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Piracy Businesses Your Rights Online

Comic Sales Soar After Artist Engages 4chan Pirates 305

Posted by kdawson
from the more-flies-with-honey dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Steve Lieber, the artist behind the graphic novel Underground, discovered that someone on 4chan had scanned and posted the entire comic. Rather than complaining, he joined the conversation, chatting with the 4channers about the comic... and the next day he saw his sales jump to unheard-of levels, much higher than he'd seen even when the comic book was reviewed on popular sites like Boing Boing."
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Comic Sales Soar After Artist Engages 4chan Pirates

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  • Fighting 4chan? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gizzmonic (412910) on Friday October 22, 2010 @03:05PM (#33988916) Homepage Journal

    Fighting 4Chan is a bad idea. But exploiting them for money? That's new! Will this trend extend to other vendors such as Doritos or Mr. Pibb? Maybe that infamous "Dollar Menu? I'd hit it!" ad that seems to advocation burgersex was actually aimed at 4Chan.

  • Re:Imagine that! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday October 22, 2010 @03:19PM (#33989114)

    Engaging your customer base is good for business...

    People looking for entertainment spend more money when they have more fun. That's one of the main reasons actual losses due to piracy aren't calculatable.

  • Good people skills (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Friday October 22, 2010 @03:31PM (#33989300)
    Treating your customers with respect is the best way to see them respect you right back, often with money and sales. RIAA needs to seriously take notice of this.
  • Re:Imagine that! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Friday October 22, 2010 @03:31PM (#33989302) Homepage

    This is one of the reasons why I release all the music I make on last.fm and in a torrent...both of which will be freely available and supported by me when the time comes to put my stuff up for sale.

    Granted, I'm not trying to make a living off it, but still...the more access people have to it...

  • by Orgasmatron (8103) on Friday October 22, 2010 @03:35PM (#33989368)

    I can't wait to see his sales graph after he adds the /. effect. How do we stack up to 4chan in terms of economic power?

    I'm ordering the TPB. I got back into comics about a year ago after dropping out for a decade. Wish I'd noticed this when it came out.

  • Re:Imagine that! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Friday October 22, 2010 @03:44PM (#33989480) Homepage

    Here you go [last.fm]. Look in the "shout" section for a link to the torrent.

    It's all a combination of spacey ambient ("Transient Unknown" project), drone ("Implied Reality" project), and chilled-out head nodding stuff ("Lost on the Way to the Laundry" project). I have a LOT more than what is on there, but that's what I've publicly released so far.

  • by gknoy (899301) <(gknoy) (at) (anasazisystems.com)> on Friday October 22, 2010 @03:47PM (#33989524)

    More importantly, how many of us would be ordering mainly because we want to read the book versus we want to reward the author for being a non-jerk, and hey this book looks neat too? I'd fall in the latter, if I were to read it.

    On the other hand, that's exactly the reason I deliberately look for Baen-published books at the bookstore when I'm looking for something new. Read about their awesome policies, read Honor Harrington online, bought some (not enough!) novels in print later.

  • Re:Imagine that! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zill (1690130) on Friday October 22, 2010 @04:18PM (#33989890)
    The last time RIAA "engaged" me I was forced to pay $6000 and sign a stack of paper half my height.
  • Re:Imagine that! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Friday October 22, 2010 @04:25PM (#33989992) Homepage

    For what I make, I'd take a crappy set of headphones over a nice set of speakers any day. The way textures are layered and placed, a LOT of the directional dynamics rely on having speakers strapped over or in your ears. You can listen to it through regular speakers just fine, but you'll be missing out on a LOT of the details...even on a high-end set (again, it's all about layering and positioning.)

  • by klui (457783) on Friday October 22, 2010 @04:28PM (#33990034)
    I think this post by Steve clinched it for the lurkers. http://undergroundthecomic.com/4chan_thread_20614483.html#20642617 [undergroundthecomic.com]
  • Re:Imagine that! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ThatMegathronDude (1189203) on Friday October 22, 2010 @04:28PM (#33990040)
    You can get a relatively cheap pair of headphones that will isolate well, thus reducing the noise floor in your environment, or you can spend thousands building a high quality stereo in an insulated room that is set aside for listening.

    Which one do you think most people have access to?
  • Re:Imagine that! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday October 22, 2010 @04:31PM (#33990076) Homepage Journal

    Or the forward to any of Cory Doctorow's books. From Makers: [craphound.com]

    There's a dangerous group of anti-copyright activists out there who pose a clear and present danger to the future of authors and publishing. They have no respect for property or laws. What's more, they're powerful and organized, and have the ears of lawmakers and the press.

    I'm speaking, of course, of the legal departments at ebook publishers.

    These people don't believe in copyright law. Copyright law says that when you buy a book, you own it. You can give it away, you can lend it, you can pass it on to your descendants or donate it to the local homeless shelter. Owning books has been around for longer than publishing books has. Copyright law has always recognized your right to own your books. When copyright laws are made -- by elected officials, acting for the public good -- they always safeguard this right.

    But ebook publishers don't respect copyright law, and they don't believe in your right to own property. Instead, they say that when you "buy" an ebook, you're really only licensing that book, and that copyright law is superseded by the thousands of farcical, abusive words in the license agreement you click through on the way to sealing the deal. (Of course, the button on their website says, "Buy this book" and they talk about "Ebook sales" at conferences -- no one says, "License this book for your Kindle" or "Total licenses of ebooks are up from 0.00001% of all publishing to 0.0001% of all publishing, a 100-fold increase!")

    I say to hell with them. You bought it, you own it. I believe in copyright law's guarantee of ownership in your books.

    So you own this ebook. The license agreement (see below), is from Creative Commons and it gives you even more rights than you get to a regular book. Every word of it is a gift, not a confiscation. Enjoy.

    What do I want from you in return? Read the book. Tell your friends. Review it on Amazon or at your local bookseller. Bring it to your bookclub. Assign it to your students (older students, please -- that sex scene is a scorcher) (now I've got your attention, don't I?). As Woody Guthrie wrote:

    "This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin' it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."

    Oh yeah. Also: if you like it, buy it or donate a copy to a worthy, cash-strapped institution.

    Why am I doing this? Because my problem isn't piracy, it's obscurity (thanks, @timoreilly for this awesome aphorism). Because free ebooks sell print books. Because I copied my ass off when I was 17 and grew up to spend practically every discretionary cent I have on books when I became an adult. Because I can't stop you from sharing it (zeroes and ones aren't ever going to get harder to copy); and because readers have shared the books they loved forever; so I might as well enlist you to the cause.

    Emphasis mine. Oh, and BTW, the book is available for free at the linked page, in many ereader formats. It's a pretty good read, except he uses too many hyphens (parking-lot, shopping-center, etc)

  • Re:the other trend (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jack2000 (1178961) on Friday October 22, 2010 @04:50PM (#33990338)
    Maybe some one could put up a site where people donate money and once a specific number is reached they hire a mafia hitman.
  • Re:Imagine that! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday October 22, 2010 @05:39PM (#33990910)

    Baseball is an old boring game that is almost exactly not like cricket.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @12:57AM (#33994140)

    Citation please. Who was this guy, what was this great game he produced, and where's a picture of him homeless on the street?

  • Re:Imagine that! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ultranova (717540) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @10:49AM (#34003894)

    Something the RIAA/MPAA will never learn.

    The RIAA/MPAA aren't artists, they're middlemen. Artists directly engaging their customers is the *AA's worst nightmare, since it makes them unnecessary. That's why they fight all alternative forms of distribution tooth and nail.

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