This is one of those cool news posts that I love writing. Sure, everyone else in the gaming world, and many not in it, have covered this to death recently but I think they are missing a major point. This is a big news event. Nintendo, a company that has been 101% against digital copies of their works being made available for free, have apparently given their blessing for these issues to be released.
What a lot of people don’t realize is, there is more than just Nintendo involved in making Nintendo Power. Nintendo licensed out the duties to Future US, a subsidiary of a British based publisher. Most see the name Nintendo Power and think it is an in house publication, while for many years it probably was, at the end of the life of the publication it was definitely an outsourced project.
What I believe is being missed here is the fact that something as iconic as Nintendo Power was released legally for anyone to grab. Sure, Nintendo is not making any money off of these anymore, neither is Future US. It is a nice sign of faith in the fans to do this. Course, if you knew where to look you could have been reading digital copies of publications like this for years now. Some sites such as Out of Print Archive (I am a co-founder) work to get permission from publishers to release their past issues. Out of Print Archive, not related to the release of these Nintendo Power issues, has worked with both Gamefan Magazine (two issues released) and Electronic Gaming Monthly (early stages of development before Steve Harris, owner of EGM, abandoned the project) to bring their back issues to fans digitally. There are plenty of sites that do not seek permission to release issues, which is sad.
The reason this is a big deal is because we may see more publishing companies step up and allow digitals of their past issues to be released. The community of archivers may want to start seeking permission as if it is good enough for Nintendo, it is probably good enough for others.
Source: Internet Archive
Update: Seems Nintendo has had these issues removed. Article here.
Want physical copies of Nintendo Power? Hit Ebay and enjoy.