Learning from Pradis

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Kyle DeHoff | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Feb 23 2010 7:30 AM

Based on the strong reactions from the users about Zondervan/Pradis, I thought it might be a good time to ask; Does Logos have a plan for the day that they may have to close their doors? As nice as it is to hope that they'll be around indefinitely, this Pradis issue has revealed one of the growing pains of our particular age--ownership in the digital age. As many have said, in the software business, there's no guarantee that your stuff will work forever, just a license to use particular software while the company still supports it. This is alright for music, where other music players can play most or all of the files, and even large collections are based on cheap, commodity pricing. But we Logos users know that books are far more expensive and more of an investment that a $.99 song we heard on the radio. Logos uses a proprietary extension for book files to work within a proprietary indexing program--should the worst happen, could we users lose the libraries we spent so much building? Has any one thought of whether it could be open sourced should there ever come a need to stop work on Logos?

 

I highly value the work that Logos does, and am glad for the service they provide. In music and film, the industries have been glad as people re-purchased their collections (on DVD, on iTunes, on Blu-ray), while consumers have grumbled. The problem is clearly licensing, everyone does their best to get consumers access to content (books, music) through publishers using an outdated model (buy once for one copy) while society transitions to paying for something and wanting access to it wherever they go. You've done a great job by trying to synch the PC, Mac, iPhone experience. Please keep fighting for our rights to have this content when we have paid for it. Please consider your options for what could happen in the face of the unexpected. The Zondervan saga is a painful reminder that today, as it stands, if we want to be sure we are in charge of keeping a book as long as we'd like, buy the print edition. Whether the future is different depends on the reaction to events like this. I hope that there's a way to address these kinds of issues.

 

Grace & Peace,

Kyle

Posts 299
Robert Mullen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 7:40 AM

Well, in the case of iTunes the mighty giants bent eventually and music is now DRM free. Will the same thing happen here? My guess is that it will but when you are talking about a multi-hundred dollar commentary set the publisher is almost certainly going to be more reluctant to release their unprotected product than a $.99 mp3 file or a $9.99 album. That said the number of units and the interest in piracy is vastly different.

I would also like to see some kind of a plan for the unlikely outcome of Logos closing down. Maybe a blind trust with source code that would be released to valid users if Logos shut down?

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Kevin A. Purcell | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 10:23 AM

KyleDeHoff:
Does Logos have a plan for the day that they may have to close their doors?

My guess is no. Strangely enough this is not unprecedented. Google plans for its users wanting out and offers ways to export things like contacts, documents, rss feed lists and bookmarks. So it would be nice if Logos would do this. But they are not as big as Google and very few companies are as flush with cash as they are.

I would love just to be able to easily shift the format of the books to a password locked PDF or other digital book file that doesn't allow printing w/o the password. At least that way you could read it on a Kindle or other device. Again this is likely a publisher issue. There is no good reason for Logos not to do this since it would be a huge selling point.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 11:11 AM

No one can predict the future, so betting on a format forever is almost certain to be a mistake. Wanting to know what could happen if a platform is abandoned is certainly a reasonable request. I would however inject a bit of perspective before anyone gets too worked up.

It might be nice to know that there is some open source route that could easily be exploited to keep our Logos resources in play whether Logos makes it or not. I doubt there are plans for that, but that doesn't make me anxious. Logos has a lot of assets, a hefty user base that continues to buy new product, and a valuable market segment going for it. That makes the likelihood that if Logos had to close that no one would step in with a plan to rescue the users very unlikely. Could happen, but I think there is a lot working in our favor.

Pradis was never like this. From the beginning it was limited to the works Zondervan produced and it was probably never financially successful. In fact as a competitor to Logos it was doomed from the start. The only reason probably 95% of the people who owned Pradis bought it was to get the Zondervan resources, not because it could stand on its own as competition to Logos. (I am surprised they didn't give up on it earlier.)

Zondervan has made an effort to accommodate its Pradis users with their resources. It hasn't just hung them out to dry. In deciding to end the development of Pradis it arranged for another publisher to pick up those titles and to offer a discount to existing Pradis users to migrate (let's not discuss that issue here, it's been done.) While this is costly, it isn't the same as finding out what you have has no value at all.

I take comfort in the company Logos is and how it has developed. Logos has grown slowly and has been successfully through a couple of market cycles that destroyed some other tech and software companies, and is just getting to be a better product with better resources. Unless an equally compelling program emerged with similar or better resources Logos will continue to grow in its market segment. Unless the leadership makes a huge plunder, I believe Logos will be here in the long run. So the fact that it may not have an exit strategy for its users isn't much of a concern to me. Things can change. But at this point I have had about 15 years with Logos and there has never been a time I've been concerned about how much I've spent. I just keep spending.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 11:26 AM

Mark A. Smith:
It might be nice to know that there is some open source route that could easily be exploited to keep our Logos resources in play whether Logos makes it or not. I doubt there are plans for that,

Warning: My information may be wrong

It is my understanding that L4 stores data in an XML database using SQL Lite. If so, if Logos were to cease to exist in its own right I would be comfortable assuming that it's resources would continue to be supported for many years. My logic? proprietary recipe formats have continued to be supported for more than a decade. Given that XML is a standard format and given the greater motivation to retain resource value ... you get the picture.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 11:42 AM

Mark A. Smith:
I take comfort in the company Logos is and how it has developed. Logos has grown slowly and has been successfully through a couple of market cycles that destroyed some other tech and software companies, and is just getting to be a better product with better resources. Unless an equally compelling program emerged with similar or better resources Logos will continue to grow in its market segment. Unless the leadership makes a huge plunder, I believe Logos will be here in the long run. So the fact that it may not have an exit strategy for its users isn't much of a concern to me. Things can change. But at this point I have had about 15 years with Logos and there has never been a time I've been concerned about how much I've spent. I just keep spending.

I take comfort in the fact that Logos does not have an exit strategy.  Such practices seem to amount to self-fulfilling prophecies.

george
gfsomsel

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

Posts 29
Matt Rees | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 12:04 PM

Robert Mullen:

Maybe a blind trust with source code that would be released to valid users if Logos shut down?

+1

 

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