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The Media Linux

Linux Format Magazine Team Quits, Launches New Profit-Donating Mag 90

Posted by Soulskill
from the stick-a-fork-in-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "What happens when the editorial team of the biggest-selling English Linux magazine gets frustrated? They leave their company and start a new one. Most of the writers behind Linux Format have jumped ship and started Linux Voice, a social enterprise magazine which will donate 50% of its profits back to the community, and freely license its content under Creative Commons after 9 months. They're running a fundraiser on Indiegogo with already a quarter of their funding goal reached. Will this shake up the whole publishing industry?"
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Linux Format Magazine Team Quits, Launches New Profit-Donating Mag

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  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@Nos ... t-retrograde.com> on Friday November 15, 2013 @01:55PM (#45435817)

    We're still operating largely under the false premise that information is scarce. Bits are in near infinite supply, digital data thus should tend towards zero price regardless of cost to create (if we're to believe Economics:101). Only via artificial scarcity of information are any able to monetize the bits themselves. Piracy can only exist because artificial scarcity is being leveraged.

    The bits are not scarce. The work to create or discover new information in new combinations of bits is what is scarce. Market your ability to do work. Get paid for that work once. Ask for enough up front to cover your expenses for the work just like in ANY other market: See also, Mechanics. Bid, do the work, get paid; No fee each time you start the car and benefit from the work. You want more money? Do more work.

    Copyright and Patents are a horrible futures market for your work. You under pay yourself for the chance to make more money from your work. However, this means secrecy and thus lack of market research in most cases, leading to high churn rates and lack of job stability and thus lower pay. Working for the community directly is the same as working for a pubilsher: You get paid the same for the same work done once. The difference is there's no middle men trying to inflate the price via artificial scarcity while adding zero benefit to the product itself.

    This is the first generation of the Age of Information wherein every single person is a publisher. Of course there will be huge changes and growing pains. This very comment is published. Copies are cheap! This data was duplicated many times in many routers before you saw it, and multiple times in your computer's storage, RAM, and video memory. No one should be paying for individual copies; We'll pay for the work to create the first copy, and that's it (it's the only one that was scarce). Publishing as we know it will either become extinct or adapt. Publishers will become publicists or agents instead who advertize your ability to perform work.

    I've said this time and again. We now live in a post-information-scarcity world. Times are changing fast. Interestingly enough markets are aligning with the FOSS model of development: Paid to do work, release the output for "free" (since it's already been paid for), do more work to get more money. This is the same model that all other labor markets use, it only seems alien if you conflate infinitely reproducible information with the concept of finite resources like property. Artificial scarcity is untennable. Deal with it.

  • Re:Afraid not (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jonnyj (1011131) on Friday November 15, 2013 @02:18PM (#45436107)

    The whole industry is in sharp decline and everyone knows it, especially those within.

    True. But Linux Format has been bucking the trend in recent years. Its circulation has been rising steadily and, at 21,784 print copies per issue in 2012, it has a similar circulation to the venerable New Statesman (24,910). It trounces many other very familiar specialist mags such as Mac Format (6,842), PC format (6,249) and What Mountain Bike (13,870). It's not even too far behind the 100-year old Autocar (40,168).

    All figures from ABC.

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"

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