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  • orbat.com changes its subscription model

    This is bad news for amateur wargamers and stingey academics and government agencies, all of whom are going to have to pay a lot more for this brilliant site's information (about a thousand times more in the case of governments and large companies!).

    from: www.orbat.com/site/orbats/index.html

    Publisher's Note

    Orbats at Orbat.com is no longer published as a magazine. From today, it is available only as a data base. Existing subscriptions will be honored till expiry. All other magazines will continue as before, and new ones will be added.

    We sincerely regret this move, made after two years of difficult debate. The issue is simple. We cannot operate both as a site for enthusiasts, with charges enthusiasts can afford, and as a professional business. Our hope was that professionals would buy our services in sufficient numbers to subsidize our magazines for enthusiasts. This has not happened.

    Because we pay so little, our correspondents in the main can longer afford to send us their best material. They helped us for all these years, accepting our promise they would get paid. But that has not happened either.

    Take Mr. Larry J. Smith, whose name appears after the editor's for a reason. He contributed 80 orbats to us, enabling us to replace skimpy orbats with quite detailed ones. Periodically he has updated many of them. For all this work, he has received less than $400 over four years. We could give more examples, but our readers undoubtedly get the point.

    We have to pay our people properly. Which means we have to commercialize. Which means we have to shut down the free giveaways - and $100/year for what you find here is a free giveaway - because we are hurting our own marketing efforts. That's all there is to our decision.

    Orbats at Orbat.com New Format

    Our structure now is on two levels.

    Orbats from Open Sources will be available to anyone who wants them at prices ranging from $100 to $500 per region, single download only. Updates and special services will be extra, as will multiple users. These prices will increase as we get ever better orbats - for which we will be much more.

    Our second level is from sources that are not open. This service is primarily intended for governments and very large corporations that - for whatever reason - needed access to such data. Prices will range from $120,000/year and up. Aside from orbats, other material will be available, and contract projects will be accepted.

    We will soon have the new subscription prices for OSI orbats posted.

    Under the new system, for OSI orbats, we will have the right - and we will exercise it - to ask potential subscribers to identify themselves to our satisfaction, and we will reserve the right to refuse subscriptions, or to terminate them at our discretion, without any explanation. We will also ask you to accept terms of use of our material.

    If you are interested in the orbats from sources that are not open, it is best if you wait till we get in touch with you. If your requirements are urgent, you are welcome to contact us. But please be aware you will have to come with references satisfactory to us.

    A Note to Our Contributors, Correspondents, Analysts, Researchers

    By Sunday we will have on-site details of what this new arrangement means for you, and all details will be to your benefit. But please belay dreams of instant wealth: we have gotten small sums of money into the venture to knock it into minimum shape for potential investors, but that is some way off yet. Rest assured, however, we have no intention of paying like other data collection services such as Jane's. It's not going to be 3% for you and 97% for us.

    Ravi Rikhye

    May 19, 2004
    Owner and operator, Armed Forces of the Asia Pacific
    Forum administrator, www.orbat.com
    Co-administrator, www.historic-battles.com

  • #2
    This is bad, but not as bad as it appears. It will only have an effect on the current ORBAT page, not on the usually more interesting (for gamers) historical pages. If you are a suscriber, this is the moment of downloading everything you can! Besides, Orbat.com is hosting both Niehorster and Sturmvogel, so the least we can expect is for them to get a return on their investment.
    www.tdg.nu

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JMS
      If you are a suscriber, this is the moment of downloading everything you can!
      No kidding - I'm up to the countries starting with 'K'

      Besides, Orbat.com is hosting both Niehorster and Sturmvogel, so the least we can expect is for them to get a return on their investment.
      Yeah, my thoughts exactly. At $100 per continent(?) the contempory orbats section will still be within the reach of the average wargamer with a job - you'd only need to pay for a continent once every few years to have essentially up to date info on it.
      Owner and operator, Armed Forces of the Asia Pacific
      Forum administrator, www.orbat.com
      Co-administrator, www.historic-battles.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Does anyone know whether Dr. Niehorster's site will be affected by this change of policy?

        Cheers
        ___
        Julgareis qual he mais excellente,
        Se ser do Mundo Rei, se de tal gente

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Rastamann
          Does anyone know whether Dr. Niehorster's site will be affected by this change of policy?
          No it won't. It is specifically stated somewhere on the site (I've forgotten where exactly) that one of Dr. Niehorster's conditions on agreeing to orbat.com hosting his stuff was for it to remain free of charge.
          Owner and operator, Armed Forces of the Asia Pacific
          Forum administrator, www.orbat.com
          Co-administrator, www.historic-battles.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Case
            No it won't. It is specifically stated somewhere on the site (I've forgotten where exactly) that one of Dr. Niehorster's conditions on agreeing to orbat.com hosting his stuff was for it to remain free of charge.
            Sweeeet!!!
            ___
            Julgareis qual he mais excellente,
            Se ser do Mundo Rei, se de tal gente

            Comment

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