[kwlug-disc] Linux-Format Magazine

Chris Frey cdfrey at foursquare.net
Wed Mar 4 17:20:07 EST 2009

On Wed, Mar 04, 2009 at 11:36:59AM -0500, Gary Walsh wrote:
> The current issue of Linux-Format Magazine and its attached CD is
> available for free bittorrent download till 23:59:59 GMT today.
> http://www.tuxradar.com/content/linux-format-free-download-24-hours-only

Interesting, thanks for the link.  From the comments on the site:

	Catch or no catch?
	ConcernedCarrot (not verified) - March 3, 2009 @ 6:34pm

	"(legally at least!)"
	Are you hinting that it will not be legal for me to share my
	downloaded copy with other people? How does this reflect the
	"No DRM. No cost. No catches."-line?

	Re: Catch or no catch?
	TuxRadar - March 3, 2009 @ 6:56pm

	There will be no DRM on it, meaning that you can run it on any
	device you want and it won't "time out" or something horrible
	like that. It's yours. We're giving you a personal copy for
	free. We're not giving away the copyright to the article, if
	that's what you're asking - that means you can't redistribute
	the PDFs freely. This isn't a "catch", this is just standard
	copyright law.

	However clearly without any DRM there's nothing stopping you
	from giving them to everyone, torrenting them, printing them,
	selling them, whatever. We'd rather everyone obtained the PDFs
	directly from us, but we can't stop you redistributing them for
	eternity. If someone does decide to put the whole thing on The
	Pirate Bay in 48 hours, I doubt we'd be particularly upset! ;)

	This is something that Magnatune pioneered and we're happy to
	follow their lead.

This confuses me.  It almost looks like they are encouraging someone to
"pirate" their magazine and put it on the Pirate Bay.  This doesn't make a
lot of sense to me... why not just keep their own torrent server going?
Why not make this issue truely digitally free?  With a free software
license.  In this case, they could at least track the popularity of their own
free offer, instead of making it a limited offer and forcing those that want to
share into the pirate realm.

If they really would "rather everyone obtained the PDFs directly from us"
why make it a limited offer?  (Other than to drive up peak demand, which
could be another promotional tactic.)

They could make this a promotional thing.  One issue a year is made permanently
available via torrent in a PDF format.  This would be a great way for someone
to try it out before subscribing.

Am I the only one out to lunch here? :-)  It's like they are scared of losing
control, so they only open the gate for a few minutes, not realizing the
horse has already bolted.

- Chris

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