Storing Water in a Colander

Hello everyone,
There has been some discussion about publishers charging for feeds of content in addition to licensing fees. I think it is a bad idea and I am against it.

First a review; the access based license model is about charging a license fee for the service provider’s end customer to have access to the content in the service provider’s data base with the search results being a headline and link to the publishers site. If the end customer needs to see the content and not link to it there is an additional usage fee of 20%. Thus you have a 2 part model based on tracking the number of customers that the service provider has.

Tracking customers is quite doable. Tracking content is certainly not. Tracking content is…….wait for it……akin to trying to store water in a colander.

With customer tracking, an auditor can go in to a Service Provider’s relationship management systems (such as Salesforce or Seibel) and their billing systems and count the customers.

For tracking content the task is not doable. There are too many ways with today’s technology to avoid detection, intentionally or otherwise. Some are quite legal. For example, how do you know if a Service Provider has scanned content or subscribed online, do an entity search/extraction and then use a program to summarize the content and capture the metadata for insertion into their database. This is only one example of the different ways to avoid paying for feeds.

Then there is the psychological side of all this. The idea is to encourage the use of your content and collect the licensing fees. By charging for the feed of content you create a barrier to usage. You are also actually charging the customer twice. Think in terms of charging for the subscription and then again to read it.