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Warcry
2012-09-13, 03:35 AM
Apologies if this has already been posted, but even though I don't live there this pisses me right off: http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopic.php?t=12549&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

The gist of what happened, based on what I can glean from the IDW forum thread:
IDW have been selling their Transformers comics online via Comixology to customers in Continental Europe for several months now.
Apparently they never actually had the license to distribute their comics there, but their storefront was too half-assed to actually block people from buying based on their location.
Someone (probably Hasbro) caught on to the fact that, hey, IDW can't actually do this.
IDW summarily stop selling comics to those territories, but don't communicate anything to their customers.
Since no one bothered to tell them that they couldn't legally purchase the comics anymore, fans all across Europe were effectively shut out from buying several weeks worth of comics.
Some fans (it seems to vary based on region and the app used to purchase) are reporting that they can no longer even access the comics they've already bought and paid for.
I'm amazed I haven't seen more people posting about this here, because the whole situation is absolutely outrageous in my books. Not only did IDW apparently pull a Dreamwave and ignore the fine print of their licence with Hasbro, and not only did they slap a decent-sized chunk of their fanbase in the face by pulling out of their market without warning people so that they could make alternate arrangements, it seems like they might be actively stealing from some of those customers by taking back a product that's already bought and paid for.

Crap like this is why so many people still illegally download comics. A content provider deciding that they won't sell to you and that you can no longer use the stuff you've already bought is a worst-case scenario for digital media consumers, and the fact that IDW made absolutely zero attempt to warn their customers before cutting them off just makes the whole thing ten times worse.

Cliffjumper
2012-09-13, 04:26 AM
You'd think they'd know more about licensing fine print considering that all they do is repackage other companies' ideas wouldn't you?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. IDW are a two-bit operation ran by cheats and morons. They do not deserve anyone's hard earned money. This is the next logical step in their plans to make money for nothing from their rented ideas.

Cliffjumper
2012-09-13, 04:31 AM
Do love all the people blaming Hasbro on that thread. STUPID GAY HASBLO MAKING IDW ABIDE BY THE LAW!

Skyquake87
2012-09-13, 08:51 AM
Along with the Bruce Willis thing in the media, this makes me very wary of digital purchases - it seems very strange to me to hand over money to a company for the purchase of goods, but then not to actually own the very things you bought to er, own and the company you purchased the files from retains ownership of them.

What exactly is the point of paying for digital media then?

inflatable dalek
2012-09-13, 10:57 AM
I'm amazed I haven't seen more people posting about this here, because the whole situation is absolutely outrageous in my books.

I'm guessing because we don't have many posters on Continental Europe? This is the first I've heard of it (and I've checked, all my comics are still there and the series are still on sale for UK- and presumably Eire as RedDavePrime didn't seem to have any difficulties). Not really sure what legal technicalities allow us in a deal that keeps the rest of Europe out, can't be just a tiny bit of water surely?

An absolute pain in the ass for those affected though. And bonkers behaviour from IDW. Who on Earth doesn't check that bot of fine print? Especially as a large part of the comic fandom must come from Europe as well (oh, is that why the UK seems to have been included? Because that's where they bulk of those fans are?).

BOOO HISSS.

Cliffjumper
2012-09-13, 12:41 PM
Who on Earth doesn't check that bot of fine print?

The sort of company that hordes convention exclusive covers then sells them for $50 in their online shop. The sort of company that employs people like Andy Schmidt and Mike da Costa. The sort of company that puts out Spotlight Mirage. The sort of company that lets someone spread their midlife crisis like a cancer across forty comics then cans the lot for a Sunbow fanfic.

Really this is just the next logical step in IDW's experiment to see just how much contempt they can treat readers with before they actually stop buying their wares. Said readers being Transformers fans, most of whom now have permanent grip marks on their ankles, the answer is a hell of a ****ing lot.

Warcry
2012-09-13, 04:40 PM
What exactly is the point of paying for digital media then?
The problem is that most companies don't actually understand what they're doing when it comes to digital distribution. Their first thought is always "oh no, piracy!", but anything and everything they do to make it harder for people to pirate their product will only ever increase piracy. I will never ever buy comics or books or music from a service that is actively trying to make it as painful as possible for me to use what I've bought as they can.

The whole thing is completely wrong-headed, anyway. I can already find scans of every major comic release by noon on the day they come out, if I'm of a mind to. Do they really think that the problem will somehow get worse if people were downloading copies of an official IDW CBR instead of one made by someone who's bought and scanned the book?

Really this is just the next logical step in IDW's experiment to see just how much contempt they can treat readers with before they actually stop buying their wares. Said readers being Transformers fans, most of whom now have permanent grip marks on their ankles, the answer is a hell of a ****ing lot.
They apparently treat other fandoms just as poorly as ours, if it's any consolation. Apparently they lost the licence to publish Angel comics, but didn't bother to actually mention it to anyone. They also stopped publishing Star Trek comics for about six months and offered no explanation for it in spite of understandable fan confusion.

To be honest though, I'm not sure that it matters. The way Hasbro have been trying to transform themselves into a Serious IP Company instead of a mere toy manufacturer I suspect it's only a matter of time before they yank the comic licence and start publishing their own books much like how Animated died so that they could produce Prime in-house.

Blackjack
2012-09-13, 05:06 PM
I suspect it's only a matter of time before they yank the comic licence and start publishing their own books much like how Animated died so that they could produce Prime in-house.

Amen to that, brother.

Denyer
2012-09-13, 10:25 PM
I'm amazed I haven't seen more people posting about this here,
How many people are buying (sorry -- renting a license to) DRM'd media? I'd like to think we encourage folk to be a bit smarter than that, on the whole.

Red Dave Prime
2012-09-13, 10:44 PM
Yeah, the drm thing is shit. I looked on comixology and it is open to ireland (the annual is up for $7.99) but I was really hoping I could buy a cbr file. I dont not being able to view the file whenever I want, on or offline.

I have seen them for sale on Amazon through Kindle but its a bit scattershot.

@cliffjumper - I think the company have released much worse issues than spotlight:mirage. It wouldnt even hit a top ten of the worst for me.

Denyer
2012-09-13, 10:51 PM
Depending on the format used, Kindle DRM may be removable to produce a standard MOBI file. I'd suggest testing it on one of the cheap single issues first though.

Or given time I might try and report back over the weekend.

relak
2012-09-14, 04:46 AM
The problem is that most companies don't actually understand what they're doing when it comes to digital distribution. Their first thought is always "oh no, piracy!", but anything and everything they do to make it harder for people to pirate their product will only ever increase piracy. I will never ever buy comics or books or music from a service that is actively trying to make it as painful as possible for me to use what I've bought as they can.

The whole thing is completely wrong-headed, anyway. I can already find scans of every major comic release by noon on the day they come out, if I'm of a mind to. Do they really think that the problem will somehow get worse if people were downloading copies of an official IDW CBR instead of one made by someone who's bought and scanned the book?


They apparently treat other fandoms just as poorly as ours, if it's any consolation. Apparently they lost the licence to publish Angel comics, but didn't bother to actually mention it to anyone. They also stopped publishing Star Trek comics for about six months and offered no explanation for it in spite of understandable fan confusion.

To be honest though, I'm not sure that it matters. The way Hasbro have been trying to transform themselves into a Serious IP Company instead of a mere toy manufacturer I suspect it's only a matter of time before they yank the comic licence and start publishing their own books much like how Animated died so that they could produce Prime in-house.

For star trek, I think idw laid tha blame on the movie's licensing company, paramount.
So I suspect that is their strategies. Since they use other people's properties, any issues with publication are immediately directed to the source companies.

Terome
2012-09-25, 12:15 PM
Now blocked in the UK.

Ho ho ho.

inflatable dalek
2012-09-25, 02:02 PM
Odd, they're still listed for sale on the UK version, and my attempted test purchase of a Fall of Cybertron comic wasn't met with any sort of "Sorry you suck European" message, but yeah, It's just not going through. As The Walking Dead 102 did It's presumably not just my phone signal.

All my previous comics are still there though, which is a small relief.

Terome
2012-09-25, 02:34 PM
All my previous comics are still there though, which is a small relief.

Definitely! I've been buying stuff from Comixology to put my coins in and then getting a .cbr file from the usual channels so I'm not too worried about losing the back issues myself but there would be a deserved revolt if those were yanked away from however many thousands of loyal customers.

What a silly mess. It's as if people haven't been putting comics on the web for the past sixteen years or so. Cliffjumper, exactly how much are you digging this?

I wonder what those '#1 in Japan' Comixology sales amounted to?

Cliffjumper
2012-09-25, 04:01 PM
Cliffjumper, exactly how much are you digging this?

I feel sorry for people who can't buy comics they want but at the same time if you hire cowboys you're going to end up on ITV2.

The beautiful thing, though, is that people can still get these comics online. They just don't have the option of paying IDW for the "privilege". And that's fantastic.

inflatable dalek
2012-09-25, 04:10 PM
Definitely! I've been buying stuff from Comixology to put my coins in and then getting a .cbr file from the usual channels so I'm not too worried about losing the back issues myself but there would be a deserved revolt if those were yanked away from however many thousands of loyal customers.

Yeah, I feel sorry for those who apparently have suffered from it, I don't know if them pestering Comixology hard for a refund might do them any good? It is after all, entirely a problem of IDW's making. Even if it's not part of their standard policy/terms and conditions an argument could be made for it as a good will gesture.


I wonder what those '#1 in Japan' Comixology sales amounted to?

Probably not Earth shattering, but considering the level of sales even a few hundred copies would be a significant percentage increase.

Something that will likely make people very happy: This will see me and ReGeneration One part company. As a digital purchase it justified itself, it's not good enough by a long shot for the cost of a physical copy plus postage.

Terome
2012-09-25, 05:18 PM
I feel sorry for people who can't buy comics they want but at the same time if you hire cowboys you're going to end up on ITV2.


Particularly how they must have had some foreknowledge that this would happen but chose not to extend that to their customers for whatever reason.


The beautiful thing, though, is that people can still get these comics online. They just don't have the option of paying IDW for the "privilege". And that's fantastic.

I'm pretty sure that the most prompt scans going up were converted files from Comixology so there may be a short suspension of that particular service.

Dalek: Something that will likely make people very happy: This will see me and ReGeneration One part company. As a digital purchase it justified itself, it's not good enough by a long shot for the cost of a physical copy plus postage.

Aw. Talking about those books is much better than reading those books and there's not much talking to be had with the folks allergic to disagreement.

Cliffjumper
2012-09-25, 07:47 PM
I'm pretty sure that the most prompt scans going up were converted files from Comixology so there may be a short suspension of that particular service.

They're still avaliable via Comixology in the Yewessofayyy aren't they?

Terome
2012-09-25, 07:52 PM
They're still avaliable via Comixology in the Yewessofayyy aren't they?

I think I have an unexamined prejudice that all comics scans come from Ukraine. Someone must have shouted that at me from across a street and it is now lodged in my head for good.

inflatable dalek
2012-09-26, 10:55 AM
According to their twitter feed this "glitch" for UK buyers is now fixed.

Terome
2012-09-26, 07:26 PM
According to their twitter feed this "glitch" for UK buyers is now fixed.

How grateful we must be!

Summerhayes
2012-10-04, 01:09 PM
I'm not keen on digital media at all; i just don't trust people who run big companies to know anything about the internet. I still buy most of my music as CD's, and I'll never stop buying my games and films on disc.

Saying that, the Kindle is convenient as shit, and I downloaded Autocracy on that. And MTMTE and RID entertain my pants off, so I'm not gonna get too annoyed with IDW. So I have no moral high ground whatsoever.