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Re: digest 388

At Berkeley there isn't any way I could get a lawyer to review all our
licenses; we have about 100 of them we've signed in the last 3 years.  
But what I've found, having reviewed all of them, is that there is a
pretty standard set of issues to look out for (e.g., indemnification,
state of jurisdiction, use limitations, etc.).  The University has
specific policies on many of these issues, with required language.  In the
early days I sought advice from University legal and purchasing staff, as
well as those negotiating on behalf of the California Digital Library (UC
systemwide). I too took the ARL seminar and have on occasion used language
from Yale's standard license software.  After all this, I feel like I've
got a pretty good grounding in the legal basics, I've held my ground when
I felt University policy offered no room for compromise, and only had one
publisher (another university) walk away from a deal.  Some of these
licenses can be daunting at first, but after awhile you start to see the

Mike Rancer
Library Chief Administrative Officer
University of California, Berkeley

At 12:01 AM 03/10/2000 -0500, Electronic Content Licensing Discussion wrote:

>From: Pam Matthews <pmatthew@gettysburg.edu> (by way of Pam Matthews
>To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
>Subject: licensing and lawyers
>Date: Thu,  9 Mar 2000 18:06:28 EST
>Hi, everyone.
>I attended the ARL licensing seminar last May.  The presenters (all of
>whom are VERY good) put the fear of God into me about signing off on
>licenses that leave the college vulnerable to breach-of-contract lawsuits
>and/or don't give the college its full rights under Fair Use guidelines.
>The presenters impressed upon us that the best way to make sure that a
>license is watertight is to have a lawyer and a librarian BOTH review it.
>Therefore, I've been working to get a system in place to do just that.
>However, our Finance and Administration officers are now noticing that
>lawyers' time doesn't come cheap and are thinking about not having any
>agreements reviewed by counsel.  They don't seem to think they'll get sued
>-- after all, no one has yet, right?
>So, I have a two fold question:
>1) How does your institution handle the negotiation and review of license
>2) Do you know of any lawsuits or other problems arising from breaches?
>Thanks VERY much for your help on this!
>Pam Matthews
>Acquisitions/Serials Librarian
>Musselman Library
>Gettysburg College
>Gettysburg, PA  17325
>717-337-7007 (phone) ** 717-337-6666 (fax)