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Definition of Terms

This version dated August 5, 1997

1. Library
2. Work
3. Product
3.1 University/Site Server Reference Product
3.2 University/AMICO Server Reference Product
3.3 University Selected Reference Product
4. Value-added
5. Tools
5.1 Analysis tools
5.2 Presentation Tools
5.3 Discourse Tools
6. Market
7. License
7.1. Licensee
7.2 Licensed Users
7.3 Licensed Uses
7.4 Terms and Conditions of Use
8. Fees
9. Distributor
9.1 Distributors to the University Market
9.2 Distributors to the K-12 Market
The LIBRARY consists of all the digital works licensed to AMICO by its members.

A WORK is a unit of multimedia documentation contributed to the AMICO LIBRARY.

The simplest WORK is the representation of a single work of art. These might range from works with "minimal documentation" (a base level that will be established by AMICO participants but will presumably always include one image and complete "tombstone" data) to works incorporating large quantities of structured and unstructured text, sound, and motion image.

In the future, The AMICO Library might include more complex WORKS, such as a curriculum packet, an interview, a virtual exhibits or a digital edition of a publication such as a catalogue raissonee. Members of AMICO would need to set base standards for each genre as well as determine the "shares" each member should receive for each kind of contribution to the Library.


AMICO will make its LIBRARY of WORKS and subsets of that Library available as a series of separate products. A PRODUCT is defined as:

  • specified works
  • specified value added content/tools
  • a specified distributor, which may also have associated services

Some of these products will incorporate the full contents of the Library and be distinguished by the way they are delivered or the extent of value-added tools and indexes which accompany them. Other products will only cover parts of the library, be directed towards specific niche markets, or include distinctive modes of delivery and service.

3.1. University/ Site Server Reference Product
The simplest of the AMICO products, and the one which will no doubt be offered first, is based on the MESL model. It consists of the entire Library, delivered in a standard but raw form, on fixed media for local mounting on a University network, without any indexes or tools. This product has an annual update schedule (is refreshed only when the license is renewed) and is accompanied by no services. It is the most complete and cheapest way to use AMICO, but we know from experience that only a relatively small number of the world's largest universities are prepared to absorb the costs to themselves of licensing this product.
3.2. University/AMICO Server Reference Product
Very shortly, if not at start up, AMICO will need to develop a product that is more appealing to smaller universities and colleges. The more important feature of this product will be the value-added search system and indexes that are delivered with it and (probably) a component that permits the licensee of the product to access the AMICO server and "order" content for delivery to the university. The costs of providing these added services make this product significantly more expensive for AMICO to offer but enhance its value to the licensee.
3.3. University Selected Reference Products
Other product variants might be defined for the university market by the amount or type of content which is licensed (the product could incorporate the entire Library, or it might have a fixed number of works or number of pre-defined sub-sets from the Library), or the type and quantity of support in the form of access to the AMICO server which are contracted.
The works contributed by AMICO members will be enhanced by the mere fact of being included with other works from other institutions, but their value to licensees will be even more greatly enhanced by:
  • uniform quality control and adherence to standards
  • integrated indexes, thesauri, and cross references
  • editorial selection as part of coherent product
  • tools to display, search, analyze, manipulate, or link works
These four mechanisms of adding value will be combined in different AMICO products based on the needs of the market. It is hoped that the first of these VALUE-ADDED processes will improve all AMICO works, for the licensees and the museum members themselves. Generally products with greater levels of VALUE-ADDED will have higher fee structures.
TOOLS envisioned as part of AMICO products, or offered in the package of services provided by AMICO distributors, fall into three general categories:
5.1. Analysis tools
These tools assist users in exploiting The AMICO Library. They could include image analysis tools specifically designed to assist conservators using multiple images of different wave lengths of light, for example. They could include bibliographic analysis tools specifically designed to enable scholars to document the publication history of works. Analystic toolsets are likely to be created by AMICO licensed users, and offered back to AMICO as part of the relationship AMICO hopes to build with its educational user community.
5.2. Presentation tools
The most important tools in this category are likely to be those associated with searching The AMICO Library and displaying the results of such searches. In addition to specially enabled query mechanisms, these tools might include geographical display of result sets (including possibly display in historical maps), timeline display of results (histographic and iconic), and relative size displays. In addition, presentation tools include those requirewd to playback audio files, audio-video files, multimedia presentations and interactive experiences. Finally an array of 3-dimensional,. Virtual reality, and other tools could be included in this category. Many of these tools will be developed by museums themselves, distributors to the licensees, and by the licensees.
5.3. Discourse tools
One of the interests of AMICO is to enable dialog with users, whether they be scholars or students. Tools which support such dialog, annotation, live discussion and debate, fall into thicategory. Some of these tools will need to be provided by AMICO in order to ensure consistent input and interfaces for museum staff to engage in the dialogues and to incorporate input from users (when they find that input useful) into their own records.
A MARKET is a segment of the population or niche of institutions which is interested in the same or similar products. Higher education buyers are not the only educational market we want to reach, but once we move away from the higher education market, the kinds of products will need to be increasingly structured around specific markets. High schools and elementary schools have different needs as do school districts and individual private schools. Each will need to have packages of content, tools, and delivery methods made for it based on market research that we have not yet done. Some of the product structures will depend on the nature of the distributor.
A LICENSE to a product conveys rights to specific users for specific uses. In addition, it establishes the terms which the institutional licensee must satisfy in order to maintain the license, most importantly in our case, those relating to security and monitoring.
7.1. Licensee
AMICO licenses are offered to institutions with educational programs, not to the individuals taking part in those programs. The licensee must be in a position to oversee the use of the product and to enforce the terms and conditions of use.
7.2. Licensed users
Licensed users are defined by specific markets. Thus in the university license we excluded alumni, university tenants not affiliated with its educational programs, families of faculty and staff, etc. Specific licenses (attached to the same or different products) might be offered to these groups of users.
7.3. Licensed uses
Licensed uses are explicitly defined in each license, along with concrete examples of uses which are not allowed. Licensed uses go beyond the rights allowed under fair use. Licensed uses are appropriate to the particular context in which the licensee will make the product available to licensed users. Licensed uses are likely to be configured so as to be appropriate (in our view) to the educational level and educational purposes of the licensees. For example, we have imagined a license for higher education that includes quite a few permissions that we would not wish to convey to younger students, such as the right to keep portfolios with licensed works in them beyond the term of the license. We can imagine being asked to give school districts rights to broadcast content in various ways through communications channels to which their schools have access.
7.4. Terms and conditions of use
Terms and conditions of use for administering the licensed product are necessarily related to the abilities of the licensees. In the case of the university license, the MESL experience left museum participants comfortable with the high level of existing security within university networks that already license software and the high level of control which can be exercised by a sanction system that expels or fires offenders. As a consequence we drafted a license agreement that relies largely on social mechanisms for protection of the intellectual property. In other environments, including quite possibly smaller colleges and art schools, we may need to go beyond the social mechanisms of control and introduce more technological means. As we discussed briefly at the March 20 meeting, when such technical means are introduced they dramatically limit the license permissions. Technological means of control only work within closed systems; if copying license works outside of those types of systems does not render them unusable, it will leave them (technologically) non-secured. Drafting terms and conditions that can be met by licensees and which afford the kinds of protections, reporting, and indemnity relationships that both parties require involves a lot of exploration with different potential licensees that has not yet occurred outside of higher education. AMICO will need to draft such licenses as new products are developed, as part of the product development cycle.
Even though we discussed the principles of fee structures in our agreements on "licenses", it is important to recognize that it is the product plus the license that has a fee associated with it, not the licenses per se or the products alone. The same license and product could be offered to different markets at different fees. For example, all licensed products will be offered to AMICO members without charge. A product may be offered with several different licenses at different prices, depending on what rights the license gives the licensee. Indeed, different distributors could offer the same product and license at different prices, presumably feeling they provided different levels of support. Determining price points requires market analysis with quite concrete descriptions of products, licenses and targeted potential licensees.

A DISTRIBUTOR is a deliverer of information, in AMICO's case a provider to the educational community, such as a database vendor, information broker, or cable television operator. It would be uneconomical for AMICO to try to reach all markets by itself. Existing organizations are able to distribute content to a variety of the educational markets we wish to reach better than any new organization would be. AMICO should develop relationships with these organizations and capitalize on their expertise.

The fundamental problem here is similar to that facing a museum which wishes to distribute an exhibition catalog or video. The museum bookstore can sell some during the exhibition. Commercial book distributors, if they are willing to handle the title, are a further means of distribution. If the product is a video, negotiations with national video rental chains and television stations would become necessary to reach a broader audience.

AMICO itself could provide the simple, full reference product to universities capable of mounting it. An organization that holds the master/archival copies of the Library could provide a copy to each licensee in a relatively straightforward "write-to-fixed medium and mail" operation. Beyond that raw product, many other distributors have advantages in reaching specific audiences.

From AMICO's perspective, the existence of other distributors is tremendously beneficial. They can deliver the AMICO product to more potential licensees and cheaper than a purpose built AMICO run entity could. They can also add different amounts of value in their search tools and meta-indexes which helps differentiate the market and could contribute value back to AMICO members.

Actual negotiations with other distributors to provide the AMICO products to their markets will doubtless be very complex, but a commitment to non-exclusive agreements for distribution is an important part of the model we are proposing.

9.1. Distributors To The University Market

The Research Libraries Group and OCLC already have as members virtually every North American university to whom we would want to sell a license, as well as many foreign ones. They have the capability to mount a catalog and deliver subsets of data to their members, and indeed they are in the business of doing precisely this. Both would benefit from being distributors by being able to provide more to their members, as well as from the fee AMICO would pay for their distribution services. Needless to say, a variety of commercial entities also distribute data to the university market and might be interested in assuming a role in AMICO product delivery.

9.2. Distributors To The K-12 Market
SchoolNet in Canada and numerous statewide school networks in the US would be likely candidates for distribution of AMICO products to the K-12 markets. Many cable networks and publishers are also building distribution capabilities to reach these markets.

Copyright Archives & Museum Informatics, the Art Museum Network and the Association of Art Museum Directors

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