The 1/3 Rule
The Scans Daily modlings have lately been discussing our 1/3 rule. As it stands, the rule is that no more than 1/3 of a story or chapter can be posted on the comm, excepting free, orphaned, public domain, web-published stories, and stories that are 1-2 pages in length. It used to be, back in the halcyon days of Scans Daily 1.0, that we'd allow 1/2 of a volume to be posted. So why did we make the change?
The answer should be obvious. Scans Daily operates in a legal gray area that isn't getting any less gray. I believe that much of what we do is fair use, and that more of it should be. I firmly believe that IP law is shamefully biased towards protecting the interests of capital, over the interests of community. I believe that our members love comics, and have no desire to harm comics creators. My belief in the good faith of our membership does not protect us from DMCA takedown notices, another TOSing, or public censure.
Even before the TOSing, Rabican, Stubble Update and myself were making changes to the rules that would, we hoped, protect the community as a whole. These changes included: reducing page counts, so as to attract less negative attention from comics publishers and creators; instituting a creator rights policy; and shifting some of the burden of proof back onto individual members. It was our hope that with these rules changes, potentially offended parties would go after individual posts, rather than the community as a whole. ("This Spider-Man post bugs you? Ok, we can take that down"). As it happens, we were TOSed from LJ before we could institute the planned rules changes, and we have yet to have the opportunity to see them tested.
Recently, members have been seeking clarification of the 1/3 rule. The confusion is likely coming from the exceptions we made, but didn't explicitly lay out in the userinfo. When we implemented the new rules, we decided to make exceptions to the 1/3 rule, based on a sliding scale of risk: was the comic still in print? of dubious copyright status? were the creators and publishers particularly open to online redistribution and sharing (like Kago for example)?
The Warren comics posts were at that time, judged to be low risk. However, Dark Horse has now acquired the rights to the Warren catalog and is reissuing Creepy and Eerie in hardcover collections. It seems they may also have plans for a new Creepy title. This means that Warren posts are no longer low risk and are now subject to the 1/3 rule. This was not an easy decision for the mod team to make. The Warren posts have been a valued part of our community, and something that I personally adore.
Make no mistake, our community is still, and always be, at risk. However, the mod team believes that beyond even the archive of scans we have built up, this community is worth protecting. The best way we know to do that is to limit risk, and to ask you to do the same. This means stating up front the legal status of a work if you're posting it in its entirety. It means checking the tags and archive before you post, to see if your fellow members have already posted excerpts from the story you want to share. It means posting in good faith, and from your love of comics, and not a desire to 'get' a creator or publisher.
If your only interest is reading complete comics for free, there are other places to do that. Scans Daily is a forum for sharing our love of comics, and for discussing comics.
In short, what this means for you as a member making posts:
1) You may only post 1/3 of a story or chapter not of a complete volume. 2) The burden is on you to indicate/prove that the comic you are posting is in the public domain, an orphaned work, or a web-published story if you exceed the 1/3 limit. (If it is a web-published story, please credit and provide links to the source.) 3) Free promotional comics (e.g. comics that publishers released for free for Free Comic Book Day) may also exceed the 1/3 limit, but remember each individual poster may not post more than 4 pages from a recent comic. 4) Stories that are 1-2 pages in length may be posted in full.