​Amazon's Comixology delivers DRM-free comics backups

At San Diego Comic-Con, digital comics reader and marketplace Comixology unveils long-requested feature.

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Comixology is now allowing local downloads of some of its comics. Comixology

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Comixology's digital rights management wall is under attack -- by Comixology itself.

At the San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday, the company announced that its partner publishers can choose to offer their readers the ability to save comics to their local device outside of the Comixology app.

Comixology's first download partner publishers include Top Shelf, Image, Dynamite, Thrillbent, and Zenescope. Aspiring creators who publish their comics through the Comixology Submit program can also give their readers the option to download DRM-free. The downloaded files will be available in PDF and CBZ formats.

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Comixology co-founders David Steinberger and John D. Roberts announce DRM-free comics downloads at San Diego Comic-Con. Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

Comixology co-founder and Submit director John Roberts said that the move should eliminate fears of a digital store collapse plaguing Comixology.

"For those out there who have not joined the comic-reading community because of DRM, you have no excuse now," he said.

At the panel announcing the DRM-free books, Comixology co-founder David Steinberger said that the feature is "really bare-bones. We don't expect you to re-load it back into Comixology. The plan is that we're always going to be the right place for you to buy and read your comics."

Acquired by Amazon earlier this year, Comixology is the world's largest digital comics marketplace, with more than 75 publishers selling 50,000 comics. Digital comics were estimated to be a $90 million business in 2013, a 27 percent increase over 2012.

At the announcement at Comic-Con, Comixology head of marketing Chip Mosher reminded the audience that Cory Doctorow said that he would come out in a cheerleader outfit and dance if they announced a DRM-free option. Doctorow, an author of books and at Boing Boing, was not at Comic-Con this year.

Update at 2:39 p.m. PT with participating publishers.

 

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