Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: April ::
Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0508.  Wednesday, 30 April 1997.

[1]     From:   Michael Best <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Apr 1997 09:31:59 -0700
        Subj:   Electronic text and CDs

[2]     From:   Michael Best <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Apr 1997 09:31:59 -0700
        Subj:   Cost of CDs and the Internet Shakespeare Editions

[3]     From:   Malcolm Keithley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Apr 1997 10:34:10 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0505  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing

[4]     From:   Jeff Myers <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Apr 1997 20:27:25 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0505  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing

[5]     From:   Ed Peschko <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Apr 1997 18:02:53 -0600 (MDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0505  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing

[6]     From:   Wes Folkerth <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Apr 1997 00:11:16 -0400
        Subj:   CD-ROM pricing

[7]     From:   Nick Kind <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Apr 1997 09:06:31 +0100
        Subj:   Arden Shakespeare CD-ROM (re: SHK 8.0497)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Best <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 29 Apr 1997 09:31:59 -0700
Subject:        Electronic text and CDs

Douglas Lanier asks "Were some of the papers at the SAA session on "The
Politics of Electronic Text" addressed to this issue [the cost of CD
ROMs and the use of the Web]? Several did so, somewhat tangentially:
Peter Donaldson discussed a project which avoids the problem by
delivering high quality texts, video, and graphics over a "wide area
network" restricted to students at two institutions; Laurie Osborne
looked at some of the Web sites and CD ROMs associated with recent
Shakespeare films, though her emphasis was more on what the CDs said
about current popular pedagogical attitudes; Christie Carson provided
some information on the cost in time and money of producing a CD ROM on
Lear, with extensive performance materials (coming from Cambridge UP);
my paper looked at some questions of copyright and the Internet (the
paper is at the URL
<http://web.UVic.CA/shakespeare/Annex/Articles/SAA1997.html>).

There are some genuine and concrete problems associated with CDs: cost
of copyright permissions, cost of distribution, and the speed of change
of the technology, with the attendant fear that the CD itself will be a
kind of "bridging" technology, out of date before those pressed are
sold. More insidious in my experience is the problem of perception-those
who work on CDs run into two roadblocks: the lack of recognition within
our discipline for work carried out in the electronic medium; and the
tendency of copyright holders to assume that they are dealing with
Microsoft, and can charge accordingly.

In my opinion, however, none of this justifies the kind of price that is
being asked for some of the CD ROMs now being marketed. It seems to be
another example of the way a previous technology influences a new one:
to produce these texts in printed format would cost the earth, so why
not charge it for a CD?

Michael Best
Department of English, University of Victoria
Coordinating Editor, Internet Shakespeare Editions
<http://web.uvic.ca/shakespeare>

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Best <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 29 Apr 1997 09:31:59 -0700
Subject:        Cost of CDs and the Internet Shakespeare Editions

Alan Young comments (accurately, I believe) that "publishers of [CD
ROMs] are not really interested in assisting individual academic
researchers, nor, it seems to me, are they interested in the needs of
students." I invite comments from SHAKSPER members (to the list or
privately) on the a proposal that plays published on the Internet
Shakespeare Editions, when complete, should also be made available on CD
ROM.

The CD would come with a licensed browser for each of the major computer
platforms, and would provide the same data as would be available on the
Internet site, with the possible addition of better quality graphics.
The advantage to the user would be that the edition would be available
on his or her desktop without having to connect to the Web-and wait for
bits to download. The CDs would be inexpensive, since all the data would
be available at the cost of copyright permissions only. The CD would
include a link to a page at the ISE site which would provide information
about changes, since one of the great strengths of an Internet edition
is that it can be continuously updated as new material on a play becomes
available.

The Internet Shakespeare Editions will be refereed, scholarly, and fully
annotated; all texts and materials posted on the site will be freely
available for educational, non-profit use. CDs generated from them
should cost under $50 each. Question: would there be a market for them?


Michael Best
Department of English, University of Victoria
<
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Coordinating Editor, Internet Shakespeare Editions
<http://web.uvic.ca/shakespeare>

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Malcolm Keithley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 29 Apr 1997 10:34:10 -0700
Subject: 8.0505  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0505  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing

The conversations about CD-ROM costs have been interesting, as I have
been trying to determine a realistic price for "Shakespeare's World."
http://www.digifx.com/Shakespeare/  This CD-ROM is now in Beta 1.0,
which is structural and operational testing (still lots of content to
input yet).  It will be in Beta 2.0 in the near future and we would like
to distribute it as widely as possible.  Some recommendations have been
to offer it as a single disc as well as in multiple packs (5 for the
price of 3, for instance).  It appears, from what I am hearing on this
list, that $100 US would be top price for a single CD package-ours
consists of one CD-ROM program and an audio disc with 60 minutes of
Elizabethan music.  I would appreciate hearing more comments and
thoughts.

Regards,
Malcolm Keithley

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeff Myers <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 29 Apr 1997 20:27:25 GMT
Subject: 8.0505  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0505  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing

I wonder how expensive the earliest books were compared to the
manuscripts they replaced.  Did printed books offer any added value, as
CD-Roms do?

Jeff Myers

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Peschko <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 29 Apr 1997 18:02:53 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: 8.0505  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0505  Re: OED and CD-ROM Pricing

> It was me who described the CD-Rom as a bargain. I still think that it
> is, though, like you, I resent the mark-up and would be far happier
> buying it for less (who wouldn't?) . The fact is that if you want the
> OED you can  pay one thousand six hundred and fifty pounds, which puts
> twenty very nice looking books on your shelf, and makes looking up a
> word and it's many definitions a daunting process. Monkey,  as a simple
> example, takes up nine whole pages.  Or you can have the whole lot on a
> single CD-Rom. It's fast, it's portable, you can cross reference with
> ease.
>
> Bargain is a relative term. Sixteen hundred and fifty pounds OR three
> hundred pounds (at OUP prices).  Moving from Monkey to Callitrichidae by
> getting down another volume, OR  highlighting the word Callitrichidae
> where it appears under Monkey and going straight to it? So, it is a lot
> cheaper, easier to use, and portable.

Man. I agree. It doesn't stop at the CD world, many VHS tapes also go
for such ridiculous prices, since they aim for a small market, rather
than target as wide a market as possible.

This trend should change however, since (hopefully!) the WWW should open
up a much broader audience than was feasible before. The main problem
right now with such CD's, and why they are so expensive, is because
unlike popular culture, you simply can't mass market your product.
There is not a great enough ROI to justify the expense.

But-when the cost of 'getting your message' out to folks becomes next to
nothing (via the web) the number of possible orders should increase
exponentially. I'm sure these companies would rather have 100000 orders
at 100 bucks a shot, than 1000 orders at 1000 bucks.  After all, that's
a tenfold increase in profit based on something that has little cost to
press (CDs)

I'm hoping that the same thing happens to cult movies, cult books,
pretty much everything. The onset of DVD's should make the availability
and price much lower, when mass-marketing via web is a reality.

Now, if only the companies could come up with a way to encrypt the data,
on disk, so that no one could successfully *pirate* it. Now, that would
be extremely helpful at lowering prices.

Ed

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Wes Folkerth <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Apr 1997 00:11:16 -0400
Subject:        CD-ROM pricing

I agree with those who have recorded their objections to the pricing of
electronic research materials.  While it does only cost around 10
dollars to actually burn the CDs (and probably much less if done in
bulk), I imagine the real costs come into play during the compiling of
materials and the seemingly countless hours of data entry that must be
required for some of the more comprehensive e-text collections.

Does anyone on the list actually know who enters the data that appears
on these materials?  My local reference librarian informed me that at
least one of the major companies in the industry uses very low-wage
foreign labour for straight text entry.  I've done this kind of work,
and it's far more physically demanding than one would think.  They have
each text completely entered twice, and then use a synchronization
program to catch errors.  I can't verify this in any way, and would like
to hear from someone who knows more.

Finally, I would like to suggest that one response to the research
materials pricing problem involves a little DIY, of the kind that made
the internet and SHAKSPER possible in the first place.  People like
Michael Best (Internet Shakespeare Editions) and Don Foster (SHAXICON)
have been working on projects for several years now that promise to
become important research materials, available to the entire academic
community for no cost.  I'm grateful for their spirit of academic
generosity.

Wes Folkerth

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

[7]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nick Kind <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Apr 1997 09:06:31 +0100
Subject: CD-ROM (re: SHK 8.0497)
Comment:        Arden Shakespeare CD-ROM (re: SHK 8.0497)

Jeff -

I'm glad you think our product is "fabulous" - thank you. Naturally, I'm
disappointed that you (and others) find the price difficult; we have
thought very carefully about it in consultation with an eminent
editorial board. We feel that you are getting excellent value for money
with:

*A highly sophisticated interface which brings Shakespeare research onto
a new level. It includes thousands of hypertext links, is fully
searchable in a number of complex ways, and lets you display a lot of
information simultaneously but clearly (notably folio, quarto, Arden
text and commentary all on the same, scrollable, screen).

*All 39 Arden 2 texts, including apparatus, plus the Arden 1 Sonnets
(these latter weren't produced in Arden 2)

*Bullough's Sources, Bevington's Bibliography, Abbott's Grammar, Onions
and Eagleson's Glossary, and Partridge's Bawdy.

*Facsimiles of the folios and quartos (and in some cases extra quartos)
for all plays wherever these are available.

The price, as you say, includes a ten user license. So leaving out the
folio and quarto facsimiles, even though these were costly and are a
vital part of the CD, you get a price of under $100 per text ($3,995
list price by 45 texts); divide this into the allowed number of users
and you get under $9 per person, per text. That's less than the price of
the paper book for each student - and you get all the benefits of our
interface!

Incidentally, the development of the Arden CD-ROM has taken several
years and cost over 600,000 pounds sterling to develop directly so far,
excluding any "overhead" cost (i.e. staff/ buildings/ admin/ management
etc. at Routledge and Thomas Nelson). So we're probably looking at a
million dollar plus development cost.

Please feel free to respond to me either in public here on SHAKSPER or
privately via email. I've recently been employed specifically to develop
the Arden electronically and would be interested in any comments,
suggestions, likes or dislikes people may have about Shakespeare in any
electronic format, including the internet. I'm here to try and develop
things you want to use and buy!

Nicholas Kind
Electronic Development Editor
The Arden Shakespeare

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.