RE: [Videolib] Digital Video Licensing[Scanned]

Mark Kopp (mkopp@iu08.org)
Thu, 8 Mar 2007 14:40:19 -0500

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"...It is, consequently, unclear to me why I would be expected to
"re-buy" the same title every year or two or three in digital form,..."
=20
I have been arguing that same lunacy for years!. I think that some in
the industry thought they hit some kind of lottery, and have accused
them thusly, regarding that model. I can promise, there are NO materials
in our collection with any such agreement, i.e. re-buying each year or
so. Heck, I don't even have the human resources to maintain those types
of licenses. Imagine buying a car or furniture or appliances, based on
that model!!
=20
Mark
=20
=20
Mark W. Kopp
Technology Assistant
IT Department
Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8
4500 6th Avenue
Altoona, PA 16602
P: 814-940-0223
F: 814-949-0984
C: 814-937-2802
=20

________________________________

From: owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
[mailto:owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Gary Handman
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 1:08 PM
To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
Subject: [Videolib] Digital Video Licensing[Scanned]

Some Thoughts on Digital Licensing for Video
=20
Because Berkeley is on the cusp of trying out on-demand delivery of
portions of its video collection, I've been doing a lot of talking and
thinking about the issue of digital licensing of video content. It is
apparent that the non-theatrical VOD marketplace is, at very best,
immature and confused (and confusing) regarding economic models for VOD
delivery. A number of models seem to be shaking out:
=20
A. Content maintained on vendor's remote server and licensed annually
or semi-annually based on number of titles selected, institutional
head-count, or number of synchronous users. I'm not aware of any
vendors offering flat annual licenses for unlimited institutional access
to vendor-maintained VOD servers.
=20
B. Content encoded by vendor in one or more of several formats (Windows
Media, QuickTime, mpeg4, etc.), and licensed for in-perpetuity use for a
flat fee (e.g. Films Media Group). Variable licensing fees based on
whether or not the institution has bought the licensed title in previous
formats (tape or DVD). In some instances, fees may be based on number
of titles licensed. In this model, client is responsible for uploading
and maintaining these files on local server. (Client may also be
required to transcode files-e.g. from mpeg4 to a streamable format). =20
=20
C. Above model but with term licensing: licensing for a set period of
time, usually one to five years. At the end of the term, licenses must
be renegotiated.
=20
D. Distributor offers digital licensing rights alone-i.e. without
supplying the source files. Institution is responsible for encoding off
of DVD or tape and uploading to local server. Either in-perpetuity or
term licensing.
=20
E. Jon Miller of First Run/Icarus has suggested a model in which an
entire catalog of a distributor (including new additions) is licensed
annually for a flat fee. Not aware that one is actually putting this
model into play
=20
F. Content encoded and delivered to client by an outside vendor which
does not have control or rights over the content. Annual or per-title
service costs. Examples of this type of service is CDigix (=20
http://www.cdigix.com/). <http://www.cdigix.com/).%A0> These types of
firms seem to be geared largely toward the delivery of content
(including feature films) for higher ed teaching and learning (course
reserve viewing, learning management systems, etc.). Many of these
firms claim such use constitutes fair use or throw the issue of rights
clearance on the shoulders of the client.
=20
Since I think that, at least in the short run, the models C or D above
are likely to be the most common, I'd like to offer a few opinions about
it. In my book, the requirement for periodic licensing of video content
(as opposed to in-perpetuity licensing) is both impractical and
unwarranted in terms of fair market practices. I've occasionally heard
vendors compare term licensing of VOD content to licensing of journal
databases and other online text resources. There really is no direct
comparison. Journal databases, which offer indexing and full-text
journals, are maintained remotely by a vendor and offer a content base
which is continually growing. In some instances, online access to
specific ejournals or aggregates of ejournals is provided at no cost if
an institution subscribes to the print version of the publication(s).
The licensing model for ejournals varies widely, from being on
institutional head-count to flat fee annual licensing.
=20
VOD licensing is a considerably different matter. Once purchased by an
institution, a physical tape or DVD, may be circulated or shown ad
infinitum (or until the physical piece disintegrates) to individual
viewers and classroom groups. If I need to show this to groups outside
of the classroom, I can purchase PPR-a one shot cost. In most cases,
once a distributor sells a title (or a few copies of it) to an
institution, that's pretty much the end of that sale (except for
replacements, and these are usually discounted). It is, consequently,
unclear to me why I would be expected to "re-buy" the same title every
year or two or three in digital form, particularly if I already own a
tape or DVD of the titles in question. It's not as if digital
distribution is cutting into potential future sales of that title to my
institution. There is no continuing maintenance or labor cost to the
distributor for titles licensed for VOD. (There ARE, however,
substantial costs to the client in model D above: the institution must
invest in technology and staff to locally-encode and serve the
material). In fact, the cost to distributors of tracking and
administering term licenses would seem to be substantially higher than
the one-time gambit of in-perpetuity licensing.
=20
Unlike ejournal databases, the only added value to the digital product
from year to year is the convenience of 24/7 access. (I could go into a
long and tedious screed here about the current inferiority of
digitally-delivered images compared to DVD or even tape, but I'll
refrain). I have a feeling that in many cases the model of term VOD
licensing has been put into play simply because digital sounds new and
sexy and that period licenses sound economically safer than licensing
the files "forever". I also think that there is yawning gap between the
needs and outlook of video librarians vested with selecting,
maintaining, and delivering standing collections and the needs of
instructional tech players on campuses vested with "point-of-need"
delivery of classroom content. (The latter probably wouldn't blink at
the concept of term licensing).
=20
In any case, your thoughts and comments would be interesting and
appreciated!
=20
Gary Handman
=20

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

"In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life
presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles."

--Guy Debord

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"...It is,=20 consequently, unclear to me why I would be expected to = “re-buy” the same title=20 every year or two or three in digital = form,..."
 
I have been arguing that same lunacy for = years!. I=20 think that some in the industry thought they hit some kind of lottery, = and have=20 accused them thusly, regarding that model. I can promise, there are NO = materials=20 in our collection with any such agreement, i.e. re-buying each year or = so. Heck,=20 I don't even have the human resources to maintain those types of = licenses.=20 Imagine buying a car or furniture or appliances, based on that=20 model!!
 
Mark
 
 
Mark W.=20 Kopp
Technology=20 Assistant
IT=20 Department
Appalachia = Intermediate Unit=20 8
4500 6th=20 Avenue
Altoona, = PA =20 16602
P:=20 814-940-0223
F:=20 814-949-0984
C:=20 814-937-2802
 


From: = owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu=20 [mailto:owner-videolib@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Gary=20 Handman
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 1:08 PM
To:=20 videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
Subject: [Videolib] Digital Video=20 Licensing[Scanned]

Some Thoughts on Digital Licensing for = Video
 
Because=20 Berkeley is on the cusp of trying out on-demand delivery of portions of = its=20 video collection, I’ve been doing a lot of talking and thinking = about the issue=20 of digital licensing of video content.  It is apparent that the=20 non-theatrical VOD marketplace is, at very best, immature and confused = (and=20 confusing) regarding economic models for VOD delivery.  A number of = models=20 seem to be shaking out:
 
A.  Content maintained on = vendor’s=20 remote server and licensed annually or semi-annually based on number of = titles=20 selected, institutional head-count, or number of synchronous = users.  I’m=20 not aware of any vendors offering flat annual licenses for unlimited=20 institutional access to vendor-maintained VOD = servers.
 
B. =20 Content encoded by vendor in one or more of several formats (Windows = Media,=20 QuickTime, mpeg4, etc.), and licensed for in-perpetuity use for a flat = fee (e.g.=20 Films Media Group).  Variable licensing fees based on whether or = not the=20 institution has bought the licensed title in previous formats (tape or=20 DVD).  In some instances, fees may be based on number of titles=20 licensed.  In this model, client is responsible for uploading and=20 maintaining these files on local server.  (Client may also be = required to=20 transcode files­e.g. from mpeg4 to a streamable format). =20
 
C.  Above model but with term licensing: licensing = for a set=20 period of time, usually one to five years.  At the end of the term, = licenses must be renegotiated.
 
D.  Distributor offers = digital=20 licensing rights alone­i.e. without supplying the source = files. =20 Institution is responsible for encoding off of DVD or tape and uploading = to=20 local server.  Either in-perpetuity or term=20 licensing.
 
E.  Jon Miller of First Run/Icarus has = suggested a=20 model in which an entire catalog of a distributor (including new = additions) is=20 licensed annually for a flat fee.  Not aware that one is actually = putting=20 this model into play
 
F.  Content encoded and delivered = to=20 client by an outside vendor which does not have control or rights over = the=20 content.   Annual or per-title service costs. Examples of this = type of=20 service is CDigix (=20 http://www.cdigix.com/). These types of firms seem to be geared = largely=20 toward the delivery of content (including feature films) for higher ed = teaching=20 and learning (course reserve viewing, learning management systems, = etc.). =20 Many of these firms claim such use constitutes fair use or throw the = issue of=20 rights clearance on the shoulders of the client.
 
Since I = think=20 that, at least in the short run, the models C or D above are likely to = be the=20 most common, I’d like to offer a few opinions about it.  In = my book, the=20 requirement for periodic licensing of video content (as opposed to = in-perpetuity=20 licensing) is both impractical and unwarranted in terms of fair market=20 practices.  I’ve occasionally heard vendors compare term = licensing of VOD=20 content to licensing of journal databases and other online text = resources. =20 There really is no direct comparison.  Journal databases, which = offer=20 indexing and full-text journals, are maintained remotely by a vendor and = offer a=20 content base which is continually growing.  In some instances, = online=20 access to specific ejournals or aggregates of ejournals is provided at = no cost=20 if an institution subscribes to the print version of the=20 publication(s).   The licensing model for ejournals varies = widely,=20 from being on institutional head-count to flat fee annual=20 licensing.
 
VOD licensing is a considerably different = matter. =20 Once purchased by an institution, a physical tape or DVD, may be = circulated or=20 shown ad infinitum (or until the physical piece disintegrates) to = individual viewers and classroom groups. If I need to show this to = groups=20 outside of the classroom, I can purchase PPR­a one shot = cost.   In=20 most cases, once a distributor sells a title (or a few copies of it) to = an=20 institution, that’s pretty much the end of that sale (except for = replacements,=20 and these are usually discounted).   It is, consequently, = unclear to=20 me why I would be expected to “re-buy” the same title every = year or two or three=20 in digital form, particularly if I already own a tape or DVD of the = titles in=20 question.   It’s not as if digital distribution is = cutting into=20 potential future sales of that title to my institution.  There is = no=20 continuing maintenance or labor cost to the distributor for titles = licensed for=20 VOD.  (There ARE, however, substantial costs to the client in model = D=20 above:  the institution must invest in technology and staff to=20 locally-encode and serve the material).  In fact, the cost to = distributors=20 of tracking and administering term licenses would seem to be = substantially=20 higher than the one-time gambit of in-perpetuity = licensing.
 
Unlike=20 ejournal databases, the only added value to the digital product from = year to=20 year is the convenience of 24/7 access.  (I could go into a long = and=20 tedious screed here about the current inferiority of digitally-delivered = images=20 compared to DVD or even tape, but I’ll refrain).   I = have a feeling=20 that in many cases the model of term VOD licensing has been put into = play simply=20 because digital sounds new and sexy and that period licenses sound = economically=20 safer than licensing the files “forever”.  I also think = that there is=20 yawning gap between the needs and outlook of video librarians vested = with=20 selecting, maintaining, and delivering standing collections and the = needs of=20 instructional tech players on campuses vested with = “point-of-need” delivery of=20 classroom content.  (The latter probably wouldn’t blink at = the concept of=20 term licensing).
 
In any case, your thoughts and comments = would be=20 interesting and appreciated!
 
Gary=20 Handman
 

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources = Center
Moffitt=20 Library
UC Berkeley
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

"In = societies where=20 modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as = an=20 immense accumulation of spectacles."

--Guy = Debord

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