Wizards of the Coast has notified us that we may no longer sell or distribute their PDF products. Accordingly, after April 6 at 11:59 PM Pacific time, Wizards of the Coast PDFs will no longer be available for purchase on paizo.com; after noon on April 7, you will no longer be able to download Wizards of the Coast PDFs that you have already purchased, so please make sure you have downloaded all purchased PDFs by that time.The fact that WotC/Hasbro is acting to prevent the legal sale of watermarked PDFs in an attempt to combat piracy is so stupid that my italics key just broke.
I mean, they're not just halting sales from licensed retailers, they're ceasing the publication of PDFs altogether:
Unfortunately, due to recent findings of illegal copying and online distribution (piracy) of our products, Wizards of the Coast has decided to cease the sales of online PDFs. We are exploring other options for digitial distribution of our content and as soon as we have any more information I'll get it to you.Hey Wizards, you wanted to attract the WoW crowd. Well guess what? You found them. What, you didn't think that the Wired Generation would find a way to torrent your stuff?
And now you're removing the ability to purchase your books through e-commerce (retailers of hardcopy like Amazon aside, of course). You're really gambling on this brick-and-mortar thing, aren't you? Just like you gambled on attracting more new players to 4e than those you alienated? Yes, that worked out so well for you...
Analogy time, just to drive home how dumb this is: It's like the MPAA saying "In an effort to prevent piracy of our motion pictures, we are ceasing publication of DVDs. If you want to see our movies, you have to go to theaters."
If you ever needed proof that 4th Edition was a financial failure, here it is. They're losing money, so they blame it on piracy, and then cut themselves out of half the market. If it's not a failure already, it will be soon. Mark my words.
To read more about it, go see NiTessine's blog. I can't wait to see what Geek Related has to say about this, either.