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What about established comics companies?
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2001 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I'm missing something here, but what about the existing publishers? If micropayments, or some other system, can be successful, isn't it equally important that it be successful for the larger houses as well? I don't necessarily think any one system will work for everyone, but as I am working for a publisher of comics right now who is investigating online distribution, I can* say that in general it seems like any successful system would need to be fairly widely deployed, across much more than a single online comic, or even a single publisher... Is the industry making any noises at all* to move together on this issue? If not, why not?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2001 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent question.

Noone here can speak authoritatively for any one of the big publishers, much less for all of them collectively. But if you're interested in my guess, here it is.

I'm guessing that the scale of the amount of money to be gained or lost plays a role here. Right now, the paper comics publishers are not losing any money to online comics piracy. They also are caught in the catch that noone knows how mch money could be made with online distributed comics priced in the micropayment range. So to them, it just sounds like a way to piss away money with no solid Return On Investment model.

But they're looking at the music companies. Those music distribution companies say they're loosing millions each day to napsterites. Napster has proved to them that there is a previously undreamed of demand for low-cost distribution of individual songs. At this point, the music companies are highly motivated to come up with workable digital rights management and micropayment systems. Their ROI calculators are spitting such big numbers that they can't think about anything else.

I'm guessing that most the managers at DC are junior corresponing members of some committe at Warner central that is working on this. Marvel, Image, and Dark Horse are keeping their noses in the wind for the scent of someone else coming up with an infrastructure that they can join in to.

If anyone who can speak as an official representative of any of those companies cares to comment, I'd love to see them do so publicly. (I'd also love to see them all join up in a consortium to make our Infinite Canvas project into reality, but that's another post.)

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