Archie Sez: Downloading Is Evil
BoingBoing laments the brainwashing of Archie by the RIAA in "Archie"#577's "Record Breaker."
Here is the comic's official story description:
"Written by Craig Boldman, Art by Stan Goldberg "Record Breaker": Instead of pressing CD's, the Archies decide to sell downloadable files of their songs on the Internet… which doesn't translate to much profit once the 3 purchased files are shared over and over again!"
Could the deal between the band "The Veronicas" and the comic book company have anything to do with it?
Well, I like BoingBoing and all, but their high-horse about how unauthorized downloads of various media should be legal is getting a little tired. Sure, getting every track that "Sparks" ever recorded for free and burning it on DVD for your strange 80s-obsessed cousin is really cool -- but it's stealing. Yeah, every other person does it -- but it's stealing.
Illegal downloads f**ked the music industry seriously, and while I'm all for sticking it to the "man," it all does end up negatively impacting the artists and their art -- ESPECIALLY SMALLER "NICHE" MUSICIANS!
Why? Your big "pop music" acts can absorb the hurting from the reduced revenue rather well by making it up on mega-concerts, merchandise, endorsement deals, etc.
But "Folk Music Dan" with the small but loyal following needs every dime he can get from his CDs. If the music is downloaded for free -- yeah, it might increase his exposure, but that's literally money out of his pocket.
And, with the rise of do-it-yourself recording technology and the Internet, there are now like 100,000 "Folk Music Dans" all competing for your money -- money which you are not spending because you are Mininova-ing their albums.
Now let's apply this to comic books.
The comic book industry cannot survive illegal downloading on the scale of what's happening with music.
The only reason such downloading hasn't reached those levels with comics is because the apps involved are not as user-friendly as MP3s. But once those "comic book reader" applications are perfected (and easily transferable to mobile devices), the industry is going to get screwed.
I don't download comics, though I am sorely tempted to. The lousy "Supergirl" comic I kvetch about? I actually buy that damn thing.
I don't download for several reasons. Firstly, downloads on that scale usually end up infecting my computer with the technological equivalent of syphilis. Second, when I get all the comics that have come out on any given week for free, it inevitably reduces their specialness in my mind. It's like when I got weekly DC comps -- meh. Boring.
But the third reason I don't download is because I know intuitively that it will kill this industry. No, scratch that. It won't kill the industry. It will turn it into a place where "mass appeal," mainstream books like Superman & Spiderman are the only viable things to print, and where the "Folk Singer Dans" of the comic world are forced to see their art as just a hobby because there is no way they can make money off of it.
Hey, I'm not all self-righteous about "DOWNLOADERS ARE EVIL" and calling for them to be arrested and whatever. Do whatever you want. But don't publicly whine about how not being allowed to download the latest "White Stripes" album infringes on your rights. Use a little bit of humbleness, f'God's sake.