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RE: Unresponsive information providers

Thanks.  Information from the publishers' point of very is very helpful.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Anthony Watkinson [SMTP:anthony.watkinson@btinternet.com]
> Sent:	Wednesday, March 15, 2000 4:34 PM
> To:	liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject:	Re: Unresponsive information providers
> This question keeps coming up. If the information providers concerned are
> publishers, there is a very good reason. They are having real problems
> thinking through the right sort of policies and getting the right sort of
> staff to implement them. This is a problem even for the big corporations
> but think of the smaller publishers, especially learned society
> publishers, who just do not have the resources and who do not have all the
> advice to go to that librarians have. They worry a lot.
> Publishers also go to lawyers to write contracts for them but how do they
> decide on an ad hoc basis which clauses can be changed and which other
> clauses can be accepted? The question about when you should go to a lawyer
> exercises them as well and of course they are also concerned not just
> about legal action against them (which actually should be a small concern)
> but about whether any amendments will lead to their not making any money
> out of the deal.
> The people handling the licenses have to be a new breed who understand
> licenses like rights and permissions folk but who are also able to sell.
> Selling people have not traditionally worked with licenses. There are not
> many of this new breed. You only have to compare the very articulate and
> expert people who appear on platforms on behalf of IDEAL (who really have
> worked through the questions which come up and have some years of
> experience) which the sort of worried individual you may get at the end of
> the phone
> A librarian might reasonably wonder why it is taking publishers so long to
> get their act together but the move from experimental mode to actively
> operational mode is quite recent. Many of these companies have only just
> started to get to grips with electronic publishing.  Think also the time
> which consortial negotiations takes up - as librarians know very well. But
> they are sitting on their home turf or nearby. Many publishers are coming
> from other parts of the world. These people are not at home dealing with
> the enquiries that come in, when they are needed by MIT, but they are out
> in the field.
> Obviously publishers should be able to handle this. It is in everyone's
> interest. Let us hope that the use of model licenses such as those devised
> by John Cox will become normal. This should give everyone a framework
> within which the individual questions can be asked and answered more
> readily.
> Anthony Watkinson
> 14, Park Street, Bladon, Woodstock,
> Oxon, England OX20 1RW
> phone +44 1993 811561 and fax 01993 810067