Don't Blame 'Piracy' For Your Own Failures To Engage

from the Swing-And-A-Miss dept

I kind of don't know where to begin with this blog post from comic artist Colleen Doran at The Hill -- the place where "law makers blog" -- about how awful "piracy" is? Anyway, she seems extremely angry, mixing in vitriolic and pedantic scorn with flashes that she actually understands what's happening... and then ignores it for more scorn. It's really kind of weird. For instance, a few quotes from the article:
"For more than 20 years, I've written and drawn comics for a variety of major publishers: Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image and Disney. Like many artists, I've seen my sales figures chipped away as the print market shrinks due, in no small part, to rampant online piracy."
No evidence to back that up, of course. Just a statement of fact, that isn't a fact. Oh well....
"I made my comic series, A Distant Soil, available as a free webcomic less than two years ago. Despite assurances that the many sites pirating my work were doing me a favor with their ďfree advertisingĒ I never saw a single incoming link from them, saw no increase in traffic, and made virtually no money."
Hold on, let me get this straight. You offered it for free, the "pirate" sites offered it for free... and you STILL lost traffic to those sites? Methinks perhaps that if you, the creator of the comic, can't differentiate yourself from filesharing sites that offer fans no connection with you, no insight into the work, no expertise in the offering, and no personal involvement with the creator, then that is YOUR problem, not the "pirates." For God's sake, people want your stuff! And you were smart enough to price the content the same as the unauthorized places! All you had left to do was offer them something the pirate sites couldn't, and you'd be home free!

Instead, she expected money to just show up at her doorstep. Which is strange, because money doesn't tend to do that....
"Frequent original content (often pirated the day I post it,) increased my traffic, not pirate "advertising." Pirates draw traffic from my site, and cost me millions of hits annually, which cuts my advertising revenue."
Again, in the first sentence she gets it! Keep creating and releasing! If your goal is to draw readers to YOUR site, one way to do that is to ALWAYS have the most up to date offerings of your creative work, and you do that by continuing to create. And pirate SITES don't draw traffic from yours, they draw traffic from the great pool of web surfers. You're both drawing against each other, and YOU have the advantage!
"Readers assume they are only nickel and diming rich corporations with their bit torrent naughtiness, but I am a middle class artist and farmer for whom a few thousand dollars a year in lost income means I can't afford health insurance."
Come on now. You're a 47 year old cartoonist/artist that's been pumping out works, both for publishing companies and some self-published, since you were 12 years old. You're a GOOD artist. There's no need to make plays on our sympathies by mentioning the other things you choose to do, like "farming". That isn't what we're talking about. That kind of transparent attempt to play the victim does not move the discussion forward. Oh, and bit torrent naughtiness is a great name for a forward-looking cyberpunk porn thriller....
"Creators and publishers canít compete with free and the frightening reality is that even free isnít good enough. Pirates aggregate content in ways creators and legit publishers canít. Why go to dozens of web pages for entertainment when you can go to a pirate and get everything you want? Thereís no connection to creators as human beings who work hard and make money from that work, and who need income from past work to finance future work."
Sigh. Can't compete with free? Then you can't compete period. Because if all you have to offer is what others can manage to offer for free, then you don't actually have anything to offer to start with. Thing is, you DO have something to offer... you just don't seem to want to offer it. Oh, and that last part, about there being no connection between fans and creators? That's YOUR job, not the fans'. You have to make that connection. We're not mindless moths, fluttering about the heat of your light, desperate to slam our bodies against the fixture. You connect with us, since you're doing the selling, not the other way around....

Case in point? Just a few weeks ago, Techdirt had a couple of posts about someone in the IDENTICAL position to you. Comic artist Steve Lieber. Just like you, he had his works "pirated" on these sites. What did he do? He went and engaged with them and realized they were some of his biggest fans and saw his sales jump by a MASSIVE amount.

And that proves the point, doesn't it? It's not the people copying who are the problem. If you actually worked at engaging with the audience and giving them a reason to buy, they will.
"Everyone gets paid -- manufacturers of computers, iPads, electricity, bandwidth -- everyone except the creators of content."
Ah, so no content creators are getting paid? Funny, there seems to be an awful lot of stuff out there -- including those in the same position as you. Oh, and the internet isn't NEW anymore, okay? And it has yet to create a barren wasteland devoid of downloadable content. With all the evil piraters out there, how could that be?
"It costs big bucks to finance these pirate sites. Major advertisers and open source ad providers like Google pay them."
Google bad? Then why does it feel so good? I assume, since Google is evil, that you have gone directly to your robots.txt and made sure you aren't indexed? Also, it's not Google who's "paying them," which sounds like Google has them on the payroll. They're putting ads on their sites and competing. You can do that too -- and, if you engage with your fans, they'll focus on going to where you want them to go.

The best part is the tagline at the end of the story:
"Colleen Doran is a cartoonist and illustrator with more than 500 credits for companies as diverse as Lucasfilm, Disney, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Random House, Houghton Mifflin, Harper Collins, and Image Comics. Her work includes illustrations for Captain America, Sandman, Wonder Woman, Amazing Spider-man and many others."
Again, Colleen, you're just so far ahead of the game here that it almost feels strange to see what you've written. That's quite a list of paid work, some which I imagine you could build upon to solidify your reputation and garner even more paid work. Through your own talent and hard work, you're set up to really be able to work with new media and emerging business models. Why not really dig down and embrace them?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Andrew DelQuadro, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 7:51am

    Comic Publisher

    I am a comic publisher and have been shouting this from the mountains for awhile now. The basic problem is that the top creators do not want to change their business model and are scared of what that future holds for the industry. They fail to realize that they are able to make the transition the easiest of anyone since they have the loyal fan base already. If small, independent publishers can make it while starting from nothing, they can too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 7:58am

    Two Quotes Struck Me

    I'm going to be off topic for a minute. Tim is a hilarious guy, and two quotes here struck me as hilarious.

    Oh, and bit torrent naughtiness is a great name for a forward-looking cyberpunk porn thriller.... I would read that if it were in the form of a graphic novel. We're not mindless moths, fluttering about the heat of your light, desperate to slam our bodies against the fixture. I don't know why this is hilarious, but my boss stopped by my desk to find out what the hell I was laughing about.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 7:59am

    Re: Comic Publisher

    "They fail to realize that they are able to make the transition the easiest of anyone since they have the loyal fan base already."

    And that's really the crux of my argument. It's stunning how much of a leg up some of these creators have. And I have to stress again that I've reviewed Colleen's work, and it's GOOD! She has fans, she has industry experience, and she has talent....she SHOULD be a focal success story waiting to happen.

    I wonder if this can all be explained by a fear of the unknown?

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Re: Comic Publisher

    "If small, independent publishers can make it while starting from nothing, they can too."

    "Creator entitlement" will prevent this change to the new market for most, age of the artist will be a defining factor in who actually makes the transition. The younger the more likely to be capable of see the potential and making the change.

     

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  5.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:02am

    Re: Two Quotes Struck Me

    "We're not mindless moths, fluttering about the heat of your light, desperate to slam our bodies against the fixture."

    Actually, I really didn't intend that to be funny, but now that I read it again, I'm laughing too.

    I write in imagery (fition writer, go figure). And this image seemed to be depressingly appropos with regard to how some content producers/distributors truly see their audience. And that's sad....

     

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    Jose_X, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:04am

    a little help opening eyes, please

    Mike, did you email her? [I left a couple of comments.]

    Those first batch of comments there were all of people ready to push pirates over the plank.

     

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    Phonetician Hack, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:05am

    Hey, guess what, lady?

    I stopped reading comic books not because I could get them online, but because I didn't want to read them anymore, anyway. If it makes you feel better to think it's because people were pirating the work for free, rather than that they didn't want it in the first place, then whatever you need to tell yourself.

    You may have lost business to the internet, but that's only because, as I was coming of age, there was so much more interesting content being generated for free, by folks who made it for free, on the Internet than in your paper and ink, overpriced pamphlet.

     

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    Jose_X, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:10am

    Re: Comic Publisher

    She also doesn't have to do everything herself. There are others out there than will come up with many businesses leveraging her work (if she allows) and with whom she can partner. She can release using the CC-by-SA license and then leverage her unique control over endorsements. Others will take and add stuff to hers and she can come right back and add on top of that. She'll likely endorse those that share with her a cut of the profits they come up with.

    She doesn't need the middlemen gigantic corporations. Many are currently very crude, rude, not very attractive to fans, not very savvy with the Internet, and greedy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:11am

    "Through your own talent and hard work, you're set up to really be able to work with new media and emerging business models."

    Wait a minute? Business models? As in? Compete with those that make money by giving away your work for free and without your consent?

    Can i post this article on my blog to attract few potential advertisers, please? Let's compete a little, shall we?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:12am

    Re: a little help opening eyes, please

    Jose:

    I don't know if Mike contacted her or not, but I'm actually the one that wrote this story, and I certainly did try to leave a comment on the piece (although it's not her blog) that closely resembles the text of this story. I haven't checked back in a while, but I received a notice that my comment was awaiting moderation, and it wasn't posted in the first couple of days....

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Comic Publisher

    "Creator entitlement"

    Some creators think their s**t doesn't stink.
    http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/2010/11/24/16290051-wenn-story.html

     

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    Jay (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Comic Publisher

    We can chalk this up to conformity as well. All that time she's been cooped up under someone else, I'm sure she's absolutely TERRIFIED of doing things on her own. That's the transition point that truly sticks out.

     

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    Jay (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Comic Publisher

    Don't get me started on Marvel...

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: a little help opening eyes, please

    Is that your first article in Techdirt? First I'd noticed. Congrats.

     

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    215ink (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Comic Publisher

    It absolutely is a fear of the unknown. They dont know how to leverage it for their benefit so unfortunately they would rather fight it and speak out against it.

    When I offer free mobile apps and free digital files of our titles, our sales go up. When I dont offer them, our sales go down. Its as simple as that.

    The goal is to give fans what they want and offer them a product they are willing to pay for. Instead of fighting the future we need to embrace it and harness it to offer a unique and compelling product that a reader will want to pay for.

     

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    Jay (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Re: Hey, guess what, lady?

    This brings up another interesting point that ALL creators seem to forget. They're competing for people's time. Quite frankly, she turned me off of ALL of her work with this misaimed rant against piracy.

     

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    Jose_X, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: a little help opening eyes, please

    I did manage to leave comments over there that got past moderation quickly.

    And sorry to have assumed Mike wrote the piece. Great piece. Everyone is sounding alike over here. :-)

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:22am

    Re:

    "Wait a minute? Business models? As in? Compete with those that make money by giving away your work for free and without your consent?"

    Sure. Here's but one idea I had in the last five seconds:

    Keep releasing daily content, almost strip style. Work and work and work, and make sure you have new stuff on your site for folks to come get. So the pirates have taken your past works and put them up on sharing sites....big deal. Engage w/your fans and offer them the newest stuff, and then build a subscription base around your loyal community, while also selling additionals that pirates can't get offer(merch, inclusion in the works, participation in future works, personalized work, etc.).

    That's but one model (or maybe a portion of a model).

    "Can i post this article on my blog to attract few potential advertisers, please? Let's compete a little, shall we?"

    Get 'er done, as they say. Mike's said in the past that this wouldn't be a problem. Question: why would the community here go to your site instead of Techdirt?

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    Go for it. Mike has already said he doesn't mind his articles posted elsewhere and I can imagine that Tim doesn't think any different. Just remember, Techdirt provides something more then Colleen Doran provides for her fans. Chances are you wouldn't get many more hits.

     

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  20.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re: a little help opening eyes, please

    2nd actually, but who's counting (I AM!) ;)

     

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    Jose_X, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Hey, guess what, lady?

    Maybe with a positive rant she will be able to turn you back on.

     

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    Transbot9, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:25am

    Another bubble burst...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re:

    Mike has always encouraged this. He even won't take legal actions if you don't attribute it to him.

    Just watch out when it backfires on you, like Lily Allen found out.

    Oh...wait, you were trying to pretend that Mike was hypocritical (even though Mike didn't post this)? Sorry, what you're asking to do has happened many times before, and you know what: Mike doesn't care. He'll write up a nice little article if you're an "anti-thieving pirates" type, but that's about it.

    (By the way, make sure to attribute it to the RIGHT author if you're going to bother)

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re: a little help opening eyes, please

    Easy mistake to make. Mike wrote all the other articles on the front page. When does that guy sleep? I'd offer my help, but judging from my blog, I can't write well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:28am

    I buy a lot of comic books. Every week.
    I had not bought any of Steve Lieber's work until I heard about the "pirating". Now I own some of his work and watch his Twitter comments. Which introduces me to even More comic book related artists.
    Steve Lieber is effectively working with "Free" instead of ranting about "Free".
    Gee, I wonder which is going to be more profitable in 6 months? Which will be far more known?
    Go ahead, rant more.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:30am

    Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    "seems extremely angry, mixing in vitriolic and pedantic scorn" describes you well, but I don't credit you with understanding what's happening.

    Colleen Doran says: "I made my comic series, A Distant Soil, available as a free webcomic less than two years ago. Despite assurances that the many sites pirating my work were doing me a favor with their "free advertising" I never saw a single incoming link from them, saw no increase in traffic, and made virtually no money."

    1) Stop right there and look at the failure of the *advertising model* as a means of income. This fits my contention that ADVERTISING NO LONGER WORKS WHEN IT CAN BE AVOIDED.

    2) It's *quite* understandable that it's more *efficient* for anyone wishing to read her comics (probably a maniac, as such tend) to find *hers and many others* already bundled on *one web site* rather than opening up a few dozen web sites. A few clicks, and you've got them all started downloading.

    3) Regardless of her abilities, there's no *necessary* connection with the creator. You seem to base your "connection" notions on some psychological needs of consumers to be affirmed and even coddled -- schmoozed into buying useless junk, and it may well be that Colleen Doran's audience aren't such weenies as to need the connection. (I write without looking at her work; it's *irrelevant*, may be other reason they don't and *won't* "connect".)

    4) I'd say YOU should have "engaged" her privately and offered her your tips, perhaps for a price. Instead you spew bile at her for doing it wrong. Is that a "good" business practice?

    By the way, it seems that you use a "negative connection" to heighten interest in the site, that's why now and then you jab at those of us who controvert with you, otherwise the site has only a bunch of quite dull sychophants. Controversy sells, agreement doesn't. (Even may be another reason why Doran doesn't get more traffic, fans like what she's doing just fine.)

     

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    Jose_X, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re:

    >> Get 'er done, as they say.

    Yes, except to the extent that person would lie (be deceptive, libel, etc), posting this material over there will increase audience and warm them up. Those that are serious will have one more way to find their way here. Most people don't care that much about most things. The key is finding, as efficiently as possible, those that do.

     

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    Transbot9, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:35am

    Re: Another bubble burst...

    Oops, tapped [ENTER] by mistake.

    Her thinking is the same type which caused the DotCom bubble burst - the expectation that if you just throw something online, you will make money. My guess is that someone who didn't really understand how to use the internet to make money convinced her to try it, but that's just a guess.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:38am

    The real stats...

    Just skimming through the comments on her Blog, one astute person noted that Colleen's comics are placing magnitudes below completely free works like XKCD, Perry Bible Fellowship and Girl Genius on Amazon.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Hey, guess what, lady?

    Which leads me to assume that you were turned on to all of her work before her "rant".

    Since you were apparently "turned on" to her work, I further assume this means you purchased one or more of items of her work "pre-rant".

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:40am

    Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Hi, Out, I'm actually the one that wrote the article, not Mike, but I'll try to respond to some of your points:

    "1) Stop right there and look at the failure of the *advertising model* as a means of income. This fits my contention that ADVERTISING NO LONGER WORKS WHEN IT CAN BE AVOIDED."

    I don't think I ever pointed to the advertising model as being the solution. In fact, I think I hinted that it isn't. Advertising as a model seems to be the "thought money would just begin rolling in" scenario. I think it can be a viable PART of a model, but not THE model on the web.

    "2) It's *quite* understandable that it's more *efficient* for anyone wishing to read her comics (probably a maniac, as such tend) to find *hers and many others* already bundled on *one web site* rather than opening up a few dozen web sites. A few clicks, and you've got them all started downloading."

    Works great for past works, yes. What if a person downloaded those works, really liked them, and was hungry for more content? Where can that person get that content first? Could it be Colleen's own site? And if they're that hungry for the content, isn't there a way to intelligently monetize that?

    "Regardless of her abilities, there's no *necessary* connection with the creator. You seem to base your "connection" notions on some psychological needs of consumers to be affirmed and even coddled -- schmoozed into buying useless junk, and it may well be that Colleen Doran's audience aren't such weenies as to need the connection."

    Well, I certainly don't mean connection that way. Connection means to engage. Think of your favorite author (mine is Michael Crichton). When Crichton was alive, if there was a way to engage directly with him, be in some small way involved in his work (say had a name inclusion in a novel, or have a line of text included, etc.), would that not be valuable to some/many people? I think it would, and Colleen has a leg up because she has FANS already.

    "4) I'd say YOU should have "engaged" her privately and offered her your tips, perhaps for a price. Instead you spew bile at her for doing it wrong. Is that a "good" business practice?"

    First, I tried, comment declined by moderation, and I didn't even try to charge your fee :)

    Second, hate? I write in strong language, but how can you read lines like:

    "Through your own talent and hard work...."

    "You're a GOOD artist."

    ....and see hate? Odd....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:42am

    Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Mike didn't write this.

    Just saying.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:49am

    Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    First, I would recommend reading other comments before spilling your hatred. That way you don't make several mistakes you just made. For example, this wasn't written by Mike.

    1) Who said anything about advertising? Even if we did, you have to provide something people want to look at before advertising works.

    2) If the only thing the other sites can provide is a site that's easier to navigate and it's still doing better then the original, the original site must suck out loud.

    3) There is no necessity to connect with fans, there's also no necessity for fans to find her. She has to work. There is no easy money.

    4) She wrote a vary angry post insisting that piracy was the problem. This is just another person who chooses to ignore the real problem and blame everyone else vary publicly.

    I will say this part again since it's the most important thing any person trying to make money can understand:

    There is no easy money.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Comic Publisher

    Okay, so... which one are YOU talking about? Jay Kay or Johny Rotten?

     

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    Freak, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:58am

    Re: The real stats...

    I was about to mention other webcomics to Blue up there :)

    I agree with Tim/DH. And on this case, I can't see anyone arguing differently. Money can be made by posting comics for free online, if you do it right. We have RL examples that have been working for more than a decade now.

    If you can't make money doing that as someone in Colleen's position, you're doing it wrong, and please stop blaming pirates.

     

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    DOlz (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:00am

    I stopped reading comics years ago, not because of pirating, but because the publishers decided the readers were mindless cash cows. It was the multiple covers, limited issues, and constant reboots that drove me away.

    If you want to keep me as a customer treat me with respect, not as the source of your problems.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    "1) Stop right there and look at the failure of the *advertising model* as a means of income. This fits my contention that ADVERTISING NO LONGER WORKS WHEN IT CAN BE AVOIDED."

    Seriously, advertisement works otherwise Google wouldn't be a billion dollar company, but me thinks one needs how to do it, it is not easy on the internet and very few are making money and they are desperate to create attention grabbers.

    I will venture that the new boss for a lot of artists will be Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, because they are the ones that know how to make money on advertisement and are the ones that need content, which brings me to the point, some people on Youtube are making 6 figures using a cheap camera and free software, why talented people can't do it?

    The skill sets for the older generation(and I don't mean by age) is different apparently from the newcomers that draw from a lot of different skill sets in order to succeed.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Okay, sorry, I didn't catch the byline, but my comments directed to Mike are still on target: he's the one with a business of advising FREE content.

    "I don't think I ever pointed to the advertising model as being the solution. In fact, I think I hinted that it isn't."

    Okay, let's agree that advertising can't bring much, THEN refer to my #3 and tell me HOW to bring about what you say works. (Forgot to mention that I seldom *want* a connection of any sort with a "creator" beyond the creation itself. Especially if the product is good, certainly NOT, communication with another flawed human just *spoils* the illusion.)

    "When Crichton was alive, if there was a way to engage directly with him, be in some small way involved in his work (say had a name inclusion in a novel, or have a line of text included, etc.), would that not be valuable to some/many people?"

    NOT OF VALUE TO CRICHTON. He was said to isolate himself when writing, have the same thing for *every* meal, to focus on the *work*. -- But most creators HATE the details of getting published and collecting the money, understandably feel it subtracts from their time and their creations tend to be commercial. So your focus on the grubby necessaries for subsistence almost inevitably produces inferior works.

    "isn't there a way to intelligently monetiize that?"

    YOU (and Mike) TELL ME, DARN IT! I'm eagerly awaiting such. Not trying to be rude, but it's a FACT that the "better business model" has yet to appear. I think that practical realities will drive the web to be CLOSED, paywalls everywhere, more like a magazine store where one might browse a bit, but if you walk out with "content" without paying, they call the cops.

    [??? "Second, hate? I write in strong language, but how can you read lines like:" -- The word "hate" doesn't appear in *my* post.]

     

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  39.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Comic Publisher

    Does it matter?

    If so, you choose.

     

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  40.  
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    Freak, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    "but it's a FACT that the "better business model" has yet to appear"

    [citation needed]

    Have you ever heard of a webcomic, Mr. Blue? There are quite a few out there. A lot of people make a living from their webcomic, Mr. Blue.
    And they offer everything they have for free.

    It's a fact that the Better Business Model is, in fact, already in existence for this industry.

     

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  41.  
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    M Kitchen, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:22am

    I thought that was a well written response Tim!

    Over at The Beat I got into a similar discussion regarding file sharing/piracy.

    Back in September I wrote a big article over at my blog discussing my thoughts on digital comics and file sharing. If anyone is interested in reading it, it can be found here.

    http://www.ultraist.net/journal/2010/09/05/thoughts-on-digital-comics-and-file-sharing/

    In it I talk about what I see as the most successful business models that work with digital file sharing, rather than wasting energy struggling against it. I think the artists in Colleen's camp are directing their energy in the wrong direction. More would get done flowing with the digital currents instead of against it.

    My two cents.

     

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  42.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Colleen Doran raised the advertising point (and *I'm* permitted to as well, if suits the thrust of my argument; sheerly for note, I *did* read every comment available before my post, but missed the [rare other] byline, yes):

    "Pirates draw traffic from my site, and cost me millions of hits annually, which cuts my advertising revenue."

    Doran may well be angry: losing income even in prospect makes people so, and I think she has a good case. Evidently she's been practicing what Mike preaches, YET somehow fails to reap the rewards. To me, that suggests problems with Mike's views, as I've outlined, and that he should have offered her advice. I see from DH's comment to me that more advice was spurned, and perhaps you might concede that she now has *experience* with Mike's notions that lead her to reject it?

    Another point where we differ is that there *IS* "easy money": The Rich get it. That bit of unfairness may be difficult to resolve, nonetheless, it's an everyday fact hampering the existence of creators. A re-distribution of wealth would provide support for such creators, rather than it going to excess upon excess for the few.

     

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    m3mnoch (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    srsly, helmet. what are you doing?

    dude. what's the matter with you, helmet?

    first, you write something that someone else can just copy-paste and republish for free and then you come on here in the comments and personally engage with the folks reading your post?

    geeez. are you trying to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk?

    *sigh*

    the nerve of some people!

    m3mnoch.

    p.s. EXCELLENT job, btw.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:38am

    Re:

    While I do read comics nearly every single day (I believe the word "Manic" was used - DH and my wife.) I agree about the cash cow problem. Multiple covers are just one reflection of going for the buck.
    However, to get back on topic, there is no good reason for Colleen to not succeed. She has a manic fanbase and is an recognized talent. People actually want her work. I wish I had the same potential for that degree of success.
    While Mike could offer his insight to her, I don't feel he has to prove or provide an actual business model for you to live or die by.
    I have not nearly the education that Mike has or you have (I'm guessing.) and I can think of ways to easily help her become more well known as an artist in her own right. i.e. Not needed the publisher, Marvel for example.
    I know that several web comic artists for example, while giving the web comic away for "free", they do sell prints and other mech (With fan input on what to sell.) quite successfully.

    Three quick examples:
    http://wapsisquare.com/
    http://www.pvponline.com/
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/

    You may note that each artist(s) actively connects to their fanbase with comments, activities and other promotions.
    TL;DR - She has a fanbase! She has people that actively want her art! She's simply not connecting with those people.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Fine, not hate, "bile".

    And the point of all this is that there is no SINGLE business model that works for everyone, but you can't ignore comic creators that have been successful with a model incorporating free content and pretend they don't exist....

     

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  46.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Two Quotes Struck Me

    I found these funny too, which made me look at who wrote it because Mike doesn't write like that. :)

    In my case it could be growing up on the best of British comedy (The Goon Show & Python) as well as the best of Canadian (This Hour Has Thirty Minutes). In both cases often self-deprecating while being very pointed.

    You hit on all the main points in response to her rather unfocused blog post.

    Good work!

    You just made my morning with that one!

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Er, remove income from advertising though, as my little thesis goes, because I *can* and *do* avoid it (and increasing numbers of people will so long as possible). Then you rely almost solely on "connection" with fans, but that isn't necessarily going to be possible. Not quite stated by me, but that requires dreary *work* over and above the effort of producing the comics, and some may not be up to it, for whatever reasons.

    Also, you seem to regard comics as a big slice of the net, when it's minuscule (besides mere frill) compared to news, which are notably floundering (so they say). So my contention is that the "better business model" only works for a few -- just about as in previous times too, though of course the distribution method allows wider prospects for start-ups. However, once fully mature, the *established* authors will garner most of the traffic; new people will be ignored, as ever, for the familiar. The transition period is probably about over.

    And in any case, a "model" which is followed but doesn't produce results in *every* case, is just a crap shoot as ever; there are surely more complex reasons, which weren't considered in the piece.

    Besides the above, existing corporations are even now changing the playing field! That's going to affect the "model".

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    But she DIDN'T practice what Mike preaches.

    Mike's business model guideline is "CwF + RtB". She neither connected with her fans, nor did she provide anything worth "buying".

    "Free" is not part of Mike's model, but he advocates it because if everyone else can copy your stuff for free, then it will happen.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    I'm sure DH is honored to be mistaken for Mike.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Two Quotes Struck Me

    I grew up on Monty Python as well. Perhaps that explains a few things....

     

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  51.  
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    Boost, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: a little help opening eyes, please

    Good work, Lord Helmet! Very good read.

     

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    Revelati, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Hold on a sec. According to those excerpts, Pirates have better selection, more content, less red tape, faster more efficient downloads, and provide this all for free.

    So you buy a ticket for a cruise ship, and instead of being fun you are flogged twice daily and forced to scrub the decks the rest of the time.

    Suddenly a "pirate" ship sails by, everyone on it is singing and dancing having a blast, you yell down
    "Hey! What does a ticket cost for a ride on your ship?!" only to hear the reply of
    "Ticket? whats that? Just hop on board!"

    Someday we will look back and laugh at the time when idiots in the media industry were shown THE DISTRIBUTION MODEL OF THE INFORMATION AGE and tried to sue it out of existence.

     

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    Anon, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    Excellent article, Tim.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:19am

    "Hold on a sec. According to those excerpts, Pirates have better selection, more content, less red tape, faster more efficient downloads, and provide this all for free."

    ...and still make tonnes of money if you believe all that.

    The thing is, if the make so much money why can't she?

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Doran threw something up on a site and hoped. That doesn't work, that has never worked, even before the Internet.

    The rich didn't get rich by sitting on their asses. They had to get there somehow. Even the RIAA has to work for their extortion money.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    Wait a minute? Business models? As in? Compete with those that make money by giving away your work for free and without your consent?

    Yes, lots of people do it quite successfully. Do some searches on the site and you might find a few...

    Can i post this article on my blog to attract few potential advertisers, please? Let's compete a little, shall we?


    Why do people keep thinking they're proving something every time they make this argument:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090116/0348223430.shtml

    Go right ahead.

     

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  57.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:41am

    Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    As others pointed out, this wasn't by me, but also should note that "connecting with fans" does not mean "bending over backwards to connect with everyone -- especially those who are purposely misstating what you do."

    1) Stop right there and look at the failure of the *advertising model* as a means of income. This fits my contention that ADVERTISING NO LONGER WORKS WHEN IT CAN BE AVOIDED.

    Only true if the advertising is bad, intrusive, annoying or not useful. If the advertising is good, interesting, relevant, entertaining, etc people don't seem to have a problem with it. See Google as an example. Or see the Old Spice Guy ad campaign for another.

    2) It's *quite* understandable that it's more *efficient* for anyone wishing to read her comics (probably a maniac, as such tend) to find *hers and many others* already bundled on *one web site* rather than opening up a few dozen web sites. A few clicks, and you've got them all started downloading.

    So?

    3) Regardless of her abilities, there's no *necessary* connection with the creator. You seem to base your "connection" notions on some psychological needs of consumers to be affirmed and even coddled -- schmoozed into buying useless junk, and it may well be that Colleen Doran's audience aren't such weenies as to need the connection. (I write without looking at her work; it's *irrelevant*, may be other reason they don't and *won't* "connect".)

    Again, no one said you have to connect with everyone. Some people won't want to connect. So what?

    4) I'd say YOU should have "engaged" her privately and offered her your tips, perhaps for a price. Instead you spew bile at her for doing it wrong. Is that a "good" business practice?

    Didn't see much bile in Tim's writeup. And, given that many, many people seem to be agreeing with what Tim said (you should check out what the online comic community is saying about this story on Twitter), yes, it does seem like a good business practice.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    "But she DIDN'T practice what Mike preaches." -- Sounds like an economist! It's not the "model" which doesn't fit reality, it's the other way round. By the way, what's been aimed at Doran here *ain't* "engagement", folks; seems you can't maintain equanimity for longer than the title to try to figure out *what* she's doing "wrong".

    The fans *have* a reason to buy in the *original* product comic -- or not at all! -- They *didn't* buy, not even to visit her site and bring her advertising income.

    You can say "connect with fans", but perhaps she doesn't have *time* to do so; that's quite a burden on top of otherwise normal life.

    The only clear advice is that Doran should churn out lots of crap to satisfy the fleeting urges of fans -- to draw them to *her* site rather than to those of pirates, which is simply standing her complaint on its head! Not a useful answer. -- And that's precisely advocating "FREE" as a "business model". I don't see it as practicable, though I'm not an advocate of increasing copyright, either.

    If you *must* give away your product (because it'll be taken anyway), then THE WHOLE SYSTEM WILL COLLAPSE. There's simply not enough "connection" with fans to go around. The novelty of it will soon wear off, with fans feeling imposed on to feed you. It's an effect observable with charities and NPR: they're always BEGGING, and it's annoying. -- What are you, NPR weenies? Because CWF-RTB is their model! But it only works with large public subsidies AND corporate sponsors, so advertising.

     

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    Free Capitalist (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    Re: Excellent article, Tim.

    I agree with Anon. Tim/DH, your style and tone can give good balance to Mike's write-ups. More! If you ever catch yourself trying to "be like Mike" here, put on your suit and sing a cover of "My Way" Shatner style... and please post the video.

     

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  60.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Er, remove income from advertising though, as my little thesis goes, because I *can* and *do* avoid it (and increasing numbers of people will so long as possible).

    I would suggest that your thesis is wrong. People will avoid bad and intrusive and annoying advertising. If you do it right, however, plenty will not only not avoid it, but seek it out. And if some percentage still avoid it, that's fine. See: Google.

    Then you rely almost solely on "connection" with fans, but that isn't necessarily going to be possible.

    The connecting part is not the business model. The reason to buy is. And that's often got nothing to do with advertising.

    Not quite stated by me, but that requires dreary *work* over and above the effort of producing the comics, and some may not be up to it, for whatever reasons.

    Depends on what you're doing. For many it does not seem like work at all. If it seems like work, you're probably doing it wrong.

     

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  61.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    "Depends on what you're doing. For many it does not seem like work at all. If it seems like work, you're probably doing it wrong."

    This, I think, is key. Collaboration w/fans can go a long way to explaning a great deal of how to do this stuff, and I think for most creative industries, that type of thing only makes sense.

    There will be some who will say that creators don't WANT to engage their fans or involve them in their endeavors. Which is fine. Just don't then turn around and say creating in the internet age doesn't work....

     

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  62.  
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    Eugene (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Also, you seem to regard comics as a big slice of the net, when it's minuscule

    I hate to just make a direct contradiction like this, but as a big follower of webcomics, this notion is utterly wrong in every way. There are TONS of webcomics out there, in every shape, size, style, and level of quality you can imagine from abstract ink bizarro-world daily strips to full-on digitally painted graphic novels that only update once a week or month. Even if "miniscule" is meant to be in comparison to some other unnamed thing, I would still contend that webcomics represent a larger faction than you think.

    Moreover, many of these authors are making tons of money. And not just the 'established' set like Sluggy Freelance or Penny Arcade (In the case of PA, it should be noted, they're not only financially successful, but WILDLY financially successful). Schlock Mercenary has only been around since 2001, and it has been its author's sole source of income for a while now. Dr. McNinja has been around for 2-3 years - financially successful. MSPaint Adventures has been around for a little over a year - financially successful. AxeCop has been around for UNDER a year - financially successful. And there are creator-run comic collectives left and right which have found ways to be successful as well. There are patterns in how these comics have leveraged their content to make money. This is NOT a crapshoot.

     

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  63.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Doran may well be angry: losing income even in prospect makes people so, and I think she has a good case. Evidently she's been practicing what Mike preaches, YET somehow fails to reap the rewards.

    Erm. The whole point of the article is that she absolutely does not practice what we preach.

    Just what do you think we preach anyway?

     

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  64.  
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    Huph, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Any Original Work?

    Something jumps out at me: all her credits are for large publishers. I suppose that means she has no recourse for selling merch or t-shirts. She can't sell prints of Captain America, Sandman, Wonder Woman, Amazing Spider-man, etc because she doesn't own those properties.

    So, she'd need to create a new character to own herself, which she is most likely legally barred from doing while working for a large company.

    BUT, don't forget that she's an illustrator. She's not a character designer. She's not a writer. Her craft is her illustrative abilities with other people's characters/worlds. So, she has to make sure that she gets paid up front for her work, which will only happen if the large company figures that her work will be commercially viable. Which it might not be now, for whatever reason... I really don't know what the numbers look like.

    I just wanted to point out that just because someone can *draw* a comic well, doesn't imply that they can *create* one. Just as we don't expect actors to write their own lines.

     

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  65.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Er, remove income from advertising though

    There are plenty of comic artists who release their content for free (e.g. xkcd), but don't make the bulk of their money on advertising. In fact, advertising never brings in very much money. It doesn't for Techdirt. It doesn't even bring in that much for The Pirate Bay - most of it goes towards server costs - and they've got some of the most obtrusive advertising known to mankind.

    Comic artists, especially, are more prone to make money from selling physical copies, since a physical copy of a comic is far superior to a .gif file on a web page. Many also sell T-shirts and such.

    [Connecting with fans] requires dreary *work* over and above the effort of producing the comics, and some may not be up to it, for whatever reasons.

    I've yet to meet a single artist, in any genre, that doesn't want to talk your ear off ad nauseum about art (theirs and others). People with a passion generally want to share that passion. That's fundamentally all you need to do, and it can be accomplished online with almost zero effort.

    And in any case, a "model" which is followed but doesn't produce results in *every* case, is just a crap shoot as ever;

    Which means that every business model is a crap shoot. No argument here. In business, there's no such thing as an A for effort.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:37am

    Re: Any Original Work?

    Sorry, but you're incorrect. Colleen made her bones with A Distant Soil which she created on her own at age 12. She also self-published for a time, during which point I believe she was putting her stuff up on her site for free.

    It's too bad she hasn't found her way over here yet....

     

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  67.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    Nice one, Tim

    On phrase in particular stood out:

    If all you have to offer is what others can manage to offer for free, then you don't actually have anything to offer to start with.

    100% on point. Maybe Techdirt should put this on a T-shirt or something.

     

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  68.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    How much did you pay again to watch the content on this site? Did you encounter any demands for your money?
    And yet, this site works, and has been operating for years now. You can't do that, unless it offers an added value to Techdirt's employees.

     

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  69.  
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    FormerAC (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Tried to post this in the comments on the article, but it doesn't like it :(

    Yes, piracy is a problem. No, you cannot stop it. No, you cannot make it go away. No, you cannot legislate it. A bill before Congress which would stop/restrict advertising on pirate sites will have ZERO IMPACT on this problem. Why? Because they are pirates. Do you really think they care about a law like that? This is the internet, they will simply route around that little problem.

    That seems to be the crux of the problem here. The pirates are learning how to adapt to the internet and you are not. If someone has pirated your work and posted it online, why would I come to your website to see it? You have to offer something the pirates don't. A rant against piracy isn't going to help. I hear music on the radio for free (or Pandora) yet I still BUY music.

    One answer is to Connect With Fans and give them a Reason to Buy (CWF+RTB) something. It doesn't have to be your comics. They can already get those. How about a t-shirt. A mug? Small potatoes I know. How about selling a walk-on role in one of your comics? A fan might be willing to pay serious money for something like that. Why not sell a unique one off comic starring a fan? Sell it for $25,000 or something like that. You might be surprised. That would certainly pay for health insurance.

    Many musicians have tried these types of ideas. Jill Sobule funded the recording time for her last album this way. American singer-songwriter Ellis Paul, a musical veteran with 16 albums and 14 Boston Music Awards was able to raise $100,000 to record an album throught the support of 300 fans.

    But it isn't just musicians succeeding this way. The Christian Science Monitor changed from a daily newspaper to a weekly magazine, and totally dedicated their news staff to being web-centric. They abandoned a 100 year old daily newspaper and adapted to the new world we live in. The result? In the first year of this change, traffic on the website more than doubled, and paid subscriptions to the paper magazine increased from 43,000 to 77,000.

    My favorite radio station is member supported (88.5 WXPN in Philly). Their member drives (and NPR's) are excellent examples of CWF+RTB. They could go on the air and just beg and plead and HOPE people give them money. They don't. They give me a reason to buy. Donate $75 and get an exclusive CD. Donate $275 and get a pair of CDs and an XPN Superhero t-shirt (so you can publicly proclaim your love). They also have options to be a Special Producer ($1500, $2500) and be in studio for live tapings with artists. They have FREE concerts every week with unheard of artists like Joe Jackson, Counting Crows, Govít Mule, Patty Griffin, Carly Simon, Shemekia Copeland, Indigo Girls, Barenaked Ladies, Derek Trucks Band, Citizen Cope, Buddy Guy and Rosanne Cash. They give away the tickets and air the concert on the radio.

    I don't claim that piracy is good, just inevitable. Always has been. Its just cheaper and faster today. If you are failing, YOU are failing. Don't blame the internet. Don't blame pirates. Quit looking for someone to blame. That is just lazy business thinking. The internet has changed the world we live in and you are hanging onto the past. You need to adapt.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    Suddenly a "pirate" ship sails by, everyone on it is singing and dancing having a blast, you yell down
    "Hey! What does a ticket cost for a ride on your ship?!" only to hear the reply of
    "Ticket? whats that? Just hop on board!"


    Best. Comment. Ever.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Hey, guess what, lady?

    No that would take a seriously good BJ ...

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    "For more than 20 years, I've written and drawn comics for a variety of major publishers: Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image and Disney."

    Maybe she should contact above and ask about her 20 years of royalties. Or does that business model not work either?

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re:

    Agreed. And extra points for understanding what a pirate is and where piracy happens.

     

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  74.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re:

    So long as you aren't afraid of getting "Grigged."

    If you are looking for a good Grigging, that is the way to start.

     

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  75.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    "Another point where we differ is that there *IS* "easy money": The Rich get it."

    It is easy to make money with money.

    Even just putting it in a bank. Don't kid yourself that the rich are getting the same measly interest rate I am from the bank.

     

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  76.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Heh, case in point: I like reading some web comics but only tend to read those that come my way - i.e. I don't tend to seek them out. Of the titles mentioned in your post, I've only really come across Penny Arcade before (other regulars include Ctrl-Alt-Del and xkcd).

    Thanks to your post, I now have a few other titles on my RSS feed. Will I pay directly for this content? Possibly not, although I see that those sites have everything from physical merchandise to live events associated with them if I wish to do so.

    But, that's not the issue. The issue is this: *if* the free copy was not available, would I pay for any of this content? NO. I rarely buy physical comics due to the high prices (shipping to me is expensive) and the crapshoot nature of comics. Most comic readers have dropped more than a few bucks on bad comics, which can make them wary of experimentation, especially older readers (perhaps the ones most familiar with Ms. Doran's back catalogue) who have kids, mortgages and other things that might stop them buying blind every time.

    So, potential money from me via advertising or some other incentive to pay money, vs. exactly $0 from me under the traditional model. Given that many "pirates" would not have paid for the comics in the first place, this should be a no-brainer. What a shame we're still arguing with people who cling to the old business models.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    "In fact, advertising never brings in very much money. It doesn't for Techdirt ... most of it goes towards server costs ..."

    Part I (covering your web hosting costs)

    As a rule of thumb, count on web advertising to bring in a little under what your web hosting costs.

    Part IIa (promotion via static web stuff)

    -Cross promotion with similar websites.
    -Amazon style associates programs allowing your fans to make money off of sales of your goods in an Amway style pyramid.
    -Links to promote like facebook twitter digg etc, etc.

    And you have now covered your web hosting and have some money coming in. Now you need to get the word out.

    Part IIb (promotion via engagement)
    -Facebook and the other one.
    -Blogging on your site and other sites (nina pailey, Tim Geigner, etc). Make sure you give credit to people who help you it make them more likely to spread the gospel of Karl.
    -YouTube comments section.
    -etc
    -etc

    Part IIc (paid ads)
    -Google adwords.
    -etc

    Part III (sales)
    No clue what you are selling so I can't help with this or what can be cross marketed.

    I'm on a horse ...

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    " you can't ignore comic creators that have been successful with a model incorporating free content and pretend they don't exist...."

    Colleen Doran puts her blinders on ...

    "that there is no SINGLE business model that works for everyone"

    Truth be told we (techdirt types) should put a book together showing all the possible methods so people can pick and choose what works for them. Publish it online for free as a wiki or website and monitize it.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    "Just what do you think we preach anyway?"

    Dave raises his hand, jumps up and down yelling "oh oh pick me, pick me" ...

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    That really isn't a bad idea, actually. A book called "Examples of Digital Business Models" or something to that extent....

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike fails to connect with potential customer...

    Hilariously, your entire wall of text can be voided by a single line:

    There are free webcomics that are successful businesses.

    In fact, I can think of two where the artist gave up a full-time job to manage their webcomic as a full-time business (Megatokyo and XKCD). They obviously did something "right" to make a living, so clearly Doran is doing something "wrong".

    I don't care enough to do a deep analysis on what that "wrong" is, but plenty of others here will probably chip in their opinions.

     

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  82.  
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    It's, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 4:50pm

    If anyone says "you cant compete with free"...

    If anyone says "you cant compete with free" I have one word for them to contemplate.

    Dasani

    And really not only Dasani but the ENTIRE BOTTLED WATER INDUSTRY.

    They compete successfully AND make a profit selling the exact same water the people already get FOR FREE free from their municipal water departments or from a well.

    What part of not "trying hard enough" do people not understand?

     

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  83.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), Nov 24th, 2010 @ 7:06pm

    Re: If anyone says "you cant compete with free"...

    Not to nitpick here but have you seen you municipal toxins report lately?

     

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    Transbot9, Nov 24th, 2010 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Re: If anyone says "you cant compete with free"...

    Not to nitpick, but did you know that Coke bottles their water almost straight from the city tap? :P

     

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  85.  
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    Simon, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 4:22am

    Dinosaur Comics

    Everyone should listen to this episode of "Search Engine" which includes an interview with Ryan North - the creator of Dinosaur Comics who was recently involved in the book collaboration 'Machine of Death' which was the best selling book on Amazon.com for a short while. Basically the interview is about how a web comic creator is making a living....

    http://feeds.tvo.org/~r/tvo/searchengine/~3/sHf22Sk0axw/800861_48k.mp3

     

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    Shaenon Garrity, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Huh.

    It always amazes me how much some comics fans hate comics creators. I never know quite what to make of it. They seem to see the comics as things that just happen on their own, with no effort on anyone's part, and the artists as these anonymous jerks who insist on getting between them and the comics.

    When a creator asks you directly not to steal her work, don't steal her work. Don't be a jerk. It's really weird that this is considered worth an argument.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 25th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Huh.

    "When a creator asks you directly not to steal her work, don't steal her work."
    Did someone break into her house?
    I didn't see that in the article.

     

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    charliebrown (profile), Nov 26th, 2010 @ 4:50am

    Sales figures of comics

    "For more than 20 years, I've written and drawn comics for a variety of major publishers: Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image and Disney. Like many artists, I've seen my sales figures chipped away as the print market shrinks due, in no small part, to rampant online piracy." ~ Colleen Doran

    "Though a speculator boom in the early 1990s temporarily increased specialty store sales ó collectors 'invested' in multiple copies of a single comic to sell at a profit later ó these booms ended in a collectibles glut, and comic sales declined sharply in the mid-1990s, leading to the demise of many hundreds of stores." ~ Wikipedia

    Now I know Wikipedia is NOT the most reliable source of information out there, I remember hearing from my local comics store in 1998 about declining sales of comics. If sales of comic books has been decreasing since before 1998, does that mean piracy is to blame or have people just stopped buying comic books? And, seriously, how many pirated comic books would there have been in 1998? Were scanners even good enough to scan a comic books back then?

    You know what? While I'm at it, considering this article is called "Don't Blame 'Piracy' For Your Own Failures To Engage", I think I'll add this quote from something I found a few weeks ago at Google Books:

    "Until 1995 record store sales grew even when accounting for inflation, but in 1995 when total unit sales dropped about 1.0% (to 1,113.1m units down from 1,122.7m units of the previous year) the slight increase (2.1%) in dollar value of shipments was nullified by an approximate 3% inflation. The result was an actual decrease in retail store sales in constant dollars. The decrease of sales in constant dollars continued through the end of the twentieth century." ~ Geoffrey P. Hull from his book "The recording industry" (Routledge, 2004, p212)

    This means that CD sales have been in decline since 1995. Whilst the revenue initially kept going up, the total number of CD's being sold was in decline. How many people knew about MP3's back then? How many people had the internet in 1995? How many people could afford a CD burner in 1995?

    You may consider that as "off topic" but the topic is not blaming piracy for slumping sales. So I think my point on both cases is valid and I look forward to reading people's thoughts on them.

     

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    Steve Lieber, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 11:21am

    Tried posting this a couple of days ago. Let's try again:

    While I appreciate the attention, it doesn't make much sense to use my lucky spike to bash Colleen Doran. She's done way more to connect with fans than I have. Her site has more far free content than mine, and a great blog covering a wide variety of topics, (and she's active in the comments threads, too.) She's also been participating on comics message boards for at least a decade, and giving talks at schools, libraries and bookstores for a lot longer. I don't know enough about the specifics to speak to any other part of the discussion but no one out there is more engaged than Colleen Doran.

     

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    nasch (profile), Nov 27th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    Re: Any Original Work?

    Even if that were true, it would mean she was getting paid by those publishers, and would have even less reason to be concerned about piracy. In fact, if all she did was work for other people, she would want her work to be distributed as widely as possible by any means available, to increase her fan base.

     

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    nasch (profile), Nov 27th, 2010 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re: If anyone says "you cant compete with free"...

    How is that a nitpick? If tap water isn't good for you, then bottled water can (claim to) offer something free tap water can't. It's right in line with what we're talking about*.

    * except for the part where most bottled water is just tap water. Maybe filtered or otherwise purified though, and some is spring water of course.

     

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    nasch (profile), Nov 27th, 2010 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: Huh.

    When a creator asks you directly not to steal her work, don't steal her work.

    Yeah I didn't see anything about that either, but I must say Garrity is understating it a bit. Don't burglarize someone's house or office even if they haven't asked you not to.

    Don't be a jerk. It's really weird that this is considered worth an argument.

    I know! It's as though people like you and Colleen think you can stop people from being jerks by arguing about it! Crazy, huh? I would say stop arguing and adapt.

     

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    nasch (profile), Nov 27th, 2010 @ 7:29am

    Re: Tried posting this a couple of days ago. Let's try again:

    So the question is, is she not making any money, or not making as much money as she thinks she should? And if she were making the same amount of money but there was no piracy, would she still think she wasn't making enough? In other words, is she assuming that because there is piracy, she ought to be making more money?

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 28th, 2010 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Huh.

    It always amazes me how much some comics fans hate comics creators. I never know quite what to make of it. They seem to see the comics as things that just happen on their own, with no effort on anyone's part, and the artists as these anonymous jerks who insist on getting between them and the comics.

    I'm sorry, but in the post and every single comment above it, I don't see anyone who suggests anything remotely like that.

    Are you confused? Do you think you're responding to a different post on a different website?

    Can we help you find your way?

    This entire post was not about hating a comic creator but helping them to make more money by doing things in a smarter way.

    When a creator asks you directly not to steal her work, don't steal her work. Don't be a jerk. It's really weird that this is considered worth an argument.

    Again you seem to be arguing something different than everyone here is discussing. Perhaps before jumping in and spouting off, you should take the time to actually read what's being said.

    Might help.

     

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    Joe, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re:

    "So the pirates have taken your past works and put them up on sharing sites....big deal."

    Big deal?!? If somebody STOLE something of mine, I'd find that a big deal. And your entire model works under the assumption that producing content, all tyoes of content, is easy and quick...god forbid you try to engage in a deliberative creative process, or perhaps you aren't the fastest writer or artist or musician in the world. You still need to crank something out EVERY DAY in your model just to compete with folks who are stealing from you and are in the legal and moral wrong.

    Your whole argument is predicated on the notion that it's perfectly acceptable to steal. You may offer some strategies that help mitigate the losses from this theft, but it's perfectly acceptable for an artist to be frustrated as hell that this is happening.

    --Joe

     

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    Joe, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:55am

    "piracy"

    And why is the word piracy in quotes in this article's headline? That's exactly what it is....

     

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    Joe, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Huh.

    That's not the only form of stealing...jesus, you guys can't even accept the reality of the situation. PIRACY is STEALING. How hard is that to get your head around?!?

     

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  98.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:08am

    Re: "piracy"

    And why is the word piracy in quotes in this article's headline? That's exactly what it is....


    Piracy involves hijacking ships on the high seas. I don't see how that applies here, do you?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: "piracy"

    I'm sorry, but that's a semantically idiotic argument. If you don't want to adress the moral dimensions of the issue, that's your choice, but don't act like they don't truly exist.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Big deal?!? If somebody STOLE something of mine, I'd find that a big deal."

    Gah, still with the "stealing" thing? As long as I still have my "thing", then I don't see it as that big a deal.

    "And your entire model works under the assumption that producing content, all tyoes of content, is easy and quick"

    No, it does not. It works under the assumption that creators create ongoingly, and can build up a base of work to be released at the timing of their choosing. And you don't have to necessarily release every day, just frequently. That's the purpose of copyright anyway....

    "god forbid you try to engage in a deliberative creative process, or perhaps you aren't the fastest writer"

    I'm a writer, so I know what it takes to write (novels at least). I'm also familiar with how much work it takes to write short stories, including those based on a universe already created. This can absolutely be done.

    "Your whole argument is predicated on the notion that it's perfectly acceptable to steal."

    Nonsense. My argument is based on the idea that there are viable ways for creators to PROFIT from this. If the creator is profitting, then what concern is piracy?

    "You may offer some strategies that help mitigate the losses from this theft, but it's perfectly acceptable for an artist to be frustrated as hell that this is happening."

    Of course it's acceptable. It's understandable. But what good does being frustrated do? If there are ways to keep profitting and simultaneously make your fans happier....well, isn't that a better way?

     

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  101.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: "piracy"

    Copyright infringement works perfectly. It's accurate and factual.

     

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    nasch (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Huh.

    Stealing means taking something away from someone (illegally). Downloading a copy of a file doesn't do that, so it isn't stealing.

    PIRACY is STEALING.

    Saying a thing doesn't make it so, even if you use caps lock.

     

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  103.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh.

    "Stealing means taking something away from someone (illegally). Downloading a copy of a file doesn't do that, so it isn't stealing."

    If you download a copy of a file and/or distribute it without the creator's consent, you are taking away the rights of the creator to control the distribution of their work, and by extension, can impact whether the creator can make any sort of financial gain from their work. So you are directly taking away their rights, and possibly also taking away income.

    Therefore: it is stealing.

     

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  104.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 12:02am

    Re:

    Suddenly a "pirate" ship sails by, everyone on it is singing and dancing having a blast, you yell down
    "Hey! What does a ticket cost for a ride on your ship?!" only to hear the reply of
    "Ticket? whats that? Just hop on board!"

    So you jump on board and join the party. You're having a great time, and then you ask someone, "Hey, where'd you all get this bitchin' boat? How can you afford it?"

    And then a guy laughs, turns to you and says, "Aw, hell, we just all climbed on board and took it from the owners. Family of four. Slit their throats and threw 'em overboard. PARTY ON, DUDE!"

    And you have a wonderful party, which was financed by others, against their will. And you don't care if they're still flogging some unfortunate captives below deck, no matter which ship you're on - just so long as YOU aren't getting flogged, who gives a crap?

    Congratulations, you'll fit right in.

     

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  105.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 2:57am

    Re: Re:

    "Family of four."

    "The infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $6 billion. If the dollars don't shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association."
    http://www.thestar.com/business/article/735096--geist-record-industry-faces-liability -over-infringement

     

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  106.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh.

    That's a real stretch, and quite disingenuous. You and everyone else knows that when you say "stealing" you're talking about stealing the content. To then switch horses midstream and say you're talking about stealing rights is pretty shady.

    Secondly, it's not even correct. If I stole someone's copyright, that would mean that afterward I have it and he does not. This is manifestly not what happens when I upload an MP3. He still has his copyright privilege, and I still do not. So no, it's not stealing.

     

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  107.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re:

    So you jump on board and join the party. You're having a great time, and then you ask someone, "Hey, where'd you all get this bitchin' boat? How can you afford it?"

    And then a guy laughs, turns to you and says, "Aw, hell, we just downloaded the plans and built it ourselves! It's exactly like that ship you were on before, but you don't have to pay anything to ride on it. Cool huh?"

    And you have a wonderful party, which was financed by everyone chipping in. And nobody cares if someone else is having more fun than them, as long as everyone's having a good time.


    FTFY

     

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  108.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh.

    Of course it is stealing. The "stretch" and "disingenuous" part is how you're trying to narrowly define words to avoid personal responsibility.

    If someone has the the right to copy - a copyright - and you copy without having that right, then you have taken that content illegally. It doesn't matter that the creator still has the original. If the content is what's important, then the right to control that content is, indeed, the issue.

    When you copy illegally, you are defying the owner's right to control the distribution of their work. What use is a right if it can't or won't be enforced? They may still have the right according to the law, but by copying you take away any effect, any benefit, of that right. In essence, you make the right useless, and you may as well have actually removed the right entirely, because the effect is pretty much the same.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If your point is that the big music companies are also guilty of infringement, so it's okay for the "little guys" to come in and figuratively kill them and throw them over the side of the ship, then you are in essence saying that doing bad things is okay for some people if they decide that the people they do it to deserve it.

    On the other hand, some might say that doing bad things to people is bad, regardless, and that murdering a "rich" and "mean" family of four is still as much murder as murdering a "poor" and "nice" family of four.

     

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  110.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How is that fixed? All you've done is go back to the original unrealistic analogy, where some magical pirate ship comes along that SOMEHOW gets made from fairy dust and utopian wishing. Downloaded the plans? Okay. Where'd you get the wood and steel to make it?

    Everyone chipping in? Bullcrap. "Everyone" means everyone EXCEPT the pirates. People who steal content are not the ones who make the content. You want to torture the analogy further, fine.

    "And once we had the plans, we went around and ripped pieces off of people's houses until we could patch together a ship, which we forced some other weaker slobs to make for us. Don't worry about it - we only took a plank here, a plank there - and we forced a whole lot of other people to work, so no one person did all that much. Everybody still has MOST of their house, right? So it isn't really stealing, hur hur."

    You're trying to make an analogy where you never have to concede that at some point, your "pirate ship" is composed of the work and sweat of others, which you swoop in and appropriate, having decided that your desire to spread it around overrules their right to control it, and you just don't care how they feel about it. See if you can "fix" it and incorporate all that in there, too.

     

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  111.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Where'd you get the wood and steel to make it?

    That's where the analogy doesn't apply. With digital goods, there are no raw materials. The blueprints and the final product are the same thing. Once you download the plans, there's nothing more to build. I'm sure you knew this already though, so I'm not sure why you would even ask.

    You're trying to make an analogy where you never have to concede that at some point, your "pirate ship" is composed of the work and sweat of others,

    No, it really isn't. The work and sweat went into making the art/content in the first place. It didn't take any additional work to make another copy of it.

    which you swoop in and appropriate, having decided that your desire to spread it around overrules their right to control it

    Actually, I don't. If someone doesn't want me to hear their music, that's fine. I just won't hear it. And if they don't want to offer it at a price I like, no problem. I just skip it. But that doesn't mean I pretend the economics is anything other than what it really is.

    and you just don't care how they feel about it.

    Now you're quite right about that, I really don't care how a creator feels about their work being shared. Whether they like it or not, whether they throw a tantrum or not, it's happening. They can deal with it in any way they like as long as they don't take away any of my liberties, I really don't care.

     

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  112.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 10:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're trying to make an analogy where you never have to concede that at some point, your "pirate ship" is composed of the work and sweat of others,
    No, it really isn't. The work and sweat went into making the art/content in the first place. It didn't take any additional work to make another copy of it.
    You're proving my point. A pirate does not contribute to the creation of the "pirate ship". Without the work that others put in, all the pirates wouldn't be partying on a "ship", they'd be treading water. It is the work of others that provides the platform for the "party" they have. Pirates merely freeload off that work. If you wanted a more accurate analogy, they don't really have their own ship, they're more like barnacles clinging to the side of the original ship.

    Human greed being what it is, the fact that some people choose to steal content is understandable. What's not as easy to fathom is the depths to which some people will rationalize stealing and denial of rights as something "good", or pretend that they aren't actually committing a crime - for example, by denying that theft of intellectual property is, in fact, theft.

    And it is theft, regardless of how socially acceptable it may become, and whether or not that's the way the market is run today.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 3:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm saying it is the family of four who have done the pirating and throat slitting. That is how they got the yacht.

    But since you bring it up, no, I don't think the fox should complain about losing a chicken, which he stole from a farmer, when the wolf takes it from him.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But can the farmer complain?

    You're playing the "blame the victim" card, and hey, fine, corporations bad, rar rar whatever.

    But the "wolf" or the "pirates", as a whole, really aren't that discriminating. They don't step back and say, "oh, I'm not going to steal THIS "chicken" because it belongs to an honest hard working indie farmer," they don't really research the background of the family from which they steal the yacht. They take what they want, and tough crap for everyone who objects.

    And sure, you can get a bunch of testimonials from people who say things like "well, *I* go and pay for stuff I like" or "*I* only steal from big corporations", but it all smacks of self-serving propaganda to me. The number of "ethical" pirates is far outweighed by the unethical pirates, and it's still just an excuse to justify bad behavior, anyway.

    The Steve Lieber example sounds great, but if you actually read the exchange, you can see a few examples of raw ignorance, with some assuming that his comic was a corporate work just by virtue of being under the Image banner. And it's great that he was able to personally correct that notion - but it's impossible to tell how much of that sales spike was because of his direct interaction, and the novelty of the exchange, and how much of it was truly because these people go out and buy the stuff they read for free. How many creators, through no fault of their own, don't engage like Steve, don't know where their work is being stolen? Where's their sales spikes?

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Analogies are supposed to clarify things and now I think this one is doing the opposite, so let's just dump it.

    The important points are:

    1. infringement is not theft (I know you will never concede this one)
    2. digital goods can be copied at no cost
    3. most copyright infringement is not criminal
    4. copyright is a utilitarian privilege, not a civil right
    5. infringement cannot be stopped
    6. market forces are unaffected by laws. That is, an illegal activity affects a market just the same as it would if the activity were legal.

    Given in particular 5 and 6, what is a more useful and profitable response to infringement? Spending huge amounts of time and money fighting it, or trying to benefit from it?

    Given in particular 4 and 5, it is wholly inappropriate for the government to pass ever more restrictive laws in a useless attempt to stamp out infringement.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're right, I won't concede #1. I'm not sure if I agree with #3, either, though that's because I can't be sure with you how you define certain terms.

    #4 is also potentially a victim of redefinition, and I believe you to be wrong on that one. It is a civil right in that it is a civil matter (usually dealt with in civil courts) and it is a right imparted by law (that's why they call it copyRIGHT, not copyutilitarianprivilege). Copyright extends to all who create, in the theory that a creator should be given the exclusive right to benefit from his/her work for a certain period of time, and it's been like that since the early days of the US, though the terms have been extended.

    The rest of that is beside the point I was trying to make. Yes, copying is a thing that should be taken into account and worked around, and no, the solution is not to legislate further extensions and restrictions. Granted.

    My intent in entering this conversation was not to argue about that, but to counter the ridiculous back-patting aggrandizement of piracy as somehow noble or acceptable, as being significantly anything more than a symptom of greed and apathy towards creators of content, as an indicator of how much those who create content are held in low regard by pirates (as a whole), despite a few flukes and self-serving platitudes.

    If that's not something that can be countered, then I have no further need to continue. Carry on.

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How many creators, through no fault of their own, don't engage

    Um.... whose fault is it, then?

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Re 3, I don't know what the uncertainty is. In the US there is a criminal code and a civil code (and common law which I think doesn't apply here). I believe the (huge) majority of copyright infringement is a violation of civil code and not criminal.

    Re 4, I am not referring to civil as above, but meaning a right fundamental to humans and necessary for a civil society to function. Copyright is not one of those. The reason copyright exists in the US is not to protect something innate to people (as the 1st Amendment exists to protect our innate right to express ourselves), but to incentivise creation and progress. If that isn't happening, then the law isn't serving it's purpose, even if it's succeeding at giving creators control over their works.

    My intent in entering this conversation was not to argue about that, but to counter the ridiculous back-patting aggrandizement of piracy as somehow noble or acceptable,

    I wouldn't lump those two together. I don't see anything noble about it, but many millions of people absolutely do find it acceptable.

    as being significantly anything more than a symptom of greed and apathy towards creators of content, as an indicator of how much those who create content are held in low regard by pirates (as a whole), despite a few flukes and self-serving platitudes.

    I really doubt you know what you're talking about here, but I also doubt anything could change your mind.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No one's. Must a creator be responsible for tracking down and engaging groups wherever someone duplicates his work without permission or notice? If so, why does the onus of such responsibility fall on the creator, while those who copy bear no responsibility?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I really doubt you know what you're talking about here
    To place one's own wishes regarding the copying of a creator's work above those of the actual creator certainly isn't a sign of respect. Greed and apathy are appropriate terms.

    Otherwise, this wouldn't be an issue.

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Must a creator be responsible for tracking down and engaging groups wherever someone duplicates his work without permission or notice?

    Yes, of course. Not to say they are required to do so, but if they wish it to be done, obviously they are responsible for doing it.

    However, that isn't what I was really asking. You said some artists, through no fault of their own, don't engage with their audience. I don't understand what you're saying. Is there some external force or person preventing them from engaging? Why is it not their fault?

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You're playing the "blame the victim" card, and hey, fine, corporations bad, rar rar whatever."

    No, you played the card. Innocent victim card. I just showed that they are not so innocent, nor a victim. They are pirates too.

    Now you wish to debate which one is more ethical?

     

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    JimMacQ, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Sigh. Can't compete with free? Then you can't compete period. Because if all you have to offer is what others can manage to offer for free, then you don't actually have anything to offer to start with.

    There is a serious logical flaw here. If the artist has to actually DO THE WORK of creating the content, and the "others" simply copy her work, how can she possibly compete with them, when she's providing all the labor and only her own site compensates her for it?

    The "others" can only compete with her because they get the work for free. If they had to pay for their content, as she does in sweat equity, they would not be able to compete with her.

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 3:30pm

    Re:

    Your "logic" is refuted by the simple fact that people are making money in the same industries where people complain that they cannot compete with free. In other words, they are competing with free, and succeeding.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You said some artists, through no fault of their own, don't engage with their audience.
    Not quite. What I actually said was:

    "through no fault of their own, don't engage like Steve, don't know where their work is being stolen?"

    --where "like Steve" refers to the way in which he engaged with people who were illegally viewing his work. That, combined with the rest that you omitted, would indicate a situation where, say, someone was unaware their work was being duplicated somewhere else.

    A creator can't reasonably be expected to monitor every single possible blog or forum where someone might be illegally copying his work, otherwise they wouldn't have time to create. That's what I mean by "no fault of their own." And since the scenario I described is quite likely - how much gets shared where the creators never know? - that's why I wonder where their sales spikes are, if pirating is such the positive boon people make it out to be.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 10:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, but apparently you do. And you've blithely ignored that pirates don't operate based on whether their victims are more or less ethical than themselves. They steal from the rich, they steal from the poor, and give to themselves.

    One person's misdeeds do not excuse the same misdeeds in others.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 2:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Too bad the gatekeepers declared war on the public domain.
    All is fair in love and war.

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You seem to be assuming that Steve engaged with every fan who was sharing his work. I don't see how that assumpution is supported. What he did was engage with some of his fans (who were violating copyright) and saw benefit from it. In the same way, any other artist could engage with some of their fans (whether they're violating copyright or not) and if done well, see a benefit from it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Two wrongs don't make a right.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You seem to be assuming that Steve engaged with every fan who was sharing his work.
    That's your assumption regarding what I said.

    The rest is a sidestep. For years, the pro-piracy crowd has been going on about how piracy is "good advertising" and giving reasons why creators shouldn't be upset when people freeload off their work; this latest Lieber episode is providing that crowd with supposed "proof" that piracy is all-good, all the time.

    How many comics were posted in the same way that Lieber's was, and how many simply did not have the same effect? How many actually had a negative effect, regardless of whether the creator came in and played nice with the forum?

    If this episode is anything more than a fluke, its results should be reproducible, and so far the best that seems to be done is to try and link illegal copying with deliberately free webcomics, equating theft with charity. The pro-piracy crowd still has a long way to go before anything can be reasonably proved to be as good for society as they'd have everyone believe.

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That was at the very least strongly implied in what you said:

    "--where "like Steve" refers to the way in which he engaged with people who were illegally viewing his work...
    A creator can't reasonably be expected to monitor every single possible blog or forum where someone might be illegally copying his work"

    For years, the pro-piracy crowd

    You're making a mistake. There are actually three crowds: anti-piracy, pro-piracy, and anti-stupidity. The last is the crowd who points out that the first crowd cannot possibly win in a fight against the second. That fighting them is stupid and couterproductive, and it would be more benificial for all three crowds if they worked to benefit from crowd 2 instead of fighting them.

    giving reasons why creators shouldn't be upset when people freeload off their work;

    Most people in the anti-stupidity crowd aren't talking much about people being upset because people's feelings are a private matter and not really relevant.

    How many comics were posted in the same way that Lieber's was, and how many simply did not have the same effect?

    Are you intentionally distorting the picture, or confused? It was not piracy by itself that improved his sales. It was primarily him connecting with his fans.

    If this episode is anything more than a fluke, its results should be reproducible

    Yes. It is. Mike has said he's stopped posting examples of artists succeeding in this way because it's getting too commonplace and he wouldn't even have time to write them all up.

    The pro-piracy crowd still has a long way to go before anything can be reasonably proved to be as good for society as they'd have everyone believe.

    As far as business goes, it does not matter. It would be a bit like complaining that your business is really messed up by the way the earth keeps rotating on its axis. Even if it's true, it is not going to change.

    For public policy of course, it matters very much, and it should be up to the pro-copyright crowd to demonstrate (with real facts) how much copyright benefits society. In reality it's decided by campaign contributions.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There are actually three crowds:
    You're making a mistake thinking that I am talking about anything but the pro-piracy crowd, when I refer to the pro-piracy crowd. That crowd uses the rationalizations and excuses they crib from the "anti-stupidity" crowd to avoid facing any responsibility of their actions, and in fact, to paint piracy as somehow being morally justified, as can be found in a branch of this very thread.
    Yes. It is. Mike has said he's stopped posting examples of artists succeeding in this way
    Which way exactly do you mean? Artists working with the "give content away voluntarily for free" model, or the one where they have to come in and perform damage-control when it's stolen without permission? I consider those two separate things, considering the whole rights and permission thing inherent in the former example.

    Answer if you like, but I think I'm done. I can't decide if this drifting is being deliberately or accidentally engineered, but enough's enough.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Share and share alike.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Except that's the problem: Too many people "sharing" what doesn't belong to them, without really giving back an equivalent value to those who created what they "share".

    Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

    I'm gone.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 2:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

    Let me know when they are returning all my money they stole from me via the CD levy that I didn't use to download or make music back-ups of.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 3:37am

    Congratulations, you left that so wide open I just had to come back to say:

    ...you don't really get how the "do onto others" thing works, do you?

    Hint: It's not "an eye for an eye".

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 4:29am

    Re: Congratulations, you left that so wide open I just had to come back to say:

    Sure I do.
    They wish to force me to give to them, so that is how they wish to be treated.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 4:36am

    Re: Congratulations, you left that so wide open I just had to come back to say:

    I'm curious.
    Why do you wish to apply to only one side of the equation instead of both sides?

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Which way exactly do you mean? Artists working with the "give content away voluntarily for free" model, or the one where they have to come in and perform damage-control when it's stolen without permission?

    Both. But to focus on the distinction means you're still worrying about a problem that cannot be solved. The main point is that there are those who compete with free and succeed, which is something the content industries continue to say is impossible.

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Congratulations, you left that so wide open I just had to come back to say:

    I don't really want to support the AC in his general position, but to be fair that's more "do unto others as they're doing unto you" than "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

    But it actually sounds like you're not even downloading anything illegally, they're just taking money from you.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Congratulations, you left that so wide open I just had to come back to say:

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
    They wish to apply to one side of equation only.

    I rarely listen to music anymore.
    When I do, it is stuff I bought years ago. Most of which was purchased multiple times for different formats. CDs, tapes...

    So yes, they just take money from me and I am the pirate.

    Is that how they wish to be treated? What they want done unto them?

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Congratulations, you left that so wide open I just had to come back to say:

    Short answer. No I don't download illegally(or upload, the real crime when it comes to infringement). Downloading isn't distributing, uploading is.

    I've also convinced my better half to buy used instead of new.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Congratulations, you left that so wide open I just had to come back to say:

    The phrase "do unto others" IS a one-sided equation. It does not require the other guy to be nice first, before you act. It is an urging to personally treat others the same way you want to be treated. The fact that others may not live up to that ideal themselves is not supposed to affect whether you live up to it or not. So to quote that saying back and then bring up some other entity's misdeeds sounds like a misunderstanding of the whole point of the saying, and also generally irrelevant to the question of whether you're doing anything wrong yourself.

    On another level: The CD levy is, unless something's been changed since the last time I looked at it, only applied to the CDs that are designed for the stand-alone recorders, the ones that are part of home stereo systems, not computers. These CDs are labeled as "Music CDs", and the stand-alone recorders generally ONLY take those discs. The discs for computers have no such levy, which is why they are generally a bit cheaper. To be sure, the RIAA wanted a levy on every CDR made, but the use of CDs for things besides music prevented that from coming to pass in the courts.

    There's not much reason to use the stand-alone audio CD recorders if you're not copying existing music. You could be recording original content, I suppose, though this would be an uncommon practice. Professional musicians tend to use more convenient equipment with higher quality standards.

    So for you to gripe about this CD levy and its personal effect on you only makes sense if you are indeed using those particular CDs for some reason; otherwise you're either mistaken about the CD levy having any effect on you - or you just get bent out of shape about the idea of a levy of any kind.

    And if you don't personally pirate music, great. It'd be nice if you could say that about other forms of intellectual property as well. If that's the case, you sure do a lot of arguing from the pro-piracy side of things for someone who doesn't actually pirate material, and one has to wonder, the way you go on, whether that's due to any actual belief that pirating is a good thing, or simply due to a blinkered, unwavering hatred of the RIAA and associated companies, since that's all you seem to talk about.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Congratulations, you left that so wide open I just had to come back to say:

    You get the cookie!
    Yes I hate the RIAA. For many reasons.
    Levies, sony rootkit...

    They have been screwing me for years, again and again, and I am supposed to treat them how I would like to be treated?

    I quit bending over. You may continue to do so.

    P.S. Here I am complaining about having to pay money for nothing and you still call me a crook. Do onto others...

    I sleep soundly at night with my doors unlocked.
    "And I ain't hidin' from nobody
    Nobody's hidin' from me
    Oh, that's the way its supposed to be"
    Lynyrd Skynyrd - Call Me The Breeze

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:32pm

    Here I am complaining about having to pay money for nothing and you still call me a crook.


    Okay, fuck you for saying that, and fuck you for me having to read that. I may have called pirates crooks, or thieves, but if you aren't pirating I haven't called you anything yet, unless you confuse the "generic you" - as in "if you do something like this" - for a specific "you", in which case, fuck you for not being able to tell the difference.

    And fuck you for your inability to even consider that all this anti-RIAA piracy you seem to admire might actually affect people besides the RIAA. Just another person letting their personal war justify civilian casualties. The smell of death surrounds you.

    Really gone this time.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 4th, 2010 @ 4:41am

    Re:

    Do onto others...


    You choose your friends and partners. Maybe you should do so more carefully. That is why there are different types of partnerships, such as "Limited." I did not choose to pay a levy nor to purchase sonys' rootkit.
    Is it possible to get sony rootkit by downloading torrents? Or is it ONLY ON LEGALLY PURCHASED CDs?


    Finally!


    By the way, the pic of the Pine Marten I am using for my avatar, I have already freely given people permission to use it however they see fit. You may use it too if you like.
    Have a Merry Christmas!

     

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    James Van Hise, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 8:27am

    Piracy

    For ten years I've seen any number of people arguing online that copyrights shouldn't matter and that they should be able to view material for free, like it's free promotion for the creator. In every instance, for ten years, this has always been argued by people who have never created anything original that they own. Yes, creators are entitled to control what they create. If you think piracy has no negative effect, check out the diminishing sales of CDs in the last few years due to the flourishing market of online music piracy. I was in line in a fast food place one day and a teenager in line was boasting to his friends that while he was there, his computer at home was downloading 100 songs for him.

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 9:52am

    Re: Piracy

    Did he mention how many of those songs he would have bought if he couldn't have downloaded them for free?

     

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    JimMacQ, Dec 27th, 2010 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re:

    My logic is not "refuted" by anecdotal incidents that are far from the norm.

    Silly me, I'm one of those fools who think people ought to profit from their own effort, and leeches should not be allowed to profit off them.

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 27th, 2010 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    OK, here was your question: "There is a serious logical flaw here. If the artist has to actually DO THE WORK of creating the content, and the "others" simply copy her work, how can she possibly compete with them, when she's providing all the labor and only her own site compensates her for it?"

    I assume that is a rhetorical question - that you aren't actually asking to find out how she can compete, but using the question to imply that she cannot. If that is an incorrect assumption let me know.

    People are competing with free successfully, therefore your assertion that it's impossible is incorrect. It would be like if you said it's impossible to climb Mt. Everest, and I responded that people have done it. It does not matter that only a few hundred people in the whole population of the world have done it, you would still be wrong.

    Similarly, regardless of what percentage of creators are making money without using copyright, the fact remains that it can be done. If you claim it cannot, you are just factually wrong. We don't even have to deal with logic, the facts refute your position.

     

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    G, Dec 28th, 2010 @ 2:47am

    One huge chip...

    After reading through this article (a phrase I'm using very lightly here), I can only presume Tim has a huge chip on his shoulder which he'd do well to shrug off.

    It's fun to read his rant against a successful artist like Coleen who is actually trying to protect their interest in a World full of thieves. She is very well clued up on piracy and copyright issues, and speaks and writes well on the subject. In fact she writes better than a certain bitter unpublished writer ;-)

     

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    nasch (profile), Dec 28th, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Re: One huge chip...

    I like how you completely trash Tim and his writing, and then put a wink at the end as though it's all in good fun. Really classy, that.

    Sorry if I got sarcasm on your keyboard.

     

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    G, Dec 28th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: One huge chip...

    If there's any sarcasm on my keyboard it's because it completely missed you. Surely I've as much right to trash Tim and his writing as he as ranting against Coleen?

    The winking smiley.... I'd have winked if I was saying it in real life so why can't I add it here?

    Still, feel free to defend Tim, it's a pity sometimes people are given a platform to rant and rave on.

     

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  154.  
    identicon
    G, Dec 28th, 2010 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "3. most copyright infringement is not criminal"

    If not criminal it is certainly morally wrong to infringe on someone's copyright. Though morals these days take a back seat for some people when they see a freebie on offer.

    (I left out all the smilies, I know you get confused with them).

     

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  155.  
    identicon
    G, Dec 28th, 2010 @ 10:02am

    Selective...

    Tim said, "No evidence to back that up, of course. Just a statement of fact, that isn't a fact. Oh well...."

    However, Tim provides no evidence to prove Coleen's comments were not true, he provides no alternative facts. In fact he complains about lack of evidence without giving any evidence himself, he must be very selective about who needs to provide evidence or facts.

     

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  156.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 28th, 2010 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: One huge chip...

    Surely I've as much right to trash Tim and his writing as he as ranting against Coleen?

    Of course you do, and nobody has claimed otherwise.

    I'd have winked if I was saying it in real life so why can't I add it here?

    Oh, so you try to pretend you're not being a dick in real life too.

    Still, feel free to defend Tim, it's a pity sometimes people are given a platform to rant and rave on.

    Sorry to hear you don't believe in freedom of expression.

     

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  157.  
    identicon
    G, Dec 28th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: One huge chip...

    "Sorry to hear you don't believe in freedom of expression."

    I'm just shocked you've heard of it, your first response was to complain that I used a smiley FFS.

     

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  158.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 28th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: One huge chip...

    And how is my complaining taking away your freedom of expression?

     

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  159.  
    identicon
    G, Dec 28th, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: One huge chip...

    Where exactly did I say it was taking away freedom of expression? It appears you like to read more into comments than they may actually contain - it also appears your sense of humour is as lacking as your morals so I'll waste no more time on responding to your comments.

     

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  160.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 28th, 2010 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: One huge chip...

    it also appears your sense of humour is as lacking as your morals so I'll waste no more time on responding to your comments.

    Haha! It's not my fault, this is the first thing you've said that's funny! I literally laughed out loud, so I guess your comments are good for something.

     

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  161.  
    identicon
    Gail Simone, Dec 29th, 2010 @ 12:13pm

    Tim Geigner is a embarrassing fraud, and not a very sharp one, at that. Here, he consistently berates Colleen Doran for not doing things she's been doing for over a decade. He gets her bio wrong, he clearly doesn't know a goddamn thing about comics and finally admitted that, elsewhere.

    He's a bitter, untalented fanficcer who, when given the chance to try his grand plans and wonderful strategies, failed to raise even one tenth of the paltry fundraising goal he set for himself to sell his terrible novel.

    The guy here who claims to have all the answers, who mocks a talented creator, couldn't even get out of the starting gate with all his supposed knowledge and expertise. Why in the world would anyone listen to what this guy has to say on this topic, this guy who failed so utterly when he had to put up or shut up?

    It's a joke, and so is he.

     

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  162.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 29th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

    Re:

    Are you the same person as G (similar rant above)?

     

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  163.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 6:24am

    Re: Re:

    Likely. You can see how much Gail doesn't like me here: http://606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?t=201729&page=5

    It's kind of a strange conversation. I didn't really think I was being all that insulting, and I've learned from the mistakes I made in my own experiments, but all Gail wants to talk about is me and not the points I raised in the piece. Gail doesn't like my writing; so what? Gail correctly stated that I haven't gotten a major publishing deal; and?

    The best part is that after that thread calls me all manner of names and tells me how wrong I am....her audience then begins to discuss new business models that involve connecting with the interests of fans (eliminating mental transactions, convenience, aggragating).

    Sigh. Whatever. Gail is clearly very, very talented in her art, and very knowledgeable about the comic space, but she also seems very angry. Oh well. See you in the funny pages (get it?)....

     

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  164.  
    identicon
    G, Jan 1st, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re:

    Gail, good to see that not everyone here is too busy sucking up to Tim like Nasch to read what he has actually said and know he knows nothing about the subject. As I said, it's a shame he's given a platform to rant and rave on, but that's the internet for you these days.

     

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  165.  
    identicon
    G, Jan 1st, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re: Selective...

    I see neither Tim nor his apologist has any response to this, must be that he has no evidence or proof to discredit Coleen's comments.

     

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  166.  
    identicon
    G, Jan 2nd, 2011 @ 1:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    >>"Are you the same person as G (similar rant above)?"
    >"Likely. You can see how much Gail doesn't like me here: http://606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?t=201729&page=5"

    Hardly likely at all since Gail posted under her own name, it does not take the mind of Sherlock to deduce two people can have the same view. I guess it was too difficult for Tim and his apologist to work out on their own though.

    It's amusing to see no answers coming to the majority of comments on this article. Instead we see a defensive freedom of speech routine from some and the my point was misunderstood from others. Let's look at the relevant information, Tim made a fairly insulting Techdirt post about Colleen, he criticised her and complained about her providing no facts to back up her issues. He did not provide any facts to back up his own views of course, and he did not have any proof that his own approach would work either yet Techdirt published the article and many of the people that read it will not question any of the content but believe the views put forward by Tim that Colleen is a Luddite old fashioned artist complaining about the web and the thieves that use it.

    I'd have had more respect for the article if the writer had any real knowledge of the subject and proof that approach worked, sadly Tim has neither - it's a shame people can't spend more time on their own affairs and not attacking people like Colleen who did nothing more than worry about their livelihood.

     

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  167.  
    identicon
    Gail Simone, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 2:28am

    To anyone curious, I am not "G," nor am I anyone else on the forum. To be honest, this was the first I have heard of this site. It is no reflection on Techdirt, I simply had never heard of it. My admittedly brief scans have given me a favorable impression of the site, and so I have assumed that this piece is simply a stumble in judgment, rather than representative of the content in general.

    It's funny, but not particularly surprising, that Geigner is constantly labeling people as being 'angry,' as if that somehow invalidates their points. Despite writing a snarky, scorn-filled puff/attack piece that makes no concrete point at all, himself. And yet, he doesn't seem to call any of the commentators who express support for him, "angry." How terribly odd!

    My points (presented without rancor) are these:

    1) Geigner knows absolutely nothing about comics.

    2) Geigner knows absolutely nothing about Colleen Doran.

    3) Geigner doesn't seem to understand research, as the few facts he presents on the subject matter are woefully false.

    And most importantly...

    4) When push came to shove, Geigner was an absolute, unmitigated failure at backing up his expressed expertise, the same perceived expertise that allowed him to berate Colleen Doran without knowing a thing about her. His own fundraising was a massive flop, despite family members apparently chipping in, as well.

    Like I said elsewhere, armchair loudmouths with no practical experience or knowledge are not exactly an endangered species. However, Techdirt's tacit approval of this poorly-researched, error-laden personal attack gives it an air of weight and authority it in no way has earned.

    Yes, Tim. We did talk about new business models in that thread. As we have in a hundred others. Your notion that you are saying something new and useful in this article is as confused as your non-existent research on the subject you chose to attack.

    Writers have this curse and blessing, that they are responsible for their words.

    But it's hard to do that when you don't know what the hell you're talking about, isn't it?

    Better luck next time.

    MUCH better, for the site's sake and your own.

     

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  168.  
    identicon
    Gail Simone, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 2:38am

    Also, Tim, an ellipsis has three periods, not four. You might want to brush up on your rules of punctuation in general.

    And if Mr. Geigner is twelve years of age or less, then this is all very understandable and he has my apology.

    Otherwise, good lord, why would anyone put this crap on their website?

     

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  169.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 6:05am

    Re:

    Also, Tim, an ellipsis has three periods, not four.

    Actually it has four if omitting an entire paragraph (though that's not how Tim was using it).

    I would hate to see you write with rancor if this is friendly.

     

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  170.  
    identicon
    Pirated indy movie, Jan 9th, 2011 @ 11:53pm

    Piracy killed me...

    Questions for all the piracy backers on here:

    I produced an indy film which now pirated online everywhere on piracy sites filled with online ads (somebody is making money)... How can I afford to produce another film?

    There are people all over my Facebook page posting that they love the movie, etc... But I don't see a dime now... neither do the investors. And my hopes of getting a distribution deal are now scrapped. I was planning to make another film. How can I possibly justify spending all my time and personal money and investor money on another film when the pirates will be the ones profiting?

    As if it's not bad enough to have to battle the whole shady film distribution system in the first place, now the pirates have fired the kill shot right out of the gates.

    If anyone knows how as an indy filmmaker I can survive with rampant piracy, please advise. (email, site above)

    Thanks.

     

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  171.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 10th, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Re: Piracy killed me...

    Questions for all the piracy backers on here:

    People aren't "backing piracy," so much as suggesting there are better ways to deal with it than stomping your foot about how evil it is.

    I produced an indy film which now pirated online everywhere on piracy sites filled with online ads (somebody is making money)... How can I afford to produce another film?

    You do that by putting in place a better business model.

    There are people all over my Facebook page posting that they love the movie, etc... But I don't see a dime now... neither do the investors. And my hopes of getting a distribution deal are now scrapped. I was planning to make another film. How can I possibly justify spending all my time and personal money and investor money on another film when the pirates will be the ones profiting?

    Again, put in place a better business model. Nina Paley gives away her movie for free -- so anyone can share it freely, and she put in place lots of ways that she can make money, and she found that the more she shares her movie, the more money she makes. She works hard to build a connection with her fans, and then makes it easy for them to give her money.

    And, honestly, if you think that the fact that you have fans makes it more difficult for you to get a distribution deal, you're sadly mistaken.

     

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  172.  
    identicon
    G, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Piracy killed me.

    "I produced an indy film which now pirated online everywhere on piracy sites filled with online ads (somebody is making money)... How can I afford to produce another film?"

    "You do that by putting in place a better business model."


    So how does putting a better business model in place now recoup all the money this indy film producer has lost through low life scum deciding they don't want to pay for something? Let's not get away from the fact that if people had an ounce of moral decency about them they would not go online and expect to get everything free of charge whenever they wanted it. Piracy is theft, and thieves are scum whether they pick your wallet out of your pocket or you get ripped off with online piracy. You don't need to put fancy business models in place, you need people to have a sense of decency, spend your time educating people to stop stealing and leave the people who actually go out and create something to do what they do best - create.

     

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  173.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Piracy killed me.

    You don't need to put fancy business models in place, you need people to have a sense of decency, spend your time educating people to stop stealing

    Let us know how well that works.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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