November 2010

Piracy “Doesn’t Matter”

I’ve said that “piracy doesn’t matter” several times, and people like to argue with me about that. Of course, it’s a phrase said for effect. Piracy matters, but: publishers can do little to influence piracy. Giant conglomerates like the RIAA, MPAA, and BSA are incapable of stamping out commercial and non-commercial piracy. Does such an organization exist for publishers? I don’t know, and I don’t care.

(As usual, when I say piracy, I mean non-commercial duplication of content without paying for it. Commercial piracy is a whole different ball of wax that is harmful, but not something that I personally encounter in my industry.)

Piracy doesn’t matter because we can’t stop it, and we can’t control it. If you can’t control it, it’s a waste of time to worry about—so I worry about the things I can control and influence:

  • Improving my books so people want to buy them.
  • Building titles in formats that people actually use.
  • Marketing and distributing my works to new venues.
  • Empowering existing fans so they want to and can more effectively share the love.
  • Continued business practices focused on respect for our markets, partners, and customers.
  • Not vilifying pirates; no use making enemies out of people that might become or are already customers. (You would be surprised how many people comment on torrent sites using handles that they use on other sites … including the publisher’s own site.)

And that’s just off the top of my head, big-picture things. Plenty to work on, productively, with actual measurable results; and an ongoing learning process towards producing and selling Better Stuff. Stuff that matters.

Bite-Sized Fate

Over on RPG.net, there’s a thread discussing TheMouse’s “bite-sized” explanation of Fate. Several people have made 1-page (front and back) pamphlet-style versions of his condensed rules. My rough take on the idea is here:

http://adamjury.com/files/BiteSizedFate_Nov22_2AM.pdf

(if I update this file, I’ll just update that link and post a note. For now, I’m asking that people don’t distribute/mirror the file—please link back to here, and people can grab the most up-to-date version.)

My Friends and Their Kids

I went out for dinner with a couple friends last week during NeonCon, and on the walk back from the restaurant, the discussion turned to their children. Both of them have a couple kids, some of them old enough to have started gaming. The discussion went back and forth until one of them said “Whoah, we’re probably boring Adam, sorry dude.”

And I said, essentially: “Hell no. Your kids are an important part of your life, and I am your friend. Therefore, I want to and need to hear about your kids.”

And that needs to be repeated loud and clear for my many other friends who weren’t walking down the hallway of the Tropicana at the time: I don’t want children of my own, but I want to hear about the cool, funny, and wonderful things your kids do, and that you do together.

The happiness I see in my friends-who-are-parents is wonderful and most Wacky Kid Hijinx amuses me—especially when they are roughly 4-8 years old and get really quotable, IMO.

I’d prefer to still hear about you, too—I don’t want my friend replaced by my friend’s child—but alternately I also don’t want my friends to fade away because they feel they can’t talk to me about an important part of their life.