Robot 6

ComiXology unleashes second wave of DRM-free publishers

comixology-new-logo-thumbLess than two months after launching its DRM-free backup program, digital comics platform comiXology has announced a second wave of 14 more participating publishers.

Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent and Top Shelf Productions are now joined in the program by IDW Publishing, Valiant Entertainment, Oni Press, Fantagraphics Books, Aspen Comics, Action Lab Entertainment, Th3rd World Studios, A Wave Blue World, Blind Ferret Entertainment, Caliber Comics, Creative Impulse Entertainment, Devil’s Due Entertainment, GT Labs Comics and Kingstone Media.

Digital rights management (DRM) allows comics to be read only with proprietary software. DRM-free comics are simply files — usually PDF or CBZ  — that can be accessed using different readers. They don’t come with any bells or whistles, such as comiXology’s Guided View.

ComiXology customers can now download high-resolution PDF or CBZ files as backups for their digital titles from all of the participating publishers. Simply go to the “My Books” section of, and click the button that appears next to the comics titles.When the company unveiled the program in July at Comic-Con International in San Diego, CEO David Steinberger said DRM-free comics have been “an oft-requested feature.”

“We do this ‘Ask Us Anything’ — we have done it for many years — and inevitably, a question every year is, ‘Why is there DRM on my book? I want to own it,'” he said. “My answer has always been that it is more important to get all the publishers on board than to do DRM-free. The experience was going to be, you don’t have to have stacks of hard drives, you don’t have to load a file onto your computer … We decided it wasn’t where we were going to put our development resources, given that no publisher of note wanted to do it. It’s just the right time. Image started offering DRM-free, Top Shelf been doing it for a while — I just felt like I couldn’t sit up here and answer that question any more with a straight face.”



Thrilled to see Oni and IDW joining the DRM-free ranks.

Very disappointed to see Avatar sticking with DRM.

Wish this had been announced before the 50% off Fantagraphics sale had ended.

Then again, my wallet is relieved.

Nice to see the DRM-free movement gaining speed; pleasantly surprised that Hasbro is onboard. (I imagine the money they made on the Humble Transformers Bundle helped them make the decision.)

Cool to see a lot of these guys joining in.

Now we need a third wave with Avatar, Boom! and Red 5, and I’ll be happy forever.

It’s only a matter of time and everyone will be on board with Marvel & DC the last to board.

Jim Purcell (The Adventurer)

September 18, 2014 at 3:26 am

Disappointingly, there are some IDW licensed titles that are NOT DRM-Free. TMNT and Godzilla in particular. Transformers and 2000 AD (and Star Trek I think) titles are DRM-Free though.

Hi all … I’ll jump in and save the suspense and questions on which IDW comics are DRM-free. It’s our entire line with the exception of TMNT, Godzilla and Cartoon Network titles. Those are restricted per licensor request.

Also, they are all DRM free in iBooks too. Kindle and Nook IDW books will be DRM free shortly.

Hope you all enjoy the offering!

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