Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 2, 2009

If People Must Argue About Scans_Daily, Please Let Them Not Argue This

Scans_Daily, one of the popular sites where people scanned in and then posted an enormous amount of copyrighted comics material was apparently booted from its provider service a couple of days back in a story that whipped through comics outposts Internet-wide. I see that as more an Internet culture story than a comics story, so in terms of the general issues involved I just wanted to make note of it and move on.

One thing does interest me, though, and I'd like to make a request. Can we -- and by "we" I mean all of humanity -- dump the argument whereby the use of someone's else stuff is justified by some nebulous future material gain assigned to this item? First of all, it's much too vague an argument for serious consideration. The evidence is at best anecdotal and almost certainly skewed in favor of testimony by those advocating the practice. Second, it's almost always accompanied by a great deal of verbal bullying of any skeptics, in terms that stray far away from the heart of the issue. Third and most importantly, it's beside the point. Creators should have the right to control their works even if the person who wants to usurp that right means no real harm, thinks they know better, actually knows better, supported that creator in the past, or whatever. If you want to support a creator, embrace with seriousness the actions they've taken or declined to take when it comes to on-line iterations of their work.
posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink

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