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RE: 'Confused'

Perhaps there are times when the cost of information is simply too high
... this may be one of them, in which case maybe the department of which
the professor is a member could fund this database and deal with the
eccentricities of the vendor in question -- at which point maybe the
professor's or department chair's outrage would be rightly vented to the
vendor representative. Since libraries are, remember, essentially
charitable organizations our funding and service capabilities *do* have
limits which are sometimes prescribed or proscribed by circumstances: and
if there are legal problems involved or even the question of legal
problems involved, we should have no guilt or pangs of conscience from
backing away from a situation which could conceivably imperil our

P V Picerno

Chuck Hamaker writes:-
"It's unenforceable, so why waste time "negotiating". Just sign the thing
and get the access There are too many of these things out there to waste
time or breath or energy. The individual signing may be unaware of state
law, or may believe the license is unenforceable. And under the rubric of
service to patrons is just getting access without the hassle of

Oh how I symapathise! My present predicament in an ongoing negotiation for
a relatively low cost service (see my previous appeals to this list). Is
it a question of where ignorance is bliss (on the part of the supplier
that is) or the legal niceties of signing what you know you can't enforce
but what seems to be required but doesn't meet your definition of
responsibility and what's reasonable.

Had the monetary decisions been mine I would have said no long ago but
since a lecturer requires the service for a course he runs I have been
instructed to pursue this. I'm sure there will come a point soon where the
cost of my time will equal the cost of the service in question.

Problem is now that I am involved in lengthy negotiations, if I just sign
the license , no doubt the company in question would wonder what was going
on. On the other hand since I sign the licenses I feel it's important to
sign a license I can agree to.

John Cox in a message to me said:-
"Rule no 1: don't sign anything you do not understand or cannot accept.
You are quite right to argue with them."

Sound advice but would it have been easier all round if I had signed and
awaited the consequences (if any!!)? What would you do Chuck??

Ros Doig
Serials and Interlending Librarian
University of Derby
Kedleston Rd
Derby DE22 1GB
Tel.    01332 622222 Ext.1204
Fax.    01332 622767
Email.  M.R.Doig@Derby.ac.uk