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Re: A question of licences and Alumni members

Ann et al,

I tend to agree with John's and others' concern that it would be difficult
to authenticate users that may be scattered all over the globe.

Responding to your first point, yes, I think it's likely that negotiating
for alumni access would raise prices. It would also very likely raise
costs, both the publishers' and the library's, because the negotiations -
already arguably too protracted - would now be complicated further, and
because libraries would have to implement a technical regimen to
authenticate this new set of remote users (at least my impression is that
most don't have this capability right now - am I wrong?).

And to your second point, I guess I'd need to know more specifics. In a
sense, if the continuing ed courses could honestly be construed to be
under the UNIVERSITY's auspices (as opposed to just the Alumni
Association's), then maybe nothing further need be negotiated, since this
particular subset of all alumni are really now just reverting to students,
and therefore are already authorized users, it would seem. On the other
hand, I would be leery of having such programs cooked up by the Alumni
Association, and then 'dressed up' to look like courses from the
University. Of course, that would be inappropriate, and maybe the right
answer there would simply be to tell the AA to approach the publisher as a
separate entity and try to negotiate their own deal...

I also wonder if buying information resources for alumni would be the best
use of institutional financial resources, even if publishers wanted to
work out the pricing and logistical complications. I realize it's up to
the librarians and their institutions to decide how to spend their
budgets, but it does seem clear that this would result in significantly
higher costs and could raise a legitimate question about the institutional
mission and focus. We almost seem to be trying to figure out a way for the
university to relieve their alumni (or worse yet, their alumni's future
employers) of sharing in the costs of information! Hmmmm. Maybe viewed
this way, it's not such a hot idea.

It is not at all clear to me why a university would seek this benefit for
its alumni, or why alumni should expect it? Is it expected to be a tool
for developing alumni donations? or a benefit to be used in 'marketing'
the school to prospects ("Come to Yale, and get Mad magazine online for
life!!" --Yeah, come to think of it, that might work...). Of course, I'm
being facetious, but is there really a compelling mission angle on this
that I am missing?

More seriously, I am also considering this not so much as a publisher, but
as an alumnus, and as a parent not too long away from having to fund my
kids' educations! I really don't expect my own alma mater to take care of
my info needs for life! Do others? Should they? Whew, isn't it already
expensive enough to go to college, without having to add in the 'info for
life' fee?!...

Mike Spinella


>>> ann.okerson@yale.edu 07/16/00 02:21PM >>>

John and others:  I understand the traditional arguments against including
alumni in licenses.  And I have two real-life questions:

1.  Under what conditions would electronic information providers include
alumni access to a given information resources?  Under a different license
altogether? Under the same license but more money? With certain

2.  What if one's alumni association creates short continuing education
courses for those same alumni, at their request (they want to keep in
touch with former professors and learn from them, etc.).

Assume here that the courses are offered for free or at price that aims
to recover costs (not make money), and the individuals in the courses
can be identified and access given to enrollees only, with the rest of
alumni excluded. 

Would such a scenario be acceptable?  Would it require a whole separate
license negotiation (which, for, say, a 4 or 6-week course with a limited
enrollment of, say, 50 or fewer wouldn't likely be cost effective)? Would
inclusion of such alumni be acceptable under fairly common license
language that permits faculty, staff, and student access wherever they may
be located?  I would appreciate a discussion of such limited
alumni-as-student coverage and its relationship to all-alumni-all-the-time
kinds of licenses.

Thank you, Ann Okerson
Yale University Library