Mygazines creator defends mag-sharing website

The man behind a magazine-sharing website currently under threat of legal action from a number of leading publishing companies has said he wants to work with the industry.

The creater of Mygazines, a website where entire scanned issues of magazines from around the world are available to view in a digital format without the consent of many of the publishers, registered the website under the name John Smith. The website operator is registered in Anguilla in the Caribbean but the ISP is based in the US.

A number of UK titles including GQ, FHM, Elle and Marie Claire are included on the site and The Periodical Publishers Association has encouraged members to send legal letters to the PO Box listed in its registration, warning the site is breaching the intellectual property rights of the magazines.

In a letter to Press Gazette from the email address posted on the website, Smith said: ‘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.”

Smith said that the comparison to music website Napster was not accurate; claiming his site is similar to one magazine being read by a number of people in an office.

He said: ‘If our goal were to be pirates, we could have made live a number of features, including but not limited to, downloading and printing allowable to visitors and members alike.

‘To compare us to other similar sites with the only difference with of us being free, is to disregard the importance of the ‘mygazines’ custom magazine for users, notifications, and our full ability to share on the go, across the globe instantly.”

In his email he did not deny reports that he was infringing on the copyright, but said that critics are ‘completely missing our inactive revenue model”.

He said: ‘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.”

Smith said that with the co-operation of the publishers the site can ‘transition into the final revenue model”, although he said he could not reveal the full concept of this as he is saving it for the publishers directly.

He said: ‘We can certainly continue to make our case and meet in the courts if need be. That seems to be the intention of the publishers as a whole. But ask yourself, to what end. Even if they are triumphant in this battle, they will lose the war.”

Smith went on to claim that Mygazines is a way to ‘fortify the industry for all of those involved”.

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