We recently enhanced our service so that a complete issue can be printed from a PDF file. We have offered page by page printing from the begining, but many publishers do not like the idea of a complete magazine issue being printed from a single downloadable file (the worry is piracy, with one person taking out a subscription and then sending out scores of PDF copies to all his/her friends). I am not sure how valid this worry is, but it is a real one for some publishers. So the option to have a printable PDF of a complete issue is now available on some of our magazines. It will remain a publisher-dependent option. Athletics Weekly is the first magazine to have opted for it.
The PDF is taken at a reasonable resolution, but it is not high-res and so the user can download an issue without undue drumming of fingers on the desk or undue strain on bandwidth (yours or ours). We also omit the external links. The PDF alternative will probably be most useful to subscribers who like to read the magazine on the train or in a plane. It will also be useful to those subscribers who like to use our service so that they can print out the whole magazine — but when I see those requests in the support log files I tend to grit my teeth. My puritanical, ecological streak is aroused by the thought of such wastefulness. Lets hope our provision of this alternative file format is not damaging to the eco-sphere……
Sad to say, PDFs are pirated like mad. Moreso than eBooks.