If you follow my link blog, you may have caught my comments about the “Anquilla-based” “magazine-sharing” website, Mygazines.com. For the record, technically, what is being shared are PDFs of magazines and magazine articles, not actual magazines.
My comments have basically been, “I wonder when they’ll be shut down.” Last week, Folio: reported that the consumer magazine trade group MPA has threatened legal action against them. Today, the website’s creator who is conveniently named John Smith sent an e-mail to the Press Gazette, suggesting the site is a service to the magazine industry.
“We have every intention of working with the industry to provide not only revenue streams that are vast, but also an answer for the publishers in general. Our method will increase current revenue, halt and reverse advertising revenue lost to the internet, and overcome the lack of the ability for magazines to stay current.”
Mr. Doe, I mean, Smith, goes on to say:
“We have ways of drawing revenue from a number of sources, some more obvious than others. Mygazines is hardly a pirate website with the interest of breaking the industry. Rather, we offer a paradigm shift that is far more fiscally comprehensive than meets the eye and yet easily transitionable by even the biggest publishers.”
Had it not been for that e-mail, I think I could have dreamed up some “information wants to be free” philosophical defense for Mr. Smith. I would have said Mr. Smith is just catching the whole Free wave.
But then he had to write an email using phrases and words like paradigm shift and transitionable. I think anyone who uses the term “fiscally comprehensive” should be sued.
Note of irony: The idea of physical “magazine sharing” is, ironically, not something that magazine publishers discourage. If Mygazines.com were a service that, say, facilitated you sharing a print magazine with your co-workers or friends — for instance, a BookCrossing for magazines — magazine publishers would be applauding the efforts as any sharing of a physical magazine helps increase the “pass-along” readership of the magazine, and thus enables the magazine to tout a huge “readership” number for the magazine, sometimes many times more than its actual circulation. Obviously (at least as it would seem from the MPA’s action), when it comes to a PDF of the magazine, publishers don’t see the value of pass-along readership. I guess it’s because such pass-along can’t be measure scientifically like, say, the way they scientifically audit physical magazine pass-along readership. (Yes, that was also irony.)