Next on the Anti-Piracy Comic Hit List?

Now that comic publishers have succeeded in getting HTML Comics shut down, I suspect they’ve got a new target on their hit list.

I was writing some Archie comic reviews, so I plugged “Jughead 201″ into Google to get a copy of the cover image to run with the post. Here’s what I found (click to enlarge):

Archie needs to work on their website (even though it’s just been redesigned); their site (which provides the cover and preview pages) doesn’t even appear on page one of these results. It’s the third item on page 2, which is also where the first ebay link to buy a copy appears. What we see here, out of nine different sites listed (some not shown in image), are

  • three sites that search file upload sites (such as Rapidshare and Hotfile) for the comic and provide direct download links
  • one torrent site (that doesn’t actually have the book)
  • two links to well-optimized online comic stores
  • one shopping comparison site that wants to send me to TFAW.com to buy it
  • two digital comic sites (Comixology and iFanboy) that gave me the Previews solicit and cover image; the first also had preview pages and also wanted me to buy from TFAW.com. Dark Horse may not have much in the way of digital comics yet, but they sure know how to promote their online store.

I’m guessing that the file locker services, even though they don’t directly provide search engines, are going to be the next boogieman that companies point to for decreasing sales. Nowadays, the comic file sharing method of choice seems to be putting the files into such an upload service and posting links on a bulletin board. The board isn’t liable; they’re just pointing out locations elsewhere and host no actual files. And courts have recently determined that such services are not liable for what users share. The movie and music industries are already trying to go after such sites, but most of them aren’t located in the U.S. In such an environment, the companies will have to go after individual users, which will cost time and money companies don’t want to spend on such efforts, as well as seeming anti-fan and overly punitive. It’s a tough choice for companies, whether the perceived benefit is worth the extensive costs.

Me, I’m still waiting for more digital choices to be legitimately available. Archie is leading with experiments on that front.


3 Responses to “Next on the Anti-Piracy Comic Hit List?”

  1. Zagrobelny Says:

    Who on Earth would scan and upload new issues of Jughead?

  2. Johanna Says:

    It’s the best of the Archie comics… I know, next you’re going to ask “who reads Archie comics?”

  3. Steven Rowe Says:

    Any comic by Craig Boldman and Rex Lindsey has to be good.

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