Piracy Cultures | Do Fans Own Digital Comic Books?: Examining the Copyright and Intellectual Property Attitudes of Comic Book Fans

J. Richard Stevens, Christopher Edward Bell


As digital comic book consumption continues to rise in popularity, the comic book community appears conflicted over the effects digital scans have on the meaning of collecting and reading comic books. Historically, comic ownership served as the locus of comic fan social capital; will digital scans hold the same cultural capital as printed books? And does post-purchased digital scan dissemination primarily hurt copyright holders through lost sales, or does it help through social promotion?

Examining related controversies, 896 discussion forum posts were collected and coded for frame analysis, producing eight discrete frames. Consistent with fandom studies’ third wave, this article draws insight from the collected sample to draw inferences about how consumers relate to popular culture texts.

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