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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 4:50 AM

J Mackwell:

An interesting forum string to read is: http://www.accordancebible.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=3161&st=0  If you read from post 7 onwards you will see the discussion about the libronix transfer fee and the 'unofficial' accordance admins response. Yep definately no charges made for transfering of licences.

As someone who has invested in libronix and who wants to invest further I would like to know 'at least' that this 10% transfer fee would be waived in cases of the licence holder dying and the 'whole collection' being passed onto a 'sole beneficiary'. Also that this whole collection being passed onto a sole beneficiary would include the downloaded books (i.e. the whole collection I presently have access to)? This I would hope to be the minimum allowance made by Libronix?

Jonathan

Thanks for the link Jonathan, what an interesting read Hmmmm! Let's hope your post doesn't disappear like you know .........  Logos rules are far more stringent than i even thought, that is if what i have read is correct.

Ted

 

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Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 5:14 AM

Logos is too good to leave it without the honest reaction of the users who invested and want to invest even more into this software.

Bohuslav

Posts 244
Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 6:48 AM

I was under the impresssion that logos did not charge for the transfer of titles in the begining, but it was labor intensive for customer service and felt they needed to charge something for the service.

My personal feeling is that there need to be a fair way to sell books no longer wanted or needed, after all we paid good money for them. If we are required to sell our complete library to someone in order to not pay a 10% fee is not fair. What happens to those that inherit our library and want to sell because they need the money? Some of us have large enough libraries that it would be almost impossible to find a buyer for the whole sheebang. At that point our heirs would have digital files that we have paid thousands of dollars for that would not benefit them. Hopefully they would use them, but who knows?

 

Bobby T

Posts 356
Alain Maashe | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 11:17 AM

It is very disappointing to see that the 2007 EULA was sneaked in without alerting those with existent libraries or without limiting its application to new purchases

Logos should have been upfront about the changes and should have publicised it

I hope Logos is mindful of the fact that only satisfied customer recommend the product they use to their circle of influence

We here as power users, especially those of us in academia, have large circles of influence with many students asking us for recommendations about bible software

I have heavily recommended Logos in the past (without a service fee or a 10% cut), but unless this policy is changed, I cannot do it anymore, not in good conscience

this is really a deal breaker

Alain

 

Posts 58
ZoesProudDaddy | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 11:20 AM

Alain,

I am not sure why Bob hasn't responded although I understand he is busy. I put an email into him and Dan and Dan said to give it to the end of the month for Bob to respond so we will see. Although he obviously views the forums as he posted something a couple of days ago.

Posts 356
Alain Maashe | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 11:39 AM

Alan,

I don't mind Bob taking time (not too long of course) to formulate a response as long as the result is satisfactory

I don't think that transfer fees are such a good source of revenue for Logos that they are ready to alienate power users

I can only see profit (as in “the maximization of profit”) as the rationale for that policy but such profit comes at a cost that I believe Logos cannot afford especially with version 4.0 coming soon

We are not asking Logos to do something unreasonable like allowing us to break collections and sell individual resources. Most of us can even leave with a modest transfer fee per transfer (not per resource)

what we are asking Logos to do is not to treat us like big corporations that are able to afford and absorb  big transfer fees but to treat us the same way other bible software companies in the industry treat their customer.

A very realistic ideal would be for Logos to waive all transfer fees and then let the quality of the products and services command loyalty from its customer base

We are taking a risk by investing heavily in Bible software, this risk is magnified by this outrageous policy since we are certain to lose in the long run  

 

Alain

Posts 58
ZoesProudDaddy | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 11:51 AM

Alain Maashe:

Alan,

I don't mind Bob taking time (not too long of course) to formulate a response as long as the result is satisfactory

I don't think that transfer fees are such a good source of revenue for Logos that they are ready to alienate power users

I can only see profit (as in “the maximization of profit”) as the rationale for that policy but such profit comes at a cost that I believe Logos cannot afford especially with version 4.0 coming soon

We are not asking Logos to do something unreasonable like allowing us to break collections and sell individual resources. Most of us can even leave with a modest transfer fee per transfer (not per resource)

what we are asking Logos to do is not to treat us like big corporations that are able to afford and absorb  big transfer fees but to treat us the same way other bible software companies in the industry treat their customer.

A very realistic ideal would be for Logos to waive all transfer fees and then let the quality of the products and services command loyalty from its customer base

We are taking a risk by investing heavily in Bible software, this risk is magnified by this outrageous policy since we are certain to lose in the long run  

 

Alain

Oh I know Alain, I am total agreement with you. Many of us have already spent thousands and I agree that a 10% fee isn't reasonable.

Posts 8796
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 12:12 PM

J Mackwell:

An interesting forum string to read is: http://www.accordancebible.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=3161&st=0  If you read from post 7 onwards you will see the discussion about the libronix transfer fee and the 'unofficial' accordance admins response. Yep definately no charges made for transfering of licences.

As someone who has invested in libronix and who wants to invest further I would like to know 'at least' that this 10% transfer fee would be waived in cases of the licence holder dying and the 'whole collection' being passed onto a 'sole beneficiary'. Also that this whole collection being passed onto a sole beneficiary would include the downloaded books (i.e. the whole collection I presently have access to)? This I would hope to be the minimum allowance made by Libronix?

Jonathan

If you look at that forum you will note that that thread was begun by a DeWayne Davis who was a Logos customer and who posted on the Newsgroups.  In one of his posts I recall his confessing that he had been caught engaging in some hanky-panky with regard to certain unspecified resources.  He stated that he was "in bad odor" with Logos.  I suspect that this is due to his own unethical practices, and that the change in Logos' practice was introduced to deal with that.  I suspect that Bob is carefully considering the matter of how to deal with such eventualities should they ever recur.  I rather doubt that Logos intends to cause hardship to any HONEST users of Logos resources and would encourage patience.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 3:32 PM

You are right George i should have listen to you.

Posts 8796
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 4:42 PM

Ted Hans:

Hi my friend George - you are now speaking in tongues & some of us do not have the gift of interpretation to decipher what you mean. From one of your post in the newsgroup you mentioned someone leaving Logos without them explaining why. Now you mention "hanky-panky" ,"in bad odor" & "unethical practices", would you be kind enough to fill me in off the web forum. 

"I rather doubt that Logos intends to cause hardship to any HONEST users of Logos resources and would encourage patience." What does my friend mean by this, has he been studying too much Hebrew again! Wink I was honest with Logos but the same policy applies to me i don't understand. You seem to know something the rest of don't, perhaps that is why you have been very English about this Fee saga Big Smile

I think what I wrote is perfectly clear even though it may not provide a depth of information since I myself can only guess regarding what the practice was in which he might have gotten discovered and therefore would not wish to go beyond the facts that he has himself admitted.  I think, however, that your problem is not so much in understanding what I wrote as in acknowledging that another's action should affect you.  That is the way the world functions, get used to it.  Someone engages in dishonest practices so that as a consequence new laws are put into place which makes life more difficult for all even though they are behaving honorably.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 1204
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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 9:59 PM

Sorry it's taken so long for me to jump in on this. I've been wrestling the policy dragon.

BOTTOM LINE:

We're removing the 10% fee and setting the fee at a fixed $20.

LONG EXPLANATION, PART 1:

No product creator likes the second sale. Car manufacturers would prefer that your car disintegrated in five years to having you re-sell it to someone who might otherwise buy a new car. Book publishers wish you kept every book you ever bought. Manufacturers of dinner plates don't like garage sales.

Fortunately, cars, books, and dinner plates get dirty, worn, broken, and fall out of style. People prefer new ones to used ones. And they are physical goods that are a bit of a hassle to sell; even with the friction-reducing Internet, you still have to get the item from willing seller to wiling buyer.

Digital goods don't wear out or get dirty. Used copied are identical to new copies. Worse, they're easy to transfer. There are no shipping charges and there is very little market friction.

Some digital goods producers address this market-shrinking problem by introducing friction or planned-obsolesence. They sell the music wrapped in DRM. Or they deliver the ebook for a platform that will go obsolete. (I switched to Kindle; where are my Rocket eBook books? I switched to Blu-Ray, now my VHS tapes feel old. My music is in lossy MP3, but someday I'll want "High-Def Digital Sound" files, or whatever else.)

Other producers use rental; you can watch the video on-demand for a lot less than buying the Blu-Ray version, but you have to pay everytime you watch it. You can get all the music you want for free on Rhapsodiy, but you've got to continue your subscription every month.

I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to re-sell your digital content just like your physical content. I'm just saying it's tough on the content producers, because the more valuable and useful and portable your digital content, the more you'll expect to keep using it, to re-sell it, and to be supported on the various new platforms that come along. You may have bought the same music album on vinyl, cassette, and CD, but you (rightly) don't expect to pay three times for books from Logos. And worse (for Logos), you expect we'll be providing free technical support, software upgrades, and support for your latest choice in operating systems (not just the new Windows, but your switch to Mac or mobile or some yet-unknown machine) for the rest of your life. And the life of beneficiaries named in your will. And theirs.

Okay. But please appreciate that you're asking for (and getting) more from this than almost any other product. Your car warranty will end. Your paper books will deteriorate. (And before someone says "Kindle e-books are cheaper!", let me ask you if you got the Kindle reader for free, or a free upgrade to Kindle 2, or expect the next device to be free.)

Please note: I'm not complaining. I'm framing the discussion with, I hope, sympathy-inducing background.

LONG EXPLANATION, PART 2:

We built our license management platform around the (incorrect) expectation that we'd sell the books to individuals who would use them. End of story. We didn't have that many books at first, and most every sale was of a single, large collection with a serial number. It turns out some users stopped using them (graduated, retired, died, etc.) and in those cases it was easy to move the license to someone else on request. We just changed the customer record associated with the serial number.

Taking advantage of reduced physical costs for digital goods, we also created a lot of very high-discount book collections. Most of our base collections reflect a 90% discount from list price for the physical equivalents. We offer these discounts knowing that you don't want every book in the collection -- but you want some and someone else wants the other, and by bundling we can offer everyone a larger library.

Some customers jumped onto the idea of re-selling their licenses as a way not just to transfer their software to a friend at graduation or retirement (which we'd traditionally done for free), but as a way to make some cash by re-selling the contents of their collections. They would look at the 250+ books in their $630 Scholar's Library -- worth $6,000+ in print -- and figure that if they could sell just a portion of those books at 1/2 their retail price they could keep the rest of Scholar's effectively for free. Or better yet, make a profit!

Now if I run a store and sell an apple for $1, or two apples for $1.50, you might expect to be able to re-sell one of the two apples you bought as a bundle. You could sell it at 75 cents, reducing your single-apple cost by a quarter and giving the buyer a good deal. Or you could re-sell an apple for $1, cutting your apple cost to 50 cents. The store loses some margin, but you're taking on the cost of sales in time and hassle.

Would it be okay to walk out of the store and try to re-sell your second apple for 75 cents outside the store's front door, intercepting other $1/apple shoppers before they get inside? Wouldn't that seem a bit unfair to the store owner? Maybe, but maybe you can justify it. You did buy the apple, it's yours to do what you want.

How about posting a notice on the store's community bulletin board advertising your apple -- bought in a 2 for $1.50 bundle -- for 75 cents? Sure, the store owns the bulletin board, but it's open to the public to post things on it, right?

Okay, what if it's not apples, but two TV's? One flat screen LCD TV for $1,000, or two for $1,500. Free tech support and installation help. Now you want to buy two, re-sell one to someone else, but you want the store to provide tech support and installation help to you and the second person you just sold your second one to for $750. And you want to call them and have them make a new support account and transfer the serial number of the second TV to your new customer. The store had been planning on only having to explain the TV once -- but now they have to provide support and installation help to you AND the second customer. And they got $500 less than if they'd sold each of you a TV directly.

Now the store is offering a really killer deal. They've bundled three TV's, a universal remote, 25 pre-selected on-demand movies (a mix of movies you like and hate), an in-store class on setting up a home theater, a VIP tech-support number, and a semester-long film appreciation class at the community college. The whole package is $2,000, which is amazing, since the TV's alone are worth $3,000, the remote $250, the movies $250, the premium tech support $100, the in-store class $50, and the community college class $800.

Well, you only need two TV's, and so you don't feel bad selling the third one for $750. How about the movies? They aren't on DVD's you can hand out; they're codes attached to your on-demand account. Is it fair to ask the store to give these three codes to Sally, from whom you collected $30, and these five to Jim, from whom you got $50? And you hate classes; can you have them change the registration at the community college to whoever you can get to buy it? Maybe you can just post a notice on the bulletin board outside the community college registration office and intercept anyone who was headed there to pay for the $800 for the class with a killer deal at $400! Then call the store and have them send the new name over to the registrar.

Is this fair dealing? You could make the case. But to the store owner, it's not. Yes, I sold you all those things. But I built the bundle price around some assumptions: no one customer would ever choose all 25 of these movies, so the studios gave me a lower-than-normal price because I'm bundling them and making it up in volume, without really hurting standalone sales to those people who just _love_ movie 12 and would pay full-retail for it. And I know that only 15% of customers call the VIP support line, and that only 10% of people come to the in-store class, and that only 1 in 100 goes to the community college class, which is why the college sold the $800 class to me for $8 per customer.

Who is right? If the customer is right, that's fine. But it'll be the end of killer bundle deals. If the store owner is right, they're going to oppose un-bundling. Practically speaking, will they mind if you give away or sell one of the TV's? Probably not. Will they have a policy prohibiting unbundling or re-selling of the bundle components? Yes. (For a great example, read the fine-print on Disney World's multi-day park passes with regards to re-selling unused days!)

LONG EXPLANATION, PART 3:

We are all (digital content consumers and producers) still feeling our way around this big new world. Policies and procedures are changing, and we're all testing to see what works, what doesn't, what's affordable and what's not. Maybe re-sale of digital content is more important to consumers than producers thought. If so, producers will have to find out if they can afford it, and adjust their models if not. Maybe you'll keep buying e-content and be able to do whatever you want, but have to pay more for the content. Some publishers will move to multi-platform continuity while not allowing transfers to other users (Kindle), others to subscription models where you never "own" the copy (Rhapsody), others to releasing new platforms to obsolete old content, etc.

At Logos we've got two big goals: 1) Take care of the customer. 2) Stay in business. (Conveniently, #1 facilitates #2, and #2 ensures we can do #1.)

I hate policy, and try to resist it wherever possible. I tell our customer service reps that the only policy I care about is taking care of the customer.

People like policies, though. It makes the future knowable, provides clarity, absolves one of responsibility, eliminates difficult judgment calls, etc. Customers often plead for policies "so I know the rules", and employees want them so they can always know what to do. I understand this, and sometimes even admit it is necessary. I just hate policies and resist them as much as possible, because I believe that eventually every policy, no matter how well designed or well intentioned, will get in the way of Goal #1 or Goal #2.

(I'm sure you don't want to hear "trust me", but it really is a better answer than any policy I could give you on any subject. We're going to try to do right by you in every situation, and I don't want any unhappy customers. Ever. If you aren't happy, ask for me.)

One place we do need to make policies is on open-ended commitments. For reasons ranging from legal to accounting to simply mundane, we sometimes put a limit or rule in place to guard the downside. Controlling or charging for eternal license transfers gives us an out if things get out of control or abused. Similarly we publish a fixed number of days for our money-back guarantee, while in practice it is practically eternal. (An eternal money-back guarantee would cause 100% of revenue to be booked as a potential liability in your financial statements. You can practice an eternal guarantee -- precisely because not eveyone will use it -- but you can't publish it, because then you'd be dead if they did, and the financial accounting has to account for that possibility.)

So now, with a fixed license transfer fee of $20, I hope you'll find us fair. It costs us around $12 to take a customer service call, and there are other costs involved. (We need to redesign some of our systems to make this easier to do in the databases.) We're going to limit license transfers to "things you bought". That means you can transfer anything you purchased as a unit (which better matches what we track in our system), but we're not going to support unbundling a massively discounted collection so someone can make money re-selling a collection one book at a time for a sum more than the cost of the whole bundle.

Even this policy (which will take a few days to trickle through our people and systems) is just a foundation for accomplishing Goal #1 and Goal #2. If you think it isn't fair, or that you've got a special situation where we should act differently, just talk to us. There's no secret policy board, there's no diabolical plan to maximize profits at all costs; there's just a group of people who are trying to balance a lot of different goals that are in constant and changing tension.

Thank you for all your feedback here, and I'm sorry it took me so long to jump into the discussion. It doesn't take any time at all to waive a fee for any individual user -- but when you're demanding a new written policy, <smile>, it takes a little longer to line up the internal conversation and consensus.

-- Bob

(President/CEO, Logos Bible Software)

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Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 10:27 PM

Bob, before I would say anything else, I want you to know I really appreciate the way you approach the issue and even more, your kind spirit expressed in your post. That is one of the reasons I want to stick with Logos. You explained many new things to me. Thank you. I perfectly understand the breaking collections thing. I know the easiness of transfering of digital goods might be quite challenging to the producers like Logos. That is why I really appreciate your way of explanation, and even more removing of the 10% transfer fee.

God bless you and keep up producing the best Bible software in the World.

Bohuslav

Posts 58
ZoesProudDaddy | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2009 11:45 PM

Bob Pritchett:
Snip

Bob,

Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it greatly as I am confident everyone else here does as well. I believe that you have put my concerns to rest and hopefully you have put others here as well.


Again, thank you for being a shining example of what a CEO should be for his customers.

 

Alan

Posts 2221
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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 18 2009 1:32 AM

Bob Pritchett:

Thank you for all your feedback here, and I'm sorry it took me so long to jump into the discussion. It doesn't take any time at all to waive a fee for any individual user -- but when you're demanding a new written policy, <smile>, it takes a little longer to line up the internal conversation and consensus.

Thanks Bob for including "Long explanation 2" as background info which threw light on the true nature of things. "Long explanation 2" has gone a long way in calming my fears and without it (explanation 2) i still would have been disappointed even with the change in policy, as it is now i am not disappointed anymore. Some of your staff have been exceptionally kind and have gone beyond the call of duty in attending to my request/issues/difficulties. So i was surprise at the existence of such a policy & reading last years blog entry was not helpful but rather confusing. I did not understand the context as you have outlined it in detail. I can now see "There's no secret policy board, there's no diabolical plan to maximize profits at all costs; there's just a group of people who are trying to balance a lot of different goals that are in constant and changing tension". Now that you have cleared up the confusion i must say i am yours truly & i shall try and give you guys the benefit of the doubt next time, that is if there is a next time. We can all agree on this Logos Bible Software is the best in the world!

Kind Regards

Ted

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 18 2009 3:39 AM

Bob

Thank you for the explanations. I really appreciate the change in policy.

Jack

Posts 1938
Kevin A. Purcell | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 18 2009 6:09 AM

Wow!  That is a great response.  My earlier post reflected my frustration with how companies who produce digital content treat their customers.  But Logos should never be lumped in with the rest.

Posts 2882
Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 18 2009 6:49 AM

Bob Pritchett:
We're removing the 10% fee and setting the fee at a fixed $20.

Bob:

I will raise one question not addressed in your note.  You have indicated that there is a flat $20 fee - but have have not indicated what this fee covers.  Is

  1. "Per transfer" - if I give to my son four separate items, all purchased separately, will it be a $20 fee or an $80 fee.
  2. "Per item paid for" - again using the same example as above.

I expect this becomes a bigger issue if I were to retire and want to transfer my entire collection to my son. 

Thank you for any additional details you can provide as to how the policy will be implemented. 

Blessings,

Floyd

Blessings,
Floyd

Pastor-Patrick.blogspot.com

Posts 1164
John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 18 2009 7:29 AM

Bob,

Thanks for the reply and the change in policy. Will downloads be available for transfer? I just changed my prepub for the NICOT/NICNT to CD because of the prior policy. I don't want to spend a grand and find that I cannot transfer it or give it away later in my life.

 

John Fidel

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 18 2009 7:58 AM

John I have the same concern. I buy exclusively downloads. The cds take too long to arrive (in the Bahamas) 3 - 4 weeks, plus there is the cost of shipping plus 10% tax. There is no tax for downloads.

I have at least 5 or more lisences for the KJV. I can only use it once on my computer. What if I could give all except one of them to friends as a means of acquainting them with the software, which may convince them to buy one of yhe packages.

The more packages sold the more books published in Libronix. The more books published in Libronix, the cheaper the cost. This way everyone wins.

Everything ever written or spoken in Religion, formatted for Logos Bible Software. Logos Youtube Channel

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Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 18 2009 8:45 AM

Lynden Williams:
I have at least 5 or more lisences for the KJV. I can only use it once on my computer.

If I understood Bob right, you would have to give one of your collections having KJV, not single KJV, if you did not buy it separatelly, what I doubt. There is no way you can give KJV which had been bundled with other resources you want to keep. That is OK.  I understand that. What I would like to be able to give away is, if I bought separatelly some resource, for a full price, and latter I buy a collection with the resource included. It looks to me logical, that I would be able to give away the single resource I bought as a single resource, and give away collection if I bought a collection. Am I wrong in my thinking?

Bohuslav

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