How to Make a Public Service Announcement ... Again

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Reader Comments (84)

The last line on panel 2 cracked me up.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrid

Didn't you already do one like this last year, on December 9? Identical art, poses, and script other than a few numbers. In fact, they're so similar it seems like you took the old one and changed a few words, a quick copy and paste job.

I'm sure this was an accident, so I just thought I'd let ya know you've used an old idea, give you a chance to replace this one before anyone notices? I hope I've helped prevent some embarrassment.


December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCovarr

You are going to do this every year, aren't you?
I'd be disappointed if you didn't.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBirren

Seeing this made me remember that you'd made this remark last year, and Putting it in an actual comic is probably much more effec- OMG HAVE I REALLY BEEN READING THIS WEBCOMIC FOR A YEAR? Where has the time gone?

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterborn in the nineties

But there's ALWAYS a need for insults!

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKierkegaard

I love panel three. I kind of read as though it were being performed by Orson Welles. Especially the part about basking in the glory and everyone calming down. Nice work.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commentera to the k

You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarru

You seem upset.

In other news, the strip is hilarious as always!

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChip The Third

I've never complained about the copyright date and I've bought both your books. I'm sorry you are unable to learn from your mistakes. If you had a clue, you'd put the next year's copyright date on the comics you expected to be posted late December or early January and avoid the crap. You did know it wasn't going to be posted in December 2011, right? You are the one who wrote it a month in advance? Hit yourself with a cluebat and spare us the duplicate comic.

Note from Scott: (Ugh. Time to go through this again. Hoped I wouldn't have to this year. Oh well.)

I write the comics. I send some of them to newspapers ... a full 30 days before they are legally available for the site. That first date is the official, legal copyright date. Then, 30 days later, I submit them to Cracked. Cracked has 7 days to run them or pass on them. Then ...THEN!! THIRTY SEVEN DAYS LATER ... AFTER THEY'VE BEEN PUBLISHED, (still with me here?) they get posted to the site. SO! The copyright date is accurate ... ACCURATE!!

Thanks for buying both my books. Sorry to have bothered you with the rerun.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

That's cool. A person doesn't get all that from your duplicate comic. So would the universe explode, or would you get get exposed to unlawful duplication were the copyright posted as 2011-2012? Can you put in a range? I really don't know that much about it. I also don't know how much you really care about it. A chance to post a duplicate comic might have been enough reason. It's not like your previous comics suggest otherwise.

Note from Scott: My understanding (and I am no lawyer) is that a work is copyrighted as soon as it's finished, and that the copyright date should reflect that. I will admit that I am mystified on a yearly basis that people find an apparent discrepancy in the copyright date so distressing. Also, rerunning the warning comic was an excuse to give myself a day off this Christmas season.

I don't decide to post reruns lightly.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

I agree with Birren. I think you have a holiday tradition on your hands. In fact, if I don't see this exact same re-run next year I'm going to get all huffy and whine about that just to make sure you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Seriously though, congratulations on another year of hilarity. I look forward to next years re-run and all the comics in between.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBill

The comment to Matt was funnier than the re-run. I love how you turned on a dime from lambasting him for not knowing your publishing schedule to thanking him for supporting you with his purchases.

The funny part is that he is--obviously--a regular reader and he was most likely just poking your buttons. Mission accomplished.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

FYI: Scott is pretty much correct on copyright date usage. When you see a range of dates, that indicates a work that has been updated. The example that comes to mind is Windows XP, which has a r-e-a-l-l-y long range.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

I don't mind the reruns.
But one small problem is that if you keep running these annual PSAs, then I'll start getting the urge to write in and tell you about all the wrong copyright dates!
Ironically, of course.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWaladil

" I will admit that I am mystified on a yearly basis that people find an apparent discrepancy in the copyright date so distressing."

I agree. Thanks for the explaination. Still a devoted fan, and please post this strip again next year, everyone deserves a set holiday.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Holy shit –– this thing is actually copyrighted?!!! I guess that puts an end to the successful multi-year run of my "How to Do Stuff" website.

Um, I mean, forget what I just said. Oh fuck, just send my lawyer the relevant documents.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJudas Peckerwood

To Matt: Please do us (and Scott) a favor, and stop posting semi-snotty comments on things you yourself admit you know nothing about. It's Scott's comic. It's Scott's website. Enjoy the gift of free entertainment from the interwebs and don't act like buying the books (which is an awesome thing to do) gives you the all-encompassing right to berate someone because you had to endure *gasp!* an occasional rerun.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterinfinity+1

@Matt, it's illegal to future date copyright and it should always reflect the date of completion of the work, not the publication date. When you see a split year year copyright (like 2011/12) it's usually either because; the work in question is from s region that has a mid-year based financial year and copyright regulations set to said financial year (such as Australia. Not the U.S.); the work contains both old and new content (so if originating in some regions the above comic should have been listed as 2010/11, since it's an alteration of an existing earlier work. I don't think that regulation applies in the U.S though and date of final creation is correct); or the person writing the date didn't know what they were doing. It's not very nice to tell someone else to get a clue when you're not certain that they're actually wrong by the way.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEarlfothercs

Do you HAVE to put a year on the copyright? Does it matter all that much? Maybe you could use Roman numerals, like movies do. Who is going to notice a MMX instead of a MMXI? Still, there are the Rocky movies fans out there, and they're bound to read this comic, because of the obvious similarities between your wife and Adrian. Ok, I got it: you use the Arabic calendar, in Roman numerals. Right now it's 1433, which translates to -stay with me- MCDXXXIII. You have to put AH after, I am not sure why, I could check Wikipedia but I am lazy and Rocky IV is next.


I could bask in the glory of THAT copyright

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYA

Panel one alone was a great stand-alone... I'll have to remember to use that line (substituting my own name, of course) next time I have to speak at a meeting or something. It just gets better from there... gold, GOLD, I tell ya!

Not only do I love Missy's interjections, I love Scott's misinterpretations of them.

Remember a while back in one of the comments sections when I mentioned how my 13 year-old son likes the smoking jacket look, and wants to get a robe to emulate it? He also does that 'steepled' finger thing with his hands (see panel one of this strip) when he wants to pretend he's being sophisticated. I said it then and I'll say it again: you've influenced a new generation of fans!

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCR

Nobody cares, we're going to bitch and moan anyways. Because we love you.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBuckybone

OH NO THINGS WERE SIMILAR TO PREVIOUS THINGS. Oh the humanity. I still got a grin out of this just like I did last year. Have a fancy Christmas, Mr. Scott.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSaith

Psh, 2012 is a lie, wake up sheeple!

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdmiral Antelope

Your understanding of copyright dates are right, Scott.

Having read the above explanation, I would like to say to all the whiners: you're getting a comic for free. Of course you're the last persons to see it, after all the people who actually have to pay for the comic if they place it and make their subscribers pay for that content (or maybe their advertisers).

If you care about the copyright date so much: start a newspaper and offer to run basic instructions.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWesley

It may be a rerun but it's still funny in every panel.
PS: I do comment about the copyright date not changing but in an ironic way so that's ok.. Isn't it?

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

So....if the world DOES end next December does that mean your final comics will still be available for 30 days after that?

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFormerHostage

Scott, this is pure genius. Any comic that can not-so-gently mock its readers gets my vote everytime. I love the level of "enthusiasm" it stimulates in the comments. That said, engaging with these people does border on cruel as watching them be validated by your interaction is eye-watering!

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Scott, I'd simply like to wish you and yours an enjoyable holiday followed by a happy and healthy New Year. My thanks to you for providing so many small pleasures, whatever the year of their creation. Thanks are also due to Scott Adams, for his generous link to BI some years ago. I still read his comics, but I find your humour more entertaining. Ignore the trolls and detractors, you're doing a fine and necessary job.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Mumford

I looked for '(C) 2010' in the corner, and not finding it disappointed me.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJ

Since this is a rerun with the numbers switched, shouldn't the copyright notice on this comics read "2010", or, worse, "2010-2011"?


December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShachar


Definitely e-mailing you the first time I notice one now, Scott, just for the hell of it... :-)

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.


December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

If this is your chance to take a break during Xmas, I couldn´t agree more that this becomes a holiday tradition for Basic Instructions.

But the main reason for me to be posting today is to wish very, very Happy Holidays. You give us the gift of laughter so often and with such abundance, that the least I can offer is my sincere Thanks and Best Wishes in this season (ok, I could buy some books from the B.I. store, hehehe). Too bad I get to stay in sunny Rio de Janeiro, surrounded by lightly clad women, drinking beer at the beach. You guys get to experience a traditional Xmas with all that snow and... hmm... more snow?

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbrazilian_guy

I believe this is the only webcomic I regularly read that both directly addresses its readers and regularly admonishes/taunts them for their collective failings. I love it. Here's hoping 2012's copyright change comic will be as hilarious as those in years past. Have a nice holiday, Scott!

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArthur


Happy © 2012!!

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermohrorless

Go for it - as Birren suggests, make this into a tradition - one we can proudly tell our grandchildren that we were present at the inception of.

It is wonderful to see the smoking jacket and cravat (or as the English aristocracy pronounce it "cwavat" - Possiblly they are all descended from Elmer Fudd).) make an appearance.

On another note, despite my androgynous name, I am the possessor of two fully functioning "X" chromosomes, and my admiration for Mrs Scott knows no bounds. She keeps your ego and idiocy in check and manages to do it with charm and panache. No man, as they say, is a hero to his valet, and to that we can add "or his missus". She should write an occasional strip, with wifely advice tips in it.

Hail top thee, Mrs Scott - I salute thee. you keep us out of chaos.

PS I DO know she is, if anything "Mrs Meyer", but where I live is is customary to use the terms "Mrs Bill" or indeed Mr Janice where necessary if we don't know a spouse's Christian name. Plus, for all I know she may have kept her maiden name, for the purposes of self=defense.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaddy

Endless comment hilarity as usual, to add to the comic itself: on a more serious point though...

I noticed when I downloaded edited and pored through the pixels of the comic that, whilst the majority of the background pixels are coloured as expected with the RGB value (0,0,0), a proportion are coloured with the RGB value (25,25,25) - and SHOCKINGLY, this does not appear attributable to mere anti-aliasing anomalies given the distribution of the afore-mentioned pixels in question.

This is a massive affront to all of us who hoped to spare you from having to entertain us for free under the consistently realised threat of professional ridicule; it's okay though, I'll let you continue to make me laugh on a near-daily basis 'cos I'm good like that.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJay

For Christ's sake! we get it already, you don't have to be so snippy. Merry Christmas

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames Yeamans

wow, it's like you know us - except for the bit about waving a red rag to a bull...!

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJawfin

I sure hope you can afford a celebrity next year.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLionel

I vote yes for the annual tradition that happens to occur near a holiday. I look forward to seeing you whine about whiners again next year (with new dates of course).

Also, Merry Christmas and thank you for providing me with a bit of sanity three times a week. How did I ever get by with out knowing the RIGHT way to do so many things?

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEric L
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