December 27, 2011

When the internet changes keep pushing forward

When Larry Smith a republican from Texas decided to introduce his bill, H R 3261,  or as most call it S.O.P.A it may not have seemed like anything a the time.   But hidden in the line and lines of text was a scary thing that may change the internet as we know it forever.  The originally proposed bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as copyright holders, to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. Depending on who requests the court orders, the actions could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators such as PayPal from doing business with the allegedly infringing website, barring search engines from linking to such sites, and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites. The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a crime, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison for 10 pieces of music or movies within six months. The bill also gives immunity to Internet services that voluntarily take action against websites dedicated to infringement, while making liable for damages any copyright holder who knowingly misrepresents that a website is dedicated to infringement.  Proponents of the bill say it protects the intellectual property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and is necessary to bolster enforcement of copyright laws especially against foreign websites.  Opponents say that it infringes on First Amendment rights, is Internet censorship, will cripple the Internet, and will threaten whistle-blowing and other free speech. It could even provide means to shut this blog down.

As many of you may have noticed this is not the former archive site.  After a three week battle, with many emails to say the least,  my 3 year host Smugmug pulled the plug on us.  They stated and I quote "All the images I've seen on your site look to be owned by others and you've been selling them for a profit. We'll need you to send back the written releases that give you the authority to post and sell images that are owned by others"  

If selling a digital copy of an image for $.03 or less to 1 out of 50000 people who were viewing the site.   I really do not see how this is a "for profit allegation".   I still do not see how we are in complete violation of copy right infringement and making money and not abiding from the laws regarding "Fair Use".   Hobby sites ask for donation all the time by means of Paypal and other online paying sites.  So offering this means of massive downloading and not using Paypal was an easy way for the viewer to get the many strips quickly they wanted.  

Well,  with the changing time means we must change.  Currently we are Looking for alternative means to host our site. We are looking into the possibilities of going the way of the once used FTP server and build our own,  or create a smaller site that is not hosting all of our hard years of collecting?. 

With all the time, effort, and many man hours involved with this site we do not want it to disappear forever in the wind.  We do not want to revert back to just emailing hundreds of images to each other.  After all this is a wonderful and entertaining hobby and if you have read this posting please  please leave suggestion,  ideas,  ways to move forward,  or help us find a new solution to our ever changing problem.  

Here is a link to Youtube that will help you understand what  S.O.P.A really is.

-Steve Cottle / Mr. ilovecomix


Anonymous said...

So does this mean you'll e-mail zipped archives of strips should I ask for them?

Mike said...

Ugh. I'm sorry about the site. I had only found it a short time ago, but I loved the content. Considering that they've been your host for 3 years, its sad that Smugmug didn't even wait for SOPA to be passed before kicking you out. The bill isn't even in its final proof yet, although I still have major concerns about its broadness and basic validity.

I might suggest, if you don't know them already, finding out who hosts the Digital Comics Archive, a similar site that carries public domain comic books. Their host might be open to hosting you as well.

My other suggestion would be to keep asking for donations, but don't tie them to downloads. That way, you are not technically selling the strips, just asking for non-profit support for the site as a whole. That detail might have been what made Smugmug squeemish.

Anonymous said...

OMG -- what m i going to read when i'm having breakfast now i'm back at work. Mike's suggestion sounds like a winner...


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