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[SLUG] Video Sales to Support SLUG

Hi all,

SLUG is building a pretty good resource with the meeting videos that Jan has
been taking with our new digital video camera. We're working on turning the
(massive) DV into something useful to distribute to our members, either VCD,
CD-ROM or DVD. Hopefully, these will be available to members very soon.

It occurred to me last month that it's a very small leap between making
videos for our members, and making videos available to the wider community,
both nationally and internationally. At the top of my mind was the success
of the SLUG Pearls around the world, and we only published seven editions!

It would make sense for SLUG to take advantage of, and support, vendors who
already have advertising, sales and distribution channels, rather than SLUG
getting actively involved in a commercial enterprise (which has been widely
frowned upon, for good reason).

Essentially, we'd provide the videos, and a vendor would be able to sell CDs
or DVDs and send some of the profits our way, to support SLUG [1]. We don't
need to build the infrastructure, change our organisation or partake in
unnecessary risk, plus we can support vendors involved in our community. All
good things.

So, the big issues with this idea come down to:

  - Speakers must be given the opportunity to say "no, I don't want my talk
    recorded" and "no, I don't want my talk sold (but I'm happy for it to be
    given to SLUG members)". This is easy to do, as we already have speaker
    info emails sent out before the meetings.

  - Is it appropriate for SLUG to sell stuff at all, even if the "real"
    commercial aspects of it are done through another organisation?

  - How many potential speakers are going to see it as SLUG profiteering on
    their work, as opposed to their support of SLUG? (I would have thought
    anyone doing a talk would feel they're supporting SLUG in some way, but
    perhaps there are more selfish reasons for doing talks.)

Have I missed any big issues here? What are your thoughts on these (as
members, potential speakers, potential buyers, etc)?

I'm going to respond with my thoughts separately. :-)


- Jeff

[1] Yes, SLUG has a fairly good bank balance right now, but we're no longer
receiving the kind of sponsorship for events and things that we once used
to. While finding new funding avenues will open up more possibilities for
us, it's not the *primary* reason why I think we should do this, but a good
secondary benefit. The primary reason is making good material available to
the wider community.

linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia         http://lca2004.linux.org.au/
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