There was a lot of big news from today’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, but this little bit might have the biggest eventual impact on actual comic books. ComiXology, the leading digital comics delivery platform, announced at its Comic-Con panel it is moving to a model without required DRM (Digital Rights Management).

The big gripe about ComiXology for some people has always been that you can’t “own” the comic books. They’re only viewable online and in the ComiXology app, and if ComiXology ever went away your books might go with that. That’s no longer a dealbreaker, because under its new system ComiXology will allow users to buy comics as PDF or CBZ files or back up their existing comics in those formats. No DRM, you can read them on any software you want.

Wanna read a press release quote?

“For those out there who have not joined the comic reading community because of DRM – you have no excuse now,” comiXology co-founder John D. Roberts said in a statement. “We’re excited about the launch of DRM-free backups today and look forward to announcing more innovative features as we move ahead with our mission of making everyone on the face of the planet a comic book fan!”

The reason it says partially in the headline is that the services is just an option for publishers. Although Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbentand Top Shelf Productions are allowing their comics to be distributed this way and it will be an option for indie creators using the ComiXology Submit program, at least for now other companies, including the big boys Marvel and DC, and BOOM! Studios, are sticking with DRM.

Hopefully they’ll come around soon, though. The problem of ownership and portability was a major factor holding digital comics back. Digital music only got stronger when it dropped DRM, it will be interesting to see if that’s the next step digital comics need.

You can check out the DRM-free offerings here.

[Source: ComiXology Press Release via CBR]



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