Sorry to pummel a deceased equine, but I need to bring up the topic of posting rules online. Why aren't the full-color rules for every game officially available online? This is a question to which I have never heard a valid answer, and one which annoys the hell out of me.
I am a rabid game player and collector. There are many, many more games that I am interested in--that I am currently waving large wads of cash at--that I have no idea if I would like. Sure, I have word of mouth, reviews, etc. But nothing beats a thorough reading of the original rules to convince me to buy. So what's your freakin' problem?
Yes, you have the right to copyright your rules. Yes, you have the right to prevent their dissemination. No one is saying you don't have the legal right to do what you do. You also have the right to create something and not sell it at all, but that would be equally stupid.
The law notwithstanding, there is nothing you can do to prevent the dissemination of your game rules. Anyone who wants a full-color digitial scan can get them. Someone could even say to your face that they have done this, and there's nothing you could do about it. So the reality is that by not publishing your rules online, the only people you
The Pros of Not Publishing
The only possible reason to not publish rules online is to prevent someone from making their own copy of the game, depriving you of income. I agree. This can happen, and does happen. But for every 1 person who does this, I bet at least 10 do not buy the game because they don't know that they would really like it. Again, you lose money. Zero upside.
So What Are You Saying To Us?
Do you think your game rules are like movies and music? They are not. They are a description of your game, not the game itself. Spreading the rules spreads interest; it is free advertising that nets you more sales than a full-page New York Times ad. Locking your rules in a vault has no value.
Maybe your game isn't so good, and by reading the rules up front people won't buy it? This is like the movies. You can watch previews and read all the reviews you like, but you won't know if you like it until you see it. Then it's too late to get your money back. Aha!
Is this what you are saying to us? You want our money before we can see the rules, because you think your game sucks too much to risk letting us have a peek? Why didn't you say so...
The Pros of Publishing
Everything. Period. If you don't think that publishing your game rules online is a win/win in every possible way, then you are too stupid to be in the board game business. Don't quit your day job; the bread goes on the top of the bag.