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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Free Software Magazine

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Free Software Magazine
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 13:19:44 +0000

Tom wrote:
> Incidentally, if you are connected to any libraries, including those in
> schools and universities, you can help get the magazine distributed. They
> need a few hundred subscribers for the venture to be financially viable. Just
> email them if you can help.

Public library budgets are getting squeezed and periodicals are usually
one of the first things to go, especially ones aimed at people thought
to be affluent, such as IT workers. There's also the recurring arrival
cost of paper magazines. I think you might have more luck offering
libraries an online service containing the articles, maybe backed up
with annual CD copies, but that's just from what I pick up working
with libraries. I've not done market research on that.

I have to agree with Alex that the anti-US pricing doesn't encourage UK
subscribers. I also don't understand why I have to wait 10 days after
the US have their paper copies before getting a PDF one. Why aren't they
trying to save paper, ink, and so on? At least, it would be good to
see the reason why on the "subscribe" page, rather than just a figure
apparently fallen from the sky.

Of course, myself, I'd like to know the copyright terms, as no articles
in issue 1 are under a free software licence and it only has two articles
I think give enough permission to let me use it to promote free software
or the magazine to other techs working with my customers. It's tricky
to class it as a "useful" purchase for helping me advocate free software.

If it's an "informative" or "entertaining" purchase, I'd prefer copies
as an easier text format than PDF, so I can read them on different
devices. I think it's also a much more crowded part of the market:
I already buy several other things to keep me informed.

Seeing the logo of agressive DMCA- and swpat-user Adobe all over the
sample issue is also discouraging. It makes me wonder about the editor's
knowledge.  Reading his intro with the claim of "we're the first" also
made me wonder.  Wasn't there a Free Software Magazine from China a
couple of years ago?

I'll read more when I get time before deciding whether to subscribe to
the electronic copy. Please feel free to take the above comments back
to the management if you think they're interesting.


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