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Old 07-02-2013, 04:14 PM   #1
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For the First Time, You Can Actually Own the Digital Comics You Buy

I hope this sets an example

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If you’ve ever bought a digital comic book, your experience probably went something like this: You opened up an app like ComiXology, paid around $1.99 to $3.99 — likely, the same price as a print issue — but never downloaded the file for the comic to your hard drive. That’s because you don’t really own it — you’ve simply licensed the right to look at it in someone else’s library.

It’s a digital sales model that has been adopted by every major U.S. comics publisher — and most e-book publishers as well — and was inspired by fears that piracy of digital copies could hurt not just digital but also print sales. It has also essentially prevented the comic book readership (or at least, the legal comic book readership) from truly owning any of the books they buy. At least until this morning, when comic book publisher Image Comics announced at its Image Expo convention that it will now sell all of its digital comics as downloadable via its website for both desktop and mobile users, making it the first major U.S. publisher to offer DRM-free digital versions of comics. Readers can even choose the file format they prefer: PDFs, EPUBs, CBRs or CBZs.
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Last edited by guanaco; 07-02-2013 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:24 PM   #2
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So they're saying that you "really own it", are they? That would imply that you could, for example, resell it. Pretty much all digital content is licensed, not sold, and whether you download a file or view it online doesn't change that one jot.

I'd be interested to know if the publisher agrees that they are selling, rather than licensing, their content. I'd be willing to wager a large sum that they don't!
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
So they're saying that you "really own it", are they?
The writer for Wired is saying that, but I don't think Image is. All they say on their website that I can see is that you get a download in various formats.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:55 PM   #4
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I don't understand what they mean about downloadable comics. I've been downloading comics to my devices for years. I would also agree with what Harry said, I don't think the situation re digital downloads has changed in terms of ownership.

Interesting that downlads will now be DRM free and in the format of choice although I've never had any trouble viewing my comics on my various devices.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:58 PM   #5
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The writer for Wired is saying that, but I don't think Image is. All they say on their website that I can see is that you get a download in various formats.
Yes, that was my point - that the writer of this article has got it wrong. The ability to download has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with ownership. Ownership implies a sale rather than licensing, and I'm absolutely certain that this publisher is licensing - and not selling - their content.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Pretty much all digital content is licensed, not sold, and whether you download a file or view it online doesn't change that one jot.
I agree.

The Comics are still under copyright protection and will still be sold with a 'limited license' agreement and as you rightly point out, actual ownership doesn't change at all.

What has changed by this it seems is the somewhat draconian measures taken by many digital content publishers in applying DRM to their wares is slowly changing.

Perhaps they're finally realising that DRMing their content only hampers and impedes legal and lawful users.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:58 PM   #7
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Oooh, cool! *bookmarks the Fell page and waits for it to update with content*

Oh, and if people are looking for other DRM-free comics, DriveThruComics.com sells DRM-free comics such as 2000AD, the Hugo award-winning Girl Genius and Top Cow comics such as Wanted, Witchblade and J. Michael Straczynski's Midnight Nation and Rising Stars.
Wowio.com also has some gems, if you poke around for long enough. As well as Top Cow's digital comics, I have found Steve Ditko's The Thing and Strange Suspense Stories, Alan Moore's run on Supreme, an issue of Hellraiser by Gaiman/McKean and Star Trek comics that were published by Gold Key.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:19 PM   #8
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For those willing to look beyond the US, Rebellion has been selling 2000AD in DRM-free CBZ and PDF formats for years now.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemurion View Post
For those willing to look beyond the US, Rebellion has been selling 2000AD in DRM-free CBZ and PDF formats for years now.
As has been said, though, this has absolutely nothing to do with the ownership of digital content, which is the subject of this thread!
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:08 AM   #10
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Check out the comments on this post at The Digital Reader. It seems Image have made a right mess of their EPUB format comics

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Sadly, the [Apple's Fixed Layout] isn’t done properly and the landscape images stretch to fit portrait orientation. Looking at the XHTML for the pages, they’ve transposed the width and height, both in the meta tag for viewport as well as the image tag in the body of the XHTML file. The mistake is repeated in the CSS (which has far more selectors than they actually used in the book itself).

Apparently no one at Image QA’d this. At all.
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:58 AM   #11
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So they're saying that you "really own it", are they? That would imply that you could, for example, resell it. Pretty much all digital content is licensed, not sold, and whether you download a file or view it online doesn't change that one jot.
Why would it imply that? As far as I know there are case where you own a physical object that you are not allowed to resell.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:43 AM   #12
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Why would it imply that? As far as I know there are case where you own a physical object that you are not allowed to resell.
Can you give an example of that?
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:11 AM   #13
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I believe the OP meant ownership in the same fashion that you own a hardback that you purchase. You don't need to have some external source check your sales slip everytime you open the book. If you have it in your possesion (on your shelf or in your harddrive) it is assumed you bought it. In neither case could you run it through a copier and sell the copy. Well you COULD in either case but in neither case is it allowed.

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Old 07-10-2013, 09:20 AM   #14
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Can you give an example of that?
For example fidei commis (sp?).

Also the law define different type of ownership and most types have restrictions on them.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:25 AM   #15
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For example fidei commis (sp?).

Also the law define different type of ownership and most types have restrictions on them.
Fideicommiss is an entail - it relates to inheritance, so "resell" doesn't apply (you didn't buy it in the first place, you inherited it with the entail). It can also be said that you don't actually own the property, you only have a life interest in it.
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