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3 April 2009 | Shirley Lacy Blog
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ITIL Copyright and Royalty Challenges
This week Shirley looks at copyright protection and the challenges that the on-line world faces controlling it..

  Shirley Lacy

One of the challenges that the on-line world faces is copyright protection, DRM and equitable royalty payments. I wonder how the recent announcement by Van Haren Publishing of an alternative low cost subscription to ITIL core publications on line is being received by the OGC and TSO, the official publisher of ITIL.

An alternative and much cheaper on-line offering must affect the TSO revenue stream. Without an adequate revenue stream, there may be less impetus to develop new or improved ITIL products and complementary guidance. IT Skeptic points out that TSO updates the core guidance as corrections and improvements are made. Will Van Haren be able to do the same?

Perhaps the topic should have been covered as a specific topic in ITIL V3. However it may have been too controversial at the time and should be added as a new complementary publication – but will there be enough funding now?

Several people I have spoken to will not go near the Van Haren offering. They consider it to be like viewing pirated music or DVDs. As professionals they prefer to go to the official source. After all they would not go near pirate DVDs.

However there are plenty of people who will want a cheaper version of ITIL and it may be the only way for some people. If you have not seen ITIL you may be very curious to see if holds the magic solution to your organisation’s IT service issues. There has been a noticeable increase on the Van Haren site from Chile during the last month. Perhaps this is related to the ITIL offering. Greater worldwide accessibility to ITIL and a greater reach must be good for the service management industry.

Perhaps the answer will come from the music and film industry. It cannot be from concert ticket sales –the ITIL authors would not be able to command such high revenues from concert ticket sales as star performers such as Madonna. You Tube, a Google site, is currently in dispute with PRS, the UK Performing Rights Society that collects music royalty fees. Some music videos have been blocked in the UK until negotiations on royalty fees are agreed. I wonder whether the OGC endorses the Van Haren offering.

With such a challenge perhaps there will be new offerings and pricing that is good for the IT industry. With the right royalties and revenue stream for ITIL development and new products it could work.

I personally believe that ISACA has a good model. I pay an annual subscription of $140 that includes membership of ISACA, access to COBIT on line and membership of the London Chapter where I can attend an evening meeting once a month. It is a one stop shop for professionals that are interested in governance for IT.

What so you think? What value do you place on ITIL? I would love to hear your views.   

Any feedback and comments are always welcome!


6th April 2009

Hi Shirley,

I think your article is spot on and I think the subscription model will increase adoption and in turn will increase the revenue delivered to the OGC not only from book sales but also from the number of people getting certified. We have just launched a similar program for our online self-study certification training programs. For $2970 (excluding exams) a student can access our complete online ITIL V3 training library (13 classes in all) and pursue the certification path they want (we are also planning other offerings in the subscription space)

The $2970 is equal to what they would pay to sit one public open enrollment class. Student-to-Instructor or Student-to-Student interaction is facilitated via the itSM Solutions Online Training Forum (on LinkedIn) or via email or phone. When students complete their course or courses they go online to register for the exam which will be proctored at a location neat them.

We believe this model will increase adoption as organization will be able to train more for less (especially in the Intermediate area) which in turn will free up cash to hire a seasoned, practically focused consultant (or internal staff employee) to help mentor them in the design, implementation and operational aspects of ITSM and ITIL.

We are also launching a special program (LinkedIn Group: The IT Practitioner Alliance) to unite the unemployed so they can leverage their buying power as a group to purchase these programs at a price they can afford.

Keep the articles coming.



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