Friday, October 26, 2007

What is: alt.binaries.comics.dcp?

I'm going on my 15th wedding anniversary this weekend, and I'm probably going to miss posting on Monday, so to make up for it I'm going to present one huge post today: The complete DCP Newsgroup FAQs.

Many of you may not have ever hear of DCP, even those of you that *ahem* get your comics in digital format, but DCP are one of the biggest newsgroup communities of comicbook scanners/uploaders on the internet. At one time, they were responsible for about 90% of all weekly comicbook scans. Now, several other groups of scanners have started uploading comics, so the pond has gotten bigger. Still, to many, DCP are the *go-to* guys for weekly 0-day scans.

Now, while we at Flashback Universe do not advocate illegal downloading, we don't pretend it doesn't exist either. Nor do we pass judgement on those people who chose to scan their comics and upload them to the internet. That's for Dan Slott to do. ;)

What I will say is this: People like to download stuff and keep it on their own personal devices. Apple found a way to make kajillions of dollars from this axiom. iNuff Said.

So, without further adieu: the alt.binaries.comics.dcp FAQs

1. Who is DCP?
DCP stands for Digital Comics Preservation. Unlike mother nature and father time, we want comics to be around for a long, long time. Therefore, we work towards digitally preserving ALL comics we can find. This includes new comics, old comics, popular comics, small-press comics, and even a few fan made comics that only a handful of people ever saw. If it's a comic, we'll scan it.

A. But don't I also sometimes see cartoons and stuff?
Sure. If we find some kind of comic related media - newspaper articles, cartoons, funny song about Superman, etc... - we tend to preserve that too.

B. So do you guys follow the OYATM (One Year Ago This Month) rule?
Nope. We scan it. We share it.

2. Why is this newsgroup here?
Primarily for sharing files with each other. Many people can download from a newsgroup faster than they can from a p2p service.

A. So this isn't the only place you can find DCP scans?
Not at all. People tend to put them on Bittorrent, DC++, and irc all the time. Sometimes we do it, sometimes people do it because they want to share our stuff. It's cool. Sharing is what it's all about.

B. Can we use this Newsgroup for discussion?
If you want to talk about a particular book with someone else, fine.If you want to talk about the geo-political ramifications of the current state of unrest in the world, go find a friggin' message board or crazy group of demonstraters. Political or religious postings will get you ridiculed, ignored, etc...PLEASE refrain from criticizing other scanners' work, regardless of their group affiliation. Scanners spend their time and money producing content for you free of charge - if you're not going to thank them, you can at least refrain from insulting them and their work. If you really find a book so awful, then buy the book and scan it yourself!

3. Do you only release DCP scans here?
Nope. DCP gets along really well with a lot of other scanners. If they say it's OK, we'll post their scans too.

A. Can I post my scans here?
Sure, but don't call yourself a DCP'er if you do. You have to work towards that.

B. Can I post anything comics related at any time?
We used to ask that you please refrain from making posts on Wednesday - Friday so that the new stuff can get out uncluttered. However, a lot of people bitched and bitched, so that's no longer a "rule." It's generally a nice thing to keep in mind and posting a flood will probably make people hate you.

C. Can I repost your stuff other places?
Sure, but be respectful of the rules there. If they follow OYATM, then please don't post our scans that are less than OYATM. Also, please don't change the files. Renaming them is OK, but don't take out scanner tags or ad pages. Respect the scanner and respect the scan.

4. Can I make requests (REQs)?
Try not to make any requests on Wednesday or Thursday or until late on Friday. During that period, people are focused on new scans. If you make a requests it will be ignored - not out of spite, but because no one pays attention to anything other than new comics during that time.

A. How many books can I request?
Use your best judgement. Asking for 100 issues of Legends of the Dark Knight may fill the hole in your collection, but I doubt anyone wants to take the time to post them all. Plus, people can't help others if they are spending all their time helping you. Be polite. Shoot for a handful at a time.

B. Can I request a flood?
You can, but that doesn't mean anyone will fill it. Read the answer above.

C. How often should I repost a request if it's not filled?
Once a year. It might take time for someone to find the books you want. Or, they may be filling other requests. Or, they may be busy scanning new books. Or, maybe no one has them right now. If no one has them after a couple weeks, send Mile High Comics your credit card information and get your scanner ready...

D. But what if I know it was posted last week?
Then you should download last week's post. If your news server has such poor retention that you can't get books a few days old, then you should pay for a better service.

F. What about pars?
Most people will post pars with the books. If they didn't, ask nicely and they, or someone else who downloaded it, will post some. If you need more pars, ask nicely and someone will help you out? See the pattern here? Ask nicely...

G. What if I know in my heart of hearts that a book came out this week, but I don't see the scan?
Wait. Wait. Wait. I know it's hard, but give it time. Books are scanned by people nice enough to spend their money on them and their time scanning them. Obviously, they will scan the books they want to first. Believe it or not, there are some who scan boooks that no one else wants to - just to make sure they get preserved even if they don't really like them.

So, just wait and give it time. Sometimes, the skipped books will be picked up by a friendly scanner when he grabs next week's books, so give it a couple weeks before you start asking. Or better yet, get your cheap ass out of the house, and buy a friggin' comic and scan it yourself. Or just shut the hell up. Either way.

5. Do you guys only post comics?
Nope. Some members like to encode cartoons, video game manuals, and magazines like Wizard or Knights of the Dinner Table. While none of these are comics and sometimes aren't comic related, we welcome these to our group as well.

A. Should I post all the cartoons in the world here?
Try not to. You can go to other groups to get cartoons. We'll post DCP encodes here.

B. Should I post other video game manuals here?
Try not to. The best place to post them would be in the group for that console. We'll post DCP scans here.

C. Should I post scans of all magazines here?

Try not to. The best place to post them would be in the groups for those magazines or topics.
We'll post DCP scans here. However, if someone requests a CBG, KotDT, or Wizard and you can fill that REQ with a scan from somewhere else, knock your self out. Make sure you read the whole FAQ first though...

6. Do you guys make PDFs?
Ugh. F' no. There are groups out there ripping off the comics that are scanned by your favorite DCP, OCD, HaCsA, RIP, etc scanners, and calling them their scans, repackaging them as PDF and sharing them via another distribution system. If you have any of these "scans" do yourself a favor and delete them and get the .cbr, .cbz, .zip, or .rar version, the way comics should be.

Sharing PDF comics will get you ridiculed, ignored, etc... If you don't like it, grow up and get over it.

7. How do I find out if a comics has been released? Or what if I want to request a scan, but I don't know if the actual comic book has come out yet?


Sach said...

Bit of an update on DCP: the group (or certain key members) got served with a DMCA cease and desist order, which has pretty much killed the group :( A very sad day

Jim Shelley said...

Wasn't it just Ourobouros who got served? Who else got notified?

Regardless, I suspect DCP will be like Marvel's Hyrda...for every member who leaves, two more will join.

Sach said...

I believe it was just Oroboros who got served. Everyone else in DCP is keeping a very low profile in that group now for fear of them getting served to. It's very quiet in a.b.comics.dcp at the moment - alot of leechers and lurkers are panicking and checking their bank balances as they're now going to have to go and buy their comics (oh the humanity!)

Still quite sad for it all to unravel so quickly

Jim Shelley said...


I wouldn't count them out so soon...I heard rumors of another group starting up. ;)

Andrew said...

I realize this post is old, but it's worth a shot; I can't find any NNTP provider that seems to carry this newsgroup that has more than a couple of (usually old) posts in it. Suggestions?

Sam said...

So this is the group I have to thank for many wonderful reading experiences. :) Thanks a ton!
Also, not just the sharing but the job of preserving comics is noble. There are many comics which haven't been printed in years, some because of copyright reasons, some because of lack of interest. Someone must save them.

Same goes to webcomics too. There are some which haven't updated in ages and might disappear any time soon. It's no big task for anyone who likes them to save them on hard drive, and then share if the site ever goes down.

Ruby said...

Frankly, I don't get the hesitation for 'digital preservation' of comics - if such a thing even continues to exist, amid the onset of 'day and date' digitals from Marvel and DC. Computers are the future, while paper is on its way out (literally, with the deforestation left to right). If anything, DCP should be thanked for the staggering amounts of stuff it has been able to retrieve, within a span of a few years.

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