Magazine Pirates

Every form of media is pirated online. Music, movies, software, console video games, television, music videos, and books are all routinely traded via FTP sites, IRC, the Web, and Usenet. So what’s left? Not much, as it turns out.

One exception is periodicals; magazines and newspapers are cheap, published regularly, and unbelievably tedious to scan manually. Full issues of Playboy are traded in niche online communities, but so far, general interest magazines have evaded the pirate community. Until now.

“Enigma of Esoteric Nothingness,” a new group of scanner junkies, has dedicated themselves to the task of scanning in monthly periodicals (in addition to their regular e-book output) and distributing the PDFs (usually around 20 MB each). They haven’t made much of a dent in the local newsstand… So far, just a few issues of PC Magazine, 2600, Time, Mad, and Scientific American. But it’s a start. Take a look at their bundled .NFO (information) files for the June issues of Mad Magazine and Scientific American, and this Usenet post that details all the books/magazines they’ve scanned, as of late July.

6 thoughts on “Magazine Pirates

  1. Those .nfo files are hilarious.

    DOMINATING THE MAGZ SCENE SINCE ’92!!!!!! GREETZ TO DESTRO! FIREWALKER! WHAT UP EVIL5KIN?! ..oO HEADZ UP TO SHADOW/ANE Oo..

  2. yes! maybe now i can find that back issue of 2600 with the credit card reader/writer that disappeared back in my closet sometime in 94 and start making illicit bart cards (not that i would, though, mr. federale).

    hooray! and thanks.

  3. Personally, I’m surprised that no publisher has done this themselves and capitalized on the sheer volume of crap that gets published every month. I imagine that if there were online service that did this (along w/ search/bookmarking tools, etc.) with the proper business model (some sort of subscription model and maybe availability via cheap one-time fees) could make out like gangbusters.

    The same goes for comic books and all those old out of print records that are just mouldering away.

  4. it is so freaking easy to scan in muliple amounts of pages now.. the new xerox copiers that have the scanner feature in them.. man, just cut the binding, stack them and walk away… pick them apart later.. no biggie.. as for warez… it will always be around… remember as a kid dubbing cassettes? before that people copied records on reel to reel decks… warez will always be here no matter how much the feds try to track it down.

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