If "the technology existed to prevent illegal copying and distributing on the web" we would be living IN MAGICAL FAIRY PONY FANTASY LAND. Maybe that's also where those BULLSHIT ARTISTIC CREDIBILITY DOLLARS are legal tender!
The short history of comics on the web has shown us that locking primary content (ie, comic archives) beyond a pay barrier just doesn't work as well as keeping it open and free. Bonus content like Achewood's AssetBar program may indeed be a viable income stream, but that's not what he's talking about here. He's talking about some no-doubt lovely fantasy where everything is locked behind a barrier and for some reason people are willing to pay for it. Ain't. Gonna. Happen.http://qcjeph.livejournal.com/100732.html
Full disclosure: Jeph Jacques is the author and artist of http://www.questionablecontent.net
The whole mess with print comics crashing and burning right now reminds me of Hans Bjordal's rant about the comics industry "death spiral".
I think he wrote that all the way back in the late 90's.