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History of licensing

Hi  (This is my first post to this list):

I'm interested to find out if anyone has any information on the history of
licensing electronic resources. (I've had a look through the archives but
can't find anything on this.)

I understand that packaged computer programs were the first to be
accompanied by licences. Although paper books could just as easily be
shrinkwrapped as software, they were not for the following reasons: (1)
software publishers have a (reasonably justified) fear of digital piracy
that does not exist with paper materials; (2) computer programs *require*
a license of some kind (they must be reproduced on the users hard drive
whereas the ordinary use of a book does not involve copyright); (3)
consumers would have reacted in horror to shrink-wrap licensed books
whereas the new market for computer software was not 'burdened' by these

When did licence agreements start to migrate from operating systems and
applications to content resources? Who led the way here and why? (I guess
the desire to maintain a greater level of control is a prominent reason).



Nick Smith
Executive Officer  ::  Australian Digital Alliance  
Copyright Advisor  ::  Australian Libraries Copyright Committee
PO Box E202   \\   Kingston ACT 2604
Ph: 02 6262 1273   \\   Fax: 02 6273 2545
Email: nsmith@nla.gov.au   \\   Web: www.digital.org.au