That would be the one that says, “Don’t scrape webcomics, and especially don’t try to make money off of them with your scraper.” Yes, yes, I know: Blah blah exposure blah blah they put it in my RSS feed blah blah not charging for the comic charging for the convenience. We’ll leave aside the fact that the creators in question didn’t ask for you to be an intermediary between them and their audience, and even leave the fact that so many of them have released their work under Creative Commons licenses that clearly say No commercial exploitation, Bunky. It’s just a dick move to claim that you’re “supporting the creators”, especially in a world where precisely one (1) person is actually doing aggregation right. Let’s let webcomics fan Chris Hanel have the floor for a moment:
Do you support webcomics? Take this one question survey:
1. Do you take the RSS feed of over 90 webcomics, rip the images, put them in your Android app, and then put your own advertisements next to them in order to make money?
Congratulations: If you said “Yes”, then NO, YOU DO NOT SUPPORT WEBCOMICS.
Hanel raised the flag on the latest scraper with a helpful list of comics being scraped. What kills me in all of these recurring instances of scraping is that the creator always acts all noble and says But I’ll remove your content if you just ask me to! So once again for those at the back that might not have heard: Offering an opt-in is morally defensible; requiring an explicit opt-out from being involved in your scheme is not the approach to take if you want to be seen as helpful. Knock it off.
- Let’s just try to find some good in the world today, yes? On the one hand, congrats to the Little Heart comic for marriage equality; I happened to check their Kickstarter page as they exactly met their funding goal earlier today. Can’t say I’ve ever seen that happen before; if I were the sort who believed in luck, I’d take that as a good omen.
Lots of talent on the book, and the inimitable Christopher Butcher (founder/showrunner of TCAF, manager of one of the world’s great comic shops, smilin’ face of UDON studios, and appreciator of bizarre Japanese Kit Kats) has contributed a heartfelt intro/foreword, a draft of which is available for your perusal. It’s really good.
- Horrible webcomics pun¹ made, adorable shirt available for purchase six days later; film at eleven.