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Publisher Licenses and CatchWord Guidelines

In response to the correspondence on the list recently with reference to
the ASA's licensing terms and the guidelines on the CatchWord site,
perhaps can provide some insight into the purposes of the CatchWord
Guidelines and how they relate to the terms and conditions of any
publisher's license that may exist.

First some background:

Catchword is in the business of providing publishers large and small with
electronic publishing infrastructure and distribution services to their
library customers. We do not own the content nor do we obtain rights to
the content. We are essentially a service provider. While the larger
commercial publishers and several of the American Society publishers that
we provide services for have their own licenses and terms and conditions
of use, the majority of publishers for whom we provide services do not.
For whatever reasons many of the smaller (and some medium sized)
publishers have never developed such licenses.

Clearly, not having any kind of framework or guidance as to how content
can be accessed and used is unsatisfactory to libraries.  For this reason
we, at CatchWord, developed, on behalf of our publishers, and in
consultation with librarians, a set of guidelines that sought to provide a
reasonable framework of guidance as to how content could be used on the
site, in the absence of a publisher defined license.

These guidelines have remained unaltered since their original posting, to
answer one of Kimberley Parker's questions.

They were developed as a means to promote the growth and usage of scholarly
communication and to minimise the legal and contractual impedimenta to
access to content when a publisher did not have any license of their own.
They have been very successful in achieving that aim.

However they were not and are not intended to replace, override, or
supersede any license agreement that the publisher may have. Therefore any
publisher that has a license also has a link to that license from the home
page of each of their journals on the system.

We evidently have not made this distinction clear enough on the site and
therefore we propose to insert the following text at the top of our
guidelines in order to clarify matters:

"These Guidelines are here to provide guidance as to the use of the material
on the CatchWord site; they are not a legal contract. They apply only to
those publishers on the CatchWord site that do not have their own licensing
terms. For those publishers that have their own licenses, these licenses
take precedence over the CatchWord Guidelines for Use. When a publisher
requires a license to be signed and has told Catchword of this requirement
we will provide a link to the license from the relevant journal home page.
You are advised to check the publishers' own web sites directly for
confirmation of the existence of any license and their conditions."

We welcome any feedback on how this wording can be improved by anyone
interested. Please send comments to me directly.


Chris Beckett
Vice President, Global Library Services
Ingenta plc

Tel:    +44 (0)1865 799004
Fax:    +44 (0)1865 799111
email:  chris.beckett@ingenta.com