A few days ago we reported on the legal pressures being experienced by the Z-Cult FM comic tracker. At the time, site admin ‘Serj’ explained: “We got legal letters from both Marvel and DC Comics who have been working together to send us these legal threats. We are currently dealing with the legal issues and they have given us 3 days before they are forced to take anymore action.”
Since then, the Z-Cult FM trackers haven’t been operating as the admins try to sort out the legal issues. In the first instance, Marvel Comics demanded that Z-Cult FM respond to their demands within 3 days which they have been trying to do. However, the staff concerned at Marvel went off on their Thanksgiving break and were unavailable to discuss anything with the Z-Cult FM admins.
Additionally, Marvel has been demanding certain files from Z-Cult FM – files they don’t have, admin ‘Serj’ told TorrentFreak:
“Z-Cult pointed out that we do not in fact hold any of the files that Marvel have demanded we provide to them. If Marvel understood how BitTorrent works, they would realize this.”
Having been let down by Marvel’s lack of interest in meeting their own deadlines and their apparent refusal to recognize that US law isn’t valid worldwide, ‘Serj’ continues:
“Contrary to popular belief, United States’ laws are not, in fact, applicable outside America. In view of the pressure from Z-Cult’s 70 000+ members, all comic fans, and as Marvel have not been available to discuss the matter, Z-Cult has decided to restart the trackers.”
Z-Cult is very keen to point out how they try to work with copyright holders to help them protect their interests. Serj explains how the system works:
“Z-Cult has a clear posting on the site that says it will remove postings on request (with a modicum of proof of ownership), and in fact has already done so in a number of instances. Indeed, some companies, such as Slave Labor Graphics and Hack/Slash, having previously requested removal of their material later relented, acknowledging the role the site has in growing readership and fandom.”
Indeed, SLG Publishing seem very pleased with Z-Cult FM, and are giving Z-Cult support during these difficult times by giving permission for fans to upload and share their comics legally on the tracker.
A statement from SLG reads:
To the members of Z-Cult:
SLG publishing would like to thank the moderators and forumers of Z-Cult for the respect they have shown in regards to our ban request. Obviously, our preference is to have each comic legally paid for, and the efforts undertaken to honor this desire have clearly shown that Z-Cult is not a forum overrun by those expecting a free ride. In return, we have decided to lift the ban from our independently published titles being distributed on Z-Cult. Of course, this is not an entirely selfless act – we hope that exposure to our large library of titles will help encourage support of our legal download site, www.eyemelt.com. It is our belief that there is a market for legally downloadable comic books, and we hope that we can prove this to the comics industry by showing success through our our digital distribution system.
Unfortunately we cannot lift the ban on any SLG/Disney titles, for reasons that should be obvious. These titles are limited to: The Haunted Mansion, Tron, Gargoyles and Wonderland. Our apologies for being unable to allow sharing on these particular titles.
For those of you who took the time and effort to report and remove our material, and particularly to those who undertook the process of re-uploading your torrents over and over without complaint, thank you.
Serj finishes up with a big ‘thank you’ to SLG Publishing for their support:
“We would like to thank SLG for working with us rather than against us and hope this is the beginning of a new way for our users to enjoy the comic books of other publishers.”
Rest assured we’ll keep regular readers and comic fans updated on this story as it develops.