March 2nd, 2009

Agency X you suuuuck

Another post about the end of scans_daily

First off, a handy collection of links:

The announcement:

One of the mods, schmevil, announces that the community was suspended and follows it with a post regarding where fans can go now.

A collection of commentary on the shut-down (so far):

MightyGodKing (he of the hilarious comics posts) weighs in with many good points. You really, really should read this post.

Kevin Melrose blogs about it on Comic Book Resources

box-in-the-box discusses it here.

Another CBR discussion, including the bit about Peter David of X-Factor maybe being responsible. (And how ironic if he wanted the scans gone because he wants to encourage sales of the book - the only possible reason I'd pick up X-Factor is if I read a bit of it somewhere and like it, but it is definitely not one of the books I'd randomly pick up in a store to flip through - so really, seeing it on scans_daily or similar would be the only way I'd even look at it! P.S. Peter David's account of what happened appears to be no longer available but is copied in several places.)

Comics Worth Reading laments the loss and discusses the mistaken assumption that "any free taste is a lost sale."

Leigh Walton weighs in, including a discussion of male vs. female fans and where they appear most often. (Interestingly, I'm on LJ *and* several comics discussion forums, and never realized scans_daily was thought of as a female-heavy place until now. I mean, I knew it started with the slash undertone, but that was something like six years ago, and since then I at least felt a lot of it was more general discussion. I also don't think that females in general look at comics much differently than males in general. I certainly don't read comics (or anything else, for that matter) for any reason other than good stories and/or characters.)

More commentary from Brigid Alverson on Digital Strips

Cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks is unhappy about it.

Gail Simone is sensible about the benefits of this type of community

Kurt Busiek comments.

Reported on Whitechapel, and Warren Ellis comments.

Merlin Missy discusses it on Firefox News

The lone dissenting opinion I've found so far.

And of course,

Fandom Wank reports and so does Fandom Lounge.

And then there's my question, What comics did you buy due entirely to scans_daily?
...

Some thoughts:

There are so many reasons scans_daily was beneficial to Marvel and other comics companies, that it seems like they might actually lose out some by LJ pulling the plug on it.

Don't get me wrong - I am a firm supporter of the copyright owner's right to control use of the material. And I'm well aware that the community was, by and large, violating copyright. But there comes a point when good business sense really could or should play a part in the decision of what to pursue, legally, in this arena. And one key part of copyright is that the owner *gets to decide* the use. So Marvel COULD have decided that scans_daily could exist. Perhaps they could have contacted the maintainers (who are just people who enjoy comics, not some evil group trying to scam the industry) to see if an agreement on posting rules could be reached. After all, most LJ comms already have maintainer-enforced rules. So, you know - "limit to two pages of scans plus there must be actual commentary of some sort" or...something.

Why was this bad for Marvel, in my view?

For one, *if* Marvel was in part responsible for the shut-down (it seems unclear so far?) this does not make Marvel look like a company that understands or works with their fanbase. It makes them look like they had a knee-jerk legal department reaction to any use of copyright without considering what the use was. The comics companies always seem to be saying they want to know what their readers want, because they want to satisfy fans, and, in the end, sell more issues - well, THIS was something their readers wanted. And they didn't consider that.

For another, many used the community to find new comics, decide whether they wanted to read a series, or point others in the direction of a series. I personally greatly expanded my collection after glancing over some comic excerpts in the community (to the tune of ALL EIGHT Cable & Deadpool TPBs, and also some Iron Man and Spider-man) and pointed at least 2 others towards Cable & Deadpool (at least one of whom I know is buying up the TPBs now). I never refrained from buying a comic I would otherwise have purchased because of the community - but I DID buy comics I'd never have thought of otherwise after seeing them there.

Another great thing was the sense of community - you could ask a question in a particular post about the continuity, or some trivia, or where to find a storyline in the issues, and people there would know and answer. Everyone was having a good time, enjoying something together. That kind of thing also leads to more comics fans, which equals more books bought. Again: good for Marvel.

And then there's the small, bitter taste left in my mouth when I think of the great amount of effort people put into sharing their favorite comics or explaining why a run was so great, which is all lost now, along with the ability to quickly click and reference something archived there to talk about in a blog post or send to a friend. It wasn't just the scans that made the community fun - it was the discussion and commentary.

I think it's a big loss to comics discussion and community. What a shame.
trixie snow

SNOWWWWWW.

You guys, it is snowing like crazy out there. Very pretty - also the thickest snowfall I've seen in awhile. It's fun to be on the 9th floor with big picture windows and a good heater right now. Whee!

The expected fall here is 6-8 inches. My parents called my yesterday specifically to tell me the storm was coming and make sure I had food laid in and whatever. (Which I do, hurrah!) Not that it's going to be "The Blizzard of Ought Nine" or anything. But still. 6-8 inches is a good pile of snow.
Dylan Feng Shui

The Misuse of Fair Use

You guys, the recent shutdown of scans_daily has precipitated yet another flurry of misuses of the concept of fair use. Now, believe it or not, I actually *do* have stuff to do other than post about this stuff, but I just wanted to make a brief foray into the misunderstandings again, in hopes that this might help *someone* out there understand how this stuff works.

Please note this is not intended as specific legal advice and no one should rely on it as such. Thank you.

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For a few more thoughts on this, you can check out:

My roundup of links about the end of scans_daily

and

My initial reaction to the end of scans_daily