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Introduction

Personal Computer World (PCW) magazine was a UK computer magazine published from February 1978 - June 2009, over its 30+ year history, it featured a wealth of information about computer hardware, software and associated technology. I personally bought a large proportion of the magazine editions, but lack of space and a number of house moves meant that I hade to dispose of most of them.

Whilst many legacy computer magazines have been digitised and made available on the web, PCW has not, and the majority of its valuable content cannot be found on line. I believe that the UK Museum of Computing history may be planning on scanning the magazine, but, other than their cover scans, I see no evidence of it and expect that should it ever be done, the resultant content is unlikely to be free of charge.

PCW was founded by Angelo Zgorelec in 1978, from September 1979 it was published by Dennis Publishing. In 1982, the title was sold to VNU Publishing before Incisive Media purchased the UK publishing business of VNU, along with the Personal Computer World title, in 2006. Whilst in Incisive Media’s ownership, Personal Computer World ceased publication in June 2009, with the last issue dated August 2009. 

There are a few editions of PCW available on line and it seems that various people have contemplated adding to them, including the PCW Preservation Project which apparently tried to do something in 2010 but doesn't seem to have made it off the ground. So I thought that I would see if I can add to the total.

When I started to think about the possibility of making the content of PCW available on line, I made enquiries of the original publishers and was able to establish that "Dennis sold the title to VNU back in 1982, along with all publishing rights and archive so we hold no rights on content within it"1 When I made enquiries to Incisive Media about redistributing PCW content, I did not receive a reply, so I can only assume the Incisive Media have no intention to make the archive available on-line themselves and have no interest or objection should I choose to.

So, here's the deal - I still have many editions of PCW - though not as many as I once did, and none of the older editions - so I am going to start scanning what I have and make them available for download. I will also host any copies of other PCW editions that I can find on the web. However, this is likely to be a small proportion of the 300 odd editions, so I am going to need some help if I am going to make significant inroads into the missing content, so . . . . .

Whilst downloads will be free, there will be a give & take arrangement - to get download access to the scans that I post, you will need to upload first. I think that an upload/download ratio of 1:5 is pretty fair, if you upload a scan of a PCW edition that I have not already made available, you will be able to select up to 5 editions to download.

Note : most of the editions that I have found on line or that I still have are post 2000 and focus on PC compatibles and Microsoft Windows, the really interesting content is from the early years, if you can provide scans of any of these, I would be particularly grateful.

Status Update 30 September 2015
Available Here 1
The Internet Archive 21
Other Sites 0
Total 22 (3??)

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Copyright

Obviously, I am not a lawyer, I have done some limited research on the subject of UK copyright law as it applies to magazines, but the information here may or not be correct.

Copyright law in the UK is covered by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988. The section most relevant to these pages is the Typographical arrangement of published editions, e.g., magazines and periodicals. The duration of copyright for such works is 25 years from the end of the calendar year in which they were first published - in the case of PCW, as of December 2015, copyright on the magazines up until the end of 1990 (which would cover most the period in which I am really interested) has expired. 

References

1 e-mail from Dennis Publishing, 20/10/2014

2 UK Copyright Service Fact sheet P-01: UK Copyright Law

3 UK Government, Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988

The majority of the cover scans were downloaded from the Centre for Computing History PCW Pages

 

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