Tuesday, September 1, 2015

RPGNow's Offensive "Offensive Content Policy"

RPGNow's take on censorship

OneBookShelf/RPGNow/DriveThruRPG can take a flying leap into a pool full of razor blades.
Here's the email I sent to some poor support personnel of theirs in response to their new policy, that allows random users to flag titles on their sites as "offensive", and get that title suspended from sale.

"I received a troubling email today, informing me that OneBookShelf companies will begin censoring products that are flagged as "offensive."

I want to go on record as a customer who will immediately delete my RPGNow and DriveThruRPG accounts the split second that a single title, ANY title, is censored in this way on your sites. Even if it's a product that I don't personally like. 

Quite frankly, it has always been easier, and free, for consumers to pirate copies of the titles sold on your sites. I maintain my accounts in order to financially reward the creators for their efforts. The moment that you turn against those creators, ignoring the First Amendment in favor of a few mewling crybabies, is the moment that you have lost my business forever. If they don't like the product, no one is forcing them to buy it. Why on earth should they be able to censor its existence on a marketplace?

I'm sure that I won't be the only person whose business you lose should you continue down this cowardly path."

Here's the post from OneBookShelf about their new policy. Their CEO, Steve Wieck, makes some fine points about people pushing the envelope. I don't care about any of those points. Censorship is censorship is censorship. You censor, you lose my business. Period.

MonkeyBlood Design made the brilliant comment: "Seriously, why not have an offensive flag as well as adult content. Job done, no arbitrary vetting, no capitulation." Which sounds like a happy compromise to me, but we'll see how things turn out.

So, guys, who wants to start up a competing digital content sales site that has no problem with "objectionable" content? Looks like we'd be getting a lot of business in the near future...