Nothing about my downloads have been about protest - and I appreciate you guys and gals not totally trashing me like you did Percy - it's rather been that downloading allowed me to re-enter a market I could not otherwise discover because of where I live, etc. But as to the whole "I" thing, isn't that how successful ventures develop? By listening to what the consumer wants, and by meeting them as close as possible? Even iTunes eventually dropped most of its DRM business (which I've never really had a problem with, but then again I was a musician and regularly didn't make money off of the music I recorded). I totally agree that the "I" as protest and justification for downloading is hollow - true protest should be abstinence (e.g. vote with your dollar and with word of mouth, not by consuming the same thing without paying for it). And really, I've always been amazed that boobs are inked in remarkable clarity but those guys in tights - my wife complains that she never gets to see the goods.
Finally, it is no one's RIGHT to read comics, it's a privilege purchased or granted by the creator or owner. That's what the people who walk in and say "the current system sucks so I steal" need to understand (and I acknowledge this point as well).
I regret that things have worked out as they have, but I'm not sorry that, for example, I read the entire Sandman run digitally and then bought all the books (and got someone else to as well). Would I be held accountable in a court of law for uploading (seeding?) Yep. Did I rip the producers off? Nope. I don't profess to be the norm or to speak for others who download scans, but I will say that many of the people I know do in fact buy what they like for the very same reasons - a dollar bill (or Euro, etc) is a vote to a company.
The Z-Cult FM story continues to unfold. Today, they announced they'll remove all Marvel torrents in seven days and have adopted a 30 Day policy for new DC torrents for the time being.
I can muster some respect for someone who admits they download though they know it's wrong on some level.
Those who claim to do it as a form of protest or in an effort to force the medium to adapt? Not so much.
Slow as it is to do so, I think the comics industry is well aware of the need to adapt to meet the advancement of technology and the new distribution methods this opens to them.
"A true friend stabs you in the front." - Oscar Wilde
I've never heard anyone in real life (as in, not online) say they download as a form of protest, or any similar excuse. People download because they can.
It's quicker, more efficient, and infinitely cheaper than the old methods. Which is why it's not going away.
Honestly, to solve this problem, all Marvel and DC have to do is research the methods of these digital comics and comic scan programs, and find a way to make profit off of them by showing them on the internet. No, not on a .cbr file (cause then the theifs will still be able to distribute them), but on the internet.
Heck, use the format done for the Heroes comics, or the Smokin' Aces comics.
Cause lord knows that the scan products are WAYYY better than that digital crap Marvel uses.
"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."
- Stanisław Jerzy Lec
this is the point-of-view of a person in brazil:
first of all, not all american and/or global and/or indie comics get published/translated here in my country. granted, panini cornering the market has actually augmented the number of things published here, but it's mostly a wider circle of the same. so, for me to be able to read comics from the golden or silver or even rarer issues from the recent past, it is virtually impossible to do so without its being virtual.
in the states and other countries, where the comics market is big and old, it's easier to find quarter or dollar bins...or comics in libraries and in car boot sales. we don't have this here. we don't get collected editions or mega super big colour-less editions with all those gems from the past.
AND your money (despite it's current fall) is still worth 1.7 times ours.
this is what i don't do: i don't download current comics; those, i buy (either in portuguese -- the ones i don't REALLY follow -- because they are published here and are cheaper...or by importing (the real wonderful ones which i follow monthly)..........i sometimes buy tpb's as i plan on doing with countdown.... and i buy the artistic graphic novels).
one consideration to try to further this discussion, or maybe complicate it: the object which we are discussing itself.
while being a good, a commodity to buy and sell, produced massively in industrial proportions, by "factories" of workers who churn out the product...it has an artistic and aesthetic side to it. And, to what point can art be mercantilized to that point?
i understand authors and artists need to make a living, but aren't people entitled to artistic pleasure and isn't art a facilitator for the betterment of man? shouldn't all comics lovers be working hard to popularize the medium itself (which is shrinking as a market force and becoming basically a base for the launching of new tv and film franchises)?
should this medium be so massively dominated by such few companies and their exclusive desire for profit?
i would be more vocally anti-torrenting if the digital model were: our big writers and artists making their comics for the companies who were selling them digitally and cheap. that way i'd be able do buy/download older and rarer marvel-dc stuff for down-to-earth prices.
the siti nurhaliza fan club.
There are places such as http://www.pullboxonline.com/ and http://eyemelt.com/ which offer comics in pdf and cbz/cbr formats for purchase.
I think Marvel partially went with the flash based subscription method because it is "easier". With a subscription method you only have to charge each user either once a month or once a year. The pay per download method can be costly in terms of credit card fees and bandwidth fees.
The flash method also frees them up from having to deal with DMR since the user doesn't get a file of the material.