The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) announced today that comiXology — the worlds largest digital comics platform with over 60 million downloads to date — has become the organization’s newest Corporate Member. ComiXology joins industry leaders Dark Horse, DC Entertainment, Diamond Comic Distributors, Image Comics, Legendary Comics, Random House, and Threadless as Corporate Members supporting the CBLDF’s important work of protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers.
“There is no time like the present to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund,” said comiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. “With freedom of speech being encroached upon at every corner, especially as new digital content platforms arise, comiXology is happy to show our commitment to free speech and the comics industry with this donation. If you have yet to become a member and are a comic book fan, please do so today.”
“We’re grateful that comiXology is taking this leadership position in supporting the CBLDF’s important work,” says CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein. “We have already seen prosecutions resulting from comics delivered in the digital realm, and those prosecutions are still on the rise. The CBLDF maintains an active program of fighting back when those cases occur, and works hard to challenge unconstitutional laws that would restrict the rights of comics in this new environment. We’re gratified that comiXology recognizes the importance of our work in this area and are putting their financial support behind us.”
Recently, the CBLDF helped fund and guide the successful defense in R. v. Matheson, a case that involved a comic book fan who faced criminal charges in Canada relating to comic books on his computer. The total legal costs of this case exceeded $75,000. After taking the case last summer, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund contributed $20,000 to the defense and also participated in shaping the defense, including recruiting expert testimony for the trial. The CBLDF is currently seeking funds to help pay off the $45,000 debt the defendant incurred as a result of his case, and to create new tools to prevent future cases.