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Re: We have met the enemy...

It's not greed that makes publishers (including ALA, ACRL and other
library organisations) put restrictive provisions in their standard
agreements. It's fear of the unknown.  And that is as true of the
commercial publishers that are the butt of much criticism, but also
societies, university presses and even non-profit publishers in the
library community.  In my work as a consultant, I have found no
discernable difference in approach between the for-profit and non-profit

Developing business models for online information has been, and will
continue to be, a process of experimentation.  In uncharted waters, where
the parties have for the first time to define their rights and
obligations, publishers consult their lawyers.  And lawyers, in drafting
licences, will be as protective of their clients' intellectual property as
possible. Publishers then continue to use such licenses even though the
market has changed, and got wiser.  Why this should surprise anyone is
beyond me - it's human nature.

One of the solutions is for publishers and librarians to talk to each other,
and reduce their dependence on the legal fraternity.  Shouting at each
other, and referring to 'the enemy' is not constructive dialogue.

John Cox

John Cox Associates
The Pippins, 6 Lees Close, Whittlebury
TOWCESTER, Northants NN12 8XF
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1327 857908
Fax: +44 1327 858564
E-mail: John.E.Cox@btinternet.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter B. Boyce <pboyce@aas.org>
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Date: 21 May 2000 04:46
Subject: Re: We have met the enemy...

>Speaking of the enemy...
>I just finished a column for C&RL News, a publication of the ACRL, a
>division of the ALA.. The author agreement is one of the most restrictive
>I have run into, forbidding the posting or distribution of this work
>anywhere. Apparently I can't even post it on my Web site. Fortunately the
>column is available on line from their Web site -- maybe because I
>complained so bitterly that their restrictive copyright transfer agreement
>seemed to be more in line with what I would expect a commercial publisher
>to propose -- and very much at odds with the general tenor of the feeling
>among the library community. As a counter example, my organization, the
>American Astronomical Society, asks for transfer of copyright -- to ensure
>we can "republish" the articles in new formats to keep them available by
>the latest technology -- but we specifically allow the author to post or
>redistribute their own articles.
>Still, it seems out of character for a library association to have such
>restrictive copyright agreements as the ALA does. I am glad to say that
>the editor of the journal says the ALA will be reviewing their copyright
>agreements in the near future. The point is that we all may fall prey to
>actions which are motivated by greed, but which are inappropriate in the
>electronic era.
>If anyone is interested in my thoughts about preprint servers, my column
>is available at http://www.ala.org/acrl/scholcomm.html.
>Peter B. Boyce    -   Senior Consultant for Electronic Publishing, AAS
>email: pboyce@aas.org
>Summer address:                                Winter: 4109 Emery Place,
>33 York St., Nantucket, MA 02554        Washington, DC 20016
>Phone:  508-228-9062                           202-244-2473