Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Monday, March 02, 2009

My Brief Thoughts on the Scans Daily Mess

I don't actually have that much of an opinion about Scans_Daily's demise. I wasn't much of a part of the community, though there were a few series I probably would never have read if not for it.

I do think blaming Peter David for the demise is pretty stupid, and I say this as someone who isn't very fond of his work and becomes less and less so the more I read/"hear" him talk.

Ultimately, even if Mr. David DID exactly what the rumors said and reported S_D to Marvel...well, honestly, it's still not his fault S_D got deleted. Ultimately, S_D was posting a lot of scans of material, protected by copyright, in a manner that the owners of said copyright had a problem with. S_D was punished because the members of the community violated copyright, as well as Livejournal's Terms of Service.

And, pardon me for being elitist, unless you have a law degree and are willing to take it to court, I'd avoid bringing up Fair Use at all. Whether you're right or wrong, it only matters if you can get the court to agree with you. Otherwise, you're SOL either way. (And honestly, current precedent really isn't in your favor.)

(Oh, and since I've seen some intelligent people bring up the argument: there's a significant difference between posting scans of a comic and posting a plot summary explaining everything that happens in the comic and how it rocks/sucks. Yes, both can equally spoil a reader of plot developments, and yes, both can negatively or positively influence sales of a comic.

The difference is that plot summaries do not actually involve the unauthorized distribution of product held under someone else's copyright.)

Though I have to say, in the end, I'm not sure what good shutting down the community really does. I mean, sure, for every person who claims that the community got them to buy X or Y, there are probably ten who aren't buying much of anything and just use the community to keep up to date/denounce all current company outlook.

And I don't really think that uploading half a comic on scans_daily gives anyone higher moral ground than someone uploading a comic book on bit torrent for example. Piracy is piracy.

But even acknowledging that those are probably true, I don't think shutting down the community is going to change anything. Heck, the replacement "asylum" community's already up somewhere. Those people who use scans_daily and don't buy comics will find some other way to pirate and not buy comics. It seems pretty futile to me.

6 Comments:

  • At March 02, 2009 7:47 AM, Blogger Will Staples said…

    The thing that really pissed me off about the demise of scans_daily wasn't the loss of the comic scans themselves but the community and discussion that stemmed from them. A few jerks aside, it was just a really fun place to be, and even with the backup comm, we'll never recreate that.

    And yeah, Peter David isn't the one to blame - though I do think he acted inappropriately, and he and the users he argued with precipitated this whole mess together. If I'm mad at anyone, it's the LJ management for nuking the comm without any advance warning whatsoever.

     
  • At March 02, 2009 11:15 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    I find myself rather surprised at all the vitriol, which I suppose is naive of me. This IS the internet after all.

    But I guess the Scans Daily folk were playing with fire, and it's not too surprising that something like this was going to happen eventually.

     
  • At March 02, 2009 2:07 PM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    Personally I blame Dan DiDio, but thats because I may or may not have signed an infernally binding document saying I have to.

    DIIIIIIDIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOO!!!

    Also I just realized I've been spelling 'copyright' wrong using a 'w' all weekend and now I feel really fucking stupid about that...

     
  • At March 02, 2009 2:14 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I wouldn't feel too embarrassed. It happens. :-)

     
  • At March 06, 2009 3:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'd avoid bringing up Fair Use at all. Whether you're right or wrong, it only matters if you can get the court to agree with you.

    That's one problem: fair use is so nebulously defined that it's hard to tell whether you're onside.

    As for the community, it was getting back on iyts feet only a few days later. As I understand it, the new site is temporary until they settle on a permanent new home.

    They've made some changes:
    - moderation will be ruthless
    - a complaints policy is in effect
    (content will be immediately removed at request of the copyright holder)
    - permitted excerpts will be shorter (1/3 instead of 1/2)

    That last one's the biggie. To me, reading half a comic feels like reading a comic. Reading 1/3 of a comic feels like reading a sample. That's likely the difference between infringement and fair use, in terms of what is just if not in terms of what is legal.

     
  • At March 30, 2011 6:05 PM, Anonymous viagra online said…

    I have heard some rumors about the plot summaries do not actually involve the unauthorized distribution of product held, so I think that it can be a problem , 'cause it is a crime!

     

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