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  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
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    Default Pipeline - Mar 20, 2012

    New iPad in hand, Augie takes it for a test comics-reading spin and
    finds much to be excited about with the best digital comics reading
    experience he's ever had.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    New Member uthor's Avatar
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    "Do you like effectively renting comics?"

    Sure, if I'm paying the cost of renting them. $0.99? Yeah, I'm kinda okay with that. Cover price? No way.

  3. #3

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    I also have a new iPad and tried out the Comixology update this morning. I downloaded one issue that I already "had the rights to," and while the quality was excellent, I did notice that the file size jumped from 12 MBs for the standard-def version to 80 MBs for the CMX-HD version for that one issue. That's quite a jump. And not in a good way.
    Last edited by Samurai32; 03-20-2012 at 03:33 PM.

  4. #4
    'r@ma refugee artiepants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uthor View Post
    "Do you like effectively renting comics?"

    Sure, if I'm paying the cost of renting them. $0.99? Yeah, I'm kinda okay with that. Cover price? No way.
    hellz-to-the-yes. I only buy comixology issues when they are on sale. Plus, if a mini series (like Iron Man/Thor which was on sale a week ago) totally blows, your only into it for $4 -vs- a $15/16 trade... .99 should really, really be the standard for back-catalog material (more than a few years old)

    and i will never, ever, ever pay $4 for a digital 20 page comic.

    ============ Just say "NO!" to $4 books. ============

  5. #5
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    I too got my new iPad and agree with everything you said. I love it! I also only buy comics at .99 cents and won't pay full price. I did, however, make the decision to shift my collection of all Vertigo comics printed on non glossy paper (Fables, Hellblazer, Fairest) to iPad and collect them one month behind for a dollar cheaper. It's my "toe in the water" to "same day as print" digital collecting. Like you I won't go all the way there until the whole rent/own issue is solved.

  6. #6
    Ben L FunkyGreenJerusalem's Avatar
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    Are we renting the comics from Comixology?

    The words 'Buy' and 'Purchase' are clearly used when a transaction takes place, and those words have very different meanings to the words 'rent' and 'lease'.

    Unless they've redefined the words in their small print - and how binding if it is if they did? - then I'm not sure they can take them back without refunds.

    My view is, I've bought those comics, and if they take them off me, I will, for the first time, pirate those comics, and leave it to the companies to try get them back off of me.

    I'm intrigued to see the new ipad's resolution, but I doubt I'll upgrade until the next model - the ipad2 does just fine with comics at the moment.
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  7. #7
    Digital Reader NCatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyGreenJerusalem View Post

    My view is, I've bought those comics, and if they take them off me, I will, for the first time, pirate those comics, and leave it to the companies to try get them back off of me.
    This.

    If they ever "revoke" my ownership, I'll just "pirate" them since I already own them. But seriously, I LIKE the fact that Comixology is storing them in the cloud for me. I ever lose the file, just redownload to my device. Plus, they can upgrade the file to higher resolution. Ever had a publisher mail you a new higher quality printing of your floppy for free?

  8. #8
    X-Gene Positive cookepuss's Avatar
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    That's Comixology. What's the situation with Marvel's own digital app? Do they offer you a method for you to back up your purchases offline or would I have to look for some way to do it on my own? It'd be nice if they could offer us a CBR/CBZ sort of download. If I can't actually own my comic then I shouldn't be charged cover price. When I go to my LCS, I'm not paying to buy a license to read the comic. I'm paying to own my comic. Making us pay full price for digital, yet preventing us from actually owning them is an unacceptable business model. I know that they're concerned about piracy. I'm just not sure that keeping customers from actually owning their comic purchases is going to be an effective deterrent. Marvel could go out of business today and I'd still own my copies of X-Men and Avengers from the 60s. Should that happen and my iPad dies then so does my digital collection too.

    Quote Originally Posted by NCatron View Post
    But seriously, I LIKE the fact that Comixology is storing them in the cloud for me. I ever lose the file, just redownload to my device.
    Playing devil's advocate here, but what happens if the cloud is no longer an option? Weirder things have happened.The world moves fast and tech changes constantly. In my 38 years, I've seen the world go from almost no computers to the near total digital conversion of our day to day lives. Fast isn't a strong enough word for how the tech world evolves.

    Wouldn't you like a localized copy of your comic that isn't dependent on 1s and 0s floating in the ether? Just because I have a copy of my screenplay or whatever on my main hard drive doesn't mean that I don't want to store it on a USB stick or DVD elsewhere for safe keeping. The more options you have to back up your data the better. Don't trust the big brother in the digital sky to have your best interests at heart.
    Last edited by cookepuss; 03-20-2012 at 07:42 PM.

  9. #9
    Digital Reader NCatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookepuss View Post
    That's Comixology. What's the situation with Marvel's own digital app? Do they offer you a method for you to back up your purchases offline or would I have to look for some way to do it on my own? It'd be nice if they could offer us a CBR/CBZ sort of download. If I can't actually own my comic then I shouldn't be charged cover price. When I go to my LCS, I'm not paying to buy a license to read the comic. I'm paying to own my comic. Making us pay full price for digital, yet preventing us from actually owning them is an unacceptable business model. I know that they're concerned about piracy. I'm just not sure that keeping customers from actually owning their comic purchases is going to be an effective deterrent. Marvel could go out of business today and I'd still own my copies of X-Men and Avengers from the 60s. Should that happen and my iPad dies then so does my digital collection too.


    Playing devil's advocate here, but what happens if the cloud is no longer an option? Weirder things have happened.The world moves fast and tech changes. Wouldn't you like a localized copy of your comic that isn't dependent on 1s and 0s floating in the ether? Just because I have a copy of my screenplay or whatever on my main hard drive doesn't mean that I don't want to store it on a USB stick or DVD elsewhere for safe keeping. The more options you have to back up your data the better. Don't trust the big brother in the digital sky to have your best interests at heart.
    Because, as I said, there's always the "piracy" backup out there readily available. You're more likely to lose your floppies to a house fire or flooding. (devils advocate too!)

  10. #10
    Ben L FunkyGreenJerusalem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookepuss View Post
    That's Comixology. What's the situation with Marvel's own digital app? Do they offer you a method for you to back up your purchases offline or would I have to look for some way to do it on my own?
    Marvel's digital app is powered by Comixology - it's the same, but only has Marvel comics on it.

    Should that happen and my iPad dies then so does my digital collection too.
    I'm not sure why Marvel would take the comics back if they went out of business.
    They may not sell them anymore, but why take them back?

    Playing devil's advocate here, but what happens if the cloud is no longer an option?
    Then presumably, comixology would use something else to store them.
    I've got the files for mine in the app, and can also read them off their website.
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  11. #11
    X-Gene Positive cookepuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCatron View Post
    Because, as I said, there's always the "piracy" backup out there readily available.
    Not an option.

    For one thing, what you're talking about tends to involve P2P sharing and that inherently implies criminal copyright infringement since you become part of an illegal distribution chain. You might legally own a print copy, but that actually doesn't mean that you have a legal right to make or obtain an extra copy without paying for it. It violates the fair use exemptions of most copyright laws. You also can't legally resort to self-help, especially when the method used is itself illegal.

    For another, ISPs will very soon be taking a hard line stance on copyright infringement. Starting July, in fact. They're going to be using a 3-strike graduated system where each noted offense generates and even bigger response than the last. Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner, & a bunch of other ISPs are ganging up on this issue.

    Being able to illegally download a digital backup of your print copy won't be an option in time. ISPs are catching up with the tech and are going to crack down hard. So much of their traffic probably comes from illegal downloads and I'm sure that's part of what's motivating them on their end. When P2P ceases to be an option then you have to start looking back at the publishers to step up and do what's right by the customers.

    That "piracy backup" option is going to go bye bye in due course. Napster was good while it lasted too, but even it saw its day in the "free for all" sun come to an end.

    You're more likely to lose your floppies to a house fire or flooding. (devils advocate too!)
    25+ years and counting on my print collection so far. Will you be able to say the same thing for digital copies stored in the cloud? How do you even know that it'll exist in 30 years? I know, in my own hands, I can take steps to make sure my print collection is around for the next 30 years. I've got no control over the state of those off-site servers and storage centers we call the cloud. It's all about control. Who should have control over your property and purchases? Do you trust big brother or do you trust only yourself because you're the only one who can "do it right"? I'd rather bet my money on me. I don't trust any faceless organization to have my best interests at heart.
    Last edited by cookepuss; 03-20-2012 at 08:16 PM.

  12. #12
    X-Gene Positive cookepuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyGreenJerusalem View Post
    I'm not sure why Marvel would take the comics back if they went out of business.
    They may not sell them anymore, but why take them back?
    They wouldn't. However, if Marvel or Comixology went out of business then that means that the services they provided would be terminated. That could very well include access to those servers from where you're retrieving your digital copies. It's impossible to believe that the company would outright die, yet their services wouldn't. If Microsoft or Adobe were to die today do you think you'd have future access to their activation servers? Not likely. Marvel or Comixology dies and your digital purchase would probably die with them, unless some other company purchases the rights to the data management.

    Then presumably, comixology would use something else to store them. I've got the files for mine in the app, and can also read them off their website.
    And if Comixology dies too? Not impossible.

  13. #13
    X-Gene Positive cookepuss's Avatar
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    For the record, I've had bad experiences with online activation, DRM, and all that jazz before.

    I bought a few apps that required online validation from activation servers. The companies went under and my investments in their software went kaput with them. Once my OS needed to be reinstalled or my HDD had to be replaced, I was out of luck - able to reinstall the software, but unable to reactivate it.

    To lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars for software you supposedly paid for hurts. The companies are greedy and conspire to keep you from true ownership. Nonsensically, they're combating piracy by penalizing the legitimate consumers. We have to start saying "no" to licensing our content and "yes" to being able to continue purchasing it. Licensing is not ownership. Companies are stacking the decks in their favor at the expense of consumer rights.

    For years, I've been warning my fellow artists that tolerating the practices and policies of companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk, and their ilk are going to eventually come up and bite them in the ass one day. We're paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to own nothing. Would you pay $4k for a piece of software that would become worthless with the demise of the developer? What if they took that choice away from you. You need the software to earn a living. They know it. You'll accept whatever terms they put forth because you like to eat. They control the product you need.

    With comics, Marvel & Comixology are dictating the terms. Once print eventually dies, you'll have to jump through whatever hoops they put in front of you to continue your hobby. They control the product you want. If a print comic is your wife, til death do you part, then a digital comic is a trip to the strip club, look but don't touch.

    Where does it stop? How would you feel if you paid money, but no longer actually owned...
    ... your bed?
    ... your TV?
    ... your dog?
    ... your clothes?
    ... pictures of your kids?

    Imagine, for you religious types, if you had to pay money to license your bible as a pay-per-pray sort of deal?

    Just imagine how wills would be handled. You'd leave your kids or grandkids nothing when you died because you never really owned anything. When my grandfather died, we got his record collection. Can you imagine trying to pass down an iTunes account to your grandkids? I'd imagine that, in this brave new world, there would be so much you couldn't pass down because certain licenses prevent transfer of ownership on digital goods. Estate law is going to be a bitch in the future.
    Last edited by cookepuss; 03-20-2012 at 08:56 PM.

  14. #14
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    So, this is probably a silly question, but does Comixology work with cbz or cbr files that I already have? I have quite a few digital files on my hard drive - I'd be able to upload them and view them on the new iPad, right?

  15. #15
    X-Gene Positive cookepuss's Avatar
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    You don't need Comixology to do that. You could use PDF Reader, which comes in a free lite version all the way through a $10 Connoisseur (pro) version). The free one reads CBR and CBZ just fine. You just have to upload the files through iTunes.

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