Walking Dead publisher drops DRM

The third-largest comics publisher after Marvel and DC, Image Comics decides that it's time to ditch digital rights management on its books.

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The webcomic "Scatterlands" is now available in a digital collection from Image Comics. Image Comics

The publisher of the Walking Dead, Saga, Witchblade, and the Savage Dragon announced on Tuesday that it's closing the book on digital rights management. New books from Image Comics are now available for digital download from its online store without DRM.

Readers can purchase new books from ImageComics.com in several platform-agnostic formats: PDF, EPUB, CBR, and CBZ. Previous publishing agreements haven't changed, so people who prefer to buy from proprietary apps such as Comixology, Amazon, and Apple will still be able to do so.

Ron Richards, Image Comics' marketing honcho, told the comics news site ComicBookResources that the DRM-free books would benefit comics creators the most. "There's no cut for Comixology or Apple or any other piece getting taken out," he said. "Ideally for a creator, sales through the Image Web site gets them the most money per sale."

One of the first comics available DRM-free is Scatterlands, a collection of the free webcomics by writer Warren Ellis, a noted futurist and anti-DRM advocate, and artist Jason Howard. "Scatterlands," which is not yet available in print, is Image's first "digital-first" book and will cost $0.99.