- Posted by Johanna on March 21, 2007 at 7:14 am
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
Via The V, at a torrent site, Dan Slott politely asks downloaders to stop downloading his She-Hulk and JLA Classified comics.
She-Hulk, while it gets good reviews and enjoys a pretty loyal and devoted following, is still a low-selling title. It needs EVERY sale it can get to stay in the game. When you circumvent the intended path of sales you hurt the incomes of a LOT of people. [...]
Your sale acts as a vote. When you download a comic without paying for it, no vote is cast. You’ve gotten all the benefits of My, Rick’s, Cliff’s, Dave Sharpe’s, and Dave Kemp’s work– and we didn’t get the benefit of your vote. That’s not fair. We work very hard to produce the best comic we can– and, in effect, you’ve stolen from us.
Please stop. You’re not just ripping off Marvel. You’re ripping off all the PEOPLE putting this book out– people trying to make a living and support their families.
The “other side”, meanwhile, makes an argument for viewing comic torrents as shareware, a way to “try before you buy” in an era with few shelf/browsing copies available at many comic stores.
I can understand why Slott would want to try anything he could to increase sales on a project he clearly wants to keep working on, but I think this is a pretty foolhardy approach to the problem, and it’s likely to be ignored or made fun of more than acquiesced to.
The people I know who download a lot don’t attempt to justify their practice through moral or legal arguments. They know it’s illegal, but their attitude is more like “it’s out there, it’s free, why not?” They buy plenty of material as it is, and the things they download are those that they wouldn’t buy anyway, in many cases. Or they like it so much after seeing it online that they go out and buy a physical copy.
I’m just not sure an approach that can be boiled down to “you’re responsible if I no longer have a job” will work effectively. After all, it didn’t stop anyone from reading Rich’s rumor column when it was tried there.