Can one actually BitTorrent a ‘magazine’? While one (including me) can debate* whether or not a PDF of a magazine is “the magazine,” Dylan Stableford at FishBowl NY has discovered (again) a new service that is offering free downloads of PDFs of magazines. (However, the PDFs are limited to those who download them for “study purposes” only.) New twist: This time, the service is using BitTorrent.
*A download of music is music and a download of a video is video. But a download of a PDF of a magazine is not a download of the physical magazine. I am not commenting on the legality of what these folks are doing, merely my belief that a “digital facsimile of a magazine” or a “PDF of a magazine” is a distinct and separate medium from the magazine on paper. It’s sort of like suggesting a photo of buttermilk pie tastes the same as buttermilk pie.
I can enjoy the photo — put it in a frame and admire it all day long. Even make it into a screen saver or desktop background. But the real thing tickles a whole different set of senses when I experience it.
Update: Garrick Van Buren does an imitation of my son by easily poking a hole in my logic: a download of music is not “the real thing.” He says: “All recordings are ‘photographs of buttermilk pie.’ A pale, pale substitute for being there.” What he said.
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