Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's yours is mine; digital sharing
site sweeps up titles

[This post has been updated] Maybe those publishers and freelance writers who are wary of the trend towards losing control of digital content online are onto something. Or at least they might be set to wondering if they happened across a site called mygazines.com. Essentially, it seems to be an invitation to appropriate pdf versions of magazine pages -- and whole issues -- and make them available to anyone.
Your document will be converted by our system into an interactive publication allowing users from all over the world to read, comment, share and archive articles from your publication until the end of time!
The operative phrase here is "your document". It seems that mygazines's business model assumes that if you can read it on a screen, it belongs to you and you can do anything you want with it.

Users can extract individual articles or parts of articles or even whole issues (with some size restrictions), comment on them, e-mail them, share them on a social network and so on. Articles can be recombined into "mygazines" of their own, then share these with a list of friends, their entire address book or the entire "mygazines community". In other words, anybody, anywhere, anytime.

Although it was not an exhaustive search by any means, we were quickly able to find current or recent issues of Maclean's, Canadian House & Home, Cottage Life, Select Homes, Canadian Living and Canadian Business.

The terms of use make it clear that people who post take full responsibility for having the right to do so and that the people who run mygazines.com (who are not identified anywhere) who are located in the island of Anguilla in the Caribbean, apparently, will be quick to respond if a publisher complains. However, that's beside the point. Where other digital sites are negotiated arrangements with publishers, this site seems to cut out that step and accept uploads from anyone who may wish to make one. As a result, some of the quality is not so good, since uploaders may be using lower-res pdfs.

On the other hand, being a nosey-parker, I love the opportunity to troll through digital editions of magazines I haven't seen.

[UPDATE: The Federation of the International Periodical Press (FIPP) has issued a bulletin to its members around the world, recommending that they check the site and demand that their titles be removed.]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an outrageous theft of our magazines, our content, and the work of our contributors.

10:43 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an outrageous theft of our magazine, our content, and the work of our contributors. The lawyers are circling already...

10:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree it is illegal but trying to track down the url owner John Smith in Anguilla might be a little difficult. And, I too like to read all the magazines they have on their site.

And, as far as responding to publishers they are conveniently not accepting any incoming emails at the moment.

2:49 pm  

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