Amazon Offers DRM-free Comic Downloads

At San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday, Amazon's ComiXology announced that users can back up many of their purchased comics, DRM-free.

Starting Friday, ComiXology users will be able to download their comics as PDF or comic-specific CBZ files and read them on any device. These downloads will contain no digital rights management, or DRM, systems which prohibit users from accessing media on unauthorized systems. Currently, users are limited to a small number of participating publishers including Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, and Top Shelf Productions. The two largest comic publishers, Marvel and DC, are currently not participating in this program though their comics are available through ComiXology. "Offering DRM-free backups to you and our customers-to-be is another step in taking comics further, and serves our mission to turn everyone on the face of the planet into a comics fan," said ComiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger in an email to customers. "There is much more to come."

This is the second major change for ComiXology since it was acquired by Amazon in April. Earlier this year, ComiXology disabled in-app purchase options from its iPhone and iPad apps. Prior to this, Apple was pocketing 30 percent of the in-app purchases from the iOS apps. While users can still access their comics via the iOS app, they must purchase them on the ComiXology website. The in-app purchase function was not removed from the Android app. On Thursday, Amazon announced quarterly losses of $126 million despite a 23 percent increase in revenue to $19.34 billion. The loss was blamed on heavy spending on the company's new Fire Phone and new services.

Photo: © Creative Commons - Flickr: PatLoika.