ComiXology Tracked Reddit Downloaders

Yesterday, we ran an article about a short program that had been written, designed to download ComiXology comics files that had been paid for, and keep them permanently on your desktop. And of a post on Reddit that detailed the operation succinctly.

The post was swiftly deleted. Its author writes;

Yeah, that was me. I was contacted by comiXology and was asked to remove the post. I figured doing what they wanted was a better deal than getting everyone banned from their accounts (apparently the program produced a unique and identifiable request on their end). In hindsight, posting it to Reddit probably wasn’t the best idea.

It really sucks; I spent a good two weeks working on that thing, and now I can’t even backup my own stuff. :(

What really sucks is as soon as they told me they could track it, I knew where in the code I had goofed. I’m pretty sure I’ve fixed it now, but I’d rather not take the chance.

Yeah, I was pretty stupid. I don’t really know what I was expecting to happen; I mean, someone had to contact them eventually, right? And for some moronic reason I even put my real name (seriously, wtf?) in the file header… I guess I was just proud of my work, what can I say.

One response spoke a lot of sense;

It’s one of those situations where neither you nor comixology is in the wrong – your program is pretty much their worst nightmare come true but it was also a great way for us to backup our expensive yet not-really-owned digital collections.

So yeah, you should feel proud of your work and I wouldn’t throw it all in the bin just yet. Refine it and if comixology ever announced financial difficulties that could shut them down (thereby destroying those expensive digital collections) then you can share it discretely so that the users can keep what they paid for.

Fact is comixology won’t last forever – if the likes of MySpace, Facebook, Limewire and many others can have their growth halted by the rise of alternatives (and eventually decline) then it will surely happen to cXy – so it can’t hurt to be prepared for the chance that a bad business decision could sink them.

And just a reminder, Bleeding Cool poster jacob# wrote;

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