In my Preview of LexisNexis Red I concluded by asking “how much would you be prepared to pay on top of your loose leaf subscription for this product” and answered it by saying: “not very much.”
It appears LexisNexis has other ideas.
As a barrister I get access to a special Bar Package of online services from LexisNexis which includes access to Ritchie’s Uniform Civil Procedure Rules. For this privilege I pay $6,300 per year (paid as monthly instalments of $525). On top of that, I pay for a subscription to the hard copy of Ritchie’s. Because I am an online subscriber, I get a 50% discount on the usual subscription price of $2,145, or $1,072.50.
LexisNexis have now provided me with their pricing for Ritchie’s on their Red platform. If I were to ignore my own advice and pay for a licence for Ritchie’s on LexisNexis Red, it will cost me another $1,072.50. That only gets me a licence for Ritchie’s on the iPad. If I want to get a licence for LexisNexis Red on a computer (Windows only) then it will cost another $1,072.50.
Just exactly what the purpose of purchasing a licence for Ritchie’s on LexisNexis Red for PC is unclear. Most products with a desktop and iPad version have useful synchronisation capability. Not so with LexisNexis Red, at least not yet. But when that capability is added, should you really have to pay for an additional licence to utilise it?
Given that what has been bowled-up is little more than a glorified e-reader, and not a very good one at that, it is difficult to see how LexisNexis can expect people to pay such exorbitant amounts for their digital products. Given that both their eBooks and now their Red products are precisely the same content as the hard copy, the pricing can only be justified by functionality.
As with their eBooks, the functionality of Red does not justify the exorbitant licence fee: and it is frankly a disgrace to charge it twice.
PS: the Product Manager responsible for Red has commented on my Preview.