Friday, December 26, 2008

Webcomic Piracy

Click to enlarge.

What can be learned from this?

  • Forums never change
  • Don't try to do a favor for a giant webcomic*
  • Don't hire moderators named "Hammer"
*The favor, in case it's not clear, is alerting XKCD to pirating by the latest in a string of scraper sites, which in a fit of over-enthusiasm or naivete, use other people's comics to make a gallery site without permission. This, of course, results in a loss of traffic and merchandise revenue for the site, though some titles are comfortable with it under conditions.
The owner of Seek the Spoon, in correspondence, asserts this activity is covered by "Creative Commons," a creative interpretation if ever there was one. After I pointed out several difficulties in his case, communication went dead.
Save yourself headaches: Put a terms of use on your site. Don't visit pirate sites. Alert comic owners if you find a suspicious use. Don't act like an XKCD moderator if someone tries to tip you off.