When you pay for comics via Comixology there actually is no ownership. In effect, you are merely paying a licensing agreement to read the comics on your computer, tablet or ereader. The comics are not stored locally, but instead need internet access to download from the server and read them on their official apps. This might change, as Comixology is rumored to be talking with publishers to incorporate DRM-Free comics into their ecosystem.
The clear path of ownership is a big deal with digital comic book fans. Image Comics was one company that went completely DRM-Free and has been a big hit. Ownership of the comic you purchased is very real and tangible, giving readers the ability to back them up locally or use another app to read them on.
When Amazon purchased Comixology earlier in the year, the mandate was to make it the most dominant distribution platform in the world. This has been somewhat hampered with in-app purchases being removed from their iOS app and Android app changed from using Google, to Comixologies own e-commerce solution. Madefire is quickly gaining traction with their free motion comics and even Image Comics have created their own distribution system.
In order to get more publishers into the fold, Comixology is said to be shopping around the DRM-Free solution to companies wanting to opt into it. Image would obviously be on board, although DC and Marvel would be likely holdouts. The intention is to appeal to publishers who either don’t deal with DRM, or want to abandon it altogether.
The San Diego Comic Con is transpiring really soon, and likely more news will service as Comixology has meetings with the whose who of the comics industry.
Update: Comixology has officially announced their DRM-Free program via Email.
You are receiving this email because we now offer DRM-free backups of one or more of the books you’ve purchased on comiXology. You can now download and store PDF or CBZ copies of those books.
You can find the list of books you own that support DRM-free backup on comixology.com in the My Backups tab of the My Books area.
Publisher participating at launch of this feature are Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, and Top Shelf Productions.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.