Robot 6

comiXology glitch wasn’t source of pirated Justice League #1

From Justice League #1

ComiXology has confirmed it accidentally allowed a few users to purchase Justice League #1 on Monday and Tuesday, before the issue’s print or digital release. However, it appears the digital edition was not the source of pirated copies uploaded online as much as six hours before the official launch of DC Comics’ new flagship title.

While some commenters at Robot 6 and elsewhere on Tuesday pointed a finger at comiXology, Bleeding Cool conducted a side-by-side comparison of the digital edition and the pirated copy, and concluded that the source of the bootleg was the print version, which was slightly different from the digital release. ComiXology CEO David Steinberger had no explanation for the variation between print and digital editions, but he did say users who bought the comic Wednesday will be offered an update today to make the digital match the print copy. (If there were a way to re-sell digital comics, there would doubtless already be a robust market for the flawed early variant copy.)

Steinberger confirmed this morning to Robot 6 that three users purchased the comic early from comiXology, and that he had sent them the following e-mail:

Hi there!

This is David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology. We noticed you purchased Justice League #1 on our Web store, even though it’s not supposed to be out until Wednesday, so it revealed a problem bug on our web store. I should thank you for that, as well!

Good news:

We spoke with DC and they’ve said you can keep the comic! It should be available via the web and through the DC Comics iOS app to read, and then available on all our apps as of Wednesday at about 2pm Eastern.

You can find the comic in My Comics. It will no longer be findable in the store itself.

Thanks for your patience! Enjoy the comic!

David

This is a significant change from the last time this happened, when comiXology locked copies of Ultimate Thor #2 that users had inadvertently bought a week before the official release date. “Together with DC we decided it was the right thing to do to let these users keep their copy,” Steinberger told Robot 6.

He also said the DC launch was a huge success for comiXology: “Huge print run, great excitement, and pushing both the Comics app and the DC app into the top 20 grossing iPad Apps — not just Book Apps, but ALL apps. That indicates the beginning of something great for expanding the comic market.”

And as for that pirated comic? It seems that publishers and retailers worried about digital should be taking a look at who gets to handle their print comics before release …

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Comments

31 Comments

“We’ve spoke to DC and they’ve said you can keep the comic!”

…I prefer electronic stuff, but until that sentence can’t be said seriously, I think I’ll buy paper comics. It’s kinda ridiculous that a comic you’ve already paid for can be taken from you.

“you can keep the comic!”

…….

welcome to the wonderful world of DRM. Thanks so much for letting me keep the comic I PAID FOR

(“I” in a general sense, I’m not one of the early buyers)

that’s i only get free books from comixology. love the reading experience, but until they go drm free and i own what i buy they’re not getting any dollars from me.

Obviously they just need to delay selling the print version until 2pm.

The pirated version was slightly different than the Comixology version? I guess that’s one way of putting it. Excluding the dialogue changes I’d still have to agree. 5 times the resolution and DPI is a dramatic difference.

Comixology and DC should be ashamed for putting out a product that is so drastically inferior to what people are getting for free. To put it in perspective, what Comixology put out would be the equivalent to iTunes selling MP3s encoded with at a bitrate of 32.

Can’t wait until someone hacks in and changes all the word balloons! :)

Its all about who can sell the most and make the most money. The product does not matter

I think dc will last about 5 or 6 issues with the titles then the core ones will sell and everything else will fall flat

Valiant was bought by acclaim and tried a reboot. They sold for a few issues then went away and eventually out.

“Huge print run, great excitement, and pushing both the Comics app and the DC app into the top 20 grossing iPad Apps — not just Book Apps, but ALL apps. That indicates the beginning of something great for expanding the comic market.”

That is incredibly good news. Maybe this thing will work after all.

Think they can stop it from happening next week, with Action Comics #1 coming out?

So I already don’t get lettercols, etc., when I buy the digital edition at the same price as the print version, and now I don’t get the definitive version of the comic, either?

Lame.

Robert Kirkman gives me everything the print comic has, from lettercols to the extras like first issues of other Image books.

Gee, two different comic apps in the top ten and instead of being happy people are bitching about DRM and DPI? I love my hobby, but more and more I’m starting to despise everyone else participating in them.

This DC reboot sucks. And it’s only a matter of certain time before it’s blown up in the faces of those who are fueling it with their egos, including Didios. And maybe then, DC’ll learn their lesson and giving back the REAL DCU somehow.

I for one was pretty exited about day of release digital. I was there at 2:00. Then I saw the price! Same as paper! Might as well get the paper, but I really WANT digital. I like it, love it. Then I saw in another article the price drops tp 1.99 after 30 days. Okay, I can wait for that, but the truth is, 99 cents is the magic number. I will buy all day long at that price.

TJ9000,

you’re gonna be even more upset when you come back in a month to find it’s not even going to be $1.99. $3.99 books drop to $2.99 after the month.

If the comiXology version wasn’t the source, then where did the ‘webrip’ of Justice League come from? That was out hours before the scanned version.

TJ: I think you’re right, especially since ComiXology books are DRM’ed. For $.99, it’s an impulse buy and something I can afford to “lose” if something ever happens. But for $2 or more, it’s something I’d better be allowed to keep for real.

What really blows my mind here is the DRM stuff trying to compete with pirated scans. iTunes eventually went DRM-free; at the right price point, comics could compete with free, too. What if the DRM just went away after a year? Control the zero-day release stuff as best as they can, and one eventually “owns” the product outright after a year. I’d buy ComiXology happily then.

“SageShini
September 1, 2011 at 11:07 am

“We’ve spoke to DC and they’ve said you can keep the comic!”

…I prefer electronic stuff, but until that sentence can’t be said seriously, I think I’ll buy paper comics. It’s kinda ridiculous that a comic you’ve already paid for can be taken from you.”

I don’t think they can take anything that you’ve downloaded. If you delete it then they could make it unavailable for redownload. For this reason, I suspect that they would simply have requested that users delete the offending product, for a full refund – which would be a nightmare in so many ways, so they said, “Here, kid. Take this.”

“Thanks, Mean Joe!”

“Eric Qel-Droma
September 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

[...]. What if the DRM just went away after a year? Control the zero-day release stuff as best as they can, and one eventually “owns” the product outright after a year. I’d buy ComiXology happily then.”

Fantastic idea.

And, to whomever said the price drops after 30 days – bless you. I knew nothing of this.

“We spoke with DC and they’ve said you can keep the comic!”

And that is why I have not and will not for the foreseeable future, bought digital comics.

>>>”one eventually “owns” the product outright after a year. I’d buy ComiXology happily then.”

That wouldn’t work with comixology, everything runs on their servers. You own nothing, you’re just renting access. There’s no (legal) way of downloading them.

btw to all those buying jla 1 for #3.99 onlinei got one thing to say to u: SUCKERS!!!!!!! you could have gotten it for $1.00 had u decided to buy the special print copy as well, which gave u the printed copy and a special code to dl the issue for only $1, causing you to buy the book AND get the dl at a $1 for a total of $4.99. best way to have the best of both worlds if u want it. a copy to read at home,AND another to read on the road :-)

Dude, cut it out with that crap about piracy. I live in south america and got Flashpoint 5 and Justice league 1 at midnight on wednesday. Thank god for the people that either scans or post the digital copies. You only think in yourselves, you bloody yanks. You keep paying for those books, I´ll keep getting them for free on the very same realease day. But, before you all start cussing at me, if I had the opportunity to buy the actual books I will totally do it. In the meantime, all hail piracy!!!

Lisandro,

I don’t know about South America, but Comixology works just fine here in Australia and I bought Justice League yesterday morning just like anyone who wanted to in America.

Up until pretty recently, I was heavily downloading DC comics via bittorrent, and buying only a few particular favourites in print. My reasons for doing that were purely economic (due to shipping, a $US 3 comic goes for something like $5 Aus dollars, and that’s at a time when the $AU is actually worth more than the $US). That stopped as soon as I heard DC was going day-and-date digital. I signed up to Comixology just in time for one of their 99c weekend sales (this was the Wonder Woman one) and bought a whole bunch of 99c comics, including Darwyn Cook’s New Frontier for $6 total and Matt Wagners Trinity for $3 total.

My point is, that I was a heavy downloader of free comics, but as soon as they were available in a legitimate form that was just as convenient and not too expensive then I switched straight over to paying money for them.

I’m not too worried by the DRM issue – Comixology is clearly the market leader at the moment and is in no immediate danger of disappearing. I’m hopeful that eventually the Big 2 will accept DRM-free is the way to go and you’ll then be able to download and keep the comics you’ve bought on Comixology. This may be overly optimistic, but in any case now that I’ve paid money for these comics I will have absolutely no hesitation in going to bittorrent to replace them if Comixology disappears with the comics I’ve paid for.

Anyway, all of the above is a long, convoluted way of saying to Lisandro that he now has the opportunity to buy the actual comic books on the day they come out, and he should totally do it.

Comics need to be 99 cents to make sense. 1.99 on release then dropping in price just will alienate people. People will wait then just buy the stuff they really want. At 99 cents you will buy alot more.

Music went thru this mess too. Yes comic artists and writers will have to take a upfront cut of money but the ones that put out solid runs should get deals that pay off better in the back end.

Well, of course, comixology is going to say that. They f’d up and are trying to scapegoat others for there mistake.

“Gee, two different comic apps in the top ten and instead of being happy people are bitching about DRM and DPI? I love my hobby, but more and more I’m starting to despise everyone else participating in them.”

- Jason

Just stay away from comment sections on blogs and message boards. Even as you see DC and other comic book publishers gain tremendous traction in digital media, people online will still be whining and complaining their heads off. They’re not even worth listening to.

The premise of this article is that the leak originated from a print copy and that Comixology did nothing wrong and everyone who bought their comic from them is now happy. Sooo… DEMONIZE DIGITAL COMICS!! DEATH TO DIGITAL!!

I’ve been saying right along that charging $3.99 for a digital license to read a comic is flat out wrong. If you’re going to make me pay full price for it, I better be able to keep the file and store it as I wish.

At $2.99/$3.99 why should anyone bother to lease it off of Comixology when the scanners are clearly beating DC to the punch & offering a better service (actual files, have been offering day to date release for years, lower cost).

If DC wants to compete, they’re going to have to take the itunes route and start selling digital comics for closer to $.99. If they do that, I may well drop print entirely.

I know they’re trying to play nice with the retailers, but the simple fact of the matter is that you cannot have it both ways. As I said in the last thread. In the digital market, they’re approaching with a 20th century mentality a 21st century battle.

Skyrider – You make a good point but keep in mind that there are lots of comics for .99 just not brand new ones. I just stuffed my Comixology cart with ULTIMATES vol. 2 from back in the day (sale ends tonight!) and ULTIMATE THOR. Meanwhile, Dark Horse frequently has great prices as well as bundle deals. DC has also confirmed that they’ll lower their price after a comic has been out for a month. I don’t disagree with you, I’m just offering some worthwhile info. I’m really loving Comixology (and also Dark Horse Digital) so far.

I’m literally shocked at what I’m reading.

We all love comics or we wouldn’t be posting back on this article. However, people seem to mistaken about digital comics:

1. Some commenters despise paying anything more than .99 and thus justify pirating—or basically stealing—comics. How is this helping the comic industry which is already experiencing declining sales each year?

2. Some think that paying $3 or $4 same day and date is not justified for digital distribution when it obviously costs more for printing and distribution costs. I think people a ignoring the costs of digitally packaging/handling, hosting, shopping cart system and software, bandwidth, etc. Some think digital should be a magical .99 price over paper. Seriously? Paper introduced $3 markup over the creators’ work writing, drawing, editing, marketing, etc?

3. People are complaining about letters pages. Some have them some don’t. What people neglect to notice is the lack of ads that break up a reading session. You PAY the same or more for a paper copy and yet get ads. Not so digitally.

4. Digital comics can be revised/corrected. Some readers are complaining about this aspect as well. How is this in any way a negative?

5. New comics from DC are discounted $1 after four weeks. I certainly do not get the same concession from my friendly local comic shop. Why are you not complaining about the difference in practice with paper?

Basically every comic “fan” that is complaining about price needs to get off their asses and pay for paper copies if they do not like digital pricing. Also every “fan” needs to stop stealing from creators by pirating from their hobby. In a declining market, you truly think comic companies are gouging?

Wake up people. You in no way shape or form are owed free comics that others work hard to create or purchase. You are stealing from every comic fan by damaging the industry.

DriveThruComics.com may not have DC titles, but they don’t use DRM either. You download a comic from DriveThru and you own it, they don’t ever take them back.

And maybe they don’t have DC, but they have Top Cow, Archaia, Moonstone and plenty of indies.

Comics4life

whats wrong with digital pricing? how about the fact that i can buy the paper edition for 2.99, read it, loan it to my friends, then a week later sell it on ebay or back to the comic shop or donate them. if the comic store messed up and sold it cheaper than they should or earlier than they should there’s no way they can take the comic back. Not saying comixology will dissapear next week, but if they do… poof there go your comics.

what’s wrong is that they want cover price for leased software.

also the cost of digital distribution is miniscule compared to physical supply chains, especially when you factor in the extra copies sold over lifetime of an issue due to the total lack of loaning and resale due to drm.

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