Faz keeps reminding us why we don’t like him.
Also, he stole that other guy’s idea.
It’s more than one guy’s idea.
What!? You mean there are people who actually do that? In addition to being wrong, it can’t be cost effective.
It is when it’s an app: http://androidcommunity.com/webcomic-aggregation-app-accused-of-piracy-20120313/
Ah. Well, then I can see the theft being cost effective if there’s no actual printing going on.
Hey Crimson Magic, ever read 8-Bit Theater?
I really want to see joe bring Mike to the place with the resurrection chamber, and when they arrive, Dina has just gotten out of the chamber, and it becomes a major issue for Mike and amber
While it is very much debatable just how much Mike cared about Dina (her death at least really seemed to affect him), they were only very briefly a “couple”, and their relationship consisted of Dina keeping him drunk against his will for God knows how long, and a one night stand that may or may not have just been Mike punishing her for that (or for existing; he’s Mike).
So no, I don’t think he would be very inclined to leave Amber for Dina, and after how it ended I wouldn’t immediately assume Dina wants him back anyway.
Or not. I could easily have misinterpreted. It’s Mike, he glares stonily at my attempts to interpret his emotional state.
Mike would institute an epic plan to set Dina up with somebody from McAwesome’s, just to fuck with everyones’ expectations of revenge against Joe.
I suppose Zaph needs a new love interest, after the whole Rose thing.
Unless there is already a McAwesomes Wen clone. I hesitate to imagine what she would be like.
Resurrected Dina = McAwesome’s Wen? The mind boggles.
Mike did Dina cuz he had feelings for her. Plus he willingly got drunk that night anyway
Dina and Amber are similar to each other as well. Both were seen as insecure for most of their lives, both become pissed when someone changes or doesn’t acknowledge what they like, and both of them forced Mike into a relationship with them
Ergo, Mike only loves Amber because she reminds him of Dina
Oh, by the way Willis, and I hope you can give me feedback on this
forget the ‘and’ above…
I love Shortpacked.
You might even call me a huge fan.
So how big is the collection you have for sale?
Do you print out the comments section with each comic? What would be the point of reading without us?
YAY! We don’t have to feel bad for Faz anymore!
I’ve been feeling bad for Faz until he got a girlfriend. I’d hate to wake up each morning and be Faz
I feel sorry for whatever offspring develops from Wen’s womb… assuming she has one.
If you saw game of thrones last night.
I think the offspring would look something like the ending sequence last nights episode.
It’s almost a shame that I don’t watch GoT.
It would be Roger from American Dad
Did we ever? O_o
Looks like all that character development went out the window.
How so? Faz was and is still Faz. We still know more about him than we did before.
Character development doesn’t have to mean they develop into someone likeable. That’s personal develoment, and not even always then.
So, will any pirates come to this discussion and try to defend their actions? That’s always good for some laughs.
Most common arguement will be that they don’t sell the stuff they pirated, selling it for a profit is going too far.
Yeah. Like fanfic, you will get people who will defend to the death their right to do it, as long as you’re not trying to profit from it.
Except Cassie Claire. And that 50 shades of grey person.
Piracy is a fact of life. It’s basically unlicensed distribution. If it’s ineffective then it’s largely irrelevant, and if it’s effective, then it’s something that perhaps the owners should look into sanctioning, because obviously it’s serving a demand that currently isn’t served.
Putting aside the little detail that maybe the author doesn’t *want* to sell their product at 1/4 the price because they have development expenses to recoup, effective pirates shouldn’t be sanctioned, they should be sued into smoking shards and their revenues recouped, only after which should the creators ponder whether this new market can possibly be served with an acceptable rate of return.
Except it’ll probably cost more money to sue them than to ignore them.
BUT MORAL VICTORY!
I pirate comics, cartoons, TV shows…and frankly any time someone gives an excuse other than “i wanted it, but didn’t want to pay for it, so i took it” it makes me sick. you’re stealing something, its incredibly easy to steal, but the fact remains. don’t give me crap about how you aren’t reselling, or they wouldn’t have gotten the ad revenues from you anyway. you’re stealing. get over yourself and you’ll be much happier.
“I wanted it, but they weren’t selling it in this country/at all anywhere, so I took a cruddy twenty year old VHS-recorded copy of it in the meantime”?
More like “I was unwilling to learn the foreign language, pay for the original language version and ship it at 200 times the price”
Piracy is piracy, it’s morally wrong, but it must always be seen in the context of the problem the piracy action was solves. The internet brought cheap digital delivery and the big movie and music studios saw the internet as a threat instead of a revenue source, can’t put that djinn back in the bottle.
Webcomics instead started with cheap digital delivery, so piracy of “Free comics” is just a dick move in itself, and inexcusable.
I am SO excited to read all the comments about how pirating your work is good for you and you should just shut up and be thankful.
That’s gonna be AWESOME.
I have heard anecdotal examples of this but piracy is hard to metric. I suspect it does more harm than good.
Particularly anime. DVD sets were SO expensive, now they’re barely financially solvent. (Market implosion factors heavily in there too.)
Theoretically the piracy of a series designed to sell toys increases its value rather than reducing it. On the other hand removing it from its TV timeslot negates the overall ratings boost the destination-viewing show has on the entire lineup. On the gripping hand many of those pirate-viewers wouldn’t watch it anyway — potentially not even having access to the network in question — so there is probably a larger increase-in-exposure than there is diminishment-of-ratings.
I declare this to be a complicated issue with clear legal lines, blurry ethical ones and an absolute lack of the hard numbers needed to draw meaningful conclusions. Limited to the specific context referenced above.
The problem is they’re not offering the same product: Pirates are offering a better service. They get the shows out quicker and more conveniently, at a zero cost. The cost? Some packaging.
I’ve been out of the loop – do they sell subbed/dubbed anime shows via the net yet? Netflix, stream etc?
Obviously, it’d still have to cost about the same as western movies/TV series, but it seems like a good idea. I’d probably pay for some kind of subscription service like that.
I should add, I mean a _legal_ anime selling thing, probably paying the creators some money per unit -and the subbers/dubbers, though they don’t get per-unit payment I think.
It’s 2012, I expect something of the sort. Bandwidth being plentiful, computers fast and HD space rich.
Start out with a (willing) company’s old big hits, add more obscure but noteworthy shows maybe, maybe get some old fansubbers in on subbing those? Add other companies if they find it interesting?
… I don’t really know the specifics on how you’d make it work, though.
Hulu has some subbed and dubbed anime on it now, as does Crunchyroll, both of which are services that make money via advertising, and are legal I believe. I know Hulu is, and I think Crunchyroll didn’t used to be, but is now.
Hulu IIRC has Big Windup in first-run. ♫ Abe ♥ Mihashi! ♫
Too bad Hulu’s US only then…
Crunchyroll, I have no idea on its legality. If it is, it’s definitely got an (at the very least potential potential) audience.
I utterly agree with your last paragraph.
In my experience BOTH side rely too much on anecdotal evidence. The pro-piracy crowd has a couple of examples they love to trot out of artists whose work started selling better after piracy gave them a wider audience, but these are clearly the exception rather than the rule.
They also love to claim that they weren’t going to buy the item anyway, so stealing it cost the artist nothing. Needless to say, this is impossible to verify. It also relies somewhat on circular logic; if you are used to downloading entertainment for free, of course you will be less inclined to pay for stuff. If buying it was your only option, you’d probably pay for at least some of the things you would otherwise pirate.
The other camp is pretty bad about this as well. They tend to assume that every downloader would have gladly paid full price if they had no other options, allowing them to over estimate just how much they are losing. Other factors like the increasing cost of movie tickets, the amount of an album that is “padding” the users don’t really want (they like to pretend people still buy CDs. $1 mp3s, what is that?), or the difference in production costs between a printed/packaged/shipped/retailed DVD and a digitally distributed file will never be acknowledged.
I recall seeing a chart illustrating the RIAA’s lawsuit against Pirate Bay (http://cdn-www.cracked.com/articleimages/ob/piratebay_header.jpg) that illustrates this perfectly. Yeah, the source is a comedy website, so take it with a grain of salt, but those numbers appear to be accurate.
Basically there are entitled jerks in both camps, but it’s hardly a matter of debate over who is legally correct. And while the businesses who distribute these works might be drastically over-inflating their value, the actual artists are still innocent victims.
Didn’t you just say that there’s too much anecdotal evidence? Given this is true, how can you say that it’s “clearly the exception”?
I mean, look at Shortpacked itself. David Willis effectively making money by giving away his strips to all and sundry, and he’s far from the only comic author to do so.
This ties into my earlier comments about how you treat your customer. If you assume that everybody’s just out to rip off your stuff for as little as possible, and set out to protect your stuff with the maximum force possible, you’re going to annoy a lot more potential customers than you inconvienience pirates.
Nonono. I’m not in any way claiming that you can’t make money off a free product. Look at television. I do not pay to watch 30 Rock. Advertisers pay for me to sit through the occasional advert when I watch 30 Rock. Fine by me.
That’s a perfectly legitimate business model. But that’s not the same as getting a product that is supposed to be purchased for free. TV shows make their money from advertising, so by sitting through the ads, maybe even buying the products if I want them, I am supporting the show in a small way. Advertisers will see a return on their investment, and continue to sponsor the show.
A movie however makes its money through ticket and DVD sales. If I download the movie, I am in no way supporting the film or its creators. At best I wasn’t going to do so anyway, and it cost them nothing. At worst, they just lost a sale.
In the case of Willis and his webcomics, I provide some small measure of support by viewing the ads on these pages, and maybe clicking them if a product strikes my fancy. If I were viewing these comics by downloading the app that is the inspiration for this strip, not only would I no longer be providing those views/clicks, I would in fact be supporting someone else by viewing the ads embedded in the app. Someone who had no hand in creating the comics, and no right to profit off of them.
It’s kind of hard to say without more information about the App and whatnot.
But if it’s not a successful app, then the value lost should be negligible, and if it’s a success then there may be value to be gained: Something as simple to add as a clickthrough to Walky’s website by the app author and everyone benefits.
I really, really don’t benefit from that. A potential click-through is not remotely worth what’s being taken from me.
And frankly, I’m sick of folks who bum my content for their own quick buck telling me that I should be grateful for what they do. Don’t spit in my eye and tell me it’s raining.
Well, don’t tell /me/ what you need from this guy. Tell him. Maybe he can fix this shit up somehow. I mean, sure, maybe he’s just a vindictive, content stealing prick (It’s not like that’s never happened in the history of the internet), and there really is nothing to be done but sue his ass.
I just don’t like to assume that the app author is nessicarily Faz.
I sympathize with your position without adding any substantive insight to it.
“This guy” is not just one guy. These apps sprout like weeds. And I’d be fine if they’d ask me first and offer me part of the cut. But they don’t and they don’t. They just want to take my content without giving me anything for it.
Doesn’t the Shortpacked site automatically offer more value than these apps, though? I mean, you’ve got these comment boxes and interesting discussions and everything. Surely anyone who genuinely enjoys Shortpacked/Dumbing of Age will by definition eventually just wind up coming to the site anyway?
And if not, why not? Obviously there’s /some/ value in combining several strips into one well formatted for a particular device, and having it all in one app, but I have to imagine the audience for that is very limited.
I suspect that a lot of these apps grow out of people compiling apps to steamline their own comic reading. Though yes, in general I totally agree its a dick move – especially not asking for permission in the first place.
I agree that there are times when piracy is probably the only realistic way to get some content, and there are plenty of creators who encourage or condone piracy of their work. What annoys me is when creators request that fans don’t pirate their work, and the response is “Neil Gaiman wrote a blog post about how he doesn’t mind piracy so you shouldn’t either.” Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and I think generally a creator’s right to one should be respected, if not their wishes.
I thought Neil Gaiman wrote against piracy. Something along the lines of “Information doesn’t want to be free, pizza wants to be free. Information is never happier than when it’s chained to a wall in the basement like a Kirk/Spock fanfic.”
…on reflection that was probably tongue in cheek. Pizza anyone?
No, wait, I was right. Ha, that will teach me to doubt myself!
I was referring to this video, which often comes up as a justification for piracy. Which, again, is one person’s opinion. http://www.wimp.com/neilgaiman/
The two are not unrelated. The value of digital information is related tightly to two factors. How much people want it, and it’s availability.
if no-one has it, and no-one wants it; it’s worthless
if everyone has it, but nobody wants it; it’s worthless.
If no-one has it, but everyone wants it; it’s a potential goldmine
if no-one has it, but everyone wants it; it’s probably chained up in somebody’s basement.
There’s a debate to be waged over whether piracy creates a demand, or whether it merely indicates one.
So if everyone has it and everyone wants it – it is..?
One thing about anime and manga pirating is that it’s all made with the intent of being profitable in Japan only before it even comes close to being considered getting a US release, which means as long as your allright with fan subs (most of which are often higher quality than some professional ones I’ve seen nowadays) you’ll always have Anime no matter how bad the market is over seas.
And I would place the blame on the collapse of the anime industry squarely upon the fact that for the most part, the rest of the entertainment industry looks down on it. Believe me, if companies like Marvel or DC licensed some properties instead of attacking them, or if television companies gave anime the same respect it did near the turn of the century (keeping toonami on and not showing anime only at 3 am on adult swim) things would sell much more, and be much cheaper. because they don’t, it means less people hear of these things, less copies can be found at stores, and more people find that the only way to get the product is through piracy. The only mainstream chain that sells anime near my place in Montreal is the HMV, and that’s literally 3 shelves, most of which is devoted to Dragon Ball Z. So I can’t buy what I want there, what they do have is over priced, and I might really want to watch RahXephon or Baccano, which I can’t find. Hey internet, how can you help me?
anime and manga pirating is that it’s all made with the intent of being profitable in Japan only before it even comes close to being considered getting a US release
That was true– but the huge anime boom in Japan the late 90′s/early 00′s was (in part) fueled by the recent success of Anime in America. Suddenly everyone saw an international market for their goods which resulted in them producing shows that would not otherwise be profitable without overseas sales.
(Meanwhile that boom collapsed largely because all the BEST shit was already being ported over, and importing more just meant the market was flooded with crap, which diluted the false anime=good association American viewers had and turned people off.)
Let’s assume that a certain Brand-management company out to sell toys decides “kids like anime!” and that they’ll ride this wave. So they co-partner with a Japanese company which produces a painfully unwatchable cartoon with poor plotting, an obnoxious narrative-crippling play pattern, no real sense of fun and animation so bad that when the America version airs with animatics in the place of not-yet-finished animation sequences nobody notices. This was relying on “kids like anime” to shoulder that burden and it didn’t work because kids don’t ‘like anime’, they like good anime.
(It’s okay though, because the next year they wised up and switched to CGI. Kids love CGI.)
Oh look, Willis made all the good will Faz got in the last few strips disappear! I didn’t know he was a magician.
Well most of it was already gone thanks to the Wen thing, but any of it left is now completly gone.
Back to hating Faz. Wheeee!
Does he know what a dick stabbing is? Jake should give him one of those.
I can’t help but think back to Ninja Rick…but I think we’re thinking of two completely different things.
Both Herbert’s and Ninja Rick’s ‘dick stabbing’ resulted in drawing blood., so it’s all good.
If only Dr. Tran was here . . . then he could Faz HOT DICKINGS.
He’s a REAL Doctor!
Just giving ‘em out!
Is it odd that we only hate Faz when he’s smiling?
Actually, you have that in common with Mike.
Well, Mike just feels that way about people, not Faz in specific.
Jacob, Jacob, Jacob. If Faz knew what empathy was, don’t you think he would’ve exploited it earlier?
So I see that the background shelf is still rocking the randomly placed Apples to Apples. Good to know.
A nice “Take That” at DailyComix, similar apps, and piracy in general.
I give up.
At least he’s being honest?
Hey, what’s that feeling? Sort of an itching sensation in my fist…?
Oh, right! I want to punch Faz!
Ah, it’s been a while. But it’s like riding a bike, you never forget it. I want to punch Faz again, so all is right with the world.
Unfortunately punching Faz has little satisfaction because his smug smile is eternal
“but what about a few weeks ag-”
that didn’t happen!!!
Just tell him what Marvel and/or DC’s lawyers will do to his wallet is comparable to what Ninja Rick did to his ass.
Copyright infringement is douchebaggy and illegal and wrong, but it is not “stealing.” Theft is a crime with a legal definition that requires depriving another person of the property in question. Illegal COPYING does not deprive anyone of the article in question. (It may deprive the publisher or cartoonists of money from lost sales or ad views or what-have-you, but that is not legally the same thing.)
Did you miss the whole part about then selling the pirated work for profit?
True, but there is a legal difference between depriving you of money by stealing your wallet (i.e., taking money you already owned), and depriving you of money by stealing your customers (taking money you presumably WOULD have owned).
Still a dick move, of course.
No, I didn’t. That’s why I addressed it specifically in the last sentence of my comment.
And thank you for explaining my point in further detail, Doctor_Who. Definitely still a dick move.
It’s morally responsible, IMO. Being informed on the specifics of the problem makes a person better able to avoid wasting effort in crafting an appropriate response. Sharing that information enables others to not save effort on ineffective solutions, but also the effort in crafting a solution already done by the informed.
Damn, that was meant as a reply to @Gordon and @memyself below.
You’re right, of course. But I think the distinction is largely irrelevant.
Morally irrelevant, yes. Legally, no.
It’s not even morally irrelevant. By equating copyright infringement to theft, one annihilates the differences between various infringements of the government-created monopoly on a certain expression. Instead, a derivative work = fan-fiction = public performance = sampling = excerpting = reproduction for personal use = commercial reproduction for mass sale = theft. These things aren’t morally equivalent, so it is morally relevant to distinguish between infringement of the monopoly right and the permanent taking of the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive them of it.
Basically, you’re right that there’s a legal difference, but you’re giving too much which you grant the opposing premise that there’s no moral distinction.
You’re right; I wasn’t accounting for fair use. But fair use isn’t copyright infringement, no matter how much media companies might like it to be.
Scraping comics and photocopying comics for resale (and illegally downloading movies or music, etc.) are pretty solidly NOT fair use.
Some of the things I listed may or may not be fair use depending on the circumstances. For instance, I’m pretty sure most public performances or derivative works wouldn’t fall under the fair use exception. At the same time, telling Anderson that he stole from Stallone when he wrote a treatment of Rocky IV (even though Stallone subsequently used the treatment without permission or compensation) seems asinine at best. Telling Anderson that he acted immorally when his work was used without any compensation strikes me as downright cruel.
As for the moral equivalence between theft and acquiring an unauthorized copy for personal use (i.e., most illicit downloading), that’s more of a gray area, but I still think there’s a reasonable moral distinction to be drawn given the differences in loss suffered by the rightholder and the deadweight loss to society in restricting the distribution of an expression to someone who wouldn’t pay for it anyway. To claim that those things are equivalent, you’d also have to somehow deal with other methods of acquiring a work for free without the rightholder’s consent (such as a library or used bookstore); why should it be morally abhorrent to download a book off the Internet but morally just fine to buy it from a used bookstore? I’m not saying these questions are unresolvable, but they’re not trivial either. Matt Yglesias did a pretty good article on the topic back while SOPA was being debated : http://www.slate.com/articles/business/small_business/2012/01/sopa_stopping_online_piracy_would_be_a_social_and_economic_disaster_.html
Wait… since when is a library an example of circumventing the creators consent?
As for used books stores: One – there is a distinct difference between the unlimited duplication and unlimited distribution and limited distribution of a single copy. Two: Publishers don’t particularly care for used bookstores either.
Not exactly complicated ground here.
Libraries are from the perspective of a rightsholder, at best, a phenomenon that exists that rightsholders happen to support and, at worst, a legal way to avoid paying for the work. Libraries don’t depend on the consent of the rightsholders of the works they lend out.
Yes, used bookstores aren’t well-liked by publishers, but that has exactly zero relevance to the question of the morality of purchasing a book from a used bookstore rather than the original publisher. Publishers don’t like Gamestop (actually, no one likes Gamestop), but that doesn’t mean that their existence is morally abhorrent because they sell games without profit to the rightsholder, nor does it mean that we have to support publishers in their effort to use the monopoly on certain fixed expressions (the copyright on the games) to annihilate the used game market, first sale doctrine be damned. Yes, there are some differences between libraries / secondhand stores and piracy, but those differences are narrowing every day as more information goes digital.
My original point is that by conflating copyright infringement and theft, one annihilates the distinctions between various forms of infringement (and the similarities between certain forms of infringement and certain non-infringing acts). My secondary point is that copyright in America doesn’t exist out of moral rights for the rightsholder. It’s a quid pro quo: in order to promote the sciences and useful arts, Congress grants a monopoly on expressions (and inventions, through the patent system) to incentivize their creation. When you equate copyright infringement to theft, you gloss over that trade-off.
Sorry for the second reply, but on reflection, it occurs to me that we don’t even need to wait for further digitization to illustrate that scarcity is no longer a factor in the question of whether a certain infringing act is or is not theft, because we’re already seeing these questions arise with respect to various sorts of digital sharing schemes. Zediva was a service that allowed users to rent DVDs and stream their contents over the Internet; there was no ‘duplication,’ since each stream depended on having the physical DVD available at the Zediva facility. They still got sued out of existence by the MPAA, who claimed that they were “stealing,” even though it was functionally indistinct from a DVD player with an arbitrarily long cable to your monitor.
It gets even more fun when you start thinking about Aereo is trying to do something similar: they have an antenna facility, and want to allow uses to rent the antennas to stream to their electronic devices. A user would sign up and connect to an individual antenna, which would then be subject to that user’s exclusive control to watch shows that are broadcast on the public airwaves. There’s absolutely no scarcity there, in the sense that there is no practical limitation on the number of people in a geographic area who can connect to the broadcast signal. Aereo nonetheless is imposing a scarcity by limiting the streaming of the antenna-received shows to a single user per antenna, so it’s literally using the Internet Protocol as the connection between the antenna and the remote device. They are nonetheless also getting sued, because they’re “stealing” the broadcast transmissions.
Similar technologies exist for all sorts of works (I found out yesterday that Kindle has a lending function that allows users to share their books, with the lending user locked out until the lendee “returns” the book) and, where the technology wasn’t blessed by the content creator, it will nonetheless be deemed “stealing” by rightsholders who want stronger monopoly protections against alternatives.
Y’know, it’s funny, because some libraries (like our local one) are now distributing digital copies of books that can be “checked out”. It emulates the old system, but… there are no physical goods involved.
It’s all presumably legal, though.
“Libraries are from the perspective of a rightsholder, at best, a phenomenon that exists that rightsholders happen to support and, at worst, a legal way to avoid paying for the work. Libraries don’t depend on the consent of the rightsholders of the works they lend out. ”
No. Libraries absolutely depend on rights holders participation. Publishers sell their product (or donate it). In some scenarios they even get royalties or track usage. They can get tax breaks. Libraries work within the ecosystem. Piracy does not.
Too long; didn’t read
In addition to MeMyself’s post above, I would like to point out that libraries (and used products) are linear, while piracy is multiplicative. It’s not “lending” if one never loses possession of the original. These hypothetical rights holders may be wrong in wanting stronger protections, but that does not mean that their current rights should be invalidated or ignored. It’s a textbook Poisoning the Well; “they want X, and Xis wrong, so when they want Y, Y is wrong too.”
Arguing semantic legal speak will not prove anything. But… if you want to go with the legal interpretation of theft, we have the law interpreted at the highest level available: Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen Breyer (in his professional opinion) long ago concluded that theft unlawful copying was equitable to theft.
Not that “legal definitions” matter here. The fact is, you take something while circumventing the price, you “stole” it. Calling it anything else is just moral deflection.
It’s not a moral deflection at all. That’s an incredibly insulting insinuation. It’s the difference between precise language and imprecise language — between accuracy and metaphor (at best). Nothing more.
And Dowling v. the United States supercedes anything Stephen Bryer thinks until it is overturned.
Actually, Breyer’s legal opinion is much more recent that Dowling. You’ve fallen very behind the times. Since you put the crux of your opinion on legal precedence, you will no doubt concede now.
And yes, it is moral deflection. We are not in court. There is no judge here. When someone says “steal” you don’t need to point to the legal definition. Do you step in to correct when someone says heart was stolen? Would you take the time to correct someone who believes their thunder was “stolen”? Do you interject anytime someone “steals” a kiss?
In the context of acquiring something without paying, “stealing” is a perfectly acceptable term. And it happens that a higher legal authority than you as already equated the two acts.
I very much disagree. Theft and piracy are very distinct and should – nay – must be treated as such.
Theft denies a legitimate purchaser the ability to use something they’ve paid for. Piracy means the money is still in circulation – it just won’t necessarily go to support the artist. The onus is on the consumer to make sure the right person gets paid for their work.
I think it’s fair to say that, if you are enjoying consuming a person’s art, then you have a vested interest in encouraging more of it. Assuming the consumer is your enemy is perhaps the worst mistake that can be made: In that direction lies DRM.
TheTurnipKing: “Theft denies a legitimate purchaser the ability to use something they’ve paid for. Piracy means the money is still in circulation”
Devaluing an item through unlawful duplication to the point where it holds zero economic value creates the same result you point to, economically speaking, as theft. Are there other business models? Sure. Should they be explored? Absolutely! Does that change the reality that a person who wants something and then acquires it while circumventing payment has achieved the same goal whether they engaged in “piracy” or “theft”?
Not a bit.
Legally speaking, intent matters when it comes crime. If it didn’t we wouldn’t have different degrees of murder.
TheTurnipKing: “Theft and piracy are very distinct and should – nay – must be treated as such.”
You are absolutely correct. No one should use the term “stealing” to casually describe something. It is vital that we only use proper legal definitions to describe things. Always.
That absurdity aside, a higher legal authority than you disagrees. While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, legally speaking your opinion is of considerable less weight than the aforementioned Justice.
“Assuming the consumer is your enemy is perhaps the worst mistake that can be made: In that direction lies DRM.”
The original software DRM was a polite note. It was the ones who chose to pirate that escalated that “mistake”. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that pirates are not customers unless they pay.
Did you read Stuart Green’s Op-Ed in the NY Times the other day? It’s good. Both our (clearly conflicting) opinions aside, it makes a strong point about WHY we shouldn’t call copyright infringement “theft.”
And that’s all I’m going to say about this. (Sorry, David!)
Oh, except this: the second paragraph of my 4:02am comment had a typo and some poor phrasing, but my point was pretty clear, anyway, I think. It was 3:02am for me, and I’m sleepy. Cut me some slack.)
Thinking of digital products as physical goods is a massive logical fallacy.
Not addressing the argument is actually where the fallacy comes in. Are physical and non-physical goods the same? Does that mean they are in no way similar? Of course not.
Honestly, what annoys me is that people will sometimes say that digital things aren’t physical objects almost in the same breath as demanding that they have all the rights with a digital blob of data that they do with real physical objects.
When you’re talking about paying for a work, people object to the way DRM is effectively a ‘license’ and gripe about how with a *physical* object (say, a book) they can resell the item or give it away to someone else. And how it should be exactly like physical objects, inasmuch as you should be able to give it away, sell it used, etc.
When you’re talking about *not* paying for a work, however, people — often the same ones as above — object to the concept that digital things should be handled like physical objects, because you are dealing with data that can be duplicated infinitely, and “Since it isn’t a physical object, I’m not actually stealing anything. It’s not like a took a car or something.”
They’re not the same, no. But saying that they should be the same, but that what you’re doing is wrong because they aren’t the same, strikes me as disingenuous at best.
“I think it’s fair to say that, if you are enjoying consuming a person’s art, then you have a vested interest in encouraging more of it. Assuming the consumer is your enemy is perhaps the worst mistake that can be made: In that direction lies DRM.”
QFT. I download a lot, and buy what I like, to encourage the creator(s) of the things I buy to keep going. I consider the download/watch process similar to watching a movie/series when aired on TV, and would not want to pay for it. However, if I like the movie/series, I want a copy on my shelf as well as more of the same – so, I buy it. If I didn’t like it, I don’t, and feel no shame.
I generally don’t download comics, with the exception of webcomics (of which I have bought a few printed books) since I prefer reading on paper.
“I consider the download/watch process similar to watching a movie/series when aired on TV, and would not want to pay for it.”
And yet it’s not even remotely the same. One: Much of what you watch on television costs money via a cable subscription. Two: What you watch on broadcast television is often funded through advertising. Three: A degree of what you actually watch on television is potentially logged as watched.
When you pirate, you bypass more than just the purchase price.
More or less my attitude – I buy what I want more of. I pirate for
90% of my DVDs are unwatched – because I saw them online (at the US broadcast) and then got the DVDs when released.
I also have a subscription to Marvels online service – which is great value.
But do I use it?
No, I use CBR files and a comic book reader because its better then their websites system (and works on my phone too).
Theres lots of comics and dvds I only own because I pirated them first, and a lot more Id get if they ever come out here.
“If I didn’t like it, I don’t, and feel no shame.”
I am not sure why it is moraly wrong to not pay for something I didnt enjoy, but just tried out because I liked.
Its not like TV or Cinema gives us refunds – its a risk of our time.
Seems like the morality argument is all weighted on the idea that the consumer should take the risk.
Of course though, you do have to be honest with yourself. If your half way into a series or something you cant easily shrug it off and say you dont like it -enough- to buy….
MGM v. Grokster? You mean Breyer’s comment that “deliberate unlawful copying is no less an unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft”? I don’t agree that he’s EQUATING the two at all. It unequivocally categorizes the two acts as unlawful takings of property, but… a pear is no less a fruit than an apple. Yet pears and apples are not the same thing. They can still be distinctly different modes of property-taking (yet equally immoral, illegal, or evil, however you want to look at it).
The fact that no one *I* can find outside of an internet forum cites that line as meaning quiet what you say leads me to doubt that he meant it any other way.
Poetic language has no place in conversations about law. David’s not a lawyer, and Jacob’s not a lawyer, so fine. That’s why I can still love them both.
But the fact that people say something metaphorically doesn’t make a thing literally TRUE or George Lucas would be serving time for aggravated sexual assault for making a few movies people didn’t like.
And drop the “moral deflection” BS. Ignoring the fact that I’ve repeatedly stated that copyright infringement is wrong, it’s irrelevant and insulting.
Gordon: “I don’t agree that he’s EQUATING the two at all. It unequivocally categorizes the two acts as unlawful takings of property, but…”
It stands to reason that Breyer chose his terminology with precision. Garden Variety Theft (which is specifically what we are discussing), is literally defined (from a legal perspective) as “the unlawful taking of property”. To say that unlawful copying is “no less the unlawful taking of property than garden variety theft” is to directly equate them.
Gordon:’ “It unequivocally categorizes the two acts as unlawful takings of property”
Yes. Or more specifically, he says “the definition of that one there? It applies to this one too. We just prosecute them differently.”
Gordon: “But the fact that people say something metaphorically doesn’t make a thing literally TRUE”
No. What makes it literally true is the legal opinion of a Justice of the Supreme Court. Unlawful copying has literally been equated to theft. End of story.
As for people using theft in casual conversation, you’re the one who challenged casual use. No one had been saying before you came to defend the definitions that it was “literally true”.
Gordon: “And drop the “moral deflection” BS”
Except that’s what it is. Moral deflection. You’re doing contortionist backflips so you can to ignore the very clear and specific words of a Justice of the Supreme Court. And why? Is there a moral difference between unlawful copying and theft? You’ve already said there isn’t, so why interject a pointless and irrelevant argument (that happens to be factually incorrect) about the literal legal interpretations? We are not a court and you are likely not a lawyer. This isn’t a legal discussion. It’s a moral one.
I mean, the strip did end with the argument of empathy…
I really wish you wouldn’t break posts part like way Memyself. It makes trying to offer a single coherent response nearly impossible.
Granted, maybe the comments section isn’t the right place to try and have an argument over piracy, but still.
“A is no less B than C” does not mean A = C, either explicitly or implicitly.
Read the Green op ed. THAT is why the argument is neither irrelevant or pointless.
Nice try. But to make it accurate you should have said: A is no less a letter than B”.
Are they different letters? Sure. But they’re still fundamentally the same.
And I will read the article. But the fact is, colloquialisms have long been an acceptable means to describe things in casual conversation. That’s not going to suddenly change just because a few people decide it should.
@memyself I said “a pear is no less a fruit than an apple” the first time — which IS exactly parallel to example.
…to YOUR example. argh.
“They can still be distinctly different modes of property-taking”
Fair enough. But then we’re in agreement that these are both forms of property taking and that they are fundamentally similar. I never claimed they were identical after all, only that they were equitable.
Bottom line is that both activities equal an unlawful taking of property from an official legal perspective, and that between the two of us they are both morally wrong. That should be enough for us to not worry about exact legal terminology when discussing a webcomic.
That, yes, we can very much agree on. Thanks for offering an actually substantive, informed argument, unlike a few too many others…
Appreciated in return. I very much enjoyed debating with you. Made me think about things slightly differently, and that’s always a good thing.
Do you step in to correct when someone says heart was stolen?
That idiom suggests that one feels their heart has been taken, not that a copy has been made of it without their permission, so it would fit the classic legal definition of theft. It would, I agree, be very silly to say the copyright on my heart has been infringed! as a romantic gesture.
But it turns out their heart has NOT literally been taken, no matter how they feel. It’s a colloquialism. Just like if I say you stole the night, or you stole the show, or you stole my design, ect…
Oh, I see! Just like how the “stolen” media isn’t actually taken either.
Exactly. That’s why it’s a colloquialism. In casual dialog, referring to something as “stolen” does not have to adhere strictly to a legal definition.
Did you hit EVERY branch on the Doesn’t Understand Infringement Tree when you fell out of it?
The Supreme Court agreed with me in 1985 and that hasn’t been overturned yet. I know copyright law pretty damned well, thank you.
Please spend more time insisting that you’re very knowledgeable. It’s even funnier than the strip.
The grown-ups are talking. Shush.
Grown-ups pay for content.
Grown-ups read the whole thread before commenting with substanceless drivel.
I have REPEATEDLY stated that I do not advocate piracy or copyright infringement.
I’m sorry, but it disgusts me so much that you strongly advocate piracy and copyright infringement that I’m not even going to read your post.
The worst thing about Faz is that although it is always underhanded and awful, Faz seems to be the king of getting people to buy into what he’s selling and is actually pretty business smart when it comes to a modern demographic.
And I was so happy when Faz got a girlfriend. I thought for sure Wen would distract him away from his usual douchebaggery.
Maybe Faz needs several girlfriends to keep him occupied enough to not get into trouble. Now there’s a terrifying thought.
Since Wen is easily a Faz clone I can’t see her objecting to this TOO much but maybe she is more morally aligned than Faz. o3o it’s possible.
Wen wouldn’t distract. Wen enables.
She’s a Wenabler. Nobody is more Wenable at the job.
and even if she wasn’t, I think he’d be UnFazzed by her attempts to correct his behavior
Sometimes I sort of get the nagging suspicion that Willis might be trying to make some sort of modern commentary or statement with his comic. Could it just be my overactive imagination?
Faz is turning into mike.
Mike probably told him where to find the torrents, whilst not telling him that it infected his computer with porn. Of his mom.
Mike wouldn’t do this. Not only is it FAR too pathetic, but he does have a sort of ethos.
I remember a strip where some guy was bragging about how he buys toys, then returns the box with any old junk in it for a refund. Mike threw the first punch.
He’s an asshole, but he’s not a loser.
Faz is definitely not an asshole, but they are both oppertunistic sleazebags and thats why I said faz is turning into mike. The only difference between the two though is that mike is oppertunistic because he likes being an ass, whereas faz is motivated purely for profit and likes to carve out whatever little sliver slices of influence he thinks he can achieve from those endeavors. So their motives and results are very different, but they are both sleazebags when you get right down to it.
For now I’m just gonna pretend that only faz thinks this way so I don’t go to sleep fostering an unhealthy hatred of so called fans who ruin everything for everybody.
And that is logical.
Not that Faz is turning into Mike..he will never atain Mikeness. But I meant Willis’s statement…Wen enables.
i must say, i’m sorry i torrented most of grant morrison’s work, but when i saw batman inc leviathan strikes i bought it because i felt like i shoud
I am having the same reaction I always have when I see people selling fansubs on dvds… -.- They don’t even remove the disclaimers “Not for sale” “If anybody is charging you for this you are been ripped off” and is the very extreme of ridicule…
But the worst may be the people who buy this things saying “I am finally completing my collection” (what? O.o) “But my connection sucks” (because aparently the use of bittorent is esoteric knowledge they cannot atain” and “But I like seem my stuff on the tv than on the computer” (so burning is so hard? O.o)
I can understand not many things are available in Mexico. but this people are lazy, idiotic and cheap (and sometimes not even that as on ocasion original releases can be found as cheap as the pirates)
I know that feeling. I get so frustrated reading online about people who’d rather buy fansubs then just download them. Not only are the fansubbers who worked hard to release a show not getting any of it (as illegal as it may be, some shows never leave Japan and they do work hard for no money or praise. Not that they deserve payment for it but better them then someone who stole their work), or the official companies that really truly deserve the money.
It’s especially jarring given how affordable anime is in the US now that fans still choose to buy bootleg fansub DVDs over the official release… It’s just sad… And for shallow reasons sometimes too… I saw someone once who bought a bootleg of Clannads that had cost the same as the official release and they bought it simply because they thought it had better cover art…
I honestly can’t tell whether you are being sarcastic, or just very, very amoral.
Unfortunatly not buying offical releases stems a little from a (mostly) unjustified stigma against English voice acting because it’s not the same voice as the Japanese, this tends to be regardless of the actual quality of the English version. I think it’s become an “in” thing to hate the English voice acting blindly. Granted there are some geninuinely awful VAs out there that make you wonder how they keep getting work.
As for why people buy fandubs on burnt DVDs, I couldn’t tell you.
I tend to import anime from the US on ocasion and while I almost never hear the dubbing as I can’t stand it most of the time… the subtitles are still there O.o
At the end it think that one is just an excuse, but what I find weird is that people are actually willing to pay fo bootleegs
Hell, even fansubers tend to buy original releases for the most part what I can’t really understand is why at this time at age is why would anyone would buy a fansub… which is just out there, for free and the only thing you need is bittorent an patience… are 3-4 bucks worth your convenience?… but then again there is still anime found at that price here (veryyyyyyy few but there is)
Am I the only one who noticed that Faz didn’t refer to himself in 3rd person today? I think the incident with Amber hit him harder than he’s letting on.
What exactly is Faz printing?
Running comics like Snyder’s Batman? Comics that never received proper releases like classic Young Justice and Impulse? Webcomics? All of the above?
…I gotta say if Faz is making Impulse trades I would like to purchase some… There was only one official and that made me feel so sad… I need more old school Bart in my life DC.
Between your SN, your love of Impulse and Young Justice, and the Sodomuffin avi, I have to love you.
You know what’s really amusing about this? Full colour full coverage printing costs, absolute minimum, 10 cents per page on any consumer printer. Copy places will have charged him between 30 and 50 cents per page. Figure then 25 cents per page is a decent estimate of cost.
That’s about a ream of paper, 500 sheets, for 1000 pages total, and Faz has to find a way to get someone who is dishonest enough to pay more than $250.00 for a pirated comic book anthology, but who lacks the skills to steal it themselves, or he’s selling at a loss.
Faz has not thought the economics of this all the way through.
He’s probably printing it out on Shortpacked!’s office printer. Don’t tell Galasso.
Still, that’s a lot of work for little to no payoff. I mean, who is he going to try and sell it to?
Is he going to buy booth space at a local comic convention? That’s at least $50 for a small table, depending on the size of the con. That’s more money he has to try and make back with just one book that he possibly sunk a lot of money into.
He’ll probably suggestive-sell it to customers in the store he thinks would be interested.
That’s even worse! Realistically he’s not going to get sued by a comic book company unless he’s very unlucky.
If he’s stealing from Glasso he’s risking his job, his life, and god only knows what else.
“Faz met his father yesterday. Faz was then brought back ‘to suffer more’. Faz’s love of comics has lead him to a dark place.”
faz does not do this for money. faz does this because faz loves comics.
Damn I need to learn how to do this
I mean BAD FAZ, BAD!!!
Faz talk funny. No talk right. Mmm.
You know, if somebody did this for several comics that the companies _refused_ to collect… (the last 50 issues of “Books of Magic,” “The Dreaming,” the various “2099″ books, etc.) … I might indeed buy them. Pisses me off that they just dropped them mid-stride.
The last 3 issues of Jonah Hex for me. Bloody nuDC.
One of my friends printed all that was out there of MiracleMan/Marvelman on nice paper and bookbinded it. While his collection proves more than enough that he would buy an original release once the clusterfuck of rights ends and it’s released one… that is not exactly happening sooon.
I agree that piracy is wrong, but part of the strong negative reaction we have is due to the fact that we like comics. On the subway, I always see the blanket of bootleg DVD’s and it doesn’t really faze me.
See, if people personally want to pirate, whatever. It’s when people decide that they have a right to profit off of it that irks me.
If I introduced you to some of my colleagues in the movie biz who’ve been laid off over the last couple of years, would you care then?
What do those layoffs have to do with copyright infringement and piracy?
Last I checked in the newspapers Entertainment and Business sections … record profits and payouts to everyone of importance … Not important? The little people who do the real work, like artists, techs, etc.
So what you’re saying is that people care more about things they care about than things they don’t care about.
Well, except me. I care more about the things I don’t care about.
…Hey, somebody’s got to protect this planet from psychic aliens.
It’s fun to know exactly when a comic has been written. Not necessarily when it was drawn or produced or even had the lines written down, but know exactly when the idea came to fruition.
Well… I can’t say I’m surprised that Faz is back to douche-mode.
Quick, someone tell him his girlfriend’s also his half-sister so he’ll be sad again!
God, that would be hilariously messed up. Every girl he dates or hits on turns out to be another child that his father sired.
Apropos of nothing. . .
When I scrolled back up to the top of the page so I could shuffle over to read today’s DoA, I was caught buy the sight of flowery, curvey in an ad window just right of the comic telling me: “There is a wen for you” and I was both frightened and intrigued.
Except in this case wen was either lotions or hand soaps. Not entirely sure.
It was most likely a hair care product. Wen has been gaining momentum of late as a relatively inexpensive, intensive treatment sort of deal.
Although I gotta admit, an ad suggesting that a near-identical twin of you exists for dating somewhere is pretty fun to imagine.
Oh man, some of the comments here, LOL! I saw this strip coming. Nice work Willis, ties in with the 3rd party toys debate nicely.
Wow, Faz actually freely admitted to not knowing something.
I totally get why that app was a bad, bad thing. I get why webcomic artists would be pissed off about it. But I would have never known about this comic or several others had it not been for the app introducing me to it. Just another side I’m not sure people think about, much.
Digg, Reddit, hell even Wikipedia.
These are all ways to find new webcomics without rear-ending the artists.
There’s just no way I (or many other people) am going to trawl landfill like Digg and Reddit in the hope of coming across something I like now and then. Not that I pirate Shortpacked or have ever come across this app, but when I think about the few things I have accessed via Scanlations or without paying, in every single case they have resulted in more of my hard-earned cash making its way to the author.
So that would be, for example, Bleach merchandise. Bleach’s story-telling is far too padded out and slow-drawn to make it worth buying the manga or anime (I did at first, but ended up sending the first few volumes off to the charity shop to free up space). It is worth, however, following as a free weekly comic and youtubed anime, a passtime which has resulted in me buying games, handbooks, action figures, and key rings from licensed retailers. I’d also get it if I could pay a small fee to download digitally, so if the success of scanlations pushes Viz in this direction, then good-o.
Then there are a few series I started watching on youtube before deciding to invest in the boxsets because I went so mad for them.
I expect I also have other people’s rampant piracy to thank for the wonderful thing that is Steam. I’ve never pirated a game in my life but I sure as hell spend ten times as much on games now that I can get them digitally.
People still pirate games which are sold on Steam, including the ones which require activation.
…Because if he knew empathy he wouldn’t be faz.
I love Faz.
How the hell would he make money off of this? Anybody interested in comics enough to buy hand-made bootlegs would most likely have enough savvy just to pirate that shit on their own.
Also, I agree that 99% of the time, piracy is because you want something without paying for it. The other 1% is for weird/obscure shit like that police video on how to survive knife attacks (it’s out of print, only on VHS and costs like $100).
This is a very reductionist view of piracy.
Agreed. It’s more like 95%. The rest being stuff like the material being out of print, or the occasional issue like Spore’s invasive DRM.
In most cases, there’s really not much more to it than people wanting something and not wanting to pay. Doesn’t matter how you dress it up, that’s what it is.
“In most cases” is not “all cases”.
Exactly. It’s most – as in: The majority. Not all. Just like 99% is most and 95% is most. You can disagree with the percentages, but it’s still going to end up being the majority.
No one seems to have said “all cases” except you. So I’m not sure who you’re quoting.
75% is also most. And there are hundreds of reasons and ways to pirate software, or infringe on copyright that are neither of the things you mentioned.
A kid who buys a video game legally and records himself playing it, and posts that recording on YouTube calling it a Let’s Play is guilty of stealing the video game developer’s intellectual property.
There’s lots of copyright and piracy shit that’s just plain wrong, and falls into your 99% (which is a totally made up figure, BTW). And what Willis is talking about in this comic is that stuff. But there are also hundreds of different ways to “steal” someone’s intellectual property that aren’t just about not wanting to pay for it.
I don’t pay to read Shortpacked! when it’s updated. But if I download an app that rips the comic off Willis’s site, so I can read it on my Android, I’m supporting theft. That is wrong, and has nothing to do with not wanting to pay for his comic.
Posting footage of a game you played is copyright infringement, which is not the same as piracy, which is making an illegal copy of a product.
Bekah: “75% is also most. And there are hundreds of reasons and ways to pirate software, or infringe on copyright that are neither of the things you mentioned.”
I didn’t mention ANY cases. Regardless, so what? Every reason ever must be mentioned? Why? You’ve already agreed the majority simply do not want to pay. You’re “75%” is no less a number you pulled out of your ass than is the hyperbolic 95% previously mentioned.
Bekah “But there are also hundreds of different ways to “steal” someone’s intellectual property that aren’t just about not wanting to pay for it.”
And they’re not the majority. And no one is talking about posting gameplay on Youtube anyway.
Sorry, I thought you were Doom Shepard. And his statements implied that there were only two options when it comes to stealing intellectual property. You’re completely right, I am pulling numbers out of my ass. but my made-up number is more realistic than Doom Shepard’s.
Also, I wrote that comment when I’d been awake for 30-some hours. I use that as a defense for not knowing who I was replying to.
I have seen comic scanlations being sold on burned cds… some people seem to be just too lazy for looking for them themselves O.o -.-
Are you kidding? That’s…less convenient than just downloading the damned things.
Remember, thinking and doing new things is hard.
No, I am not kidding… unfortunately no -.-
Why would I buy Faz’s comics when I could just torrent them?
I think Faz does know what empathy is; he just doesn’t know the word itself.
Admit it, you all miss the old Faz.
The funny thing is that a lot of people would argue its okay to pirate comics, just not okay to sell them.
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