Sevenpenny Pirates! Action comic web site content hijacked, for reasons unknown

Sevenepenny Nightmare - Hijacked

A quick warning for all British comic fans: the once invaluable Action comic website sevenpennynightmare is back in operation – but the domain is no longer owned by its original creator and whoever now owns it has scraped parts of the old site (which was shut down) from the Internet Archive and posting it as if the site is continuing.

downthetubes has been in contact with Moose Harris, who surrendered the Sevenpenny domain some time back and took down his Action site after technical difficulties with the hosting company, which was once a terrific resource for fans of the comic – and which we have been planning to re-present here on downthetubes, with his full permission, in due course.

Although a lot of Fleetway characters were of course republished in Eastern Europe in the past – Black Archer for example, was once popular in former Yugoslavia – it’s unlikely the site has been restored by some British expat who’s a fan of the original comic, naively unaware, perhaps, that they are infringing copyright on sveral levels.

Operating from somewhere on this leafy street in Sofia, a web company has hijacked Sevenpenny Nightmare's copyrighted content. (Image via Google Maps)

Operating from somewhere on this leafy street in Sofia, a web company has hijacked Sevenpenny Nightmare’s copyrighted content. (Image via Google Maps)

The sevenpenny domain is now registered to Tool Domains Ltd, a company based in Sofia, Bulgaria, who own a wide range of sites, and is described on Website Informer as “the ultimate domain tool for finding dropped names with SEO value and researching Whois, owner relations, SEO&Social metrics and website content”.

It would seem the company has recognised the “SEO value” of Sevenpenny Nightmare and bought the domain – but seems to be under the mistaken impression that this gives them permission to feature material they did not create and embed it with advertisements that were never part of the original format.

Because of the way the Internet Archive works, the archive is not complete – their last snapshot of the original site before it was removed was archived on 24th January 2014 – and as a consequence this hijacked version of Sevenpenny Nightmare is full of links that, currently, lead nowhere, and many images are of course not included.

“There’s a lot of piracy in Bulgaria,” a Bulgarian artist now living in the UK cautioned. “It is commonplace. I even know that street! But… this is, for better or worse, as hinted above, not precisely the type of content that is popular enough over here to justify the trouble of an entire site simply out of fan love/merchandise opportunity.”

In a twist to proceedings, Bear Alley’s Steve Holland has unearthed further information that reveals that while Tool Domains are the site registrant, the company who apparently own the site are a Dutch firm called Interactive 3D, based in Boesingheliede, Noord Holland, although that could just be where the servers are.

Whatever the motive for this abuse and whoever is behind it, this is a shocking example of copyright theft, of both the copy about Action and the previously acknowledged copyright of the art from Action featured which is of course owned by Egmont UK.

We strongly advise British comic fans not to visit this web site.

UPDATE 2nd August 2016: Both Tool Domains and a representative of Interactive 3D the current owners of the SevenpennyNightmare domain been in contact, who have apologised for using copyrighted material and offered to remove all such content and direct people to a new landing page of choice

Our guide to Action, sourced with the full permission of Moose Harris and based on the original Sevenpenny Nightmare site, is here – please note, this is Work in Progress

Action and characters © 2016 Egmont UK

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Adventure Comics, British Comics, Classic British Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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1 reply

  1. What a shame.

    Greed and opportunism has helped ruin a great site.

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