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

June 9, 2009

Missed It: Z-Cult FM Closing Down

I had totally missed the fact that one-time popular pirate site Z-Cult FM is undergoing a slow shut-down. Z-Cult FM was I believe one of the highest profile places where folks might gain access to free downloads of comics to then run afoul of Marvel and DC and their legal department, at least at the saber-rattling stage.

Glenn Hauman has pointed to this as a non-story -- and I'm sure many others will join him if they haven't already -- with the logic being that the legal threats and subsequent, eventual shut-down will not stop people the practice of people downloading free comics. The problem I have with this thinking is I'm not sure that anyone of serious import thought this would be the outcome, let alone said so in public. If they did, that was indeed stupid. But even then it's probably rhetoric about as useful and serious as these kinds of sites' occasional volleys of "I will die before I stop uploading what I want to upload" bullshit.

Anyway, I really doubt there was high-fiving and dancing in the DC or Marvel offices as the Ewok Yub Yub song played on the intercom. I doubt anyone even looked up. Without knowing for sure I would imagine there are countless reasons why legal pressure gets applied to a specific entity that likely doesn't involve as a goal ending the practice in its entirety: establishing precedents, testing legal strategies, frustrating newbies who might use a particular line of google searching, public relations, challenging a widespread principle, wanting to see that specific entity shut down -- and so on.
posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink

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