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peer-to-peer sharing ....and online comics?
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Reinvents understanding

Joined: 08 Nov 2001
Posts: 629
Location: Sapporo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2002 11:34 pm    Post subject: peer-to-peer sharing ....and online comics? Reply with quote


Has anyone heard of Kazaa? It is a new (or at least new to me) thing that allows "peer-to-peer sharing" of what seems to be pretty much any kind of digital file. Music, movies, t.v. shows, software, etc. can all be downloaded from other users who are online. Unlike the infamous Napster, which operated from a centeral point, this new system operates by setting up a link between each individual user. Thus, when you download something you are downloading it from someone else just like yourself. In turn, you can participate in the sharing by selecting stuff that you don't mind others downloading from your computer when you are online. And of course you are supposed to share. That's the whole point.

What about original content? It seems that is possible to share too. Just put anything you made in a special designated folder, and it is available for others to download. Comics, animations, promos & ads, etc.

I wonder what this means to online comics. Of course, a lot of people out there are waiting for online comics to start showing signs of making money (not just group projects, but individual sites as well). But for those who are giving away their stuff for free, maybe this is an interesting option to reach a wider audience. And for those who want to make some cash, maybe offering some free stuff through this system could be a good marketing tool.

Thoughts anyone?

I haven't tried it yet myself. I will install the system and try it out sometime this week...

Vince Coleman
comics and stuff...
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Understands reinventing

Joined: 02 Apr 2002
Posts: 429
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2002 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to dig the peer to peer technology concepts. The technology would enable hundreds of opportunities, not just downloading music. Think about doing away with the complacated server networks of big corporations, information you want from anywhere in teh world at your hands. However, this technology, among other programs I am interested in, is just too big for my little computer with my crappy modem, so I really do not have experience with it.

My opinion about peer to peer comics is that it all depends on what we are talking about here. If we are talking about realizing some of McClouds vision of replacing the current system of creating, printing, distrubing comics to comic book stores and moving twards digitial comics on a digital distrubtion ... I just get wary of the whole idea. First thing is that magnetic media only last 10-15 years (even CD's get disc rot). Paper, if taken care of, can last much much much more than that. It is easier to store thousands of comics in my closet than even a few digital ones on my limited sized hard drive. Regardless what technology comes to make those concerns moot, there is just the idea of collecting. I like the idea that there is a limited print run to comics and that what I have has actual value past the priceless amount I get from the art and story. I like to be able to share and collect comics and say I have a complete set. To put it in other terms, a stamp collector would not want to just get an e-mail with a scan of a stamp. Furthermore, peer to peer distribution does not give the same amount of notiarity than the current distribution system. Right now sores and or collectors get a copy of Diamond's "Previews" or one of the other competitors catalogs. There is a description and preview image is given to help you make your choice. To dupicate that digitally, you would have to go with a Napster-like centeral server where you would either run into copyright problems or be charged a consiterable amount of fee to use it. Kazaa or Limewire are good programs, but it would be hard to get the information about your comic out without some kind of independant web site to promoute your comic. Which is pretty much where we are right now. You can just go on Explorer or Netscape, go to the comic creator's (or company's) web site and either view or download the comic without having to install any complicated software where you have to ask how safe is your security of your own computer from hackers.

That is my overly abreviated opinion based on my experiences. Frankly, I believe that distribution should be in the hands of the creator (or whomever the creator has choosen to face that task). I fear distribution via peer to peer of digital or scanned comics could too easily be abused, much like the music industries complants about Napster. However, Napster never killed the albums, nor did CD burners, nor tape recorders. The point I make though is that the music industry is much bigger than the comic industry and we have more to lose.
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