Page 1 of 9 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 123
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    136

    Default Question about illegal comic book downloads

    This a general sort of question, I couldn't find the General forum, Classics seems to be the closest thing.

    Please give me your opinion of these two activities :

    Activity 1 :

    Downloading comics scans and not paying for them. Reading the downloads. Noting the ones I like. Then going out and buying the actual trades or comics (I don't consider digital comics a "real" collection).

    Activity 2 :

    Reviewing a comic that I have on my site and using images from a free download instead of scanning my comic.

    Before you give your opinion, let me justify these activities. For activity 1, it ensures that I only have comics I truly like in my collection which saves me both money and storage space. For activity 2, why scan something that's already been scanned?

    What do you think?
    Check out my take on the Legion here . . .

    http://www.comicsrecommended.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jolly Mon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,483

    Default

    Both are copyright infringement, if by "free" you mean unauthorized, pirated scans. So I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you looking for reassurance that it's ok? Obviously you won't get that from the comics companies.

    In scenario 1, you justify it by saying you're doing it to ensure you only buy comics you like. Ok, but you're still reading who knows how many comics for free, and not buying them because you don't like them well enough. Kind of like you're getting the benefit of the product for free, then putting it down because it's not good enough. Sure, you save money, but any sort of theft will save you money.

    Scenario 2, I guess is not so bad, because you're only cutting out the work of scanning the comics you already have. Hard to condemn, but the one who put it online is still a pirate.
    One lab accident away from being a super-villain

  3. #3
    Senior Member Polar Bear's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    College Park, MD
    Posts
    1,240

    Default

    I commend you, Argon, for having the integrity to even care about such a question.

    Now, these aren't my final answers; I'm kind of thinking out loud--or rather, thinking out ... visible. Anyway, for #1, if you're reading the comics and noting which you don't like, I'm not so comfy with that. However, if you're essentially browsing them, as you would in a physical store, reading 3-4 pages and giving it the once-over, I'm more comfortable with that. The people were (as Jolly Mon said) wrong to put them online, but you getting benefit from the writers/authors without paying them isn't just. That said, I'm uncomfortable even associating with the torrent uploaders; I'd rather go to a store and hold some books in my hand, talking to the retailers or other customers.

    Regarding #2, I'd lean against it. I certainly don't see anything in the "for" column except convenience, which tends to be a very bad way to craft a moral framework.

    My guideline for the moral life is to avoid looking at what's permissible and instead look at what's the most good, what will actually make one increase in virtue.

    Since we're talking about this, how about sites like Distractions of the Groovy Kind, which regularly posts stories, or even entire comics, from the 1960s and 1970s? It's not a torrent site, but I have previewed--ok, I've read--stories there, mostly to decide whether or not to add them to my want list. Is that site's act moral, and is my previewing/reading stories there moral? The author has the following fine print at the bottom--is it sufficiently exculpatory?

    Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

    All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

    As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!
    Last edited by Polar Bear; 12-07-2012 at 10:42 AM.
    Anyway, it is cool for you to acquire acrimony of crumbling time on blast this website.
    --best spam ever

  4. #4
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,857

    Default

    As to the first one, buying entertainment is not a guarantee you will like it. You don't get to pay for your ticket to a game only if the team you root for wins, you pay to attend the game, you don't get to go to the theater and only pay if you enjoy the performance, you pay to see the show and whether you like it or not is irrelevant to the entrance fee, you don't get to pay the cover charge after you have checked out the bar to see if you like it, you pay to get in, and in that vein, you are supposed to pay to read the comic and decide whether you like it or not. You are paying for the product to read, or display, or archive or whatever, but you are paying for access to the product. You may read it for "free" at the library but it is still being paid for out of the pool you and other citizens paid into tax revenues. Piracy is theft. Reading a comic someone else has pirated is receiving stolen goods.


    As for the second point, there are fair use laws for copyrighted material for reviews. The law applies to legitimate copies of the work in question. Pirated scans are still stolen goods and use of stolen goods is not a copyright issue, its a theft/property issue so fair use laws don't apply.

    There are comics put out there the author does gratis just so people will read them (the plethora of web comics come to mind), but the decision is the author's not the readers. If an author or owner of the work permits the distribution of the work for free, it's fine, if the owner objects taking the product anyways is still piracy/theft. Since most creators and publishers have objected to piracy and "free" distribution in this manner, they are not consenting to it, and so taking their product without paying for it is theft. RIght of first sale laws ensure that I can resell copyrighted material after I use it if I do not wish to retain possession of it. I may not get as much as I paid for it back, but then that is part of paying for the use of the item.

    Where there is gray area for me now is where the commodity is completely digital. I have no problems if consumer A buys a product and gives it as a gift, donates it, or passes it on after they are done using it. Actual possession of the product changes with the giving. If I buy a digital product though and give it as a gift or pass it on, I can still retain possession of it, so the question is am I still giving it away or am I illegally distributing it? Or products that come with both physical and digital copies. If I buy the product can I keep the physical and give away the digital or vice versa? Can I buy the product and keep the digital copy and then resell the physical product via right of first sale? However these assume I paid for the product and its use to begin with, not acquired an illegal copy of the product (i.e. stolen property) initially.

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  5. #5
    Kicking the hornet's nest Jezebel Bond's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3,086

    Default

    If I buy original comics from eBay, the original publisher does not make a penny, even if the book commands a huge premium over its original cover price. So should I really pay hundreds of pounds for an original copy which will go to some opportunist who sells comics for some quick cash? (sorta like me, the frigging irony)....

    I've read books using a cbr reader and in a number of instances, got the original books after (like the whole PunisherMax run, about 75 issues). But I bought these comics for 1/3 cover price and the cash went into someone's pocket, not Marvel...have I commited a crime?
    1 Kings 21:23

    And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Shawn Hopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3,235

    Default

    These are my opinions on the matter.

    "I will consume this whole thing, then only pay you if I like it," is not generally the way purchases are meant to work.* The problem is that there are many people who would be happy to never pay, or pay less than the value of what they are receiving, leaving the person who created the thing in a position where he can't create it any more. If you're looking at it just from the standpoint of what provides the most common good, then illegal downloaders of new comics can for the most part only be outsiders "leeching" off the new comics system, not people who are participating fully enough to keep it self-sustaining. ** That's the way I think about it. Would this thing still be produced if everyone pirated it and only paid when they felt like it? With mainstream for-profit comics that get canceled if their sales slip too low, the answer sure seems to be no.

    Jezebel makes a good point that the companies get nothing from back issues. Well, they do if you buy them in reprints or trades, but for the people who will only accept actual back issues then no, they get no money. But there is still a system here, the back issue market, that would cease to be self-sustaining if everyone pirated and only paid when they felt like it. If you want that system to continue to exist so you can easily find old comics and sell your own, then it would be better to fully participate in it.

    * I hear people saying radio, TV and libraries. But you the songs on the radio and the shows on TV are paid for by ad dollars, and you justify that expense by consuming ads along with content. You pay for the library book with your tax dollars. The analogy of borrowing from a friend works, but your friend usually only gives you one copy, they don't photocopy thousands and keep the original for themselves.

    ** I also know that there are people who will say they actually buy more comics if they are able to "preview" them, but the major comic companies now provide copious online previews of most of their new books, and you usually also have a chance to sample a few pages in the store. For most readers having an intriguing preview that encourages a person to buy the entire item is more likely to get them to buy something than allowing them to take the whole thing, consume it, and then decide if they liked it enough that they feel ethically bound to pay for it in an environment where there is no outside pressure to do so.
    Last edited by Shawn Hopkins; 12-07-2012 at 02:30 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jolly Mon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,483

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jezebel Bond View Post
    If I buy original comics from eBay, the original publisher does not make a penny, even if the book commands a huge premium over its original cover price.
    Resale of comics isn't really the question. It's a physical piece of property, which can be bought and sold. The fact that the publisher doesn't make any money off the resale (and the amount of money changing hands) is irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jezebel Bond View Post
    So should I really pay hundreds of pounds for an original copy which will go to some opportunist who sells comics for some quick cash? (sorta like me, the frigging irony)....
    I'm guessing the question here is, should you pay money to a 3rd party for a product, or obtain the product for free by theft. That would be up to an individual's morals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jezebel Bond View Post
    I've read books using a cbr reader and in a number of instances, got the original books after (like the whole PunisherMax run, about 75 issues). But I bought these comics for 1/3 cover price and the cash went into someone's pocket, not Marvel...have I commited a crime?
    Two different things here. If the books read using a cbr reader were illegally scanned (not public domain), then yes, you have probably violated copyright laws. If you later bought some books, regardless of from whom or at what price, no, obviously not a crime. And doesn't change the first situation.

    And to be clear, I'm not without sin, so I'm not throwing stones, just answering questions and giving opinions. I just don't choose to download pirated material.
    One lab accident away from being a super-villain

  8. #8
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lakewood, OH
    Posts
    6,797

    Default

    Well, the law aspect isn't debatable, but if you're looking for assistance in wrestling with the moral dilemma, I'd probably look at it like this:

    Reading whatever you want and only paying for what you like still lacks integrity, as work was still put in to create the work you have purveyed, regardless of whether you enjoy it. One doesn't walk into a restaurant, order everything, and only pay for what was good.

    However, from a moral perspective, I'd personally look at it like this (though I don't personally download illegal scans):

    1. If you illegally download a comic made in the past year or so and do not buy it, you are detracting from the book's sales numbers and potentially affecting whether or not the series continues, as well as how long the creative team is kept on the book.

    2. If you illegally download a comic made in the past forty years and do not buy it, you are in many cases detracting from the amount of royalties the creative team on the book receives.

    In both of those cases, it's not just a wealthy company that you're taking away from, and that should be considered.

    HOWEVER...

    3. If it's a "classic" comic, then the company has already had time to cash in on the product and, being as how they're the only ones profiting from the sale, I don't see much harm in downloading the content for free. Marvel's not going to go back and give Kirby's family more money for Fantastic Four tpb sales, so I don't think it's so wrong to snub the snubbers. They've made their money.
    Last edited by shaxper; 12-07-2012 at 04:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    16,478

    Default

    I'm largely where Shaxper is, but I'll explicate anyway.

    Legally, if you're downloading, you're breaking the law. It's that simple. Except for the few books that are public domain.

    If you're reading new books or books that are available in trade, you're taking money out of the hands of artists.

    However, if the creators are gone, I really can't be arsed to care one little bit. Disney, Time-Warner, et. al. Have made such a mockery of copyright with their pet Congressmen that I could give less than a shit if The Mouse loses a dime.

  10. #10
    19th Century Internet zilch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Saint Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    782

    Default

    As i've said on other previous occasions...

    I usually download comics for two purposes. One is their general unavailability otherwise. When someone comes out with the Collected Sally O'Neil, Policewoman, i will be the first one in line to buy it. But don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. 75% of Golden Age stuff is probably uninteresting to modern audiences, but i find most of it interesting.

    I also download (and buy TPBs) for research purposes, such as my work on the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe site and GCD. Creating these digital databases are done partly through the efforts of people who microfilmed/microfiched books before digital scanning became possible, and the whole of collected knowledge about great heaping gobs of comics and creators would not exist except for these efforts. Some of these books will not be preserved otherwise.
    My Multiverse had a Crisis, and all i got was a lousy Reboot!

    ********************

    "When the f*ck did we get Ice Cream?"
    Wendell, The Ringer
    ********************

    "After a while, I was able to use the squirrel to break down the door..."
    Granny Puckett, Hoodwinked

    =====================

    "DONT TALK $H!T ABOUT TOTAL!!!!"
    TOURETTES GUY

  11. #11
    Kicking the hornet's nest Jezebel Bond's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3,086

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hopkins View Post
    Jezebel makes a good point that the companies get nothing from back issues.
    When Action Comics #1 got sold for over US$1million, all DC got was the original wholesale cost to the newsagent, which was probably around 7 to 8 cents. No one at DC was bitching about getting a cut, or trying to enforce that small print in the indicia of the comic about books not being resold.

    But if someone scans it, it is theft, like someone is going to pay big bucks for an original copy.

    Publishers also remain SILENT when current books sell out on Day 1 and are resold on eBay for 10x cover price within 24 hours. Sometimes the only way for someone to read a copy is to digitally view a 'rip' of it before an actual hardcopy can be sourced.

    Some downloaders also make the point that they would never have purchased original comics even if they didn't view them on-line, so it's not as though they are depriving anyone of money to begin with.
    1 Kings 21:23

    And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

  12. #12
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    16,977

    Default

    Action #1 has been reprinted though. Some of those reprints are available for purchase. I doubt illegal scans of Action #1 were scanned from a million dollar original copy
    http://www.amazon.com/Superman-Chron.../dp/1401207642
    The Copper Age is my Golden Age
    My 2014 1000 comic progress

  13. #13
    Senior Member CromagnonMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    salford uk
    Posts
    2,403

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dupont2005 View Post
    Action #1 has been reprinted though. Some of those reprints are available for purchase. I doubt illegal scans of Action #1 were scanned from a million dollar original copy
    http://www.amazon.com/Superman-Chron.../dp/1401207642
    Ive seen the scan of Action #1 which is on the net, judging from the state of it its taken from an original low grade copy, which were probably a lot cheaper and affordable years ago.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Polar Bear's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    College Park, MD
    Posts
    1,240

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar Bear View Post
    Since we're talking about this, how about sites like Distractions of the Groovy Kind, which regularly posts stories, or even entire comics, from the 1960s and 1970s? It's not a torrent site, but I have previewed--ok, I've read--stories there, mostly to decide whether or not to add them to my want list. Is that site's act moral, and is my previewing/reading stories there moral? The author has the following fine print at the bottom--is it sufficiently exculpatory?

    Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

    All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

    As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!
    Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?
    Anyway, it is cool for you to acquire acrimony of crumbling time on blast this website.
    --best spam ever

  15. #15
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    16,977

    Default

    I've personally scanned one comic. It's an ultra rare self published comic of which only 20 copies exist, never been reprinted. I owned the original comic but the time came to sell it so before I did I scanned it since the images are so rare. I'll never share it with anyone except the guy that bought the comic, who has a copy of my scans already. Only reason I won't share it is because it could result in counterfeit copies of the comic, which was just printed at Kinko's, hitting the market and screwing people over.
    The Copper Age is my Golden Age
    My 2014 1000 comic progress

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •