Lets compare 2 of my favourite comic strips and how their creators interact with their fans on the internet.
Gary Larson threatens his fans with cease and desist letters if they show even 1 of his comics on their website, even if their article is about how much they love Far Side and how other people should check it out.
Last time I checked, threatening your biggest fans with legal action wasn’t the best way to win their hearts or get new fans.
On the other hand Scott Adams encourages people to show his latest comic strips on their website by providing easy to use Dilbert Widgets which can be embedded in any website and mashups that allow anyone to change the text in speech bubbles.
Clearly Adams has a better understanding of how the internet works and knows that allowing people to show his comics on more websites can only create more interest in Dilbert comics and lead to more fans and more revenue from book and merchandise sales.
Adams said: “We’re accepting the realities of IP on the Internet, and trying to get ahead of the curve. People already alter Dilbert strips and distribute them. If we make it easy and legal to do so, and drive more traffic to Dilbert.com in the process, everyone wins. Plus it’s a lot of fun to see what people come up with in the mashups.”