pirates have done - which is more like theft. if you are reproducing cpyrht materials, hopefully you would get s C&D letter before a lawsuit.


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