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Re: Control of concurrent users

--- Ros Doig wrote:
Unfortunately it seems that the supplier of the database cannot themselves
control the number of users! We here cannot control numbers of concurrent
users on web-based databases etc. We have several hundred PCs on 5 sites!!
I feel the onus is on suppliers to restrict use, not ourselves. It would
also seem to make a mockery of their clause which allows them to audit
use. If they can't control the users , audit would be difficult especially
at a distance.

Since we only really want one user but the minimum is three , we find the
supplier's solution to charge us double for unlimited access totally

Has anyone else come across this kind of thing and how did you deal with
it? I certainly can't sign the licence if control is our responsibility.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
--- end of quote ---

I've never heard of this before.  In my experience, it's always been up to
the vendor to control the number of concurrent/simultaneous users (SUs.)  
It's up to you of course to see that only authorized users can access it,
but I don't know if there even is a way to control number of SUs from the
user's end.  If there is, it would probably involve a lot of work and
special programming, etc.-- not worth it, and not something any library
should do anyway -- what if we had to do it for every product!

I would not subscribe to this database until they can get their act
together. (Of course, if you have patrons that are clamoring for it, that
may be difficult.)  Tell them that every other supplier you deal with
controls SUs from their end -- that it's the "industry standard".  If they
can audit use, but not limit number of SUs, then they should give you
"unlimited access", but charge you the minimum three SU rate as long as
you don't go above that.  I also would try to find out who--if anyone--
has subscribed to this specific product and vendor and how they dealt with
it.  Such a policy, I would think, would not net them many subscribers.

Another option is to simply cross out, or otherwise delete the clause in
the license that requires you to control simultaneous usage and see how
they respond.  Sounds like this vendor has a lot of work to do.

Victoria Mitchell
Reed College