Over the past few days this blogger has been working on a post for the International Day Against DRM, which is coming up on Tuesday, and while I was double-checking some information on DRM removal tools I discovered that one such tool had vanished.
In January 2014 I wrote about a Chrome plugin which enabled a user to download and strip the DRM from digital comics which had been legally purchased from Comixology. Sadly, that plugin is no more. According to a takedown notice dated 2 April, the plugin has been removed from Github at the request of Comixology.
The plugin had been online for about 3 months, enabling users to backup their purchases, before being taken down. To be honest it was really only effective up until that security scare in early March, when Comixology discovered that their servers were hacked. Whatever they did to tighten security also broke the the Chrome plugin.
This is at least the second such tool to be vanished by Comixology; I also found mentions of a previous tool which briefly made an appearance in May 2012 before it too was DMCA-ed by Comixology:
Earlier this week, some dude posted to the Reddit Comic Book board that he had written a short Bash script (for the technologically challenged, think an old Windows batch file with ambition) that would allow you to download any digital comics you purchased from ComiXology, strip the DRM, and convert them to a format you can store locally and read on anything. Clearly this is a young man with plenty of free time to spend frittering on coding and hanging around in courtrooms.
The script author even posted a copy of the script with detailed instructions on how you could use it to download copies of the books you bought from ComiXology. Isn’t that nice? Oh, don’t go searching for it – ComiXology caught wind of it and asked the kid to delete the script.
I was hoping to link to a Comixology DRM removal tool in my post for Tuesday, but at this point I don’t know where to find one.
If you know where I should look, please send me an email or leave a comment. As we have been reminded many times over the years, no platform lasts forever. The only way to keep our purchases safe is to exert true control by downloading a backup copy and removing the DRM.