Comixology adds DRM-free option! Excelsior!
Unlike some of its stablemates, the Amazon-owned comics platform is to allow authors and publishers to distribute their work without the shackles of proprietary rights-management, writes Cory Doctorow
The largest online comics distributor, owned by Amazon, will let you download comics in your library in DRM-free formats like PDF and CBZ, where permitted by the publisher, for your own long-term archiving and use.
The move ensures that comics fans will always be able to access their comics, regardless of their relationship with Amazon, and regardless of future changes that the company might make. It also makes it simpler to give away or bequeath your comics, or to share them within your household.
For comics creators and publishers, it means that they can sell through Amazon without selling out to Amazon, because their readers can read and organize their Comixology comics alongside those bought from other vendors, like The Humble Bundle and Image's digital store, which has a DRM-free selection.
We've always known that when someone puts a lock on your property and won’t give you the key, the lock is not for your benefit.
DRM--digital rights management--is often demanded by publishers in the belief that it limits piracy. Though all DRM systems fail, often at comical speed, they're backed by laws (such as the U.S.'s 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act) which forbid circumvention.
As only the company that developed a DRM system is permitted to unlock it, the losers are not just readers (who may at least free their platform-specific titles using hacks) but publishers, whose serial weddings to DRM systems create a legally inextricable history of broken books.
That publishers and platforms are realizing this is a problem is is the best news I've heard in years. I've signed up for Comixology because of it, and look forward to using the service in the future.
Whether you hate DRM of love it (I don't think many people love it, but hey, it's a big, weird world), I think everyone can agree that if publishers and creators don't want DRM on their works, then retailers have no business insisting on it. I even call this "Doctorow's First Law":
Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and won't give you the key, you can be sure that the lock isn't there for your benefit.
I can only hope that other Amazon divisions, like Audible, follow suit. Unlike Comixology, Audible will only distribute its audiobooks with its proprietary DRM, even if the publisher and author object (this is why none of my audiobooks are on Audible).
Comixology (Thanks, Chip!)
Steven Boyett writes, “Humble Bundle has released a unicorn-themed Bundle, with proceeds to benefit the World Wide Fund for Nature and Fauna & Flora International. For as little as $1.00, you can get Ariel, by Steven R. Boyett (full disclosure: that’s me); Unicorn Mountain, by Michael Bishop; Homeward Bound, by Bruce Coville; and Unicorn Triangle, […]
Brewster Kahle, who invented the first two search engines and went on to found and run the Internet Archive has published an open letter describing the problems that the W3C’s move to standardize DRM for the web without protecting otherwise legal acts, like archiving, will hurt the open web.
Timothy from Creative Commons writes, “The purpose of copyright is to empower — not frustrate! — creativity and knowledge production. Nowhere is a balanced copyright more important than in education. But 15-year-old EU copyright laws don’t take into account modern digital and online teaching methods, tools, and resources.”
They probably just sleep a lot. But still, you can remotely keep an eye on them when you’re at work and missing them deeply with this HD monitor from Kodak.If you have a new puppy that destroys everything in sight, or you just want to be a little more security-conscious, this WiFi camera is a […]
Thinking of a business idea is the easy part. Doesn’t even have to be a “good” idea, you can still get people to throw money at a non-existent venture, but to do that you need to at least have something even resembling a viable business plan. Why doesn’t anyone do it then? Because building that semi-viable […]
The Twisty Glass Blunt is an intriguing product that claims to abolish the need to ever buy or use rolling papers. And, well, it does if you so choose. You can cut down on the waste this 4/20, and everyday after when you’re smoking with this clever piece.Built with a German-engineered glass tube and inner […]