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How 'free distribution' impacts your business model: is it really ...

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How 'free distribution' impacts your business model: is it really ...

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Published by
Reads 127
Language English
144
F. Hill Slowinski
Patrick Bernuth
F. Hill Slowinski and Patrick Bernuth
Learned Publishing(2001)14, 144–148
ntroduction ‘Free! Free access; free distribution. It paebIht;nerewecreoitptuo,eerfehranivaldeerboutistcovoinlwsasaaya. is free on the internet! But, is it really free? Of course not. When we hear talk g talka Nonetheless, the widespread perceptions associated with digital technology and the internet are forcing publishers to look at ways to shift the balance of the burden of cost away from the user. Thus, even as publishers are eager to use this medium for dissemination of professional and scholarly information, they find themselves bumping up against the perception that information on the net ought to be free. This has them all wrestling to come up quickly with new methods and models for their e-publishing programmes that are fiscally responsible, competitive, and imaginative.
Free distribution: Who is being paid? Who is paying? In thinking about this idea of ‘free distribu-tion – and in identifying both the costs and the payers of those costs – it is important to look separately at the participants who have added value to this process of developing and disseminating information and know-ledge. Who is the author/creator? Who is the publisher/distributor? The authors role in adding value is obvious. Publishers fill the second role:publishing(the process between the authors output and the making of the final product whether it be a book, a journal, or a computer file); anddistribution(the process of getting the users attention, outlining the benefits of the product and selling it for a price calculated to recoup the costs of the creating, and publishing/ distributing). This is the ‘who is being paid part of the equation. The ‘who is paying part of the equation is more complex. Is it the user? Is it the publisher? Is it a government? A university?
How ‘free distribution impacts your business model: is it really free?
F. Hill Slowinski, JD Director, Bernan Press, Lanham, Maryland, USA, and Chair, AAP PSP Public Issues Task Force
Patrick Bernuth Bernuth & Associates, Washington, DC, USA
© F. Hill Slowinski, JD and Patrick Bernuth 2001
Adapted from ‘Public Policy is Everyone’s Concern: How “Free Distribution” Impacts Your Business Model – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Association of American Publishers Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division Annual Meeting, PSP Public Issues Task Force, 7 February 2000, Washington, DC
ABSTRACT: The widespread perceptions associated with digital technology and the internet are forcing publishers to look to ways to shift the balance of the burden of cost away from the user. We describe seven examples of ‘free distribution and discuss how they impact publishing business models.
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