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Comixology Had a DRM-Stripping Tool Removed from Github

Over ComiXology-Comics-Appthe 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.

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Andrew May 5, 2014 um 8:43 am

DRM-removing tools are illegal in several countries, so we all have to be careful posting about them on blogs we want to remain going concerns.

If any publishers are reading this – I freely pay for content that is DRM-free (e.g. music from ituns), but severly limit my purchases of DRM-protected content, as no one can guaruntee their permanent availability. If anyone wants to swap DRM for embedding my personal contact information in the products I buy, I’d be happy to buy a lot more content.

Robert McGovern July 16, 2014 um 9:14 am

It is apparently back, search for the project name and you’ll find it. (I didn’t know it existed till today and I found your article)

Nate Hoffelder July 16, 2014 um 9:16 am

Actually, I think you found one of the forked projects (same code, different uploader). But yes, it’s back.

Robert McGovern July 16, 2014 um 9:40 am

A fork is fine with me 🙂 Thank you for highlighting it in the first place.

I really like Comixology (I kick myself occasionally when I miss out on their sales like the recent Harley Quinn one) but the purchase by Amazon and switch on iOS from Store/Reader app to purely a reader app has me a little more leery.

Robert McGovern July 16, 2014 um 9:41 am

That said, using this on a thousand odd comics might take a while.

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