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2600 Distributor Withholds Money, Magazine's Future In Limbo 59

First time accepted submitter themusicgod1 (241799) writes According to 2600, their distributor (Previously known as "Source Interlink", now recently renamed to "TEN: The Enthusiast Network") has decided to consolidate its resources and is keeping the money retailers paid for the last two issues of the quarterly magazine. 2600, in the meanwhile, is still busy trying to organize the upcoming HOPE X conference. However, according to the link: "In the worst case scenario, being ripped off at this level would make it almost impossible for us to continue publishing. We would have to make a lot of painful choices and cut back on things for no reason other than some outside company's mismanagement. Our readers have supported both our print and digital publications and we've been doing quite well overall." Note: As it says at the linked explanation, 2600 is not a charity, and they're not seeking donations -- but they would like you to buy the magazine (in print or Kindle form), and to attend the upcoming HOPE X conference. (I wish I could make this year's HOPE but can't; as conferences go, HOPE is a wildly good bargain.)
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2600 Distributor Withholds Money, Magazine's Future In Limbo

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  • by cravey ( 414235 ) * on Saturday June 28, 2014 @08:47AM (#47339945)

    Has anyone pointed out to the distributor precisely who the target audience for the publication is?

    Next week on pastebin: All of their dirty laundry.

    • Unfortunately, the renamed distributer (TEN: The Enthusiast Network) (my $deity how pretentious) now says on their website:

      The TEN audience represents the largest concentration of males 18-34 within the automotive and outdoor-adventure markets.

      So the crossover between that and the 2600 audience is approximately nil, making a successful boycott unlikely. Nuking them from orbit on social media however...

      • by GNious ( 953874 )

        Not sure the previous post was about boycotting, as much as hacktivism ....

      • I doubt if an audience of customers from the 'automotive and outdoor-adventure market' are gonna care about social media.

        The social media fever swamps don't really intersect much with the mud truck crowd. Totally different form of muddy water there.

    • Chances are if you're pretty bright then 2600 magazine won't be of much interest to you.

  • As it says at the linked explanation, 2600 is not a charity, and they're not seeking donations -- but they would like you to buy the magazine (in print or Kindle form),

    If you feel like buying the current issue isn't enough, and/or can't make it to NYC for the conference, they have bulk prices on back issues [2600.com] ($5/issue or less). I don't regularly read 2600, but I think they are an important resource for the security community.

  • Say, it seems to be available on Amazon' Newstand for Kindle. Do you know if the sales there go through this fscking distributor, or does the money go directly to the magazine?

  • A publishing company decided to piss off and steal from a bunch of really organized hackers? This should be fun to watch....
    • The 2600 editors will probably publish photographs of the payphone outside the publishing companies office in their next issue! The publisher had better beware!!!

      Also, there will probably be a construction article that says to "connect a 'red-violet-brown' resistor to the long lead of the LED."

      And maybe a debug script for an MS-DOS virus.

      All in all, a veritable threat.

  • 2600 (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2014 @09:13AM (#47340061)

    I am surprised a magazine devoted to the original Atari video game console is still going

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not sure if trolling or...


    • This joke is so old that I don't even need to explain it to my mom.
  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @09:20AM (#47340083)
    From the letter Source Interlink sent to their publishers here [foliomag.com]:

    As I am sure you are aware, over the course of the last five months, Source Interlink Distribution Company has been vigorously engaged in discussions with publishers and national distributors across our business in an effort to correct the inefficiencies and unnecessary redundant costs that currently plague the wholesale distribution channel.

    In conjunction with that effort we:

    * Circulated a Summary of Terms to each national distributor in mid-March as a basis to begin that dialogue, and
    * Met with each of the national distributors and certain publishers on multiple occasions throughout the last two months in an effort to reach common ground.

    While we have made significant progress in finding mutually agreeable solutions with publishers and national distributors alike, one of our largest suppliers has recently decided to cease supply and move in a different direction. As such, it's with a heavy heart that I am writing to advise you that Source Interlink Distribution Company will be discontinuing all operations in the near future.

    In other words, they tried to Wal-Mart strongarm their distributors/vendors, and when the biggest one said "fuck you" and went elsewhere, their business imploded. And so an uber-distributer middleman dies. So sad.

  • According to whois look-ups the company - Source Interlink Media, LLC - owns the 'new' domain name. As the group of companies is in chapter 11 bankruptcy the trustee and court should be (made) aware of the debt and the activities of enthusiastnetwork.com, since the bankruptcy filings do not describe moving operations to enthusiastnetwork.com:

    "June 23rd 2014 Case 14-11553-KG SOURCE HOME ENTERTAINMENT, LLC, et al." http://www.deb.uscourts.gov/recently-filed-chapter-1115s

    "Declaration in support of first-day mo

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Judge Kevin Gross

      Chief Judge
      6th Floor, Courtroom #3

      824 North Market Street
      6th Floor
      Wilmington, DE 19801

  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @11:01AM (#47340487)

    "we've been doing quite well overall."

    Except for the bit where your business had little cash reserves, and apparently no line of credit?

    2600 is a business with plenty of history and should have lots of proof they're doing OK, if that is in fact the case. Getting a line of credit to make up for the lost issue or two shouldn't remotely be a problem...which means one of three things: they're not doing "quite well", they're incompetent, or they are, in fact, trying to take advantage of the community.

    • by Xenx ( 2211586 )
      It only sounds like they operate on a tighter budget than some larger magazines would. Also, "We do intend to survive, even if the actions of TEN: The Enthusiast Network put us massively into debt." It sounds like it's less about being able to get a line of credit, and more about them hoping they don't have to.
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      2600 is a business with plenty of history and should have lots of proof they're doing OK, if that is in fact the case. Getting a line of credit to make up for the lost issue or two shouldn't remotely be a problem...which means one of three things: they're not doing "quite well", they're incompetent, or they are, in fact, trying to take advantage of the community.

      The problem is, the magazine industry, much like the newspaper industry, isn't doing all that great. And niche publications like 2600 aren't doing

  • I have been personally ripped off more than once by companies that "went out of business." The parentheses because, in many cases (like this one) the closure is not what people visualize, with chained doors, etc. There are still assets, employees, offices. In one case I was able to recover what was owed by calling the officers of the "old" company at their "new" jobs, every day, until I got my money. Did they legally owe it to me? Technically, probably not. I shamed/annoyed them into it.

    I don't know 2600 fr

    • 20 years ago, a department store chain called Crowley's in the midwest went out of business. They did so right after Christmas, refusing to honor all the gift cards people bought, claiming they were "contracts" now null and void.

      They sold all those gift cards knowing they were going out of business. Nobody went to jail. My dad got ripped off for $200 for a gift card he bought for my grandma.

  • SID vs SIM/TEN (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I actually worked for TEN up until ~May. The 'legal' side of things is that Source Interlink was a single company. It then split into Source Interlink Distribution (whom owes 2600 money and does/did the distribution for magazines) and Source Interlink Media (who owns a ton of magazines).
    SID lost the Time Mag deal and decided to close its doors. Sadly, 2600 is now needing to extract blood from a (dead) stone. SIM underwent some major internal upheaval and renamed themselves to TEN and laid off a ton of peopl

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      So you're alleging pre knowledge of malicious fraud? (As opposed to inadvertent, where you expected to be able to pay, and can't. I still call that fraud, but not malicious.)

    • by stox ( 131684 )

      If TEN split knowing that one of the entities being split could not fulfill its obligations, that would be a fraudulent conveyance. The courts invalidate the split and will force TEN to pay off the obligations in the long run. Of course, that will take years to wind through the court system. In the mean time, the lawyers will make a fortune.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Source/Ten actually utilizes a larger distributor for most of their volume. Turns out they owe that -single- partner ~12 million dollars. Plus, they're weird for a production company anyway. Lots and lots of unnecessary office space, empty legacy warehouses from this or that project. They basically hit a critical mass of mismanagement and accumulated resource costs from something like ~40 yrs of operation.

  • If the distributor/organizer isn't paying out when they should, WHY THE FUCK WOULD I BUY AN ISSUE OR ATTEND THE CONFERENCE?

    Timothy, you're a fucking moron.

    • Presumably the distributor is only distributing the print version, not the Kindle version, and has nothing to do with the conference.
    • Perhaps Timothy actually read the article, specifically the second paragraph where they say;

      This caused us to scramble to find alternative methods of getting our magazine into stores around the world, a feat we accomplished without too much difficulty.

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