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HMTLcomics--has been shut down.


ARROW
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A few months back, There was mention made of a site that claimed to be a resource for comics on the web. It was www.html.comics, and they had a disclaimer that stated they were untouchable on infringment via some self-contrived legal reasoning they concocted.

 

Well, I guess their luck ran out...

 

http://www.comicsbeat.com/2010/05/06/publishers-band-together-to-shut-down-pirate-site/

 

It was said from the start, by myself and others, that this site's days were numbered the moment you discovered it. Their reasoning was, quite simply, bullsh!t. They had no legal ground to compile the material for public view, and because the site had advertising it was a commercial venture, and was broadcasting the material in infringement of copyright.

Yea, it was a nice resource while it lasted, but it was also a massive copyright infringement. This was truly inevitable.

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I wondered how long it would be around, I liked it alot. I bought comics a few years back, but then the comicbook store in town closed, and I had to resort to picking through the bent up older issues they have in the book stores. So I stopped reading them for a while, but then I got a night job at a hotel, which left me with plenty of time on the internet with nothing to do, so I got to read things I will probably never get to read (like TMNT)

 

It sucks, but I understand the complaint. If this was a paid for service, I would sign up for it, but I doubt all the companies could come together like that and agree on it. It's a shame, because we live in the digital age, and print is becoming less important everyday. This industry needs to keep up, and htmlcomics was doing what the companies couldn't and offering a great way to get product out there. The companies need to copy this sort of idea and just make it subscription based. Just let me pay a flat rate and have access to read as many back issues as your catalog can hold!

 

 

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Yes, if this had been a legal pay-site, it would have been a fantastic service and resource. But like so many dodgy folks, the owner(s)took the cheap way out and reasoned some nonsense and assumed it was "legal".

 

The thing is, the individual publishers have apparently been looking at doing the exact same thing, but via subscription. The downside is that the comics from inactive publishers are now essentially lost (or just somewhat harder to find), so ANY on-line access to those comics is very limited.

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So what is the difference between this and a library?... Does the library have automatic permission to loan out books?...

 

Libraries are different, because they are usually public/civic establishments and are usually not-for-profit.

 

HTMLcomics used advertising, and was a dot.com site, not a dot.org site, so it was for commerce even though it claimed the material was accessible for free. As a result, it was broadcasting and disseminating published material without permission ( while claiming it did not NEED permission, or implying that the copyright holders had waived the need to seek permission)and thus infringed upon the copyrights of all those comics.

 

The ''The site isn't illegal because the comicbooks cannot be downloaded" did smell like BS especially how easy it for someone to take a screen cap of it.

Its not the downloading that made it illegal, its actually the broadcasting of all that material out over the internet that infringed upon the copyrights. Just disseminating it for public viewing is an infringement.

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this f@#4ing sucks but was highly expected still this site was very good because it helped me decide which comics I wanted and which I should avoid.

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dammit.. I loved that site..

 

I have been reading lots of old comics on there recently...

 

 

I understand the publishers' gripe, but he wasn't costing them any of my money because I can't go back in time and buy those old issues from them... and they don't even offer them for sale.

 

 

Also, if they are going to shut this site down, then they should at least try to offer a comparable service.

 

marvel's digital comics subscription is a damn joke.. I don't mind the price point, but the service sucks. They put up a few issues here and there.. but there are too many holes in every run.. you can't just go ahead and read the entire Namor the Submariner series or whatever..

 

 

I went to the library a few weeks ago and saw plenty trade paperbacks from Marvel... are they going to go after the libraries next?

 

 

 

I had planned on using this site to get caught up on comics that I liked, and then when I could afford it I would start buying current issues again..(I haven't been buying books for about 3 years) but now.. it's not gonna happen.. so I won't be buying any comics

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You may not be able to buy the originals but lots of stuff is collected these days in trade or hardcover of some sort. Some companies are even jumping on the digital bandwagon like marvel & dc ect where you can pay to download digital copies & even have older stuff archived so yes this site very well could still be cutting into there profits even if you don't think it is

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Thanks for the info ARROW... I was under the impression that he didnt profit from the site... I guess what he should have done is donate enough to charity and qualify as being non-profit...

The site owner had banner ads and such on the site, which is all it takes. Using the money for charity or what-not doesn't matter because the site was commercial by its very designation.

I think the bigger problem, and the bigger lesson here is that he THOUGHT he was doing something altruistic by sharing all those comics. He contrived an excuse that he thought would protect him, But he clearly had no legal weight to his argument, and appears to have contrived it all himself--and that was his downfall.

The sad lesson is just because something is accessible, doesn't mean someone can do what they please with it. Yes, we are denied access to this material......FOR NOW, but its also possible that the same material could someday become legitimately available again.

Getting something for nothing is a pipe-dream that EVERYONE likes to pursue--but its not a realistic one.

 

All that said, I made use of the site myself, and re-discovered some comics from my youth that gave me some leads so I can find actual back issues.

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Thanks for the info ARROW... I was under the impression that he didnt profit from the site... I guess what he should have done is donate enough to charity and qualify as being non-profit...

The site owner had banner ads and such on the site, which is all it takes. Using the money for charity or what-not doesn't matter because the site was commercial by its very designation.

I think the bigger problem, and the bigger lesson here is that he THOUGHT he was doing something altruistic by sharing all those comics. He contrived an excuse that he thought would protect him, But he clearly had no legal weight to his argument, and appears to have contrived it all himself--and that was his downfall.

The sad lesson is just because something is accessible, doesn't mean someone can do what they please with it. Yes, we are denied access to this material......FOR NOW, but its also possible that the same material could someday become legitimately available again.

Getting something for nothing is a pipe-dream that EVERYONE likes to pursue--but its not a realistic one.

 

All that said, I made use of the site myself, and re-discovered some comics from my youth that gave me some leads so I can find actual back issues.

 

I never knew such a site with that big of a database existed... I guess its a good thing or I never get any work done...

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You may not be able to buy the originals but lots of stuff is collected these days in trade or hardcover of some sort. Some companies are even jumping on the digital bandwagon like marvel & dc ect where you can pay to download digital copies & even have older stuff archived so yes this site very well could still be cutting into there profits even if you don't think it is

 

 

okay.. I think you may be referring to the "masterpiece" collections where I would have to spend a big chunk of change to be able to read short runs.. but until they give me some venue to read full collections. they need to shut up about losing money.

 

 

as for marvel's digital service.. I already explained. it sucks. I would pay them if they did a better job... that is why they are losing money

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I don't think this site hurt comic sales...IMO, could be wrong but it didn't stop me from buying comics. I only used to read stories that were out of print. I liked to read older stories. I think at the very least the owner tried to make it as non-offensive to comic companies by keeping current books off the site for six months to a year and for trying his best to prevent downloading. I think his intent was genuine at the very least. I enjoyed the site and hope it gets put back up from a server in different country without the laws.

 

 

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I don't think this site hurt comic sales...IMO, could be wrong but it didn't stop me from buying comics. I only used to read stories that were out of print. I liked to read older stories. I think at the very least the owner tried to make it as non-offensive to comic companies by keeping current books off the site for six months to a year and for trying his best to prevent downloading. I think his intent was genuine at the very least. I enjoyed the site and hope it gets put back up from a server in different country without the laws.

 

The sad thing is that intentions mean nothing. There's lots of well-intentioned ideas out there that infringe upon others rights--just look at the numbers of cottage-industry customizers in the action figure hobby that have been shut down over the past 20 years or so.

The injury that a site like HTMLcomics does to the industry is really just nickels and dimes, but its accumulative in that respect too.

The site claims it had over 300,000+ comics available for viewing, so if you start factoring an accumulative total you'd be looking at lost revenues in the thousands of dollars.

That adds up over time and usage.

Pros like Jimmy Palmiotti (sp) said that a site like HTML cost him money because for every book of his that someone views on the site, he can lose that sale of the actual book in print, at a store. His profit margins are so tight that just the loss of sales of as few as 100 copies of his comic can make a difference in gaining ANY money in his pocket from the book.

That sucks, quite honestly.

 

The other side is that comic shops with back issue bins tend to pull in people that will, at some point, also buy new comics too. HMTLcomics somewhat sabotages that kind of thing because not everyone goes out and seeks the physical back-issue comic, after contently reading the "free" on-line version.

The loss of those new comic sales then DOES directly impact the industry overall. Its that kind of erosion that the publishers want to guard/act against.

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