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  1. #61
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post
    I don't download. But the OP described a moral use that benefits the industry. Let's not pretend the OP said something he didn't. :)
    It isn't moral and doesn't benefit anybody but himself.
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  2. #62
    what happens next? tolworthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dupont2005 View Post
    It isn't moral and doesn't benefit anybody but himself.
    He describes paying money to comic companies and providing them with free advertising. You may not consider that moral (each to his own), but does that not benefit them?

  3. #63
    what happens next? tolworthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hopkins View Post
    Comic book paper is nice, and all, but I'm pretty sure I'm paying for the words and pictures on it. If you already have something that can let you see all the words and pictures, do you really need a paper copy? Comic book pirates obviously aren't paper purists that must own a physical copy, they seem quite happy with reading on a screen.
    Reports and anecdotal evidence suggest that piracy benefits the industry because pirates buy more than they would otherwise. But I concede that the statistics may be shaky.

    Regarding what we pay for, I think that the existence of a collectors market argues that paper still has value. Also, the existence of an online community suggests a moral pressure to be seen to support the industry. The trick is to find a way to use that to benefit the industry.
    Last edited by tolworthy; 12-10-2012 at 12:36 AM.

  4. #64
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post
    He describes paying money to comic companies and providing them with free advertising. You may not consider that moral (each to his own), but does that not benefit them?
    They don't need his low traffic blog. If they thought they did need his advertising they would probably send him a digital advance copy and allow him to publish the first few pages for his site, like they do other reviewers. Not only that, but he could blog about comics without posting pages, like many other people do, including myself formerly. No, it doesn't benefit the companies. It benefits him when he's trying to generate traffic and his writing alone isn't cutting it. It can actually be argued that it hurts creators and publishers. By torrenting he seeds to other people with no intention of paying for the comic. Even if he uses a site like Megaupload, he is generating traffic to a site that exists solely to infringe on copyrights for profit. Yeah, the Megaupload guy was living in a mansion with a Lamborghini and Rolls Royce parked out front when he was finally arrested. If the site wasn't profitable, he wouldn't be able to afford to host it. If he couldn't host it, there would be one less source of illegal downloads of all mediums. And despite whatever unsourced self reporting statistics that could never be confirmed stating pirates spend more on comics or whatever, there really are thousands upon thousands of people who strictly read illegally downloaded comics with no intention of buying any of them no matter how much they like them. Those types of people even exist right here on the boards, freely admitting they haven't bought a comic in decades and yet read them all.
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  5. #65
    Senior Member Shawn Hopkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post
    Reports and anecdotal evidence suggest that piracy benefits the industry because pirates buy more than they would otherwise. But I concede that the statistics may be shaky.

    Regarding what we pay for, I think that the existence of a collectors market argues that paper still has value. Also, the existence of an online community suggests a moral pressure to be seen to support the industry. The trick is to find a way to use that to benefit the industry.
    If there's a solid, respectable study that proves piracy helps the comics industry, I'd like to see it.

    People want to be seen to be acting morally, but in this case there's no pressure to actually do it. Nothing is stopping people from downloading just because they want free stuff. They can always justify it with some rationalization when the topic comes up, in fact there's a big incentive to do that.

    Now that comics are moving to digital there's a lot less incentive to pay. So you have a solid unlocked digital copy and you're going to buy a similar DRMed one? I don't think so, not for most people.

    I'm sure that there are a few people who do in fact rarely download a book that they don't pay for and actually buy more comics because of piracy. But from the company's perspective, what should they expect and prepare for? The most ethical best-case scenario or the reality of the consequence free Internet?

    I know this sound pessimistic, but look around the Internet a bit and see how people's behavior changes when anonymity frees them from any social structures. Most people who post nasty comments on dead kid's Facebook pages wouldn't run into their funerals and scream those things. Most flame wars would be civil discussions if the same topics were discussed face to face in a cafe. Yahoo news comments. So I think expecting that any large percentage of downloaders are doing it for ethical, industry positive reasons is a naive. Most people just want free stuff.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakehafulla View Post
    Well I download purely out of economic reasons. theyre just too damn expensive here. Your average $2.99 issue is over $10 here, if you could find it. Trades are about $50 in my LCS let alone the price for hardcovers. The local online auction site isnt much better, people think they can charge new prices for poor condition run-of-the-mill books. I get the occasional bargain on trades/hardcovers that way, but the hobby(for floppies) is unfortunately out of my price league.

    I know that I can BUY digital, and therefore pay cover price(currency conversion puts that $2.99 to about $4 NZ) but am unsure about how comixology works. Once purchased and downloaded to my tablet, are they there for me to put on my laptop? Or are they just in my comixology acc to access online when I want to read them?

    Neverless, I do accept that the above is really just my personal justification for essentially stealing new books. O well, a life of piracy it is....YARR
    Wtf

    Where do you live? Here in Auckland it's really more like 6 nzd, which is 5 usd. Less if your shop has good discounts.

    Trades are cheap at whitcoulls if you use vouchers/deals. Mighty ape or real groovy are sometimes ok too. Or just buy online like the rest of the world. You said you'll buy the saga trade if you can find it?

    http://www.bookdepository.com/Saga-1.../9781607066019

    13.89 nzd. Chur bo~

  7. #67
    Senior Member Dizzy D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hopkins View Post
    If there's a solid, respectable study that proves piracy helps the comics industry, I'd like to see it.
    And I don't think you ever will see it, there's no way to get the objective numbers without spin from either pirate or publisher, who both are interested in making it a binary question (it's good/bad for the industry.), while the reality be somewhat more complex; some titles/publishers benefitting, others not. I'd suspect midtier titles benefitting the most, while the smallest and the most popular titles getting a negative impact, but I have no proof for this (only knowledge of the video game industry where there are some solid numbers available (gamers online/games sold), though even there the data is incomplete and inconclusive).

  8. #68
    what happens next? tolworthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hopkins View Post
    If there's a solid, respectable study that proves piracy helps the comics industry, I'd like to see it.
    So would I, but I don't think the comics industry is big enough for any kind of meaningful study. When a top comic can sell less than 1 copy per town in the USA (e.g. 30,000 last time I checked), with a long term decline dating to decades before torrenting, then there's barely anything to study. It's all statistical noise. So I rely on analogies with the larger movie and music industries, where studies are more common, and cries of piracy are far louder.

    There are respectable studies that indicate that piracy does not hurt the industry. E.g.
    we do not see evidence of elevated sales displacement in US box office revenue following the adoption of BitTorrent. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...act_id=1986299
    There are other studies,e.g. by the UK government and the movie industry, that indicate that piracy actually helps sales: whereas 25% of pirates never buy, 75% do, and they buy a lot.

    http://www.***********/doc/114123760/Kantar-Media

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...industry.shtml

    Statistics should of course be questioned, but that cuts both ways. The argument that the movie and music industries suffer due to piracy are just laughable. They may be right, but their statistics are neither solid nor respectable.

    E.g. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...ics-of-piracy/

    Maybe I'm more sympathetic to the OP because, in the final analysis, I'm more interested in economics than comics. Comics are walking a familiar, well trodden route where technology changes and everyone fears that the sky will fall in. But really the same economic forces are acting now as acted in Adam Smith's day. We have an industry where marginal cost in some areas is zero, and this is hardly a new concept to economists. So the industry either finds other aspects that bring in profit, while using the free areas to its advantage, or it dies slowly and painfully while screaming against reality and railing against scapegoats. Mike Masnick had a nice series of articles on this, such as this one: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/200...e-period.shtml
    Last edited by tolworthy; 12-10-2012 at 03:43 AM.

  9. #69
    Senior Member Shawn Hopkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post
    So would I, but I don't think the comics industry is big enough for any kind of meaningful study. When a top comic can sell less than 1 copy per town in the USA (e.g. 30,000 last time I checked), with a long term decline dating to decades before torrenting, then there's barely anything to study. It's all statistical noise. So I rely on analogies with the larger movie and music industries, where studies are more common, and cries of piracy are far louder.

    There are respectable studies that indicate that piracy does not hurt the industry. E.g.


    There are other studies,e.g. by the UK government and the movie industry, that indicate that piracy actually helps sales: whereas 25% of pirates never buy, 75% do, and they buy a lot.

    http://www.***********/doc/114123760/Kantar-Media

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...industry.shtml

    Statistics should of course be questioned, but that cuts both ways. The argument that the movie and music industries suffer due to piracy are just laughable. They may be right, but their statistics are neither solid nor respectable.


    E.g. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...ics-of-piracy/

    Maybe I'm more sympathetic to the OP because, in the final analysis, I'm more interested in economics than comics. Comics are walking a familiar, well trodden route where technology changes and everyone fears that the sky will fall in. But really the same economic forces are acting now as acted in Adam Smith's day. We have an industry where marginal cost in some areas is zero, and this is hardly a new concept to economists. So the industry either finds other aspects that bring in profit, while using the free areas to its advantage, or it dies slowly and painfully while screaming against reality and railing against scapegoats. Mike Masnick had a nice series of articles on this, such as this one: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/200...e-period.shtml
    I don't think a film study translates that well to comics, but your first study also shows that piracy hurts the movie industry in other countries because people pirate US movies instead of waiting for them.

    Also comics piracy started before torrenting really took off, it was a big thing on Usenet.

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/04/...rate-writes-2/
    Last edited by Shawn Hopkins; 12-10-2012 at 04:21 AM.

  10. #70
    what happens next? tolworthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hopkins View Post
    I don't think a film study translates that well to comics
    I agree that they are far from ideal, but unless there are good comic studies then they're the only data we have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hopkins View Post
    but your first study also shows that piracy hurts the movie industry in other countries because people pirate US movies instead of waiting for them.
    IIRC they concluded that this was easily solved by releasing at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hopkins View Post
    Also comics piracy started before torrenting really took off, it was a big thing on Usenet.
    True. And the decline in sales started long before ether.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hopkins View Post
    That's an excellent link. I think his conclusion is spot on: the comic companies simply supply a far inferior product to what the pirates offer, regardless of price. Comixology is a huge improvement over a few years ago, but the offerings are still limited and what you can do is highly restrictive. I have bought FF comics twice, legally (on paper and the 44 year DVD, which is superior to the Comixology offering), but still default to the pirate version because it's a joy to use: runs anywhere, loads quickly, etc. That used to be a big selling point of comics: their convenience. I don't blame Comixology - they have to jump through all kinds of hoops to please the big two. But sites like Grand Old Games and Amazon have shown that less DRM means more sales.

    I was also interested to see his claim that scanners today are less obnoxious than in the past. This is to be expected: nobody likes dealing with jerks. the figure in the British government study that 25% of pirates never buy sounds about right; 25% may be jerks, but 75% just love comics, spend money on comics, and simply want them now. We cannot conclude from that the 75% are not prepared to pay. But we can conclude that they want a better service than the industry is prepared to offer.

  11. #71
    Senior Member dr chimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post
    The argument that the movie and music industries suffer due to piracy are just laughable. They may be right, but their statistics are neither solid nor respectable.
    Given that album sales have fallen by over 30 million between 2004 and 2010 in the UK, the price of albums has fallen in real terms by around 30%, the number of shop closures, and the number of studios closing in the same period then I am sorry but it isnt a laugh at all.
    "...so Hitler sends Iron Jaw's son to America to get revenge on Crimebuster." S.H.

  12. #72
    what happens next? tolworthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr chimp View Post
    Given that album sales have fallen by over 30 million between 2004 and 2010 in the UK, the price of albums has fallen in real terms by around 30%, the number of shop closures, and the number of studios closing in the same period then I am sorry but it isnt a laugh at all.
    And you blame piracy for all that? You don't think that an explosion in alternative entertainment, the rise of online stores, and the ability for indies to produce their own stuff had anything to do with it?

  13. #73
    Senior Member dr chimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post
    And you blame piracy for all that? You don't think that an explosion in alternative entertainment, the rise of online stores, and the ability for indies to produce their own stuff had anything to do with it?
    still 30 million lost sales to account for and fall in price of product in real terms. By your logic piracy will have seen the industry grow not shrink.

    I have no problem with people saying they pirate things - I have released 3 albums and worked on another 3 - and it's a fact of life. What i do take issue with is people trying to tell me that it benefits me or thats it good for sales. It's garbage
    Last edited by dr chimp; 12-10-2012 at 07:35 AM.
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  14. #74
    what happens next? tolworthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr chimp View Post
    still 30 million lost sales to account for and fall in price of product in real terms. By your logic piracy will have seen the industry grow not shrink
    I accounted for those: more alternative entertainment, more competition, and lower barriers to entry. The studies I cited tried to be scientific: they compared piracy with no piracy, and found that piracy was either irrelevant or a small positive effect. But it's swamped by far bigger changes in the wider entertainment industries over the past 20 years.

  15. #75
    Senior Member Shawn Hopkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post
    I agree that they are far from ideal, but unless there are good comic studies then they're the only data we have.
    Then we have no data worth anything, so back to square one. At any rate, nothing you posted really proved that piracy is helping the industry. Just some people arguing that those whose work is being taken should buck up because it's not so bad. This argument that it's fine to compete with someone that steals your work and gives it away and it's all the same because of marginal cost is silly. A comic with a perfect marginal cost may provide the same profit to a publisher as a free one, if they could somehow produce a free one while incurring no costs, but the marginal cost book still costs the consumer $4, and free is always going to be more attractive to a consumer and expecting publishers to find a way to add so much value that they can beat "free, no effort on your part" is the kind of expectation that puts companies out of business.

    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post

    That's an excellent link. I think his conclusion is spot on: the comic companies simply supply a far inferior product to what the pirates offer, regardless of price.
    Pirates don't offer a product. They steal a product and give it away.


    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post
    Comixology is a huge improvement over a few years ago, but the offerings are still limited and what you can do is highly restrictive. I have bought FF comics twice, legally (on paper and the 44 year DVD, which is superior to the Comixology offering), but still default to the pirate version because it's a joy to use: runs anywhere, loads quickly, etc. That used to be a big selling point of comics: their convenience. I don't blame Comixology - they have to jump through all kinds of hoops to please the big two. But sites like Grand Old Games and Amazon have shown that less DRM means more sales.
    The muddy low-resolution PDFs on the GIT Corp DVDs are in no way superior to what Comixology offers.

    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post

    I was also interested to see his claim that scanners today are less obnoxious than in the past. This is to be expected: nobody likes dealing with jerks. the figure in the British government study that 25% of pirates never buy sounds about right; 25% may be jerks, but 75% just love comics, spend money on comics, and simply want them now. We cannot conclude from that the 75% are not prepared to pay. But we can conclude that they want a better service than the industry is prepared to offer.
    See, this is one pirate's self-serving, self-justifying excuse, and you're crediting it like it's a white paper from Harvard Business School. You just seem to me, maybe because you've downloaded yourself and don't want to think you're associated with something negative, so eager to want to believe that downloaders do what they do for less greedy and self-serving reasons that you're really stretching the bounds of what's reasonable. But what's available today in terms of paid digital comics is already instant and convenient, and good enough that in most cases the only remaining excuse for illegal downloading is not wanting to pay. Some people in this thread were refreshingly honest about that and if that's their deal, oh well. I think it's only when downloaders make excuses and act like they're saving the comics industry that people get irritated.
    Last edited by Shawn Hopkins; 12-10-2012 at 07:42 AM.

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