I get it. I do. Publishers from the paper world haven’t yet figured out how to work the Internet. But they have to start learning. Fast. Because I’m not inclined to download illicit copies of comics and books, I miss out. I’m rather sure that there are plenty of people who would rather get their books/comics through licit channels, but if they don’t exist, will obtain them in other ways.
iTunes, anyone? Massive success. People will pay to download stuff – that previously was flowing illegally thru napster and limewire and whatever other p2p the crazy kids used. Make it available – easily available – and people will come. Of course, once you get rid of the DRM your business model will fall into the pit of piracy and you’ll stop making money … Oh wait… That didn’t happen? iTunes keeps getting bigger? Oh….
I’ve written about bloody DRM on eBooks, and likened it to someone strong-arming you out of your favourite chair while reading a book, because you bought not the book, but rather a license to read it, but only in one particular chair or room.
At least eBooks are available though. And you can often strip the DRM and read it in the app you prefer.
Comics, not so much. Well … Some comics not so much. I have half a dozen different comic apps on my iPad. With the Marvel one (and possibly DC, though I haven’t looked, being not much for DC), new comics are available, a month after they hit in print. So if you must have it immediately you can get to your local comic shop, but if you want super convenience, you just accept that you get it a month late. For example I’ve got Silver Surfer #3, from April this year.
Top Cow? Not so much. The most recent issue of Witchblade I can find in any of those apps (plus a couple other online stores) is #124, which is 19 or 20 months old. Kinda shit, really. I’ve asked Top Cow about it on Twitter, and the last response I got was:
“we are not day and date on any of our series yet. That is by design.
Not day and date? You’re telling me….
I haven’t looked – because I wouldn’t be downloading it anyway – but I would be very surprised if I couldn’t jump online and within a few minutes find a nice big .rar of whatever Witchblade I wanted, and more. When will publishers figure out that the measures they are taking to avoid piracy hurt NOT pirates, but the rest of us. Pirates just get what they want, when they want it (and with movies for example, they get to miss out on the unskippable accusations of piracy at the beginning of DVDs you pay for…). The rest of us miss out, or wait, or have to suffer crippling DRM.
I live a good 50 minutes drive from my nearest comic shop. Return trip… call it 2 hours of driving. Or I could hit download on my iPad. For that I would be quite happy to wear being a couple of months behind. But almost 2 years…? That’s idiotic.
I just wish publishers would stop it with the “OH NOES TEH INTERNETS!!!1!1!11!!11!eleven”. Sure there are challenges in adding to the current paper model, but that’s quite simply where the world is heading. And publishers need to get with it.