DC responds to piracy — 2½ years later

Glenn Hauman

Glenn is VP of Production at ComicMix. He has written Star Trek and X-Men stories and worked for DC Comics, Simon & Schuster, Random House, arrogant/MGMS and Apple Comics. He's also what happens when a Young Turk of publishing gets old.

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7 Responses

  1. mike weber says:

    Corporate types Just Don't Get It with relation to the 'net, apparently.Either they do nothing at all, or they over-react and pile up lots and lots of bad publicity. (Of course in the case of the music industry, they already had so much bad karma and such a one-who-cries-wolf reputation thaty it really didn't matter *what* they did.)The thing is, that while i don't fully subscribe to the "data wants to be free" party line, i *do* know that, if enough people want something that can be easily supplied, *someone* will supply it. And attempting to suppress the supply with draconian measures is not the answer.Just look at how well the War on (Some) Drugs is going.If DC had, as you say, moved out there, fulfilling the demand at a reasonable price, there would still be pirate scans available … but not so many, nor would they be as widely downloaded.

  2. Bob Pinaha says:

    Years ago, as sales for comics drastically dropped, I approached DC Comics about posting their entire history of comics online as ninety-nine cent low-resolution PDF downloads. I explained that the exposure on the internet would be worldwide and those individuals wanting an actual copy of the book would be driven to comic shops.I suggested they partner with Barnes and Nobles.com, Borders.com and Amazon.com to create a virtual comic shop online. I even told them they could create on-line subscriptions to titles with incentives like a free download of Batman #1 or what have you. (Keep in mind that this was way before iTunes took off.)The response I got was that they felt the need not to turn their backs on the comic shops (and I genuinely felt through the dicussion that they had the impression that the Internet was just a passing fad)!So it doesn't surprise me that after years of fans swapping scans of entire runs on CD and DVD of Golden Age and Silver Age titles that they've now decided it's time to try and reign it in.For a corporate GIANT, there was of thinking is way too SHORT-sighted…

  3. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    We're having a jolly conversation about this on Newsarama, but I'll repeat my opinion. If a fairly-priced comparable product to the fanscans existed, a good number (the majority) of people downloading scans would pay. And a good number of people who would NOT download fanscans WOULD download the legal ones.Marvel's plan is not comparable – you can't download the books (easily), you're basically paying a fee to read their copies, for as long as they see fit to keep it available. THat won't last long, and I hope they replace it with a better one right away, and not think, "See, they don't want the books online at all".I'm sure all the art for the modern books (as in this month's issues) exists in scanned form, from each step of the process. How neat would it be to be able to see the pencils, uncolored inks and final art for each page of your new book, like extra features on a DVD? Stuff like that would cost next to nothing for DC to assemble, and would be well received by the public. Almost pure profit. It's the music industry –> iTunes scenario all over again. We know where it's going to end; it's just a matter of how long it'll take.

  4. ProfJonathan says:

    I should have known–any time books are digitized, my friend Glenn is in the thick of things. :) As someone who is a long-time DC comic reader and law professor, I remain saddened that DC has failed to follow Marvel's lead in making their archives available digitally and legally, whether online or on DVD. I would so love to revisit some of the books of my use, as well as affordably introduce my kids to DC stories in color rather as part of the still-appreciated b/w Showcase Presents volumes. {ProfJonathan}

    • Glenn Hauman says:

      Jonathan!Of course, I should have known– anytime IP law and the Internet collide, there's the good professor. (And a good professor he is, too. Take his courses at Touro if you ever get the chance.)

  5. Mike Harrison says:

    Z-Cult has already changed their mind and given the finger to Marvel and DC's lawyers. They said that since they are outside the US, the US copyright laws don't apply to them. Thus they are continuing to make Marvel and DC comics available via BitTorrent.