The webcomics blog about webcomics

Element 78

A few weeks ago, this page wrote:

[DJ Coffman] was a very public supporter of Platinum when there was a lot of grief thrown their way about having never actually published a comic book; even in his posting announcing the hiatus [of Hero By Night], he was unfailingly gracious and thankful towards them.

It appears that Coffman’s graciousness was misplaced:

I had emailed the folks at Platinum to inquire if there had been any movement about the rights issue so that I could possibly get moving and publishing at least the webcomic on my own before the audience that we built for 2 years completely dropped off. I pretty much got this form letter sounding reply that included this statement:

…Please be advised that due to the controversy stirred up as a result of your recent blogging and interviews, all discussions between us regarding any potential licensing back to you of limited rights to Hero By Night are on hold. At this time, we cannot say when those discussions might be resurrected. – Brian Altounian

According to their contracts, Platinum are within their rights to do as they are doing. From a PR standpoint, it’s a disaster. There’s really no way to perceive this one without coming to an obvious conclusion that Platinum are being vindictive. Eric Burns (as he was then) had some enlightening things to say about this pattern of behavior a while back (although he the esteemed Mr Snark-White was referring to fictional characters), and I encourage you to study his examples.

In the meantime, it bears repeating: if rights reversions are not in your contract, they don’t exist. DJ’s taking a really painful hit to teach us all this lesson, and the least we can do is to pay attention and learn. Oh, and Platinum? That four bucks I promised for new HBN was to DJ, not you guys. You get nothing from me, ever.

In other news, if anybody at Wowio would care to expand on the following, we’d be grateful:

We are retooling the site and content agreements … The changes and updates will take a few weeks, but we will be back online in mid-July. [emphasis mine]

We at Fleen know a lot of webcomickers deriving (in a few cases, considerable) income from Wowio, and we are hoping that “retooling content agreements” isn’t PR-speak for “drop the payment rate through the floor”. But we at Fleen have read enough corporate announcements to recognize boilerplate, and this sounds an awful lot like either a) finanical reorganization, or b) merger/buyout. Anybody with solid information they’d care to share can contact us.

WOWIO has been limited to the US only. It could be that, since they’re claiming to be going global, that they’re simply rebuilding the downloading service to cover more ground, and developing agreements to deal with international writers and cartoonists. That’s just a thought.

[...] anything watching this story develop and seeing the various reaction just strengthens what I wrote before, and where I felt the TP deal [...]

[...] info from the horse’s mouth. Hat tip to Fleen. This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 and is filed under News. You can follow any [...]

WOWIO has been limited to the US only. It could be that, since they’re claiming to be going global, that they’re simply rebuilding the downloading service to cover more ground, and developing agreements to deal with international writers and cartoonists. That’s just a thought.

It sounds about right, looking at the notice. From my selfish UK viewpoint that restriction was the downside of comics on Wowio – it seemed almost the antithesis of the web, limiting the comics geographically even more than print does. (With print there’s always the chance of finding a used copy on ebay or such.) So it’ll be good news from my angle – as long as I know the authors aren’t worse off for it.

[...] Brigid Alverson rounds up rumors that the popular ad-supported e-book site Wowio may be sold, while Gary Tyrell catches the [...]

[...] to team up? * the cartoonist Daniel Merlin Goodbrey has launched a new project. * Gary Tyrrell notes that in the announcement that Wowio is going to be retooled under new ownership is a line that [...]

[...] Last week, Gary Tyrrell noticed hints that the up-for-sale Wowio may be interested in changing its content agreements. If [...]

[...] Thing One: In other news, if anybody at Wowio would care to expand on the following, we’d be grateful: We [...]

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