It seems to have been inspired by the letter that Cory Doctorow received from Hachette about DRM. Since some authors publish with Tor in the USA but Hachette in the UK, and Tor went DRM-free two years ago, this means the US edition of their book would be DRM-free. Hachette didn’t like that, and wanted authors to insist that Tor put DRM on that edition to protect the sales of their UK edition.
The letter was actually posted in 2012, so it seems like old news, but The Passive Voice recently revived it with a posting. (That happens sometimes with old news stories. Some content aggregators seem to like to pop up old stories as if they’re new from time to time.) Given the timing of this storyline, it seems likely that must be where the artist saw it.
I wonder whatever happened to that kerfuffle? I don’t recall hearing anything about Tor being forced to release some books with DRM on them, or about Hachette suing anyone over it. Did they quietly let it drop as a bad idea?
Regardless, this comic storyline looks like it could be amusing. Check it out.