A Site License for Mediactive

I’ve just signed a site license with a journalism school for the e-book. We worked out a sliding scale of payments. The university will pay a discounted rate from the list price for the first 40 copies. For each copy beyond that, up to 250, the rate will be lower yet. And after 250, the license will be free for anyone else at the university who wants to download the book.

This is a good deal for both sides. The school gets a deeply discounted book. I get some cash. If more schools sign up for this kind of thing, I could end up making a non-trivial amount of money.

Why should the schools pay? Because they are engaged in a business arrangement in which they sell courses to students and assign this book as part of that arrangement. The Creative Commons license I’ve used to publish Mediactive allows copying at will for non-commercial purposes, but universities using the book in classroom settings are, in fact, engaged in a commercial activity even if the universities are not-for-profit entities themselves.

My agent, David Miller, says he’s heard of major publishers doing site licenses for books. He hasn’t heard of self-published authors doing it this way. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, of course — but it’s definitely new to me! (I continue to learn new things about the publishing business with this project, which is one reason I’m doing it this way…)

If you are teaching journalism (or anything else) and are interested in using this book, please get in touch to discuss a site license. They book isn’t expensive even at its list price, but there are even better deals for bulk orders, especially e-book bulk orders.

By the way, I’m working with several colleagues on lesson plans for Mediactive. They’re coming along nicely and will be available, if all goes well, by mid-summer or so. We have a few nifty ideas in mind for this part of the project, so stay tuned.

6 thoughts on “A Site License for Mediactive”

  1. Love the experimentation, Dan, but have one question….if you view Higher Ed as a “commercial” use (disregarding the potential Fair Use argument that specifically mentions education as a use-case), how would you view an Academic Library hosting the eBook copy for download by students? How is that different than the Professor providing a link to the text in a course management system?

    Would you be interested in talking about a bulk license for libraries as well? If so, please let me know…I”m involved in a library non-profit that would be interested in experimenting.

    1. Jason, good questions. The fair use argument fails here, I think. It allows a teacher to show a movie (or at least some clips from it) but not to give it away to students.

      I’d be happy to talk about a bulk library license.

  2. Final paragraph, first sentence: “working several colleagues” –> “working with several colleagues”?

    1. Richard, pretty much everything that anyone writes can be used as educational materials. Does that mean everything should be put directly into the public domain? I don’t think so (and I don’t think that’s what you’re saying, or is it?). I publish under a Creative Commons non-commercial license, and I’m not going to send lawyers after people who violate the terms unless they start reselling this stuff without permission. I don’t think this is an unfair approach.

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