By Mark Bide, Charles Oppenheim and Anne Ramsden
Mark Bide, Mark Bide & Associates,
105A Euston Street, London
0171 388 3892
Charles Oppenheim, Director,
International Institute for Electronic Library Research,
De Montfort University, Hammerwood Gate, Kents Hill Milton Keynes, MK7 6HP
Anne Ramsden, Project Manager,
International Institute for Electronic Library Research, De Montfort University
In our earlier study , we considered the issues of what constitutes digitisation, some general pricing issues, contractual issues and the need for a code of practice in the field of requesting permission to digitise textual and other materials for use in the HE Community. One of the key issues we identified was a lack of agreed terminology between those seeking clearance (typically, a library in an HEI) and the copyright owner (typically an academic or learned publisher), and so we proposed a series of basic definitions that both parties could use. We further proposed a matrix (freely adapted from a matrix  prepared by the European Copyright Users’ Platform, ECUP) which outlined those activities that we would expect would be considered “fair dealing” by copyright owners, those activities that we would expect to be licensed in any digitisation agreement, and those activities that we would expect to be either not permitted, or else subject to special terms and conditions by the copyright owner. Finally, our first report drew attention to the need for the development of a "one stop shop" with the rights to negotiate on behalf of all rights owners such digitisation licences with the Higher Education Community. We made no recommendation regarding what sort of organisation might be suitable for setting up such a "one stop shop", but clearly the existing collecting societies are prime candidates, and we note the interest of a number of these in the concept.
The response to our paper has been encouraging and positive. On 14 July 1997, a meeting was held between representatives of JISC and of the Publishers’ Association to consider the report and take matters further forward. The consensus was that our first report formed the basis of agreements between copyright owners and users for permission to digitise printed materials, but that there was now a need to consider the various ways prices might be set. The suggestion was not that recommendations be made for the actual price levels set, as this would always be a matter of negotiation between the parties concerned, but that we should examine the many pricing models that have been suggested, or are currently used, consider the pros and cons of each, and then make recommendations regarding preferred models for particular circumstances. The intention, of course, is that if the definitions of terms are non- controversial, if the matrix of permitted uses is non-controversial, and if the broad pricing model is agreed, then all the library and the publisher have to agree is the precise figures to be applied. This will speed up negotiations - something that is clearly necessary in the absence of a "one stop shop".
An important issue, and one that will need to be addressed in the future, is that of compliance between HEIs and any one-stop shop. Publishers must have confidence that digitised materials are not being abused. One way to achieve this would be for all HEIs to include in their Regulations for students, and in their terms and conditions of employment for staff, that failure to comply with restrictions imposed by digitisation (and of course, other) licences will be grounds for possible expulsion (for students) or dismissal (for staff). The criterion for such severe punishment is that the offence is sufficient to bring about a case for copyright infringement by the copyright owner.
The 14 July meeting considered a number of basic pricing models  that were suitable for digitisation contracts. The five models were: digitisation/purchase; subscription-based; fee per concurrent user; fee for printing each page; fee for access, viewing or “usage”. The pros and cons of each approach were briefly considered. The attendees were then asked to vote for their preferred option. Perhaps surprisingly, only two of the models received any votes at all - digitisation fee/purchase (seven) and subscription fee per student/per year (16 votes). Of course, such voting is hardly representative of the entire publishing or HE community, but is reassuring that the two models that were approved have the advantages of being predictable, thereby making budget planning possible for both libraries and publishers; encourage use; and simple to administer for both sides. We agree with this priority: any pricing model must give predictable fees and must be simple to administer. It is, therefore, these two models that we concentrate on in this Report.
In this report, we first consider some of the background issues mainly from the viewpoint of the different players. We then examine each of the pricing models in turn, considering the pros and cons of each model. We conclude with recommendations for the preferred models, and the circumstances when we think the preferred model is most appropriate. In particular, we look at the preferred model for: textbooks and textbook chapters; for reference books and research monographs; and for journal articles.
Publishers need to make sufficient income to allow further investment and to give a suitable return on capital. The income they generate should be reasonably predictable and should reflect in some way the costs incurred. It should also reflect in some way the usage made of their materials. One of the primary concerns of publishers is, of course, the impact of digitisation on sales of their books and journals to libraries, and, particularly in the case of textbooks, sales to students themselves. The initial evidence from eLib studies is limited but is mildly encouraging; it may be that digitising texts has less impact on sales of textbooks than was feared, and is probably a minor factor in the overall picture of declining book purchases by students. Student numbers have doubled in 10 years, but this expanding population has less money and will probably be more impoverished following recent Government announcements regarding students' contributions to tuition fees.
Reading lists contain a variety of items, including books, articles, and book chapters. Some are current works, others may be items published several years ago. From the publisher's perspective, there may be a need to differentiate between the pricing of newer and older works.
On the whole, publishers are in favour of payments for storage rather than pay-per- use, which requires metering software. Sally Morris of John Wiley recommended at the JISC/PA meeting on pricing on 14 July, that as the basis of any pricing model, a combination of factors, such as time (semester, year), student numbers, etc. should be taken into account.
The academic has two roles - as teacher and as researcher, and, therefore, has different requirements in these two roles. As a teacher, the academic wants to be able to recommend texts to students and to be sure that a wide range of texts will be available to the students with minimum delay or bureaucratic involvement. The teacher may well be both an author and user of copyright materials, for instance, s/he may write a textbook which meets the needs of a particular course and update course readings with new articles and works.
As a researcher, the academic is also both author of publications and a user. As an author, he or she wishes their works to be copied and read widely, but this may be at odds with the publisher who is concerned about the economic viability of publishing as a business. Whilst the changes in publication requirements for the Research Assessment Exercise may have somewhat reduced the drive to "publish or perish", the authors' interest in the secondary use of publications has increased according to a recent survey of academic authors by the Authors Licensing & Collecting Society. The ALCS is currently exploring various pricing models on behalf of academic authors with representatives of JISC, and like the libraries and publishers, appear to be in favour of licences rather than a pay-per-use model.
As a user, the academic may well wish to receive digitised material at his or her desk, or elsewhere, and to be able to download it, add commentary, index it for his or her research or private study, again with minimal delay, cost or administrative overhead.
Libraries typically act as intermediaries between the rights owners and the users. They need adequate notice from lecturers of items that will be recommended to students; at the moment, academics give very little notice for various reasons - pressure of work, changes in timetabling or staffing, limited lead time for new courses, and so on, so a system of semi-automatic permissions from a "one stop shop" is clearly the ideal. Libraries want to offer access to the digitised materials at a variety of points so that the material can be viewed simultaneously by a number of users, and can be viewed outside the library if appropriate, so an annual or flat fee is preferred.
Many of the items appearing on reading lists are held in the libraries in printed form. In such cases, would it, therefore, be reasonable to use this dual availability of hard copy and digital form, as a factor in the discount on the price of the digital version? Libraries would certainly welcome quick and easy access to digitised versions of their own institution's staff publications, particularly research papers, and there may be scope to explore with publishers the possibility of storing such works without (or with minimum) copyright charges.
Libraries in the HE sector are under well-known financial restraints. They have to budget in advance and cannot, therefore, consider pricing models that have an open ended or unpredictable cost, and even if the pricing is fixed, they need to balance carefully the various costs and benefits involved. The various eLib on-demand publishing and electronic reserve projects have demonstrated that the costs of administration and of digitising are so high as to make most such exercises non-viable at present, unless the costs are shared by a number of institutions.
The student wishes to be able to access the materials recommended by the lecturers conveniently (at a time and a place that suits the student) and preferably at no incremental cost and in a convenient format. In addition, the student wishes to be able to cut and paste into essays extracts from the material if possible. They will certainly want to print materials to incorporate into their notes, to highlight, and to annotate. It is, however, no secret that students do not read everything recommended by their lecturers. Lecturers either explicitly or implicitly classify items they recommend into “essential”, “desirable” and “background”, or similar. The student is more likely to obtain copies of the “core” or “essential” materials than the other types. They may wish to retain copies of “core” materials, but simply inspect the other types of material on screen from time to time. Books, book chapters, journal articles or other materials may fall into one or more of these headings, depending on the taste of the lecturer. Students’ needs regarding timing may also vary - perhaps some “essential” items are viewed for the time that a course is taught or the duration of the current semester, whilst some of the lower priority items are only read at revision time. Of course, a text that is “essential” or “core” for one student, or group of students, may be “background” to another student or groups of students, so juggling prices by these criteria (even if there was some way of objectively assessing students’ views of particular texts) is probably impossible.
Of course, it is well understood that the current problems are transitory. At present, very little material that is requested by students or recommended by lecturers is available in machine readable form; the majority is in print form. Although virtually everything in print form has been a computer typesetting tape at some stage, such tapes are typically unavailable or even more inconvenient and expensive to convert into suitable form for student reading than digitising print. This situation is not permanent, though. In the medium term, we can expect de facto standards to emerge and for publishers then to be able to supply libraries with appropriate machine readable data at minimal cost to themselves. At that point, the digitisation of printed materials will become an issue of the past and later generations of publishers, academics and librarians will wonder what all the fuss was about.
Pricing models can be classified in various ways; there is single payment versus repeat payments; and there is charge by content versus charge by use versus charge by number of users. A particular problem that applies to those pricing models is the calculation of student numbers. Perhaps there was a time, decades ago, when it was easy to calculate how many students were doing a particular course. Those days have long gone. Today, many students do modular degrees, picking short courses from a cafeteria menu and building up credits; they frequently change their mind about the modules they do when half way through them. Increasingly, they will build up credits from a variety of different Universities. Other students attend on a part time basis, perhaps attending for one day or two evenings per week. Others are using distance learning methods to study, and may never, or rarely enter the University they are associated with. Others may be at a remote location taking a course (full time or part time) franchised by the University in question. Whilst each such student is a student from the University’s point of view, the demands they make upon the library system vary enormously. Part time students may only be in one day a week, but make disproportionate use of the library as this is their one chance to get access to the materials that week. Students enrolled on distance learning courses seldom enter the University Library, but would welcome access to recommended texts through their PC at home, say. Students undertaking a franchise course will make heavy use of the resources available locally, and will probably never visit the parent University, but, as with the distance learning students, would welcome the ability to search, display, print or download recommended texts at their site.
In addition, because students stop and change courses so frequently, any calculation of student numbers is likely to be out of date as soon as it has been reported to the publisher. Calculations of student numbers must, therefore, be based on good faith. A more practical approach may be to price according to bands of student numbers, for instance, groupings of 1-10, 11-50, 51-100 students and so on. In the case of consortia purchasing for more than one institution, price banding would be based on the individual institutions rather than the consortia in total.
Another issue that has been touched on is the problem of the rights that publishers own. Publisher contracts typically require the author to assign copyright in the text to them. It was a rare contract until a few years ago that made specific reference to digitisation rights, and publishers would be unwise to assume that an assignment of copyright automatically includes digital rights.
The publisher has other problems, too; many drawings, photographs or quotations in a book it publishes may not be the copyright of the author, and appear only because the author or publisher obtained specific permission from the copyright owner to publish in print. Therefore, the publisher or author would have to return to the owner of the original copyright for further permission to digitise - and that permission may be refused. The eLib project SCOPE met this difficulty in one case, and had to drop the particular book from its on-demand publishing repertoire. This is a problem area that HEIs recognise will seriously hamper clearance of digitisation rights for the foreseeable future.
Academics are used to considering alternative texts for reserves and course packs, for example, if a work goes out of print and, depending on the subject, the content of a course pack could change as much as 30% each year. A flat fee for digitisation based on the average price of a book with an average life of four to five years, would, therefore, not be appropriate, and instead an annual fee should be charged with an option in the licence to end the agreement if the text is no longer required by the library or academic. Academics are interested in the pricing of works as shown by the experience of the SCOPE project, whereby if articles were priced too high for digital use, the academics changed the article for one which was more reasonably priced.
Carolyn Rowlinson, Stirling University Library, raised this issue in her presentation on 14 July. In the US, students purchase course readings and the same philosophy was adopted by the SCOPE project, including charging for access to online versions. However, few institutions have a policy on this and there are different views on who should pay: students, libraries and/or academic departments. So far, few eLib projects have passed royalty charges on to students mainly because of the lack of technological solutions, and there is the question of the students' ability to pay.
What are students prepared to pay? They will almost certainly be prepared to pay for what they use and since many prefer to read from printed copies than onscreen, they are not likely to want to pay higher than photocopy charges. They may wish also to limit the amount of printing they do, so that, in some cases, they may print less than an extract.
Adding royalties to print charges introduces differential pricing of items, which is not attractive to users, who have to check the price of an item each time a print request is sent, and not attractive to libraries because of the need for a sophisticated accounting system. It is, therefore, simpler for the libraries and easier for the user, if a standard print charge is used for all items and payment made preferably through a debit card system.
The first point that we should make is that we have a limited ambition in this paper. We seek only to consider appropriate pricing algorithms within a clearly defined – and relatively constrained – set of boundaries. First of all, we are considering only the Higher Education market place; secondly, we are looking at the licensing of digitisation by HEIs of printed books and journals, not the licensing of primary electronic products. In this context, it is also fair to say that we believe that the high cost of digitisation of print content makes it highly unlikely that HEIs will digitise any content except for that which will be used to support student teaching – the "electronic course pack" and the "digital reserve room". While much of what we have to say about pricing mechanisms may be equally applicable in other contexts, this is entirely incidental.
At the same time, it is important to recognise that even the digitisation of printed materials for HEIs is not a uniform activity from an economic standpoint. There is clearly a considerable difference – certainly, from a rights owner's point of view – in the potential impact of the digitisation of a complete textbook published three months ago and that of a ten-year-old journal article.
This is not the place for an extended discussion of the economics of intellectual property rights. However, it is clear that some activities have a much more direct bearing on the economic well being of rights owners than others; such variation should be properly reflected in pricing mechanisms.
We should again underline that we are talking here about pricing mechanisms, not about the actual prices set.
We begin with the assumption that any charging mechanism which proves to be widely acceptable to both rights owners and users will have some relationship with the value of what is copied. In photocopying and digitisation, there is a general acceptance that the volume of what is copied is, to some extent at least, a reasonable proxy for its value. The volume is generally determined in terms of pages (of arbitrary size and therefore content) although, in the case of journals, may be determined by the (equally arbitrary) "content" unit of the article.
In their dealings with the licensing of rights for commercial re-use, publishers typically use a somewhat less arbitrary measure – thousands of words. However, within a context where we have already expressed a strong bias in favour of the development of a "one stop shop" solution, we believe that there is an overwhelming argument in favour of the sort of simplicity which comes from a "price per page". We believe that it is in the interests of everybody in the chain – users, rights owners and intermediaries – that pricing mechanisms should be kept as simple as possible, conducive with an appropriate (and economically efficient) return to rights owners. The simpler the mechanism, the lower the cost of operating the system – and thus the greater proportion of the total revenue from the licence which reaches the rights owners. As with any supply chain, inefficiencies in the chain – wherever they arise – are effectively paid for by everyone in the chain. From a purely practical point of view, then, we believe that the pricing of licences to digitise printed content in the HE market will be best served by a mechanism based on a "per page" measure. There may be, however, an argument in favour of granting a discount where an entire book is to be digitised.
This need not imply that all rights owners must necessarily charge identical prices for digitisation licences – indeed, because of competition legislation, it may well be impossible for such total uniformity to be achieved. Variation in pricing at the "per page" level allows for some flexibility in perceptions of value on the part of the rights owner. However, if we look at the record of pricing photocopying through CLARCS , few publishers appear to believe that the overhead costs involved in maintaining pricing differentials are justified by revenue enhancement.
Having established (to our own satisfaction, at least) that the primary measure of value should be the page, we contend that there are only two further basic metrics of value that have some part to play in developing pricing mechanisms. Other pricing tools are either ways of defining or of modifying these basic parameters.
The first of these is the term of the licence: does the licensee have rights to use the digitised content in perpetuity  or only for a limited term?
The second is the extent to which payment is in some way variable with use. Use may be seen to be at least as effective a metric of value as volume. However, as we will discuss, the cost of measuring use may exceed the value of doing so. There is also some evidence to support the view that use-based charging mechanisms may affect user behaviour in ways which are not ultimately desirable.
A very simple matrix can then be developed to classify proposed solutions:
|Perpetual term||Limited term|
|Unrelated to usage|
|Related to usage|
Several different metrics have been proposed for defining value related to use. These again can be divided into two classes: those which measure potential use and those which measure actual use.
The measures of potential use are those which set out to assign value in terms of numbers of users. Measurement of potential use is an attractive proposition, in that it provides both users and rights owners with predictable payments (whereas measurements of actual use are unpredictable).
We are aware of at least two ways in which it is proposed that potential users might be measured.
Number of simultaneous users allowed access. This measure of value has its origins in the licensing of applications software and real-time financial information, where the number of people simultaneously able to make use of a networked application has long been seen as having a direct equivalence for value. Essentially, this is a way of granting discounts for bulk purchase. The use of a similar mechanism for access to online resources owes much to the cost of providing access.
We see few arguments in favour of simultaneous users as a measure of value. It creates a wholly artificial bottleneck in access which digitisation is precisely designed to overcome – it becomes the high-tech equivalent of students queuing for the photocopier – which we see as creating no value for anyone. Perhaps even more significantly, it is essentially a technically meaningless measure in a network using Internet protocols – and it is the user not the rights owner providing the network infrastructure.
Total numbers to be given access. This is a relatively easy way of measuring value. The total number of students on a particular course is, in principle, easily measured. Pricing can then either be by formula (which multiplies the price per page by the number of students) or in price bands.
However, we need to recognise that this may not be quite the definitive answer which it appears to be. Quite apart from any difficulty which there may be in actually counting students (see section 3.2 Student Numbers), it implies that access to a particular piece of digitised text will be confined only to students on a specific course (not technically difficult to achieve, but perhaps not wholly desirable from an academic standpoint).
In many ways, measures of actual usage seem the most economically efficient. However, as we have already discussed, they may affect behaviour in ways that are not desirable for either users or rights owners. They are also very unpredictable and to collect, maintain and pass on to publishers usage data also involves some costs, perhaps a large cost.
There are also some concerns relating to privacy when it comes to recording the association between individual users and the specific information to which they are gaining access. This is perhaps less of a worry with respect to students and their access to course material than in other contexts, but we must acknowledge the general issue.
Measurement of "pages printed". It is the generally accepted wisdom that, for prolonged study, no one reads substantial bodies of text on screen. Any substantive use is (within the limits of current technology, at least) likely to involve the user in obtaining a hard copy.
The difficulties encountered by projects which have experimented with printing charges are now well recognised. They are difficult (and therefore expensive) to administer. Crucially, where students are expected to pay copyright fees for printing, this appears to encourage them to find other ways of gaining access to the same content – by photocopying the equivalent hard copy from the library, for example. This is rapidly self-defeating.
There is also a not insignificant problem of defining a page, in the event that the resource has been digitised rather than electrocopied . The number of pages which are printed from a WWW resource varies in accordance with the type size used.There is, however, one area of use where "pages printed" is probably the only effective measure of use. This is in the systematic central production of printed course packs, where digitisation is essentially a by-product of a reprographic process. Our focus in this paper relates to making available digitised content to students on networks. To the extent that the same resources might also be used to produce printed material for the same (or a different) body of students, we would suggest that the same pricing mechanisms should apply as those which apply to photocopying.
Measurement of "pages accessed". The idea that users should be charged for "browsing" in a library environment is not one which many librarians find easy to accept; all of our perceptions about the value and cost of access to information are being seriously challenged by the development of the network economy.
Be that as it may, there are many reasons for hesitation in adopting such a model. Apart from the general difficulties associated with unpredictability of licence fees (and the unpredictability of behaviour which this might engender), there are real reasons to question the extent to which a momentary access is a real measure of value – a student might look at a page briefly and immediately recognise that it was not what they needed. Should they be charged for such a fleeting (and negative) access. There is a heavy technical overhead associated with measuring access, quite apart from the difficulties with defining what it is that you are measuring (the same as those relating to printing).
In other contexts, we are aware of a number of other criteria which may be used in setting a fee for the licensing of digital resources. Only one of these seems to us to have much bearing on the subject of this paper, and that relates to the possession (or otherwise) by the HEI's library of an original printed copy of the material to be digitised.
There are two possible mechanisms for dealing with this. The first is a pricing differential. The second is more straightforward – that the possession of a printed copy should be a sine qua non of any licence agreement. There are obviously advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. This will need to be resolved in the detailed licence negotiations between rights holders and HEIs.
There has also been much debate about charging HEIs for the rights to digitise materials which have been created by their own employees. Without in any way wishing in this paper to enter the debate about the ownership of intellectual property rights which exist in the work of academic authors, we believe that publishers might give serious consideration to waiving licence fees in these circumstances, if the permission of the author has first been obtained by the HEI in question (since the publisher cannot waive the author's rights on his/her behalf).
In our view, the following are the key features for any pricing mechanism which should be adopted in this area:
Simple – and therefore inexpensive to administer for both users and rights owners.
Susceptible to centralised administration – the "one stop shop".
Economically efficient – rewarding rights owners in accordance with their contribution and, where deemed appropriate , allowing for a recharge of licence fees to the individual student.
Producing predictable costs for users – and revenues for rights owners – to the extent that this is consistent with other aspects of the model.
Easily understood - there should be some close analogy to an existing well understood pricing mechanism that is perceived to be fair. It is clear that the joint meeting of JISC and the PA, held in London on July 14, 1997 was in agreement with this view (see the earlier section 1.2: Pricing Models and the Minutes of the meeting in the appendix). Only two pricing models attracted any support. By far the most votes (16) were cast for a model which proposed annual payments relating to the number of students on a course. Around half that number (7) were cast for a model which proposed a single fee for digitisation. None of the other proposals (which involved payments related to actual use and to simultaneous users) attracted any votes whatsoever .
For reasons which we have already discussed, we believe that it is likely that any "one stop shop" would need to be able to offer rights owners two different models for charging. The basic charge unit in each case would be the printed page.
It is clearly impossible to draw a hard line between these two different classes of content, and the decision as to which of them any particular content should fall is clearly a matter for the rights holders – just as, in the end, the decision as to whether to digitise a particular piece of content is a matter for the academic institution. The owner makes an offer; the user makes a free, informed decision on whether or not to purchase.
Some publishers might choose to put all their content into the former model, some all into the latter. We are aware of some publishers who have (in private, at least) expressed the view that the licensing of digitisation of older, individual journal articles for student use might appropriately be free  – but not unlicensed.
Licences of both types would need to carry a rider that any centralised, systematic printing of course packs (or their equivalent) from the digitised resource would be subject to printing charges at the same level as for photocopying.
operated by "one
|Acceptably||Yes|| Links value to|
|Very||Yes|| Specific content is |
As we have already made clear, it is no part of our remit specifically to address the question of pricing of licences. However, we believe that some publishers are considering a pricing formula which would relate the per page price of a digitisation licence with the per page price of the printed original. They propose that a "one stop shop" could calculate the price by reference to available data (in Books in Print, for example). This would reduce the cost of data maintenance for rights owners, while allowing for a more accurate metric of value than would be the case if a common price per page were adopted. This has a certain symmetry to it, but there are several questions which we see as needing to be answered. We would suggest that the key one is the extent to which the additional complexity which this would add to the administration of the process would be justified by the greater economic efficiency of the model. This is a subject on which we currently have no opinion.
The cost of digitisation is considerable, particularly where the effort is to be made to create machine-readable content. Recent experience in eLib projects puts this at around £2.50 per page . It is therefore of the greatest importance that the effort should not be undertaken twice, in different HEIs, through ignorance that a particular piece of text has already been digitised. It is not in the interest of either rights owners or users that limited resources should be wasted in this way.
In the same way, we cannot see any reason why an HEI which has incurred the cost of digitisation should not be allowed to recover some part of that cost by selling to another HEI a copy of the material they have digitised. The second HEI would still be required to hold a licence (from the rights owner) to use the digitised content (as indeed would the first HEI) but would not have to re-incur the total cost of digitisation.
In addition, we recommend that at the end of any licence period, any digitised materials should not be deleted; we recommend instead that the materials be maintained at the HEI under "escrow" conditions pending any possible renewal of the licence with that, or any other HEI.
The evidence on the extent to which the same resources are re-used in different institutions is mixed. However, we have heard some librarians suggest that they are convinced that the economic argument in favour of using material that is already available in digital form would be very strong.
The question that this raises above all relates to how an HEI would know that an electronic version of a particular resource was available. We understand that this is an issue which has been raised within the eLib framework with respect specifically to resources digitised by eLib projects and that a project may be established to identify and locate these . We believe that such a project could be an important first step towards providing a crucial link in the metadata chain.
We also need increasingly to recognise that current content (particularly from serials, but increasingly also from books) will become available directly from the publisher in digitised form even though the primary publication medium remains print on paper. We are aware of at least one publisher which has offered an eLib project access to a list of book titles in PDF format. Where such pre-digitised material is available directly from the publisher, it will also be important for that fact to be immediately apparent to an Institution seeking to license digitisation. Conclusion and recommendations
“We have also noted that current copyright legislation... precludes the use by individuals of copyright digital information without clearance by the copyright owner, which may take weeks. These delays hamper the speed of interaction between student and teacher and make unnecessary demands on staff time. We are, therefore, of the view that there must be provision for the free and immediate use by teachers and researchers of copyright digital information. "
One of the recommendations at the end of the Report was:
"We recommend to the Government that it should review existing copyright legislation and consider how it might be amended to facilitate greater ease of use of copyright materials in digital form by teachers and researchers." .
We would regard any change in copyright legislation in the short term to be rather improbable, not least because it is unlikely to be a high priority in an already crowded legislative programme. Compulsory licensing would also be considerable departure from the existing tradition in UK legislation and would not be entered into lightly. We believe that is, therefore, urgent that rights owners should do everything possible to facilitate the licensing of digital rights, including the urgent establishment of arrangements for a "one stop shop".
We recognise that the "one stop shop" will need to operate simple pricing mechanisms, which will be economically efficient and produce predictable costs for user and revenue for rights owners. The two models favoured at the JISC and PA meeting involve either annual payments or a single fee for digitisation. We propose, on that basis, two models: the "textbook purchase substitution" and the "library purchase substitution" models. We recognise that the "textbook purchase substitution" model is expensive, but shouldn't it be expensive to digitise a recently published textbook which is aimed at a large body of students? There may be some savings for the publisher, for example, no distribution and storage costs, no need for the booksellers' discount and so on, but these are only a small percentage of the total cost of book production compared with the start-up and marketing costs of a new title . It is, therefore, not unreasonable for a publisher to seek replacement for the loss of gross margin, which may be 50% of the book price, depending on the distribution of revenue with other rights owners. It would also be reasonable to expect students to pay towards the electronic licence for a popular textbook. The total amount a student would end up paying to access a popular textbook would still tend to end up less than if s/he paid for the whole book.
The second proposed model, the "library purchase substitution" model, is more appropriate for licensing materials where student purchase is either unlikely or impossible. This includes not only journal articles, but also material from older book titles, particularly those out-of-print and possibly single chapters. Since the economic impact on rights holders from the reuse of this material is low, we would hope that licence fees would be appropriately modest.
We recommend that the basic charge unit in both models should be the printed page. It may be that libraries will find it more cost- effective to build electronic course reserves using extracts and parts of works, such as single articles and book chapters, rather than scanning whole works. In the case of book chapters, it may be worthwhile from a pedagogic viewpoint, to include the contents pages of the book alongside the chapter, to encourage wider reading by the students rather than creating a focus entirely on the packaged readings or reserve materials. It may be a good marketing strategy also for the publisher.
We have mentioned the "one stop shop" many times; we also commend the idea of a central inventory of copyright cleared items as is suggested by the latest eLib call. We believe it would be helpful if a database were maintained, at JISC expense, of all materials that have been copyright cleared by one or more HEIs. The database would include details such as: name of author, title of publication, pagination, publisher, date of publication, the course that it is used for, the HEI that received permission, the date permission was granted and the date when the licence expires, and brief details of the permission granted. Ideally, the database should provide some simple subject indexing. At present, few HEIs recommend the same texts for identically named courses, and therefore at present individual negotiations are the norm. We envisage soon, an institution seeking copyright clearance might go to such a database to identify the publisher(s) that are clearly amenable to clearing rights, or particular texts in a subject that have been cleared in the past. Such a database could then be used by the library to let an academic know that a particular text could not be digitised, but here is a choice of similar texts that are likely to be cleared if the publisher is approached. This would not be an infringement of academic freedom, as the library would not be insisting that the academic recommend different texts, but could encourage the academic to think more widely about what texts he or she recommends.
The establishment of such a database might also act as a spur to rights holders reluctant to mandate a "one stop shop" to licence their digitisation rights on standard terms. The recognition that competitors might be building a competitive advantage in the market place would prove a considerable encouragement to follow suit.
We would envisage in the longer term links between the "one stop shop" and this database of previously cleared texts, and indeed they could both be run by the same organisation.
We believe that these pricing proposals, in conjunction with the proposed JISC/PA licence, the terminology we proposed in our first paper, and the definitions of what is regarded as fair dealing produced by another JISC/PA Working Party, form the basis of an efficient, fair and practical scheme for digitising texts in the Higher Education sector and commend them to all interested parties.
 M. Bide, C. Oppenheim and A. Ramsden, Copyright Clearance and Digitisation in UK Higher Education: Supporting Study for the JISC/PA Clearance Mechanisms Working Party, 1997, available at: http:// www.ukoln.ac.uk/services/elib/papers/pa/ A revised version of this report will appear as an article in Journal of Information Science later this year.
 See http://www.kaapeli.fi/eblida/ecup
 These were not the only ones that are possible, or that have been considered in the literature; however, in the short space of time available it was felt necessary to restrict discussion to what were considered to be the basic models. Later in this Report we consider further models that are possible.
 By this we mean that the return to rights owners should not be entirely arbitrary but should provide a reward which is in some way proportionate.
 The Copyright Licensing Agency Rapid Clearance System
 There is no need for us to get into the debate about what perpetual access may mean. It is clear in this context that the responsibility for maintaining access will rest with the institution which holds the licence rather than the licensor.
 For a definition of "digitisation" and "electrocopying" see our previous study.
 Perhaps in the case of distance learning students, for example.
 It should perhaps be noted that, based on the number of attendees at the meeting (some of whom may already have left by the time the vote was taken) there were also few abstentions - four or less.
 Project Acorn's experience was that a large number of publishers did not charge for use of their journal articles in this electronic short loan project. This may, of course, be linked to the fact that the project has a limited life (until Jan 98). See Publishers Seminar Report http://acorn.lboro.ac.uk/acorn/
 The impact of on-demand publishing and electronic reserve on students, teaching and libraries in Higher Education in the UK. A supporting study for the Electronic Libraries Programme of the Joint Information Systems Committee undertaken by University of Stirling in partnership with Liverpool John Moore's University and South Bank University, July 1997 (not yet published).
 We note the 2/10/97 call for proposals for services and other further developments arising from projects under the Electronic Libraries Programme, including the On- demand publishing and Electronic Reserve projects, which supports this recommendation.
 View the full Dearing report at the URL http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ncihe/index.html
 Paragraph 13.34
 Recommendation 43
 Peter Sowden. Perspectives of the publisher. In: Proceedings of Electronic Publications: Rights and Restrictions for Libraries and their Users conference, held at the Institute of Physics, 17 July 1997, London. University of Southampton.
[Index of JISC/PA Working Party Papers and Reports] [Meta-index of Papers, Reports and Circulars]
The Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) was funded
by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
Page version: 1;
Web page maintained by UKOLN Systems Team and hosted by UKOLN - feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Site last revised on: Tuesday, 24-Nov-1998 14:21:26 UTC