Scan Sites

Darque Edge

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There are a couple of sites knocking around (especially on livejournal) which feature a heavy amount of scans of comics. Now, most of them just have excerpts and previews, but quite a few of them have full scans of entire comics - this is commonly occurring on file sharing sites too.

What's your thoughts on this? Is it fair usage? Is it stealing money from the creators? Is it creating more fans in the long run?

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  • 4 months later...

Firstoff, I am suprised that this has sat here unanswered since March.

Secondly, I think that its dangerous and good at the same time.

When I was a kid I had a few comic books, not very many, and since I had no real income I did not have money to spend on comic books. So I kinda lost interest.

A few years ago my room mate had the fortune to find through a filesharing service all of the Exiles which had been printed up until that date. I read through them and got hooked, the next time I was home I went to my comic book shop (which had previously just been the place I got trading cards and other things) and got myself set up with a pull box with Exiles in it. From then when I would come in to pick up my box I would look around, and every now and then I would find something which was starting out which looked interesting and I would pick it up. That is how I ended up getting into the Toxin 6 issue run, Astonishing X-Men, and Young Avengers. Then when House of M started up, the fact that it had Astonishing X-Men written on the cover caugt my attention. I ended up getting all of the House of M titles (The central one, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Spiderman) and picked up a bunch of the issues which it involved (Incredible Hulk, Uncanny X-Men, The Pulse). Now that I had read House of M, I was that there was a House of M prelude in Excalibur, and picked that up. Which then in turn I ended up deciding to read New Excalibur when it came out. During that time I tried some other short runs, Justice League Elite, Last Hero Standing, a few others. But in the end, that comic book shop got all of that business because of illegal downloads of the Exiles comic. To my credit, I went through their back-issues and picked out a few that I had particularly enjoyed.

So for someone like me who has enough money to be able to afford comic books, and had the convenience of working next door to a comic book shop it is good. The way that they made their money off of me is through the store. Once they had me on one comic, I would come into the store and see others I liked.

In the same breath comicscans are really dangerous to the industry. Most people are quite able to wait an extra week or month to get their comics. That is all it takes for someone to scan in the newest issue and put it online. Given the option of paying for my comics, or getting them for free a week late, I would pick free a week late, as would a lot of people. As the people pirating the comics get better at it, the worse Marvel, DC, and everyone else will suffer. Even important works of comics like Watchmen can be gotten off the internet. Who is going to go out and buy the book when they can download it?

I think that in the end scans are helping kill comic books in their present form. Most people want to buy comics to read them. And they can read them just as well on a computer screen as in print (although I prefer to read it in print, the preference is not quite $3 worth). It is a double edged sword. It is one way for people to get introduced to comics, but I think its a bad way to do business.

So to answer your questions directly...

It is not fair usage, its the same thing as buying a DVD and then ripping and uploading it.

It is stealing money from the creators, but not on an epic scale.

It is creating more fans in the long run, but it is reducing the number of customers.

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