March 5, 2014

While interrupting his friend's rant on the lack of quality in comics...


72 comments:

  1. I love people who insist they torrent comics because they're not worth buying, then turn around and torrent them week after week. So you must like reading them, which means they must be worth buying. You should probably just admit you're a cheap jerk who doesn't want to pay for things.

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    1. On the other hand, if they torrent it once or twice until they make up their mind on the quality, and then either start buying it or stop torrenting it, I for one have no problem with it whatsoever.

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    2. Or admit that you are a broke jerk who can't pay for things.

      Fuck people who think I should I should be left out of the cultural conversation because I'm broke and poor. Fuck money. Fuck capitalism. Fuck middle and upper class people who think that they deserve their place and the the poor people deserve theirs. Fuck people who think I should be a cog in a corporate machine, or a 'noble' blue collar worker with a dangerous or miserable slave wage job, or a servant of the military industrial complex. Fuck people who told me I could be anything if I got a college education.

      Urgh. I'm bitter... :/

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    3. Yeah! And fuck people who want to create things and also want to be able to pay for food and shelter and things like that! They should just, you know, create stuff and put it out there where everyone can have it for free so that no one is left out of the "cultural conversation"! Because that stuff's important.

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    4. Yeah. Sure, that is EXACTLY what I said. uh huh. -_-

      I never said people who create art don't deserve a roof over their heads and food to eat. I said that I shouldn't be expected to participate in a system that expects me to either exploit people or be exploited by people in order to participate and connect with people about media and art.

      People work these days work because they don't want to starve, capitalist 'work' is not noble its desperate.

      You know what? If those creative people did not have to worry about money regardless if they worked, they'd still create stuff if they really gave a fuck and had something worth while to say. You don't drop your passion because "Oh, well I can't get rich on this!" You drop your passions because you don't want to end up homeless. I would be creating and doing good if I did not have to worry about money. That is my point. People are not idle and lazy by nature. Money these days isn't an incentive to do good work. Its an incentive to exploit. And incentive to do good work? That'd be actually caring about the results of your work.

      I literally had to stop volunteering at an animal shelter last year because I couldn't afford to pay for gas to drive to it. I would still go if I did not have to worry about crippling debt. If I did not have to worry about feeding myself I'd spend my time creating art and writing articles online and doing things I'm good at and care about, instead of selling stupid empty consumerist bullshit on Ebay. Work for money's sake is not beautiful. If the only reason you work is for money, you actually hate your job and would benefit society far more by doing something else.

      Capitalism has made making art either a dangerous time sink (You aren't making enough money to live on!) or an exclusivity to the few that can afford it made by people who have to alter their vision because of corporate interests.

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    5. Wow. I must have hit you right in the fedora.

      I said if you torrent comics, you're a jerk. What's all this stuff about capitalism and college?

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    6. If you're so poor that you HAVE to pirate comics if you want to read them, you probably have more important things to worry about than being a part of "the cultural conversation" (which an extremely pretentious term, by the way).

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    7. You two, you got me, you really did.

      Don't even actually torrent comics. I haven't torrented anything in months. Its the fucking principle of the thing. You are seriously telling someone: "You are too poor to enjoy this exclusive premium media. Get a job hippy!"

      Also, fedora?... what? ... You think I'm a libertarian? Did you read my fucking comments? I'm a fuckin' socialist. Or has implying someone wears fedoras spread to basically meaning "Young intellectual I don't like" on the internet? I can't even afford a fedora... not even the cheap bullshit.

      Also, oh no! I'm pretentious for using big phrases that the internet person thinks is poo poo! I should go back to using small words!

      Certainly this all means all my beliefs on the matter of not giving 2 shits about what rich people think about me "stealing" their art are invalid!

      I must repent. I need to kiss the feet of those that I have wronged and beg forgiveness! I looked at their stuff and they said I was too poor to do that!

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    8. No, a fedora means you're a hipster. He's implying that you're a hipster douche. And after reading your whiny diatribes about the Bourgeoisie I'm inclined to agree with him.

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    9. Actually by "Fedora" I just meant "neckbeard." Once again, I'm not talking politics. Neckbeards swing on all sides of the political spectrum.

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    10. Shouldn't there be more to the cultural conversation than just consumption of the latest brand name media?

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    11. @AP - no, honey, that's not what you said. What you said was "I went to college and still can't find a decent job so all those people lied to me." And there you have a point, if a whiny one.

      You also complained about the kinds of jobs you have been able to find which you apparently feel are beneath you somehow. I have a good job now, but I have worked food service both while I was in college and afterwards, as recently as ten years ago. It was not what I trained for and it was not what I like but it was not "beneath me" in any sense. A job is a job.

      Nor did you except by very indirect implication say anything about the "evil capitalist system", but one thing does occur to me. If you can propose a system with which to replace capitalism and which hasn't soundly failed already every time it's been tried (communism and fascist "centralized economies" come immediately to mind), I'll be happy to consider it, as I suspect most people will.

      For now, you're stuck with the system we have. Complain about it all you want, but unless your name is Jean Valjean, please don't use it as a spurious excuse to steal.

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    12. I work as a colorist on an indie title currently being offered for free online which I shall not name, as well as a professional freelance illustrator. The "it's their passion, so they'd be doing it for free anyway!" argument for not paying creative professionals strikes a specific nerve. Yeah, sure, we'd still be creating. But we invested a lot, A LOT, of time, hard work and days not eating specifically so that we CAN feed ourselves with our passions. We sacrificed years of stability, steady paychecks and knowledge that we can pay the bills for this. We could just be working part-time on little side projects for ourselves alongside steady and dependable jobs. But we don't. Because we want to work hard so we can really dedicate our full time to the things we love to do and still somehow eat.

      And that hard work is OURS and you are not entitled to it.

      Yeah, for now the comic is free. Because for now we choose for it to be. But if at some point we decide, "Hey, we're done making this a super, suuuper expensive hobby and you guys really enjoy it, and we'd like to start feeding ourselves with those hundreds and hundreds of hours of work, so we're going to start charging just $3 an issue" that is OUR decision. You don't HAVE to read it. You don't HAVE to include our shit in your two cents of the "cultural conversation". We have said no, this is ours and we do not want to just give it to you, so please don't STEAL it.

      Again, I cannot overstate this: You are not entitled to our hard work and time.

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    13. "If I did not have to worry about feeding myself I'd spend my time creating art and writing articles online and doing things I'm good at and care about, instead of selling stupid empty consumerist bullshit on Ebay."

      Which is exactly why people should pay for comics :)

      You can't change the system and never will. When you rebel against it by saying you deserve to take part in fandom and consume comics without paying for it, it maybe a nice gesture in your eyes, but ultimately it just makes it harder for people who want to do creative things to afford so.

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  2. I don't know what "facing the bills" means, but this is one OVC who's right on the money.

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    1. "Facing the bill" means to put the bills face up, in order of value, like a bank teller.

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  3. Stealing is wrong.
    But that has no bearing on judging quality.
    It's more like robbing a 7-11 and then crying because their microwave egg sandwich gave you the squirts; the sandwiches ARE awful but that's not the real crime here.

    Other phony excuses for piracy that I'm surprised I haven't seen here yet:
    -- claiming one can't afford the items (on their eighty-dollar-a-month Internet connection);
    -- "I'll pay for them when I get a job (no I won't)";
    -- Social Justice Profit-Arbitrating Warrior vs Evil Mega Corporation Making 'Too Much' Money!!

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    1. Legitimate reason: I only torrent comics I can't buy. Torrenting comics is a huge pain in the ass, but unfortunately not all back issues are available at my Friendly Local Comic Book Store.

      Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I prefer something I can hold in my hands as I read it. Fortunately, Marvel Gets It. Their Marvel Unlimited app is almost as good as paper, and soooooo much easier than torrenting. It's well worth the subscription fee just for the convenience. DC sort of Gets It, too, but they're still a little behind the curve.

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    2. Slightly off topic, but I agree with u on Marvel's Unlimited App. It is super easy and convienent! I love it!

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    3. I bet those back issues are available on the Internet, that thing you use to steal them. Also, as long as you're reading digitally, there's probably a legal digital copy

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    4. Those statements show a shocking naivety about the comics industry.

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    5. To Anon @10:24 PM
      I wish there were legal digital copies of everything, but unfortunately there often aren't. Marvel is doing a lot to digitize their back catalog, and things are getting better (though DC has a LOT of catching up to do), but for a lot of titles still it's "piracy" or nothing.

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    6. That's absolute nonsense. Back issues are available like crazy from places like midtowncomics.com, mycomicshop.com or even eBay. If it's not available right this second then suck it up and wait for it to show up on eBay - set an eBay alert. If it doesn't show up then suck it up and wait for it to be re-released like a decent person not trying to justify their own theft.

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    7. Not all back issues, especially rares, are available online in digital or paper or any other form. Moreover I wouldn't trust a paper copy, especially of a rare issue, to my local mail carrier to deliver it (UPS also sucks). Also "piracy" is not theft. It might be violation of copyright, but that is not the same thing as theft. And is it even really "piracy" when I'm already paying Marvel a $60 subscription fee for Unlimited, and I'm only falling back on torrents to get up to date on some title they have not yet gotten around to releasing all the back issues for?

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    8. "Something is hard to find and my mail carrier is clumsy and might bend a corner" is not an excuse. God, the lengths you people will go to just to feel good about stealing...

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    9. Until you can prove that every issue of every comic ever printed is readily available for purchase, kindly STFU.

      Moreover, if Marvel's already getting a $60 subscription, how can you say it's "stealing" to download something they haven't digitized yet? It's just being ahead of their back catalog scanning schedule. It's also better for Marvel and the comic creators because they are being paid directly for their work so they can continue to make comics. What does Marvel get from used comics sales on eBay like you recommend? Nothing.

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    10. "Until you can prove that every issue of every comic ever printed is readily available for purchase, kindly STFU."

      So, you only pirate issues that aren't available. Not every comic you read? Riiggghhhht.

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    11. Another one I've seen: some people have no friends apart from other manga scanlators who don't like them for anything else besides their shared interest in scanlating manga. For some reasons, they don't make and keep friends any other ways. Maybe some of them *can* make and keep friends other ways, but ate enough of the "don't be mainstream!!!!" hype to reject those other ways for being too mainstream?

      They continue to scanlate manga in order to keep their friends.

      Some of them quit scanlating a title when it gets licensed to be officially translated into their target language. When this happens, they start scanlating other titles.

      Some of them have run out of all the titles they like. Their two options now are quitting scanlation, or scanlating titles they *don't* like.

      Yes, you guessed it, some of them scanlate titles they don't even like, just to keep their friends. o_O O_o o_O

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    12. If its not readily available to purchase that doesnt give you the right to steal it. God, the sense of entitlement around these parts!

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    13. Every single mainstream comic is available for purchase on eBay right this second. There's no such thing as a rare modern Marvel comic. Or a rare Marvel comic at all, unless you count variants and errors, which we aren't counting, because downloading a variant because it wasn't available for purchase is stupid. You can buy Amazing Fantasy 15 right this second. You can buy Hulk 181 right this second. There are no rare Marvel comics. Not a single one. And if a download can replace the original, then certainly a trade paperback can do the same, right? What isn't available in TPB? I actually do collect rare comics, and guess what? You can't download them either, because the 20 people who own a copy haven't scanned and uploaded it. And downloading it wouldn't replace the feeling I get when I track down one of twenty copies of a comic that has never been reprinted and contains all original contents. Nobody buys exceedingly rare comics to read.

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    14. "And if a download can replace the original, then certainly a trade paperback can do the same, right?"

      Trade paperbacks, indeed. A good way to read old comic book issues that WOULD be very expensive if you bought them individually on Ebay.

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  4. Sooo... you need to buy a badly written/drawn comic in order to criticize it? Being a critic is tough.

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    1. I read a bad comic, I never, EVER read another issue of the same series. It leaves little to complain about. It also allows me to afford to buy my comics because I don't read 126 titles of garbage per month.

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    2. Good point, my nameless friend, good point.

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  5. I don't really think piracy and theft should be equated like this. Especially not with armed robbery.

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    1. Shoplifting, not armed robbery. Which is a perfect comparison.

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    2. The reference to facing the bills makes it pretty clear it's talking about robbing the cash register, not shoplifting. And shoplifting is still a flawed analogy because it's theft, and piracy is not theft.

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    3. "Piracy is not theft". Hm. You're getting something you're supposed to pay for but without paying for it and without it being given to you by the person who owns the rights to it. Not seeing a huge difference between that and theft here. Care to enlighten me?

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    4. It's called "Piracy" for goodness sake! If you're gonna do it, at least be honest with yourself. It's theft! You're not fucking Robin Hood.

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    5. How is it stealing if you're not taking anything?

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    6. You're still denying the people who created it the money they would have gotten if you got the thing legitimately instead of pirating. Shit costs money to make. They needed to spend money on the inks and colors (or program and software if they draw things using a tablet or something similar). They need to make that money back not only to recoup those expenses, but also to pay for their food, clothing, and shelter, but also to fund further projects. If someone spent all their money creating something, be it a game, comic, or movie, and everyone decided to pirate it digitally, that person would be making absolutely no money. This is what is called a "net loss". He'd probably have to file for bankruptcy if the net loss is great enough.

      This is one of the biggest reasons I hate internet pirates, they never seem to grasp that concept. Just because you're not taking something physically doesn't mean you're not causing any harm.

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    7. It's pretty fallacious to assume someone who pirates something would have bought it if piracy wasn't an option. It's also equally fallacious to assume pirates never buy the things they pirate. Conceptualizing a pirated copy of something as a "stolen sale" is nothing but wishful thinking on the part of salespeople.

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    8. Dude. I didn't say anything about causing harm (not that I agree with this one, but at least it makes sense). I said that it's not stealing.
      Furthermore, people who want to make money by printing comics should MAKE FREAKIN' BETTER COMICS, not whine about "boo hoo,pirates destroy our lives". People buy good stuff. People don't buy stuff that sucks. The only way that piracy affects this is it allows people to take a good look at what they're offered to buy.

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    9. You're saying it like all comic artists who get their shit pirated are just lazy douchebags out for a quick buck. You're also implying that people who pirate only do it to "try before they buy". Both are shitty assumptions. There are people who have made excellent comics, or movies, or videogames, and they still get pirated (just check any public torrent site and look up any comic, movie, game, or whatever you think is good. Chances are just as good that it's there as it would be for a shitty product to be there). There are people who pirate purely because they don't want to pay for their entertainment, no matter how good it is. On the other hand, there are shitty products that get pirated and people who only pirate so they can see what it's about before they decide to commit money to it (And I'm going to be honest, I've done that, too. That's the reason why I eventually bought games like Crysis and Saint's Row 2).

      The point is, what you say, while sometimes true, is not the only answer on why people pirate, what pirating is, and what should be done about it. There are douchebags out there who take advantage of the system by taking things without giving back (or at the very least deleting it from their computer if they didn't like it). It doesn't matter how you name it, whether it can be considered "stealing" or not, it's just a dick thing to do.

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    10. Of course people upload/download good stuff. It's not the point. Point is if they BUY it or not. And if they don't want to buy, they won't buy. If they don't want to pay for their entertainment, they won't. It has nothing to do with piracy. Some people just won't buy your super uber mega wonder cool comic slash video game slash movie, and no, it's NOT because someone made a torrent of it. It's because they're not that much into super uber mega wonder cool comics slash video games slash movies.

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    11. You still haven't addressed the issue about people who download something, like it, but still don't pay for it. That's the real problem I was trying to point out, because that DOES happen. You have to admit that such behavior is a douchey thing to do. And if you don't, the only conclusion I can come to is that your morals just don't align with my own, which renders this whole argument pointless.

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    12. I would love to here people make the same argument about other things.

      "Yeah I stole that shirt, but only cause I didn't want to pay for it! That makes it ok!"

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    13. Okay, let's talk about the real problem. Let's talk about people who download something, like something, but don't buy it. Why don't they buy it?
      Because A. They don't want to pay for something they already have. That's freakin' dishonorable, and I refuse to shake hands with such people.
      B. They can't buy it. Maybe they live in a country that doesn't sell comics (I'm not talking about myself, of course. In my country, there is a comic book shop, conveniently located in my city. Before it opened, there was none), or maybe they're poor and can't afford it, or maybe they're banned for life from all the comic book shops in the world (I'm not talking about myself, of course. It was totally an accident. Not my fault at all).
      So, getting stuff that you like and not paying for it just because you don't want to is bad. That's an agreement we all agree upon. Does it make piracy automatically wrong? That's an agreement I disagree upon.

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    14. I AM a 7-11 Cashier and it's not a flawed analogy at all. A customer would never know that I didn't do my job well and faced the bills incorrectly UNLESS he was emptying the register.. You wouldn't know the comic sucked if you hadn't stole it.

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  6. SO ACCURATE, JUST SO ACCURATE.

    The number of times I see people on online readers complaining about the length of a chapter, or the quality of the work, or the direction the authors taking the story in, or the amount of time they had to wait for the comic - YOU GOT IT FOR FREE SHUT UP.

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    1. >You can't criticize free things!

      ...Yes I can? I mean, what the hell? Of course I can criticize free things as much as I like. Free garbage is still garbage. So is stolen garbage.

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  7. This is horseshit. Criticism is only related to perceived quality and has no connection to how you got the thing.

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    1. I think your missing the point...

      I can criticize a comic I read at a friends house, even though I didn't pay for it. But if you stole the comic, then your act is worse than the writer/artist/company for making a mediocre comic. Sure, you can still make your comments, but it's incredibly dickish to rationalize stealing something just because it turns out, after the fact, that you don't like it.

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  8. Kinda feel like this one didn't actually happen and this is just the author (who sells comics for a living!) venting.

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  9. Oh come on. I'm all for Internet piracy, arr, but at least have the decency and don't criticize the comics that you leeched for free IN A FREAKIN' COMIC BOOK SHOP.

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  10. This reminds me of how I will see people on Facebook posting stuff about watching a movie that just came out in theaters at home (some even posting pics of the movie playing on their TV/computer/projector). It's like online piracy is the only crime people can get away with bragging about on social media.

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  11. The number of customers I want to say this to a week is... Well, actually about 5 times the number I DO break down and say it to. You can only hold back so much.

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  12. Borrowing a game/movie/book/comic from a friend is stealing!

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    1. Not to mention reading in a library. Gasp.

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    2. Taking a game/movie/book/comic form a friend with no intention to give it back or pay them for it is stealing. And likening piracy to a library is implying that the comic book company put their comics up for download themselves and/or are fine with it.

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    3. Okay, here's another example for you. My friend comes to my place and takes a book that he has no intention to give back. Then I come to his place and take another book, with no intention to give i back. We're buddies. We're cool with that.
      How does it work with piracy, you ask? Aha! But I own two copies of Watchmen that I legitimately bought, therefore I can download something for free!
      Logic!

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    4. If he took the book, and you knew he took it, and he doesn't give it back, that's not theft. You owned the book and you at least implicitly gave it to him. Same thing works in reverse.

      If I write a program (which, by the way, I do) and I give it to you and say "here, use this all you want" and you take it - that's not theft. If I expect to be paid for that program and you take it and use it without my knowledge and without paying for it, that's theft.

      Same thing goes if I write and/or draw a comic.

      Logic!

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    5. Fair enough. Soooo...
      Can I use your program?

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    6. Most of the ones I've released are simulations for high school physics or calculus classes. A couple of them are simple things that I was asked to write, like a program (in VB6, no less) to calculate how many bags of concrete to sell someone given the size and shape they need to create. If any of those sound useful, then sure.

      The rest were written for specific businesses for which I worked at the time, and they own the copyright.

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  13. Lemme guess, some of their parents raised them to be comic book geeks, thinking that a) comic book geek = high-salary scientist/engineer and b) comic book geek = no friends = can't get drugs, underage booze, or premarital sex from friends.

    Years later, having spent too much time memorizing comic book trivia to study enough math and science and workplace manners to get and keep high-paying math/science jobs, they can't afford new comic books.

    How else can you BE YOURSELF!!!! and DON'T CARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK!!!! when your self is nothing but a reader of new comics, when you and your parents can't afford new comic anymore, and when other people think you shouldn't pirate the comics they make?

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    1. Get a job at a comic shop and read them at work.

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    2. Then they'd have to change their selves into more than readers of new comics, instead of "BEING THEMSELVES!!!!"

      They'd have to care what other people think enough to stay in business selling things like comic books to other people, instead of "NOT CARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK!!!!"

      That's the trouble with focusing on the people who put the fan in fanatic. Sure they can be good customers when they have money - not having other interests to spend some of their disposable income on, they spend it all on your products. But when they don't have money, they don't go away like "I'm not a fan, I just read the stuff" customers do...they keep coming for your products even when they have no money for you in exchange...

      believe you me, I agree with the "if everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you jump?" line of childrearing, but it can go too far if it's not leavened with some "if noone else jumped off a bridge, would you jump?" childrearing too.

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  14. I've downloaded comics off the internet before. I download the New52 Aquaman # 1. loved it. ended up buying it for two years. same with the Court of Owls thing. downloaded & read the first issue, ended up buying the trades. I'm not saying it's morally right or wrong, only that I would never have bought those comics, otherwise. if I knew other people who read comics, which I don't, I'd've just borrowed their copies & read them, but that wasn't an option. it's a matter of degree, I think. if you're downloading every single Marvel & DC title ever month, that's just greedy. if you're downloading the odd comic here & there because you're not particularly well off & you want to try it before you commit to spending money on a title, then I don't really see it as THAT much of a problem. & I find the whiny "It's MY Right!" arguments just as tiresome as the "You're a Thief! Burn in Hell!" arguments.

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    1. I agree, I think both extremes ("Die, thieving bastard!" versus "I'm entitled to everything for free because funsies are a human right!") represent the rare lunatic so impassioned that they need to make a political point out of it. Reality, for most people, is usually somewhere in the middle.

      I also agree that torrents can be excellent advertisments that can be used to drive sales. Notice that the top sellers each month are also the busiest torrents, by far. I'm not going to defend theft philosophically but, from an economic standpoint, if pirating the shit out of any given comic damaged sales of that comic, then the popularity of the torrent and its place on the sales chart would be inversely, not directly, proportional. Clearly, there are people who both download the torrent and also buy the comic.

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    2. "Clearly, there are people who both download the torrent and also buy the comic."

      Either that or it's so much better than the competition that it appeals to the most buyers *and* appeals to the most pirates even without an overlap between those groups.

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  15. you can, actually

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