It was the biggest launch in DC Comics’ history. Justice League #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, with midnight parties across the country and acres of publicity.
But two hours before the midnight launch on the East Coast, copies could be downloaded across the internet, held by file transfer services Wupload and Filesonic, and then torrented through sites such as Demonoid. One file is credited to scanner Archoboros of the CPS scanning group.
Some say this was an accidentally slip by ComiXology, who sold a very few copies digitally through human error. Their intended on-sale date is 2pm ET today.
Others that this is a sign that the majority of pirated comics come from a few people working in comic book stores, although they are usually held till after the on sale date to avoid suspicion.
Archoboros was also responsible for scanning Flashpoint #5, though that came a little later, conceivably it could have been bought in a shop and scanned from there. But even so, that was rather fast.
As DC goes day-and-date digital, it makes the process of scanning in comics far less laborious. One can simply take screencaps from an iPad. There are ways in which DC could have tracked down the scanners, when they just dealt with print, but that may be over now.
Mind you it may also be over for certain pirates. Here’s the pirate credit screen from the scanned Justice League #1.