In the Chicago Sun Times, Andy Ihnatko writes an article comparing TIVO to a few shareware programs that grab webcomics from their sites and load the images alone in the shareware viewer. Better lawyers have debated the legality of such programs because of the fact that they essentially use copyrighted materials in ways which the creator has not granted permission but Ihnatko doesn’t mention that at all. To the contrary he encourages his readers to use these programs no matter the financial harm that might be caused to the creators:
The only downside to all these apps is the fact that as Internet “scrapers,” they divorce the strips from their original Web pages, including the ads that make their distribution possible. But just like dropping LSD in the ’60s, you’re free to enjoy these apps in the time we have before we understand the true cost to society and the gummint makes them illegal.
One of the programs mentioned by Ihnatko is Comictastic a program for which Spiny Software is charging $15.00 a pop. Right on Spiny’s homepage for this program is a picture of its program ripping a Wigu image. Paging Jeffrey Rowland!