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S6 - Enhancing Market Places/Models for Lrs: New Challenges, New Services

Chair: Khalid Choukri

Rapporteur: Jan Odijk

 

Introduction

The setup of distribution agencies, such as LDC (1992) and ELRA (1995), has triggered the establishment of a market place of LRs for language technology (LT) players with middlemen playing broker roles. Before that time, bilateral agreements were negotiated between HLT players and data producers e.g. terminology centers, dictionary publishers, corpus producers (mostly newspapers and the like).

The new landscape of the e-business confronts the market with new opportunities and challenges, while increasing the potential number of players.

We distinguish the market of LRs along two perspectives: (1) the market of making LR accessible and (2) the production of a LR market.

 

Discussion, Objectives, FLaReNet Claims

Market of making LRs accessible

Many important issues are to be brought forward:

    • Structural aspects of the market of access to LRs (small players, global market). Focus should be put on the pricing policies that are considered by different players (producers, brokers, distributors, users), and the corresponding business model: pay per copy versus freeware (payment through public funds, info-commercials) versus registration/membership fee;
    • Factors that have impact on the completion of the transactions, such as quick availability of the data, high quality documentation, consistent description and metadata, flexible licensing, quality of the data (object of discussion in other sessions);
    • Profiles and business relationships between supply chain partners (producers, providers, distributors, and users);
    • New trends of e-marketplace (mostly broker-managed online market), together with electronic licensing (electronic signatures), on-line payment, on-line data transfer issues, etc.;
    • Emergence of “local players” for a given language or a country (e.g. TST-Central in the Netherlands) and the need for a partnership when it comes to selling worldwide.

A key issue in this market place is that most of the potential providers (LRs producers essentially interested by their technology development) are not very much interested in supplying such resources to third parties that may be their competitors. The lack of incentive for such suppliers to join the marketplace should be discussed in particular on how to balance the interests and the goals of the provider and those of the users. We may want to focus on the benefits of joining this marketplace, but also in terms of the possible consequences of not joining. The consequences have to be drawn also with respect to the funding potentials.

LR production market

The production business model should also be discussed. So far we have experimented a few models: individual productions paid for by private customers, some publicly (and partially) funded resources, possibility of a pooling of resources to produce and then share a set of similar resources (SpeechDat family), etc. It is important to discuss this LR production “market” as well.

 

Questions

6.1.  How to foster the emergence/growth of a business for companies (e.g. publishers) with long-standing traditional economic and business models in the sector of HLT?
6.2.  How to promote the emergence/growth of new business players that focus on the market to access LRs with their own economic and business models?
6.3.  How can motivational factors be induced by FLaReNet in order for players to join the LR market place?
6.4.  How can producers be encouraged to share and distribute their resources to third parties? What types of producers are more likely to be motivated?
6.5.  The production processes are not harmonized to build on an economy of scale. Can production costs be rendered more sustainable?
6.6.  Why the percentage of traded LRs is so low? How can we raise that?
6.7.  Which new business models for LRs? (e.g. in accordance with new BM as creative commons and open licences that have its revenues from services such as “maintenance”, conversion to in-house formats, evaluation, collection of different sources, etc.).

 

For the detailed program of the session see the Session 6 section.