Re: Pricing by Type or Size of institution?

Gary Handman (
Thu, 24 May 2001 09:13:27 -0700 (PDT)

Here're my two cents, Jonathan:

From my standpoint, differential pricing based on institution type or
client size is probably a fact of life we should all accept. I think the
thing that has rankled me over the years is the confusion (sometimes
deliberately promulgated by sellers) between pricing based on institution
type/size and pricing based on type of use. The tendency of video vendors
to interchangeably talk about "performance rights" and "institutional use"
is what continues to drive me nuts. The bottom line: charging higher
prices to institutions across the board (say, academic institutions) based
on the seller's assessment of market values, market shares, etc. seems
reasonable (although we buyers DO grumble about this); implying or
explicitly indicating that higher prices are tied up with performance
rights or other use rights is more often than not bull.... In my case ALL
uses of materials in my collection are fair use: either on site viewing or
use in face-to-face teaching. It pisses me off mightily being told I need
performance rights; I don't.

As for digital rights/licensing...Show me the digital and content and we
can begin to talk pricing structure. It's hard to get lathered up about
this topic when, in fact, full-length, useable-resolution networked
video is a myth at the moment. When it happens, I think there will be a
number of models upon which to draw: per view; institutional per capita;
per annum...etc.
In any case, digital video licensing when it comes along is bound to be
substantially different than ejournal/etext licensing (such as Project
MUSE, which you cite in your note). Libraries have experience in dealing
with and budgeting for annual subscription, they have substantially less
experience in dealing with "per use" situations...

Kris B--you want to weigh in here?

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000