If you look at the history of digital music, the combination of a standardized format, moderate pricing (compared to CDs) and DRM-free files were what sparked sales. Comics still doesn’t have a standardized format or a lower pricing tier for new issues, but DRM-free just turned up. Comixology has announced they’re going to be having DRM-free “back-up” copies available for select publishers.
This new feature allows you to download and store local copies of books in PDF and CBZ format.
For our launch, participating publishers include Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, and Top Shelf Productions. In addition, our Submit creators and small publishers are now able to choose to make their books available DRM-free.
Traditionally, Hollywood-based licenses have had DRM baked into the licensing agreements for comics. It’s no surprise that DC (Warner), Marvel (Disney) and IDW (a lot of licensed books from places like Hasbro) aren’t on that list. I’m also curious if Dynamite’s entire line is there or just part of the line, since they do a lot of licensed books.
SLG and Image started the DRM-free comics movement. Comixology just picked up the ball in a big way. Don’t be too surprised if ePub 3 gets added to the format list in the near future, too.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.