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).
LA Times demands that reporters sign away rights to books, movies and other works they create while working at the paper
The LA Times Guild has been negotiating a new contract with the newspaper, but has hit a wall thanks to an unprecedented demand from the paper's owners: they want writers to sign away the rights to nonfiction books, novels, movies and other works they create separate from their reporting for the paper. The newspaper is […]
Despite ringing denunciations from small EU tech businesses, giant EU entertainment companies, artists' groups, technical experts, and human rights experts, and the largest body of concerned citizens in EU history, the EU has concluded its "trilogues" on the new Copyright Directive, striking a deal that -- amazingly -- is worse than any in the Directive's […]
Netherlands court strikes down Dutch grifter's patent claim over Ethiopia's ancient staple grain teff
Teff is one of the oldest grains to have been cultivated, a staple for so long that its original cultivation date is lost to history and can only be estimated at between 1000 and 4000 BCE; it is best known as the main ingredient in injera, the soft pancakes that are served with Ethiopian meals.
There’s a reason you’re hearing about the gig economy in every other business story these days. More than ever, people are finding income from more than one source. And if you find the right one, a side hustle can do more than just pad your pockets – it can allow you to finally get paid […]
High-def cameras are available to anyone and for much less than they were just a decade ago. Even the phones in our pockets can be used to shoot and edit short films. It’s never been easier to be a filmmaker, providing you have the technique. Enter the Film & Cinematography Mastery Bundle, an online boot […]
Breaking into the indie video game market may be easier than you think. It all starts with an idea, and then it’s a matter of finding the right development platform to bring it to life. No matter what that platform is, it’s a good bet that it’s covered in the 2019 Game Dev & Design […]