[kwlug-disc] Linux-Format Magazine

Chris Irwin chris at chrisirwin.ca
Thu Mar 5 10:05:44 EST 2009

On Wed, Mar 4, 2009 at 19:00, Chris Frey <cdfrey at foursquare.net> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 04, 2009 at 06:32:42PM -0500, unsolicited wrote:
>> Brent - well said.
>> Chris - don't also forget that bandwidth costs real $. In the end,
>> that factor comes into play.
>> Otherwise, especially with what Brent says, we would all be hosting
>> ourselves everything GPLed ever. But in the end, the ISP costs real $.
>> R. Brent Clements wrote, On 03/04/2009 6:16 PM:
>> >A truely "free software licence" would imply that portions of the
>> >work, namely articles, could be freely used under the same conditions
>> >that code segments can be used in free software.  Obviously they don't
>> >want their articles highjacked and republished.
> *sigh*  I'm the only freak in the crowd. :-)
> It's bittorrent.  This doesn't have to cost much money at all.  The key
> here is that they want to be THE source of Linux related articles, and
> they want people to think of them first when they want to get their copy.


> I'm sure there are _plenty_ of people who would willingly donate a few
> hundred megs of bandwidth to help seed a truly Free magazine.  I'm one of
> them.

bittorrent only saves money on popular things. If nobody else is
seeding, you don't get a whole lot of benefit if you have only one or
two downloading and nobody else seeding. Some parts of the magazine

> Any why not let their articles, at least the articles in this free issue, be
> "highjacked and republished" with a free software license?  That's the
> best of both worlds.  Other magazines reprinting your articles after you've
> already published them and made them available for free, and printing
> your name on the bottom as the source?  Mondo free advertising.

Linux Journal, as an example, doesn't own the copyright on articles
they publish. The original author retains copyright and instead gives
first-publish "rights" to the magazine. They also have quite the lead
time on articles, so I'm sure how much trouble going back and
renegotiating would be. Linux Format may be different, juding by their
PDF archive page having the following note: "PDFs are (C) Future
Publishing and may not be redistributed without permission from the

That said, I did notice Issue 116 in their archives list seems like a good read:

# Issue 116 - Feature:  The tragedy of the commons - The Creative
Commons is full of potential for artists everywhere - so why is most
of it untapped? Let's find out... (Marco Fioretti)

> It's time that people stop thinking that "no DRM" is a selling feature.
> That's like a restaurant claiming to have "no Salmonella!"

I didn't see DRM as a selling feature ("We have no DRM and therefore
you should read/subscribe us") but as an answer to a frequently asked
question ("If I download this will I actually be able to read it").
I'd liken this more to a restaurant during that big tomato scare last
year posting that their tomatoes are not from an affected supplier (as
numerous sub shops and burger joints did).

Their FAQ seems a little tongue in cheek:

Q: I downloaded it. Can I give it to my friends?
A. Sure. There's no DRM, so you can give it to as many friends as you like.

Q: Is it true the issue is now on The Pirate Bay?
A: We wouldn't know. We wouldn't recommend you go and search there for
yourself. And we certainly wouldn't recommend you download it from
there to enjoy the issue at your leisure. Come to think of it, we
don't even know what The Pirate Bay even is

Chris Irwin
<chris at chrisirwin.ca>

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