Wednesday, 18 May 2016


I'm doing this in the form of an open letter to you, Robin, in answer to your request to reprint some of STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND in THE COMICS!  (Robin is one of the few people to own all 180-odd pages of Our Story Thus Far which I thought he was MORE than entitled to -- #1 on the list -- since the TWIN EARTHS stuff wouldn't have been in there if he hadn't sent me his personal collection of TWIN EARTHS reprints, including a #1 personalized to him by the great Alden McWilliams with whom he was a close personal friend. I can, literally, never repay him for that extraordinary consideration)

I said the last time that I sent you something and you asked to reprint it that my policy has always been that anyone is more than welcome to print anything that I send them.  This tends to happen a lot.  While I can appreciate that most people don't share my views, I do consider it a problem to be asked for permission after explaining my position.  I've even had publishers insist on my permission in writing.

I hope you can appreciate that I can't keep doing that without, effectively, undermining my own carefully considered position by setting a contrary and contradictory precedent.  "SEE?  Sim signed this written permission so he obviously believes it's necessary" "SEE? Sim gave express consent so he obviously thinks he needed to."

This spills over into the letter from Tom Peirce in your -- wonderful! -- June issue, Vol. 27 No.6 and my letter that you printed in that same issue, which I'll be discussing next Wednesday.

Enjoyed your (along the same lines) "Recording, Revising, Rebranding History" lead-in in the same issue.

I also like Steve Ditko's new logo for THE COMICS!, although I miss the CLASSIC logo by the (equally) legendary Creig Flessel.  

THE COMICS! always recommended $30 US $37 foreign for 12 issues. Robin Snyder 3745 Canterbury Lane #81, Bellingham, WA, 98225-1186.


Michael DeLisa said...

Apropos of this -- 17 USC 1707 -- Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Travis Pelkie said...

But isn't this a different case, in that SDOAR has not yet been published, AND (so far as I know) IDW is still in a contract with you to publish it? This is different than someone printing a letter from you or a drawing you did, this is an unpublished work that still is in the process of being published. I'd say it's just good business sense on the part of Robin Snyder to not open himself up to a lawsuit by publishing a work that another publisher is still supposed to be publishing.

Bill Ritter said...

It's a nonissue. Dave is essentially making this a licensing matter, royalty free, open use. Provide a citation, use...even if the use is of a commercial and for-profit basis. Or, like:
WTFPL. The WTFPL (Do What the Fuck You Want to Public License) is a very permissive Software license most commonly used as a permissive free software license.
MIT License: a free software license originating at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is a permissive free software license, meaning that it puts only very limited restriction on reuse

And before anyone claims "oy, that's software..." the applicability of the T&C can be applied to any creative work. So, for Dave's read on his view: WTFPL, people (and I say cite @DaveSim as courtesy).

Obviously, if IDW has a different understanding of their business arrangement with Dave, caveat emptor shall be proclaimed.

Travis Pelkie said...

No, I get Dave's view on any other matter, allowing use of anything any time, and I admire that. But I would assume that IDW figures they have "first go" at publishing any (major) part of SDOAR. I don't see a problem if Mr. Snyder is publishing a few pages, myself (we've seen several previews here), but if IDW's understanding is that they are to be the publishers of SDOAR and Dave allows someone else to publish part or all of SDOAR before they do, that doesn't seem right. And from what Dave's said, they've paid him money for work done so far, so until he pays them back, I doubt they would want someone else publishing SDOAR.

That said, I wanna see it! So if it starts being published in The Comics, I'll have to get a subscription for sure.

Dave Sim said...

Hi guys! I really think that ALL of this is "in flux" and it will be the gravitational pull of the Internet and how IT works that will pull the rest of society in that direction. There's already the problem of due diligence: if you aren't ACTIVELY keeping people from reproducing and circulating your, "your" or Your intellectual property -- and a Google search answers that question -- then you've already set a bad legal precedent under the Old Rules.