Friday, July 25, 2014

Comixology, Amazon and Apple

While I was trying to find a list of all the publishers going DRM-free on Comixology (so I can buy their comics, of course) I stumbled onto this article by The Verge.  This line tickled me (bold mine):
The company notes that all self-publishing clients can immediately choose to offer DRM-free backups through Comixology Submit. The new feature is solid evidence that Comixology is listening to its users. It's a shame the company and parent Amazon won't budge on their refusal to give Apple a 30 percent cut of sales, but at least now you actually own some of those comics you're buying.
Is it really?  Is it really a shame that Comixology doesn't want to give Apple 30% of their profits as some kind of tax for having a store that people want to use on their iDevices?  iOS users can still purchase comics through their web browsers and then read them using the Comixology app, by the way.  It's a pain, but it's worth it for more money getting to the store infrastructure and the creators it supports, isn't it?

This is one of those cases where Apple was there first, they had market domination, and once upon a time they could demand these things.   But now that there are a handful of other viable mobile OS's that have terms that are actually fair, Apple's charges just seem draconian and ridiculous (as opposed to exploitative, how I viewed the charges when Apple was number one).  Especially since Comixology is big enough that it's probably hosting many people's entire collections, and a better app on Android could mean someone getting a Transformer or a Tab instead of an iPad the next time around.  Oh, and people should also consider that Comixology doing away with in-app purchases doesn't just save them money, it also circumvents Apple's shitty content restrictions.  The iPhone is a great piece of hardware running a great piece of software, but they can still stay the fuck out of my library thank you very much.

I have no issues with The Verge or the author of the quoted article, it's just one of those statements where I felt I saw bias blatantly bleed through.  Sorry you can't buy comics in the easiest way, but consider placing at least some of the blame on Apple for thinking that 30% of all sales (for merely being a popular platform) is fair. 


PS The Washington Post had a similar article with this note at the bottom, which I thought was funny:
(Disclosure: Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos owns The Washington Post. But you knew that.)
 Actually, I didn't (probably because I don't really care).  Good to know.

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