[LINK] gov.au funds dotcom rescue?
Tue, 9 Jan 2001 13:50:23 +1000
>worldschool turns drop-out
>Just eight months after listing on the Australian Stock Exchange, online
>company, worldschool, has abandoned its loss-making internet education
>and pinned its hopes on the financial services sector.
I didn't bother with links because, of course, the FULL story has to be paid
for. For the full story, buy the AFR.
What's a real hoot here is a line from the story (in the physical paper):
>The company will outsource ... to the government-backed Curriculum Corp to
>escape the crippling cash burn of managing an Internet business.
Hmmm. What's going on here, I wonder? A government owned organisation is
going to spend money developing curriculum material for an in-trouble
dotcom? At worst case - curriculum material paid for by the government could
be available only through the website of a commerical operator? Let me see:
>[Curriculum] has agreed to assume full responsibility for hosting,
>upgrading, development marketing and sales of the Web service.
...and, the story says, that agreement lasts five years.
So there we have it. Taxpayer funded company to develop content, for sale
back to the public (which funded the content developer in the first case),
with at least some of that income to go to a private company.
Look, this can't be right. It must be misreported - .gov.au wouldn't do
anything so smelly. Let's look at the worldschool ASX announcement instead:
>Under the agreement, Worldschool will provide Curriculum Corporation
>with an exclusive license to use its intellectual property, brand
>names, content and software, and will contribute up to AUD$600,000
>per annum to the venture. However, gross sales revenue generated from
>the exploitation of the Service in Australia will be offset on an
>ongoing basis against Worldschool's financial commitment, on a dollar
>for dollar basis.
Wait a minute. a .gov.au-owned organisation - with reach in its own right to
every school in the country - is licensing a commercially unsuccessful brand
and ditto software license and ditto IP - and will pay a proportion of sales
revenue back to the owner of the IP, software, brand etc.
>Mr Bruce Wilson, the CEO of Curriculum Corporation stated,
>"Worldschool has provided us with access to over 50,000 pages of
>quality, curriculum specific online educational content.
So. It's true. Meanwhile, university funding sucks, bigtime. Put that to