Wizards of the Coast announced in a press release yesterday that pirates from the United States, Poland and the Philippines have been affecting the sales of the Player's Handbook 2 which has been available in filesharing sites.
They have filed lawsuits against 8 individuals who have allegedly bought digital copies of the book and posted them up on the filesharing sites for free.
President of Wizards of the Coast, Greg Leeds have said that such acts of illegal distribution is hurting not only the company but also the gaming industry and community.
“We have brought these suits to stop the illegal activities of these defendants, and to deter future unauthorized and unlawful file-sharing.” he said in the press release.
As a result of this awareness to pirated PDFs circulating around the webs, Wizards have immediately release an order to online PDF retailers to withdraw all D&D PDFs, including products that were released under TSR.
This was posted on the main page of DriveThruRPG and RPGNow,
Wizards of the Coast has instructed us to suspend all sales and downloads of Wizards of the Coast titles. Unfortunately, this includes offering download access to previously purchased Wizards of the Coast titles. We are in discussions with Wizards about their decision to change their approach to digital sales of their titles and will post more information as we have it. If you would like to let Wizards know your opinion on offering D&D titles for download, we suggest the D&D Message Boards found here.
Paizo has send out emails to notify their customers that they have until 11:59PM Pacific Time on April 6 to buy any new PDFs and noon on April 7 to download any PDFs that have been purchased.
A source from Wizards of the Coast also says that this cessation of PDF sales has nothing to do with the new Internet Sales Policy that was supposed to be unveiled yesterday and that new distribution options are being explored for their content.