In a move that's sure to jump-start another round of crowd-favorite game "Has Amazon saved or destroyed digital comics?" Comixology announced today at their San Diego Comic-Con panel that--at long last--they're going DRM-free.

That's right kids: You now get to keep the digital comics you've bought. Some of them, anyway: Comixology VP Chip Mosher told ComicsAlliance that the program is launching with "a select group of publishers," and will be offered as an option to all publishers, as well as users of Comixology: Submit. Participating companies so far include Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbentand Top Shelf Productions.

While there are some notable exceptions in the form of DC Comics, Marvel, IDW and BOOM! Studios (and Dark Horse still isn't on Comixology at all)  this is clearly one from the "it's about damn time" department: Image went DRM-free a year ago, offering digital products directly from its website to a slew of positive press. It's a smart move, one likely to win over digital-comics skeptics who've balked at the relative insecurity of online or "cloud" access versus more concrete file ownership; and while there's no question that it'll feed piracy, it's been demonstrated time and again that, given a low enough price point, consumers will almost always opt for "convenient" over "free." It's a philosophy that's served Comixology well thus far: even in the face of a profusion of torrents and scans, Comixology was the iPad's top-grossing non-game app in 2012 and 2013. Between the Amazon buyout and this new announcement 2014 seems likely to continue that trend (assuming the company can do something about the 1.5-star rating that came with Comixology's disabling of its in-app iOS store).

Comixology users can visit this link to learn how to avail themselves of available DRM-free backups.

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