Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Spool Raises Funding to Help You Take the Web Offline

Spool, which offers a nifty service for saving Web videos and articles for later viewing offline on Android, iOS and HTML5-compatible devices, has raised $1 million in funding from SV Angel, Felicis Ventures, Vivi Nevo and others.

The Spool service is made for commuters, travelers and people with limited mobile data plans. It automatically downloads and syncs content between devices when possible. It’s still in limited beta testing, but Spool co-founder Avichal Garg said to expect broader availability in the next few months.

This isn’t just a storage service. Users can store links for their own private use, and also in the process send them to one or more of their Facebook friends.

While Spool might be most easily compared to services like Readability, Read It Later and Instapaper, Garg made other comparisons.

“We’ve built more network effects than Dropbox or Evernote,” Garg said. He added, “This is like a Path for content. It’s not about broadcasting.”

If users install a Spool plug-in for easier saving and sharing, they can also optionally see Spool buttons scattered throughout popular aggregators like Google Reader, Twitter, Quora and Hacker News.

Garg said he is prepared to fight for users’ rights to keep a personal copy of Web content for their personal use. Spool doesn’t work with content from services like Netflix that require a log-in, for instance, and it limits saved videos to 90 minutes in length.

Plus, the San Francisco-based company’s investors include YouTube co-founder Steve Chen and former YouTube VP Kevin Donahue, and the company is already working with attorney David Kramer, who led YouTube’s copyright defense against Viacom.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work