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RE: "perpetual license"

Perhaps a little different ... but netLibrary offers 'perpetual' access to
e-books vs an annual fee.  I have not seen a written contract from them.

	-- Jeanette

At 03:38 PM 7/10/01 EDT, Sloan, Bernie wrote:
>Here's an example of how at least one software company runs a "perpetual
>Blunk Microsystems supplies turnkey embedded system software. For their
>system software they offer both annual licenses and perpetual license. The
>annual license fee is $5,000 a year, with support included. The perpetual
>license involves a $15,000 one-time fee, but appears to include only one
>year of support(?).
>Their definition of "perpetual license" is at:
>Bernie Sloan
>-----Original Message-----
>From: John Cox [mailto:John.E.Cox@btinternet.com]
>Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2001 1:15 PM
>To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
>Subject: Re: "perpetual license"
>Deborah has raised an interesting point.  I wonder if "perpetual" is at
>all enforceable in a court.  There is a 'rule against perpetuities' in the
>law of trusts that limits provisions to what is effectively two
>generations.  I know of no case law in contract where the grant is to be
>'perpetual', but I suspect most courts in common law jurisdictions would
>have difficulty in applying it.
>Let us leave the arcane mysteries of the common law on one side, and look
>at the practicalities.
>#1.  If the vendor were to accept a "perpetual" license, it would create
>an obligation to maintain that product for ever.  But publishing and
>database product compilation is not like that.  Products change.  They are
>discontinued or replaced by a new, better, one.  No licensor that I know
>would knowingly be locked in to "perpetuity".
>#2.  If the agreement has a term of years to run, and is dependent on
>annual subscription renewal, the use of "perpetual" is contradictory and
>confusing.  If the license is for online journals, and library
>discontinues the subscription to one or all of the titles, most licenses
>provide for 'continuing access' to the volumes already paid for - an
>analog of the print journal.  If it is for access to a database, access
>comes to an end if the subscription is not renewed.  In both cases, the
>use of "perpetual" is almost without meaning.
>I would suggest a further consultation with the purchasing officer and, if
>necessary, with the attorney.  Make sure the attorney understands what
>content is being licensed and what the library really requires.
>John Cox
>John Cox Associates
>Rookwood, Bradden
>TOWCESTER, Northants NN12 8ED
>United Kingdom
>Tel: +44 (0) 1327 861193
>Fax: +44 (0) 1327 861184
>E-mail: John.E.Cox@btinternet.com