Gender: Male Location: South Africa,
under the bed.
Ha ha, thank you for so precisely proving my point about fake moral outrage during your blustering rant. Just to refresh your memory: “As an expat household, with three paid Amazon Prime memberships for three different countries, a paid Netflix membership, a paid ACORN membership, a ridiculously high DISH [pay TV] bill and an Apple TV box, we still can't watch most programs from back home, even though we're willing to pay good money for it.”
Let me explain this to you as simply as possible since obviously you were so busy foaming at the mouth that either you didn't read the article or you are too obtuse to follow the reasoning:
We have digital satellite television. It costs hundreds of (US) dollars a year and gives us access to everything and anything that is available in my country. Despite this, because of the way the deals are structured, most of the shows we watch are only broadcast weeks, months or in some cases years after they were originally broadcast. So, despite the fact that WE PAY FOR IT, we still can't watch the shows when they are broadcast.
And the same with Netflix, which only became available in my country this year. Despite the fact that joining and paying the monthly fees will end up costing hundreds of dollars a year - we will STILL BE RESTRICTED as for some reason not all content will be available, despite us being legal, paying customers.
Now do you understand why your fake moral outrage is so laughable? In fact, it's so ludicrous that it clearly demonstrates your utter incomprehension of what the argument really is about.
And even we have our share of access issues. Time Wars/Target 2006 has only recently been released state side in various bundles..
For the longest time, Marvelman/Miracleman was nearly impossible to read any other way. And I think that's still the case with Flex Mentallo.
I'm not going to pretend I haven't pinched a thing or two I shouldn't have over the years (Technically this includes things I already own, but was too lazy to dig for.. Pretty sure owning something doesn't give you license to unlimited copies..), but for me it's mostly those impossible to get things I enjoy.. There's a novelty aspect to them.
It's the same for certain video games that simply don't exist in legitimate formats, and the only way to experience it is with a buggy emulator with a few bad rom dumps...
Piracy doesn't significantly hurt Gaiman. He's famous at this point. Who it hurts is the aspiring indie artist/writer who can't find someone to fund/publish his work because they're not getting enough additional revenue from their A-list writers to fund more projects. If everyone who pirated Gaiman's works bought them - hell, even half - he'd be a lot richer, and those he works with - many of them on the fringes of the industry instead of at its heart like Neil is - would also be more well off.
I still own a fair number of comics, and have others I'll eventually purchase. There are several I'd like to own, and writers I like to support. I also have a very limited discretionary budget for this type of thing, so if piracy wasn't available, I wouldn't necessarily buy more comics. I'd just read less. So it's not that the comic industry is losing money that it would otherwise get from me. But I'm also not pretending that anything I pirate is somehow helping the industry.
It's an odd world we live in, though. We've essentially demanded that artists be ok with piracy, so rationalizations exist. And if they don't, this thread already has anecdotes about fans turning on artists. Entire industries have been bullied into submission, because we'll bankrupt them out of spite if given the motivation. As someone who realizes that artists often work for far less than what they need to live, let alone what they're worth, I can't say it's a great system. And again, I'm not talking about the mega-rich and mainstream. I'm talking about the edges, where these practices can make a true difference.
I think the biggest thing that should be addressed, is how piracy effects quality. IMO, if people pirated less, companies wouldn't have to feel so pressured to make "HUGE. EXCITING. ALL DIFFERENT. " changes to the status quo every 37 seconds to get shock value buys from everyone.
What do you guys think would happen to piracy, if digital comics were no more? Would a few dedicated maniacs scan hard copies weekly?
Yes. Because that existed prior to digital piracy becoming commonplace. Sales would definitely still go up, though, because everyone has a threshold. Take movies. Some will pirate a crappy cam version. Others need to wait for an HD rip. So get rid of HD rips, and some would still pirate. But it would be less.
Up until maybe 4-5 years ago, that's exactly what people did anyway. So if purely digital rips were no longer a thing, uploaders would just revert back to the old ways.
Also, people scan/rip comics out of more than just dedication. Many of them are compensated by the scanner group they affiliate with(ie. Minutemen, DCP, Empire, etc.), as well as the specific uploading hosts they use(ie. rapidgator, tusfiles, filefactory, zippyshare, etc.) So long as you aren't caught, pirating can actually be quite a lucrative endeavor.
A few years ago I was approached on a comic site I fill requests at by "KingKirby"(the founder of DCP), to help the group do...what they do. I asked him a few questions and learned the basic 'group rules'(which is how I know these things), but I never did pull the trigger with them officially... Kind of wish I would have now, though.
I still have the login info to the site all of the scanners/uploaders at DCP use to interact. Might check it out one of these days.
Last edited by Galan007 on Jun 8th, 2016 at 12:55 AM
I'm not quite sure which of my points this replies to. It's a reasonable point, but doesn't seem to jump off immediately from what I said.
In any case, take torrenting away and prices could probably go down, tbh. There was a time in the 90s - BEFORE torrents - when Marvel went bankrupt. Lots of mouths to feed with comic sales. So I actually think there aren't too many people getting rich in the industry. They're just walking a precarious line between profitability and demise, and the loss of sales from torrents plays a role in that.
Also, your math is sound, but the conclusion isn't, imo. You can break down a lot of hobbies to the point where it seems like it's inefficient from a cost perspective. But to the collector, or the teenager, or a fan, that calculation generally isn't part of it. If they enjoy it, they read it. And if that means buying, they buy.
Surely it has to be more relevant to the teenager than anything else? I believe the average consumer has more than just comics as their hobby and probably give the price-amount of entertainment ratio some thought.
I just don't think there's any evidence that comic sales suffer from torrenting, far from it. Neither Marvel nor DC are making any worthwhile attempts at breaking into the digital market. There a lot of factors, but I wonder if the model simply isn't sustainable. Each book needs to sell too many copies for all of the people working on the book to get paid.
A few will, sure. But this kind of utilitarian calculation is often at odds with the idea of a hobby at all.
I'm into board games. Occasionally analytical people will justify the **** out of board games by saying they can get hundreds of plays/hours for a single purchase. But you know what? Those same people are often dropping hundreds a year, to say nothing of the ones who don't do those calculations. It's not a rational response at that point. It's "I enjoy this, I buy it."
Back as a teen and college kid, and an analytical one at that, I never once thought about my comic purchases. Yeah, I had other hobbies and limited money. But I just bought what I could.
So what I'm saying is, you're absolutely right about the value. I just don't think the majority of comic fans - or any hardcore hobbyist (or kid) - is doing the same math.
On your last point, you're technically right that there isn't evidence for it. But by that token there also isn't evidence that it doesn't hurt the industry. It's not an easy variable to control for. I'd love to see some empirical data on it. But where we might be able to draw some inferences is in the music industry, where piracy really has hurt the industry across the spectrum. So I don't think my position is an unreasonable one.
I want to apologise to Dreampanther for name-calling. I have read his/her comments and the comments of others in this thread and I now realise that the topic is more complex than I may have first taken it for. I think Digi's comment about it not mattering much to a Gaiman, but mattering a great deal to a new artist, is sort of what I was hoping to say, but I went apeshit instead which didn't help. Sorry about that.