Friday, July 25, 2014

Comixology allows DRM Free Downloads (if the publishers say it's okay)!

EDIT:  I've since looked for DRM-free Dynamite comics and don't know which ones are available in that format.   I mentioned that I could now buy Gail Simone's Red Sonja run, but at the moment it is not available DRM free through Comixology. :(  Keep an eye out, people!

EDIT 2:  I reached out to Dynamite Comics and they replied that they intend to get all of their titles available DRM-free, and that it's an ongoing process.

I received an email earlier today from Comixology saying that DRM-free backup copies of some of my comics are now available to download.  What's funny is I've never bought any comics from Comixology.  But, a while ago, I did sign up for account to claim a free comic and try out their system.  That happened to be an Image Comic so I got the email, otherwise I might not have known about this for a while.  This is great news.  Why?  Let me tell you:
  • Now smaller publishers who don't like or want DRM are able to sell their digital comics their way without the cost of setting up their own storefront.
  • Image's digital store isn't very user friendly, as I have pointed out earlier.  Though I'd rather Image gets all the proceeds instead of Comixology getting a cut, Comixology has a much better store, a cloud reader, and more of Image's back catalog online.  That's right, Comixology has more of Image's comics available digitally---including trades, which you can't buy digitally from Image (though sometimes the trades cost more than the individual issues, and I prefer the singles with the back matter anyway).
  • This is going to put more pressure on other publishers, as well as leading people to comb these named DRM-free publisher's catalogs (as I have been doing, for instance this looks interesting).  Publishers follow the money, and the money will follow DRM free content.  At least, mine will.
  • DRM-free titles selling better has been demonstrated in other media formats too, just observed on the Kindle store: "At almost every price point, we see the thousands of titles without DRM significantly out-earning the thousands of titles with DRM. In fact, at the only two price points that appear to buck the general trend and which show DRM titles outselling non-DRM ones, we found that the reversal was due to 3 outlier DRM titles published by only two authors.
  • It makes me not hate Comixology anymore which is good, because I hate hating things. 
(Does Comixology not have a title review system a la Amazon?  Just a 5-star rating system?  They really need to get on that.)

The publishers I've found listed that are going DRM-free are (some articles say "select titles from" so keep an eye out):

Image Comics, Dynamite Comics, Zenescope Comics, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, Top Shelf Production, and IDW Publishing.

Those are the ones I could find in news stories (and this FAQ entry).  If you know of more let me know, I'll try to update this, but really I just want to check out their comics.

You can tell if an issue is available as a DRM-free download by looking for this icon (through the web only, it doesn't show up in the Android app for me):