Okay, a couple of months ago I got an iPad and started getting many of my comics digitally. I love the way it looks, the fact that I can have hundreds of them without wasting space in my room, etc. I won't go into all the reasons why digital comics are convenient because they have already been well noted. My main problem is that when I buy a digital comic i don't really "own" it. Let me explain: buying a comic has to be done through comixology. This leads to everything about that comic being controlled by comixology. They determine how the comics are organized, what folders they belong in, how you want to title a series, etc. They also force you to use THEIR comic viewer ONLY. What if you don't like their comic viewer (even though I admit it's very good)? What if you prefer to view them with your personal favorite 3rd party app (like I do)? You never actually own the file in your computer. To me, this is not "owning" a comic book. This is simply paying for comixology giving you permission to read the comic under their terms. I don't think this is very ethical or even worth the $3-4 (same price as a physical copy) that I'm paying for. I LOVE the digital format. I don't mind spending my money on it. But I want to own it. To me, one of the greatest joys about having comics is that I can lend them to people that haven't experienced the greatness of comic books. I can't even lend a comixology-bought comic to anyone. I simply DO NOT OWN IT.
When you look at other examples in the e-book businesses there are big differences. E-books are sold in files such as PDF or EPUB (Amazon, Apple, etc.) and you actually own it. The file is there in your computer file system. I can grab that file and open it with whatever program I wish to view it in. I can organize them any way I please. The very same thing songs, videos, movies, pictures, ringtones, etc. I think digital comics (or in this case comixology) should adopt a similar approach. There are a lot more advantageous to simply downloading all the comics for free online. Yes, it's not right because the creators are not getting paid, but you actually own those files. Not just some poor excuse for ownership that comixology gives you. Because of this I still buy the majority of my comic books physically. And yes, I also download most of those comics for free online. But I only download comics that I already bought a physical copy of (I love the industry and don't want to harm it by illegitimately downloading the comics but not supporting the creators). I don't even want to buy physical most of the time, I only do it because it is my way of legitimizing downloading that comic for free online, in a format that I have full ownership of. It is my way of paying for the comic because I don't want to hurt the future of my favorite hobby since I was 8. I do this because I love digital as much as hard copies, they both have their charms. And honestly, I would PAY to get ALL of my comics digitally, but I can't bring myself to do that if I don't get to OWN them. What happens when my internet connection is down and can't access comixology to download something I already bought? What happens, if comixology somehow goes out of business tomorrow and I can't access my comics (I doubt Marvel and DC will join forces and reimburse me)? There are many more examples I could bring up of things going wrong if services like comixology control the ownership of the products that we buy.
So what do you guys think? Do I have a fair complaint or not? Is there something I don't know that can fix all these problems? I just thought it would be cool to post my experience and hear what everyone else thinks about this.