Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 188.  Thursday, 30 July 1992.
From: 		Roy Flannagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, July 30, 1992, 14:03:48 EST
Subject: 	The Shakespeare on Disk Giveaway with Bevington's Edition
Harper Collins has been offering a full electronic Shakespeare with Bevington's
edition, *if* the instructor commits to having his or her students buy over 150
copies within a two-year period.  Our local sales rep did not know where the
texts came from, and she had not been told whether they were or they weren't
Bevington's texts, or whether or not they came with annotations.  When I wrote
to Marketing at Harper Collins, their Marketing Manager, Ann Stypuloski, did
write to tell me that these were not Bevington's texts but Shakespeare on Disk,
a series which I know is indeed complete but could not be used safely to
compare with Bevington line by line. The individual who wants to have the
complete plays from Shakespeare on Disk must sign a "letter of agreement" to
order those 150 copies for classes.  The "Letter of Agreement" turns out to be
a two-page legal document that absolves Harper Collins from "the entire risk of
using the licensed software," and it warns "This software offer may be
terminated by HarperCollins{College}Publishers for any reason and without cause
at any time."  Ann Stypuloski, wrote  me, "We did not commission this package.
We are giving it to people at no cost but in order to cover our costs we have
to guarantee an order quantity."
The Shakespeare on Disk texts are not meant to be definitive texts, but they
are useful, say, to assign parts and give out lines for an in-class production
of a scene or two, or to help with identification questions on quizzes or
tests.  The texts are in ASCII and are easily ported from one medium to
another, or used on a variety of disk-operating systems.  But they have nothing
to do with Bevington's texts.
I called Shakespeare on Disk.  I know this small company because I did a series
of Milton texts for them.   Sam Reifler, Shakespeare on Disk's founder, told me
that Harper Collins was at first planning to place a large order with them,
anticipating that everyone who wanted a Bevington text might want the
electronic texts as well.  Instead, Harper Collins ended up ordering ten
copies.  Apparently Harper Collins is waiting for the orders to come in,
together with the signed "letter of agreement" for those 150 copies of
Bevington's text, before commiting any money toward purchase of the Shakespeare
on Disk texts.
Roy Flannagan
English Ohio University
Athens, Ohio 45701

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