Re: [Videolib] (no subject)

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Thu, 29 May 2003 08:45:38 -0700

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So? What does all this have to do with libraries? What exactly
(E*X*A*C*T*L*Y) would licensing digital video content
(an oxymoron at present) buy us? (I'm not willing to be obtuse here, really)

Here's my answer to myself:
--Digital access would be an immense leap forward as a way of
providing unique primary source materials and
digital library collections to our users (an extension of the
various digital library initiatives now under sail
in most ARL libraries.

--Digital storage and access might (but only might) be a way of
dealing with the issue of preservation (there
are LOTS of qualifications here)

--Digital storage and access would provide a solution to physical
storage problems

That's about it.

As I said earlier, I'm not vaguely willing to consider "licensing
scenarios" until there is content in place to worry about licensing (if the
only content providers are the Viacoms of the world, the hell with it! Let
the consumer market deal with the issue).

I'm not vaguely willing to put energy and money into the matter until I can
see clear benefits of going there in terms of the library's mission (now or
in the future). Somehow, I don't think that mission will include us
becoming the Big Kazaa's or Napsters in the sky...

At 02:57 PM 5/28/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Gary, I don't think we're necessarily disagreeing, but see what you think.
>
>Some more thoughts about a possible future: why should we wait for the
>licensing scenarios to kick in? Do we have to wait for the equivalent of
>Elsevier (or maybe Disney, I guess, or Viacom) to come in and try to force
>The Big Deal on us? Or worse, to do it little-by-little so that it's
>hard to see the whammy coming? Can't we have a position to begin with that
>licensing should be approached with extreme prejudice? If all the biggies
>are planning to bypass us eventually (?), what's to be gained by jumping
>in to licensing now?
>
>Every time one of these gouging pay for subscription or DRM-ed to death
>audio or video services dies a nasty death I rub my hands with glee. Will
>they eventually become the norm? Perhaps, but I look to audio as a sign of
>what's coming with video and I don't see that any of the providers have
>come up with a good model yet for selling digital directly to the
>consumer. I personally don't believe that this is the fault of those out
>there supposedly pirating content, either. I firmly believe that when
>there is a fair and reasonably priced system for paying for, downloading
>and repeatedly using their digital content, people will take to it.
>
>As for whether vendors will cut out libraries and go directly to the
>consumer, that was the old scary scenario with electronic print
>publishing, and I haven't seen that wipe out libraries YET. [Granted,
>among other differences, the print shift is a distribution and a format
>shift whereas with audio and video consumers are already accustomed to
>having their access mediated by technology.] Our library, unfortunately,
>licenses every journal under the sun and is getting firmly into the ebook
>business. My guess is that we are by far the biggest purchasers of eBooks
>on campus, but of course I lack data to back that statement up.
>
>And I think I disagree with you about the technical problems, Gary.
>Absolutely, at this point in time, it is inconceivable for even a college
>library, let alone a k-12 or a public library, to consider providing a
>unicast, video-on-demand service with, say, high bitrate MPEG2. But will
>it be possible to do something approximating this for some users in coming
>years? Yeah, I think so, maybe not as quickly as we once thought. It may
>actually be true that there is a 7-year gap between the reality of text
>and audio archives and another 7 between audio and video (the paper
>expounding this theory is linked from somewhere on this site but I can't
>find it right now <http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/spandh/projects/swag/>) .
>
>In the meantime, how about some hybrid approaches? Some of Lisa's
>suggestions might work, though I personally would prefer that if it
>arrives as a digital file, it should stay digital. But burning and
>circulating CDs and DVDs could work; the purchased digital copy then
>becomes an archival master. Providing a lower bit rate version for some
>users, etc. should work--I'm still holding out for on-the-fly server based
>transcoding. Definitely our catalog/circ systems have to become smarter
>as well, so that they can handle the "circulation" of some of these
>digital formats.
>
>I agree these technologies are expensive and difficult to implement and
>maintain. And I of course agree that we don't want to see vendors priced
>out or squeezed out or sucked up into giant media monster. But there
>should be a way to transition, gently, to digital without losing what
>we've got, legally speaking.
>
>In the meantime, if we stay in the VHS-DVD buying mode for a good many
>years to come that's fine by me, I'd rather have that than DRM shoved down
>my throat.
>
></rant>
>Claire
>
>
>
>
>---GARY---
>>Ok. Stop.
>>
>>Let me inject a bit of reality (at least MY perception of reality) into
>>this discussion, and that reality has to do with
>>
>>
>>1. The present and likely future of library budgets, both staff and
>>materials
>>2. The present and likely future of commercially acquired digital moving
>>image content
>
><snip>
>--
>___________________________________________
>M. Claire Stewart
>Head, Digital Media Services
>Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center
>Northwestern University Library
>(847) 467-1437
>claire-stewart@northwestern.edu
>http://staffweb.library.northwestern.edu/staff/cstewart/
>http://copyrightreadings.blogspot.com
>_______________________________________________
>Videolib mailing list
>Videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC
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So?  What does all this have to do with libraries?   What exactly (E*X*A*C*T*L*Y) would licensing digital video content
(an oxymoron at present) buy us?  (I'm not willing to be obtuse here, really)

Here's my answer to myself:
        --Digital access would be an immense leap forward as a way of providing unique primary source materials and
        digital library collections to our users (an extension of the various digital library initiatives now under sail
        in most ARL libraries.

        --Digital storage and access might (but only might) be a way of dealing with the issue of preservation (there
        are LOTS of qualifications here)

        --Digital storage and access would provide a solution to physical storage problems

That's about it. 

As I said earlier, I'm not vaguely willing to consider  "licensing scenarios" until there is content in place to worry about licensing (if the only content providers are the Viacoms of the world, the hell with it!  Let the consumer market deal with the issue).  


I'm not vaguely willing to put energy and money into the matter until I can see clear benefits of going there in terms of the library's mission (now or in the future).  Somehow, I don't think that mission will include us becoming the Big Kazaa's or Napsters in the sky... 
 



        

 



At 02:57 PM 5/28/2003 -0500, you wrote:

Gary, I don't think we're necessarily disagreeing, but see what you think.

Some more thoughts about a possible future: why should we wait for the licensing scenarios to kick in?  Do we have to wait for the equivalent of Elsevier (or maybe Disney, I guess, or Viacom) to come in and try to force The Big Deal on us?   Or worse, to do it little-by-little so that it's hard to see the whammy coming? Can't we have a position to begin with that licensing should be approached with extreme prejudice?  If all the biggies are planning to bypass us eventually (?), what's to be gained by jumping in to licensing now?

Every time one of these gouging pay for subscription or DRM-ed to death audio or video services dies a nasty death I rub my hands with glee.  Will they eventually become the norm? Perhaps, but I look to audio as a sign of what's coming with video and I don't see that any of the providers have come up with a good model yet for selling digital directly to the consumer.  I personally don't believe that this is the fault of those out there supposedly pirating content, either. I firmly believe that when there is a fair and reasonably priced system for paying for, downloading and repeatedly using their digital content, people will take to it.

As for whether vendors will cut out libraries and go directly to the consumer, that was the old scary scenario with electronic print publishing, and I haven't seen that wipe out libraries YET. [Granted, among other differences, the print shift is a distribution and a format shift whereas with audio and video consumers are already accustomed to having their access mediated by technology.]  Our library, unfortunately, licenses every journal under the sun and is getting firmly into the ebook business.  My guess is that we are by far the biggest purchasers of eBooks on campus, but of course I lack data to back that statement up.

And I think I disagree with you about the technical problems, Gary. Absolutely, at this point in time, it is inconceivable for even a college library, let alone a k-12 or a public library, to consider providing a unicast, video-on-demand service with, say, high bitrate MPEG2.  But will it be possible to do something approximating this for some users in coming years? Yeah, I think so, maybe not as quickly as we once thought.  It may actually be true that there is a 7-year gap between the reality of text and audio archives and another 7 between audio and video (the paper expounding this theory is linked from somewhere on this site but I can't find it right now <http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/spandh/projects/swag/>) .

In the meantime, how about some hybrid approaches?  Some of Lisa's suggestions might work, though I personally would prefer that if it arrives as a digital file, it should stay digital.  But burning and circulating CDs and DVDs could work; the purchased digital copy then becomes an archival master.  Providing a lower bit rate version for some users, etc. should work--I'm still holding out for on-the-fly server based transcoding.  Definitely our catalog/circ systems have to become smarter as well, so that they can handle the "circulation" of some of these digital formats.

I agree these technologies are expensive and difficult to implement and maintain.  And I of course agree that we don't want to see vendors priced out or squeezed out or sucked up into giant media monster.  But there should be a way to transition, gently, to digital without losing what we've got, legally speaking.

In the meantime, if we stay in the VHS-DVD buying mode for a good many years to come that's fine by me, I'd rather have that than DRM shoved down my throat.

</rant>
Claire




---GARY---
Ok.  Stop.

Let me inject a bit of reality (at least MY perception of reality) into
this discussion, and that reality has to do with


1.  The present and likely future of library budgets, both staff and materials
2. The present and likely future of commercially acquired digital moving
image content

<snip>
--
___________________________________________
M. Claire Stewart
Head, Digital Media Services
Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center
Northwestern University Library
(847) 467-1437
claire-stewart@northwestern.edu
http://staffweb.library.northwestern.edu/staff/cstewart/
http://copyrightreadings.blogspot.com
_______________________________________________
Videolib mailing list
Videolib@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

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