Dealing with digital editions, digital rights

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The Deal LLC Fulfillment Director Steve Gardberg has more than a few digital editions to keep track of. He recently shared some of his thoughts on the evolving world of digital with Media Business.

MB:Along with digital editions, youre dealing with digital-rights management issues.

Gardberg: We’re continuing to execute our strategy for that and communicating it with customers while keeping them happy. The explanation basically is that if a customer were to pass along a print edition of something, they would no longer have a copy of the magazine in his or her office. If they pass along a digital version of a publication, they are copying the publication onto someone else’s computer and now have two editions rather than just one. Our legal customers understand it right away, but other customers don’t always understand it that quickly. We haven’t actually restricted the number of people who can open any digital file. We are tracking usage but after we track for a while we’ll figure out the fair usage for a paid subscription.

MB:Is pass-along a huge problem?

Gardberg: Abuse exists but it’s not horrendous.

MB: Has digital brought any other problems?

Gardberg: For customers that get multiple products digitally, there are fulfillment and technical issues that don’t allow people to go from one product to another seamlessly. That’s an issue we’re working on now. One of the biggest things is negotiating user experience ideals. Another is fulfillment and technical systems-making them work together so that the user experience is what you want it to be and what the customer wants. But those need to be companywide initiatives. They can’t just be done by circulation.

—Mark J. Miller

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