When A Free Download Isn't Free

from the oops dept

Glenn Fleishman is well known around the tech world as a “nice guy”. He runs, among other things, isbn.nu and the always excellent WiFi Networking News. Last week, though, in his attempt to be nice (and to drive up sales for an older book of his) he made a mistake that has now left him in a financial hole. He decided to jump on the free download bandwagon and offer up one of his older books for free online. The mistake, was that he decided to host it himself. He expected maybe a few hundred downloads of the 32meg file – but was shocked when he found out there were 10,000 downloads in just a day and a half. Looking over his service agreement, he’s realizing he may owe his hosting company $15,000. As Cory Doctorow points out in the article, this seems like an obvious case where a file sharing network would have been useful. Fleishman, always a standup type of guy, is admitting that this was completely his own fault – though, he is hoping to negotiate a lower fee and/or get his publishing company to help out with the bill.

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