Friday, October 03, 2008

Here we go again; another magazine-sharing
site pops up

Fresh from their relief at having their lawyers stomp on, the pirate magazine file-sharing site, publishers may well want to start looking around for other such sites. Mygazines will not be the last. For example, It describes itself as a "web 2.0 document-sharing company".

According to information available online, issuu (pronounced "issue") is still a beta site backed by Sunstone Capital, a venture capital technology firm based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The company lists the address of its copyright agent in Menlo Park, California.

The first public version of the site went online in December 2007 and Sunstone began backing it in February. Sunstone investors in the company include Vaekstfonden, Industriens Pension, MP Pension, LD, Nordea Life & Pension, Tryg i Danmark, and private investors via Carnegie Private Banking. The partner in charge of software and digital media is Christian Lindegård Jepson and management of the division is listed as Michael Hansen. Sunstone has capital of €411 million, according to a release on its website.

A cursory review of the features of the site, while it demonstrates a somewhat more sophisticated online aesthetic than mygazines, with slick Flash-driven features, doesn't show up much of a difference between what it is offering and what mygazines is or was offering. Issuu already has more than 100 European titles on its site, though so far no U.S. or Canadian ones. It is not known if those European magazines are there by choice. At least one Canadian title, Muchmor magazine, is.

Aside from the usual boilerplate about being protective of others' copyright, issuu says that it complies with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act in the U.S. and will remove posted titles if someone complains. Essentially it offers anyone, anywhere, the tools to upload an entire issue or part of a magazine, which is turned into an interactive, online pdf. There is no indication that the company checks in any way whether users have the right to the scanned pages they upload.
Our product and services are based on providing instant gratification for people, businesses, and advertisers. In essence, we reduce some of the frustration associated with publishing on the Internet.
It also says:
Issuu is the place for online publications: Magazines, catalogs, documents, and stuff you'd normally find on print. It's the place where YOU become the publisher: Upload a document, it's fast, easy, and totally FREE. Find and comment on thousands of great publications. Join a living library, where anyone finds publications about anything and share them with friends.
Mmmmm...sounds familiar.


Blogger Unknown said...

No Canadian publications? We use it here at Muchmor Canada Magazine and have received quite a few hits from it.

We also use other similar sites as a way to spread our publication to the masses.

2:44 pm  
Blogger D. B. Scott said...

My apologies. In my scan of the covers of the various magazines that issuu carries I did not notice Muchmor. I appreciate you bringing it to my attention. I would be curious to know how being distributed in this way fits into your business model. Do you count statistics from this as part of your circulation for advertising purposes?

3:15 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

We use this type of service simply to expand our reach and spread the word. It's a cheap way to reach new readers and we've seen many subscriptions of the back of these services. We don't count stats from these sources as part of our circulation for advertising purposes mainly due to the fact that they don't include the clickable links (at the moment) after uploading. That said does. We are also experimenting with the iPhone/iTouch as a delivery channel.


4:01 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for the mention of Muchmor Canada Magazine

12:17 pm  
Blogger Matthew said...

Reading PDFs online, especially those wrapped in slick attempts to recreate print pages, is absolutely excruciating to me. I'm in the "web 2.0" generation, and I don't know a single person who actually reads that way.

I'm sure it's a great first-level entry into the online world, but I don't personally see any benefit of these services beyond a moderate increase in name recognition.

1:43 pm  

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