Saturday, January 30, 2021

Petty Gods Update

So late on Friday, January 29, 2021 I received an email from Lulu.com informing me my account had been deleted because Expanded Petty Gods contained material that was in violation of someone else's copyright. Of course, this came too late for me to contact anyone before the weekend (as if I have ever in the last 12 years been able to contact anyone directly from Lulu.com). And, of course, they did not include the complaint itself, so I have no idea what the claim is in regards to. After all, Expanded Petty Gods is a massive thing (even by old-school gaming standards), and it could seriously be anything (so much art, so many entities that could raise IP issues, etc.). I honestly and truthfully did my best to vet all the content, and tried to err on the side of caution in every instance where it was even questionable. 

Most of you have seen the book, so you understand what a daunting task this was. 

Restarting at Lulu.com for other titles will be a PitA, but not a major setback. Losing my DriveThruRPG status, on the other hand would be akin to taking a critical hit from 10d10 fireball and failing my saving throw. So, in order to preemptively protect my DriveThruRPG account from similar censure (please understand, I have had no complaints there), I've retracted Expanded Petty Gods from the site, and deleted the related files). It will no longer be available from DriveThruRPG. 

For now, consider Expanded Petty Gods in print a collector's item, and the PDF version something relegated to the "sharing community." 

BTW, I do have one copy of EPG left in my cache, if anybody wants to trade it for a copy of Deities & Demigods that includes the Cthulhu Mythos.


12 comments:

  1. WOW ... Do you mean "Suspended" or "Deleted"?

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  2. It was a great work and I do hope it comes back. Keep us posted if Lulu gets back to you; because if they are non communicative about it that is a BIG chilling effect for self publishing.

    Good thing I got the print version right when it came out!!

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  3. Well damn. I'm glad I have 2 copies and multiple copies of the PDF scattered across my hard drives. . .

    And my college has a copy in the library now, so that's cool.

    That said, like you, I am interested in what, exactly, the copyright complaint is about and whether there is any validity to it or if is just someone who contributed to the project who is now having second thoughts (six years later) or something like that.

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  4. I am pretty irritated at this, as it was one of the few remaining in print sources that Mona was published in. Most of her work was in periodicals that went out of business decades ago.

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  5. Yikes. I was just checking my to-buy list of products from Lulu yesterday, as I placed an order, and was surprised that your works were gone. One search engine maneuver later, I come to this post. A shame. I have EPG in PDF form, but alas, I did not yet have it in print. Dang.

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  6. I noticed that the file on DriveThruRPG was updated in my account. What were the changes?

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    Replies
    1. It was deleted. There’s no interior anymore.

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    2. Huh. Because when I downloaded it, the complete file was there.

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  7. Hi Richard, I tried to find contact info for you on the site but no luck. Could you please e-mail me so we can chat about your various products. Would love to buy a few. My best email is tdrucis@verizon.net.

    Best, Tom

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. This does raise a valid point on censorship though. While Lulu is well within their right to pull a product for any or even no reason, a respectful process would have been to suspend the specific product and contact the publisher with the specifics of the complaint. Giving the publisher an opportunity to address the situation would put lulu in the position of arbitrator of a dispute instead of just playing the part of a autonomous executioner.

    With what currently looks to be a "black box" process, what's to stop people from using fallacious claims to shut down competition? ABC Inc is competing with XYZ Corp and makes a made up copyright allegation against a competing XYZ product. Lulu mindlessly deletes XYZ's whole account without investigation or consultation and ABC has free reign to target their next competitor. Doesn't sound like a workable long term situation to be honest.

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  10. Lulu has been screwing up a lot since yhey revamped their site a while back. Sad to see Petty Gods print edition availability gone, glad I have a copy already.

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