- Posted by Johanna on March 30, 2006 at 4:52 pm
- Category: Comic News
I recently got an email directing to me to where I could download a PDF copy of an upcoming graphic novel. Actually, I got two — the first one said “we’re having technical difficulties, so we’ll be providing you with information later on obtaining an online review copy.” This was a waste of time, in my opinion. If someone sends me a link and the book sounds halfway interesting, I’ll take a look. Sending me a message saying “we will be sending you something” — especially when that message is clearly a form letter, not to me personally — doesn’t mean anything to me.
Anyway, they sent me a message about how to download their PDF, which was a complete copy of their 48-page graphic novel. Only they’re apparently really concerned about piracy, because they password-protected their PDF (although they put the password on the webpage where you download the file instead of sending it in the instruction email), which caused my computer to throw an error message.
They also put black Xs over every page of their comic. Around page 3, this became really annoying. The comic has a good amount of dialogue, and when slapping the Xs on the page, they paid no attention to what they were obliterating. It’s hard to read fluidly when you’re stopping at least three times a page to figure out what a covered word is by the context around it.
In short, they’re assuming that the reviewers they’re trying to solicit coverage from are going to violate their copyright and must be forcibly prevented from doing so. They didn’t think this through, though, because their insistence on making their sample “not reproducable” also made it not readable.
In general, I’ve found that the more obsessive someone is about protecting their intellectual property, the less worthy it is of protection. That may be an unfair over-generalization, so maybe I should say that assuming the worst about a group of people will not predispose them to say nice things about your work or incline them to jump through hoops to help you out.
I thought the timing on this was particularly ironic, given that this is a week where AIT/Planet Lar has gotten a lot of well-deserved attention for making it easier for readers to sample before buying. They’ve recently posted more information on just how successful their experiment has already been.