Format wars

From the Comics Journal archives, Dirk Deppey on Format Wars and distribution strategies for independent digital media. Something I’ve been thinking about this week.

Be suspicious of standards that promise copy protection capabilities. No such standard has ever withstood a full assault by curious hackers, which means that those who try to beat the odds are merely closing their format and wasting money. Further, many such proposed schemes require consumer inconvenience, which reduces the chances that your format will succeed in the marketplace. […]

Linked today via Journalista at The Comics Journal.

This morning I tried loading a picklet package file, conforming to the ePub file format, into Stanza. Here’s what it looks like;

Unremarkable, except for the fact that it opened it at all without complaining. It will take some work but there’s no good reason why any ebook reader couldn’t at least display the preview image for each panel of the picklet. And ultimately, if they’re using WebKit why it couldn’t also render the full picklet, complete with interaction.

For now, I’m going to package my epub files assuming that they’ll eventually be readable by other ebook reader software. Whether there’s a future for independent comics in the epub format is perhaps another question.

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