Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Potentially Serious Problems -- PLEASE READ!!

Please head to the forums for regular updates and interaction. This is actually reposted from there just in case anyone who reads the blog isn't a member. The forums are the best place to keep up to date, so please, if you can, go to http://hushicho.freeforums.org and join us!

Well, since SmackJeeves's Terms of Service have been updated, I feel like our days there are numbered. This is extremely unfortunate and I'm extremely upset, not only because I liked SmackJeeves before now, but also because I'm sick of this sort of frankly bullshit that goes on with so many sites.

Basically they've gone the 'obscenity' route, and I just want to express why this is so bad.

Essentially the term 'obscene' is an extremely, extremely subjective word. It's so vague that, in terms of legalese, it's immensely vague and difficult to determine. Oftentimes it's left up to a consensus or a judge, or something like that. To simplify, for something to be classified as 'obscene', it must have no redeeming value artistically, politically, et cetera.

You can see where I'm going with this, I think, and why I am so upset about it.

It's a term that makes flagrant abuse of power look more and more like a reality. Because anyone can accuse something of being obscene, as long as it lacks value in their opinion. It's extremely difficult to determine in a court, but it's not so difficult for someone at a website to insist that something is obscene, even when it may not be.

It's also immensely insulting. When you work as hard as I do on a comic...bleed for every line and every word, wrack your brain for the best way to do something, develop yourself constantly and hold yourself to ridiculously high standards to continually improve...the very possibility that this might happen is maddening. If I seem to be overreacting about this, I'm honestly not; I've just seen this sort of thing go sour very quickly, in the past.

And then there's the huge chore of reposting all of the previous pages on a new site. It takes hours, if not days, when you have a comic as long as Incubus Tales. It's insane, it's daunting...

And it's also tedious, because I'm sure whatever I go with, I'm going to have to design a new site from scratch, work in all the ads, work in all the code...I'm not exaggerating when I say I barely have time to eat my meals between all my art and comics work. This is going to throw a huge spanner in the works, if it happens.

Of course, let's hope it doesn't. But I don't like feeling like Damocles, and that's exactly how I feel at SmackJeeves now. I've made a post on the topic, but who knows if they'll actually listen. It would be nice if they would. I'd like to have a potentially awful situation resolve in a pleasant and easy way, for once!

But I'm just warning you ahead of time: if anything happens, just check here and I'll make sure you'll be updated. If you can, I hope you'll voice your opinions on that topic too, in the SmackJeeves forums -- please do let them know this won't be tolerated, in advance! They haven't done anything...yet. But that doesn't mean they won't. And this is a chilling precedent for something like that.

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