- Posted by Johanna on July 17, 2009 at 8:47 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
With much discussion going on about how online comics may save the industry, it’s important to remember a few disadvantages about the format.
1. You can’t resell digital copies if you need to make some cash, unlike used books, comics, or other physical media. You can’t donate them or loan them to others, either.
2. If your online content is controlled from a central account, the company might decide to remove copies without notifying you if they change their mind about permissions or availability. This happened to Amazon Kindle readers recently: the electronic edition was rescinded, the books disappeared from the ebook readers, and customer accounts were credited. The ironic part of the whole thing? The titles that were yanked were George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm. Shades of Big Brother!
it’s like Barnes & Noble sneaking into our homes in the middle of the night, taking some books that we’ve been reading off our nightstands, and leaving us a check on the coffee table.
(Note that after much outrage, Amazon said this was a mistake: “We are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers’ devices in these circumstances.”)
3. You never really own anything in such a situation, where one company maintains control of what you can access through your account. This isn’t the first time Amazon has caused problems for Kindle readers. One customer was told he made too many returns, so Amazon cancelled his account, which meant he couldn’t buy any more books wirelessly for the Kindle, the main selling point of the device.
So, if you are going to pay money for digital content, the lesson here is “Make your own backup copies.”