The man behind a magazine-sharing website that was shut down following a copyright lawsuit has finally gone public and discussed his controversial creation.
Mygazines allowed users to upload scans of magazines, without the consent of the publishers, and then share them online for free.
Weeks after losing a court battle against a group of publishers from America and Britain, the website closed, blaming “monetary reasons and the state of the global economy”.
In July last year, an individual claiming to be behind Mygazines wrote to Press Gazette under the name John Smith, arguing that he was not acting as a “pirate” and said that critics were “completely missing our revenue model”.
Now, in an interview with magazine blog Magtastic Blogsplosion, Mygazines creator Darren Budd has spoken out.
“I came up with the idea about two and a half years ago,” he told the site.
“I was standing in a magazines store and thought, gee, I want one article from that magazine, two articles from that, and I only have a limited budget – and even if I have an extended budget, I’m going to have too many magazines to carry, I’m not going to get around to them all.”
Talking about the legal problems faced by the site, Budd said he believed it was lack of legal expertise and bad advice that got the site into trouble.
“I think that we would say this: we were more technically oriented and creative people. We were a little bit out of our range in dealing with the legal aspect,” he said.
“What we really wanted to do was to reach the industry. We didn’t know what would come in the open upload.”
A second version of the site, Mygazines 2.0, is now up and running, working with the magazine industry to produce digital editions of print magazines.
The site is registered in the name of Yoav Schwartz, a former Microsoft manager.
“We are now as legitimate as we can be,” Shwartz told the Magtastic Blogsplosion site.
“We’ve proven ourselves in terms of the technical ability of our software, and very shortly we plan to prove ourselves in terms of reaching those publishers and moving forward with our entire vision.
“So what you might see on Mygazines.com is a full 180-degree turnaround from what we had, now geared towards publishers and providing them with tools, but there’s more than meets the eye, and the two will be merged quite soon.”