Editorial rights grab is nothing new within the content licensing industry, and presently there’s enormous pressure on licensors to agree to open-ended electronic publishing terms – essentially allowing textbook publishers to use content across all platforms in perpetuity.
Given that rights holders and publishers mutually worked on the established parameters of run-rate volume, which in turn was the basis of used based pricing, the model has been turned on its head. Coupled with erroneous reporting on behalf of the publishing industry to content owners over the years and the macro-economic conditions related to digitization and piracy, the content industry has been backed into a corner and many are simply signing away their ability to recoup royalties on future use of their content.
The value gap is considerable: visual media, while being the primary driver in usability and user attraction to products on smartpads, takes a backseat to actual cost of product. The only way to close this gap is by redefining the price/cost model of content, through digital imprints or other DRM metrics, but an issue of greater importance is addressing the marketplace cost for digital textbooks – pinching the supply chain isn’t sustainable.