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Re: History of licensing

Didn't the regional medical libraries have to sign contracts to use
MEDLARS in the early 70's?  I don't know if OCLC required contracts in
1971.  I was in public services then.  I think I remember licenses with a
book catalog vendor and then a COM catalog vendor in the early and
mid-70's.  And I definitely remember a huge discussion about whether our
Library should be allowed to contract with Dialog directly or whether the
contract should be with the computer center, which understood these arcane
matters.  We were allowed, but only with a computer center analyst looking
over our shoulders. I remember a series of grueling discussions trying to
explain to him what Dialog was.  That would have been in the summer of
aught-75.  We'll have to await Joyce's article for a definitive stirring
of the old gray cells.

At 11:10 PM 7/12/01 -0400, you wrote:
>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
>> =========================================================