Saturday, 18 August 2012

Economical With The Truth

The case of Chapterhouse vs GW drags on.

I haven't been following matters particularly closely, mainly because the case is pretty much cut and dried, and if it is anything other than a defeat for Chapterhouse then there is little point having laws relating to property ownership. One of the points that the Robin Hood brigade have apparently picked up on is the claim that GW have not produced documents requested by the defence to prove they actually do have copyright on the stolen items. Now if Chapterhouse had produced their knock off copies before GW put them in a codex, they might have a point but as it stands Chapterhouse's lawyers are clearly intent on building a case on mitigation. The whole thing resembles a thief breaking into your house, stealing your television, and then claiming that the said item was not yours to steal because you can't produce a receipt.


What interests me more is the a subsidiary argument put forward by the Robin Hood brigade that a victory for Chapterhouse will be good for the hobby because it will generate competition, which in turn will drive down prices and push up quality.

This is standard American economic moronism drawing on the deepest roots of Republicanism (Jeffersonian, not GW Bush) and as it is tenant of religious faith it is not really worth entering into 'debate' in a forum on the matter.... so make room while I pull up the soapbox.

I do wonder on what planet the people who propose such ideas live on, and where they draw their experience to fuel this wisdom.

Leave aside commodity and energy markets (and the fact that inflation rockets in economies in which organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank enforce this doctrine) and just look at the wargames market, as a whole, (something the people making these arguments very rarely do) there is more choice than there has ever been, and that choice is increasing - how much choice do these people want? But the one thing choice has not done has affected the price of models. Indeed if anything the opposite is true. Mainly because wargames is a craft market - and the simplest way to go bust in a craft market is to sell on price.

The other thing that is overlooked is that contrary to the opinion of the interwebz the vast majority of wargamers are not 'engaged' online. Nor I suspect is the case of Chapterhouse vs GW particularly well known outside of a vocal minority. I understand the logic that says it is a waste of time GW releasing the SW wolves last year because everyone that wants them has already bought them from Mr Dandy.

The only problem with this thinking is that it is just plain wrong. Mr Dandy may have sold a few hundred, maybe several thousand, of his rather beautiful models - and made himself a weblebrity via podcasts, and made himself a few bob along the way - but to suggest that Mr Dandy's wolves will ever have any influence on the costs of the product sold by GW is just silly.

The fact is that prices are set based on the level of profit the producer is happy to accept.


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