collar, going from a recent discussion on a certain comics forum.
(That's the one I resigned from and was then 'banned', after the fact,
"for leaving", by an over-zealous, biased moderator - even 'though the
site owner invited me to rejoin. Running true to form, a disingenuous
detractor of mine continues to maliciously misrepresent the facts of
the situation over on his blog in an attempt to malign me.)
in relation to comics. Some people sell discs of comic collections on
eBay, comics that the copyright holders (if they can actually be identi-
fied) don't seem particularly interested in exploiting for financial gain.
It seems to me that some so-called 'piracy' can have positive benefits
which, in certain circumstances, mostly outweigh any negatives.
fan (don't shoot), and on occasion I've made compilation discs
for my own use which I've occasionally duplicated to give to friends.
No money is involved, except for what I spend in buying the originals
(not for the purpose of copying, merely for my own enjoyment) and
then on the blank tapes or discs when it occurs to me that someone
I know might enjoy listening to a sample. I don't even let them
cover the cost of the blank disc, should they offer.
won't be returned in the condition lent, regardless of how well the
borrower may think they've looked after them. So in the case of my
own music collection, being able to occasionally burn a disc for some-
one to see if they might like it is a handy thing. As I said, I don't charge,
and in some cases, the other person has become a fan and then bought
other recordings by the same artist, thereby increasing sales. So who
loses in that situation? Certainly not the record company, who lose
no money by me giving a compilation copy to someone who
wouldn't have bought an original disc in the first place.
collectors prefer to own the originals, and in most cases only
resort to facsimiles or disc collections as a stop-gap, until such time
as they manage to track down an acceptable-condition original at an
affordable price. In my case (and I'm sure it's true with most folks), if
I really want a particular series and it's released in an authorised print
edition, I'll buy it - even if I already have it in digital form. If I don't
buy it, it's because I'm really not that fussed about it, although I
may have it in digital form merely because it was available.
In that instance, as it's something I wouldn't have bought
anyway, me having acquired it in digital form from the internet
doesn't deprive the publishers of income. I'm sure most of us own
something that we don't mind having because it was free, but would
never have purchased otherwise. Obviously, I'm not talking about new
material (whether it be comics, music or movies) bought by one person
for the purpose of copying for friends (or selling to strangers) in order
to spare them having to buy an item they'd willingly pay full price for
if there was no other way of acquiring it - I only mean out-of-print
comics, books or old records that aren't currently available
and don't look like being at any time in the future.
In the case of facsimiles of old back issues, no surviving
contributors are deprived of any royalties as they were paid for
their work outright. Nor are the publishers losing out if they don't
have any intention of reprinting the stuff as it first appeared. And, if
the publishers ever do decide to reprint their back catalogue in some
form or other, the vast majority of avid collectors would readily buy it,
because they'd want the 'official' package with its superior printing on
quality paper, along with the informative introductions, prefaces and
appendices - regardless of however many digital discs or 'pirate'
facsimiles they already possess. Those that wouldn't clearly
don't want it enough to spend money on it anyway.
In short, what I'm saying is that whether or not I buy an
official collected edition is determined only by how much I like
the material - not by whether I already own it in digital form.
That isn't a factor. I bet it's the same for most of you.
I note with interest that one of the more vocal opponents
of so-called 'piracy' has no objections to people scanning their
own collections and making digital copies available to friends - so
long as no money changes hands. What real difference does it make?
The contributors would never see a penny in royalties anyway - even
if it was an authorised publication, and those chasing their nostalgia
fix could well be dead before the current copyright holder (if even
known) extracts the digit and decides to make the material
available to an ageing and ever-diminishing audience.
What must be remembered is that the current crop of new
'Best of' Annuals now on sale are aimed at a readership whose
interest has been kept alive by internet comics blogs; and digital discs
and amateur facsimiles have fed the appetite for vintage material in the
absence of proper print-editions - until some publishers took note and
realised that there was still a market for it. A limited one, admittedly,
and ever-decreasing, but one that would probably have long since
perished had it not been for a dedicated group of enthusiasts
stoking the fires and keeping the spluttering flame alive.
So ignore those po-faced, self-righteous critics who are
lucky enough to be able to afford those scarce back issues for
themselves, but loudly decry anyone whose only option is to obtain
the much-missed, long-sought reminders of their childhood by the
only means open to them until something better comes along.
I don't know about you, but I've always considered the
"I'm all right, Jack" attitude of the 'haves' towards the 'have
nots' to be a particularly ugly one - whether it be with regard
to money, security, status, or even just comics.
What say the rest of you?