In a move that’s been well overdue, Comixology announced today that it’s allowing downloads of DRM-free comics.
For quite awhile, I and others online have disliked the heavily DRMed model of Comixology, which given its near-monopoly position and that several publishers will only publish via Comixology makes the DRM particularly obnoxious. This is finally a welcome move. I do have to wonder if it’s in response to Image Comics successfully offering DRM-free comics for awhile now, and thus stealing some business from Comixology. Or if it’s in response to the backlash Comixology’s received from losing in-app purchasing/being bought by Amazon. Or a combination of the above.
The new download feature launched today. To download the comics, go to your Comixology account’s “My Books” section, where you’ll see download options for various comics purchases. The formats are PDF or CBZ. (I prefer CBZ.)
It’s not a complete victory yet. While the option for DRM-free is turned on, Comixology notes it’s up to each publisher to decide whether to offer such an option. The only ones to go DRM-free so far: Image, Top Shelf, Thrillbent, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, and MonkeyBrain Comics. While I could see some smaller publishers (hopefully IDW, Archie, and Boom Studios) go DRM-free, I’m guessing it’ll be quite awhile, if at all, before we see DC or Marvel go DRM-free. Thus, I’d assume the market for pirating superhero comics wont’ be dying off anytime soon. Of course, if possible, you should still buy the DRM-free comics through the publisher’s own websites (including Image’s), as the creators will see more money from sales (Comixology takes 50% of all sales made through their store).
For those who still want alternatives to Comixology, see my post on the topic.