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Re: History of licensing

Nick:  I looked at the "bibliography" section of the LIBLICENSE web site
(http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense/index.shtml) and did a "find"
command.  There was only one very brief article with "history" in our
abstract.  Here it is, in case of use:

Flanagan, Michael. "Database licensing: a future view." Computers in
libraries, 13:1 (Jan. 1993): 21-22. After a brief review of the history of
database licensing up to the writing of the article (1992), the author
speculates on the mounting of full-text databases on PAC systems in ACSII
text and on the impact of the Z39.50 standard.

My recollection is that we signed our first contracts with Dialog; that
must have been sometime in the late 70s?  Sometime a little later there
was BRS, then STN.  Databases on CDs arrived in the 80s..  I associate all
those early products with high prices, scarcity, novelty, and cutting-edge
librarians & users.

Regards, Ann Okerson
Yale University


On Thu, 12 Jul 2001, Nick Smith wrote:

> 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
> expectations.
> 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).
> Thanks
> Nick
> =========================================================
> 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
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