RE: [Videolib] Purchase vs license modeles - WAS RE:

Rick Provine (
Tue, 14 Feb 2006 10:56:49 -0500

This is fun!

Maybe the in-between compromise answer here is pay per view. I am not
anxious to get my users hooked on a bunch if titles that I may not be
able to keep. And your catalog could change any time, changing what my
users have gotten used to.

We spend a lot of time making sure people know what we have and
securing access (cataloging, packaging, etc). Expensive in several
ways. Unless licensing is very broad and stable, I would be wary.

But a PPV model offers me the luxury of not tying up a lot of funds,
but still grants access to all titles in a vendor catalog. My 1000.00
will go a lot farther and be more targeted and efficient. Then the
vendor gets paid for what I want. Many people would pay ten dollars (a
fictional number out of the ether) to view a title that cannot affort
400.00 to purchase it. But over time, the vendor could still amortize
the cost, and save on duping and "publishing" costs.

This presents obvious problems for the vendor. Expensive to build a
stable and scalable PPV set up. Maybe one of the more feature-oriented
online services could serve as a distribution site. Just brainstorming


>>> 2/14/2006 9:32 AM >>>
For what it's worth, I agree with this.
Well put. Jonathan


[] On Behalf Of Deg
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 8:15 PM
Subject: [Videolib] Purchase vs license modeles - WAS RE: Digital

I am coming late to this discussion, and admit that I have not read
entire thread.

Here is an observation on the $1000 per anum model that Jonathan
earlier, in relation to Gary's model of purchased use crumbles to

The "access to all" model that Jonathan references is similar to
journals packaging models. You pay $X, you can use all that we
(Some of that was built on pricing models that guarantee a revenue
stream to
the publisher, based on what the library was already paying. "You
to X # of journals at $X per year. Guarantee us that $ figure and you
have access to all we publish. - This is a gross * over simplification
* of
the model).

The advantage to this is that our users (and I'm speaking of journals
are able to and DO access articles in journals we otherwise would not
subscribed to. We don't have to receive them, check them in, label
re-shelve them, etc.

Win win all around.

Same thing, in theory, for licensed digital media content. We get a
array of content, for significantly reduced cost per use.

But in an earlier note, Jonathan indicated their (and I don't mean FRIF
particular, but any media distributor) distribution rights are not in
perpetuity, but for set periods. What happens when the rights to FRIF
WGBH or PBS,etc. programs expire. (Think, NOVA, Eyes on the Prize, and
countless other programs)

In the purchased copy model, we retain the copy and the right to use
copy until it deteriorates. Under US Copyright (and I raise this point
some trepidation) under certain limited conditions we are guaranteed
right to make a * copy * and continue to use that program.

Under the licensed access model, if FRIF/WGBH/PBS rights go away, so
the access.

With journals, library licenses are now demanding ongoing access. That
when the library ceases to subscribe to a title, access to what it
previously subscribed to will be maintained and guaranteed. (Library
subscribed to the Journal of Z from 1980-2004. Subscription included
electronic access from 1990 on. In 2004 the subscription was
cancelled, but
the publisher continues to provide Library Y guaranteed access to the
electronic files of Journal of Z from 1990 to 2004).

In some cases publishers allow the subscribing library to archive

It's the questions around modes that continue to provide access to the
content after distribution rights have expired, or a company has gone
belly-up that interest me.


[] On Behalf Of Jonathan
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 4:18 PM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] Digital Streaming Companiesandlicenseoptions

Well Yes and No:

1) If you ALSO continue to buy a DVD or VHS of selected titles
all titles) think of it as giving all your students and faculty access
watch a stream of all those films, PLUS all our hundreds of other films
may not even know about (not YOU, but, you know) for - $ 1.11 each per
That's not a good deal?

2) You could cut back on your purchase of hard copies, and just
our collection and get all our new films, basically, for a lower per
cost as our library continues to grow (as it does).

Also, you aren't paying for the same piece of "property" - you are
for another way to access and use that "property".

I am assuming that at some point people will stop buying physical
Some will want access to a server in the sky, some will build their
servers, etc. - then we will not be caught up in this question of
something "twice" (which arises because in fact you (well not YOU, but,
know) do want it twice - rather - we will be back where it has always
been -
about what price the commodity is worth.

(To illustrate that another way: if you (Gary) promise to buy 50 films
me a year at list price, I WILL (me) give you some sort of digital
for only $1000 extra!)



[] On Behalf Of Gary
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 5:14 PM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] Digital Streaming Companiesandlicenseoptions

Hi Jon...

Here's my take: $1000 for digital rights to the FRIF library is an
incredible buy; $1000 per year is not.

Look: in the old order, I buy a video or DVD from you once; I use it
it shreds, crumbles, or vanishes... Then I get a replacement copy for
deeply discounted price. I show the film in classrooms and the media
center...sometimes dozens of times over the course of year...

Why in the world would I pay for the same damn piece of intellectual
property over and over again? In the case of tape/dvd it ain't as if
(I'm using you generically...) are gonna get any more money out of
sale--that's it. How is digital different.

I also want to bring up an issue here that hasn't been brought up
in this thread. A number of distributors are making digital files
"off the shelf" in various formats (windows media, quicktime, etc.).
are other access models brewing (e.g. FMG's remote access model...)
Nonetheless: the fact is that for a large number of distributors
licensing rights now and probably in the future, if we want to go
we're gonna have to do the work ourselves...we're going to have to
store, and provide public access to the content. How does this factor
the whole pricing structure for digital rights (or does it?). And
more, maybe those of us headed in this direction need to be talking
cooperative projects: it would be nuts if ten of us got busy encoding
same damn piece of video, no?


At 12:09 PM 2/13/2006, you wrote:
Dear Claire

Sorry, I am getting a bit confused (and not just from your email below,
the entire thread).

Let's try it this way: When I introduce the FRIF Online Documentary
on 1/1/07, and offer you all the chance to subscribe for $1000 per year
campus, and in return you can access streams of all the films we have
to and distribute: Would that be a good deal? (we distribute about 900

If so, then, aren't we only talking about a) price (most of all) and
available infrastructure and c) bureaucracy (in the good sense)?

As I understand your position: we should provide this service (access
these works) for free.

Or maybe your position is: if we put them on a server then yes you
might pay
something, but if we let you put them on a server, then no you
have to?

I travel all over the world (someone has to) to find films to bring to
country, many of which won't be distributed here if I (or someone
doesn't do that. Who pays for that? You do: and I think you pay for it
the prices you pay for our films) because you think it's worth it.

The filmmakers give us those rights to bring their films to you because
pay them something for that right. (and, n.b. we NEVER have gotten
rights "in perpetuity", there is ALWAYS a term on them).

Do you want that entire system to collapse? Fine: you will have access
future to a) pirated films via bit torrent etc or b) films available
servers in other countries or, c) films people put out there without
expecting any compensation, or d) what?

It's one thing if you are talking about "orphaned" works: no one owns
claims them. I don't care what you do with them.

But FRIF is an ongoing business and part of my job is to look out for
rights and interests of the filmmakers, our staff, and myself, and to
that they (and we) receive some compensation for the use of their work
the work that we do).

How do you propose to maintain that in the ground is as slippery and
and malleable as you suggest, apparently out of a desire to get more
out of the media while lowering your costs (or eliminating even) at
(collectively, the field's) expense?

Or have I missed something? Probably I have. Please tell me what it is.


Jonathan Miller

-----Original Message-----
[ <>] On Behalf Of M. Claire
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 1:26 PM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] Digital Streaming Companiesandlicenseoptions

In addition to the great questions that you list below, I hope our
review committees also ask: why are we considering purchasing these
licenses? Is it really necessary? How are the materials being used,
and does fair use or TEACH apply? There are four fair use factors; I
think often the amount used is what makes video librarians think fair
use doesn't apply, but that is only one factor among four. So far,
our colleagues in music and visual resources have argued this more
successfully than we have; they've been making the whole works case
since CONFU and have recommended copyright policies to back it up.

I realize that this comment may provoke the usual response from some
on this list. I strongly disagree with the perspective that
digitizing and streaming titles which the institution legally owns
without purchasing an additional "digital license" is necessarily

I would like to hear from others who are typically silent when these
debates arise on VIDEOLIB. I'm curious where the people not
represented on Monique's list stand. I know not everyone has the
technological resources to support a local streaming service; waiting
for the video equivalent of a Naxos/Classical Music online service
and paying a subscription fee makes sense in those cases (or maybe in
all cases: Northwestern has both a robust local music streaming
service and subscriptions to music streaming databases). But if it's
not a question of technical resources, and faculty are requesting
streaming, has the institution chosen not to make a legal decision,
leaving the question hanging? What strikes me most are the cases
where licenses are being purchased but no services provided. We may
have taken to electronic journals like ducks to water, but there were
significant new services being offered with ejournals: centrally
delivered electronic content, vastly improved access through search
services, etc. What exactly are we paying for now?

If folks want to email me offlist please do:


At 3:23 PM -0600 2/11/06, Bergman, Barbara J wrote:
>I'm okay with paying a reasonable higher price for digital access,
>cost aside, digital rights that have to be renewed create a
>problem because I am no longer making a one-time purchase.
>Anything with an ongoing cost is considered a serial, with ongoing
>time as well as ongoing financial commitments. It will be treated the
>same as if we were purchasing access to a journal database.
>So, in order to purchase digital rights with a time limit, I lose a
>of my autonomy in making purchasing decisions. I am going to have to
>make my case to our Serials Review Committee - who are going to ask
>the same questions that we're asking (while also getting over the
>sticker shock of how much many educational videos cost in the first
>place). Other questions they will ask - Whose budget is going to pay
>for the renewal? Who will keep track of the length of the license?
>will decide whether to continue access? Who is responsible for making
>sure the renewal gets paid? What if we decide that our budget can't
>absorb the renewal costs?
>Will I be looking at acquiring digital access? Yes.
>Are we jumping in? Not yet.
>Will perpetual access be a selling point? Definitely.
>Barb Bergman
>Media Services Librarian
>Minnesota State University-Mankato
>(507) 389-5945
>Videolib mailing list

M. Claire Stewart
Head, Digital Media Services, Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center
Coordinator of Digitization Projects, Northwestern University Library
(847) 467-1437 
Videolib mailing list 

_______________________________________________ Videolib mailing list Gary Handman Director Media Resources Center Moffitt Library UC Berkeley


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