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Re: license jurisdiction related to pricing

Ann, this is in my opinion, not a very good idea.  Remarkably, and as we
all know, it's the first time you ever had a thought on licensing that was
even slightly questionable!.

The place of jurisdiction is a license provision extremely unlikely to
have practical significance. It's of significance in the contract, because
its a major nuisance factor.  It's become a major nuisance factor because
of the legal requirements affecting public institutions in the US, and
becaused of their total inability to alter them, as they're generally part
of their states' legislation.

At an institution not having such problem, I doubt that anyone would care
very much about the jurisdiction (speaking personally and only for
myself--assume me to be totally ignorant of what my own institution thinks
on the matter officially).

It is extraordinarily unlikely that we would ever actually be in court
about a licensing dispute, or even be threatened with the situation.
Assuming we were all to lose our minds and outrageously and officially to
violate copyright, or fail to follow up violations, the supplier might
cancel the contract, but I can't see our attorneys willing to fight the
case. If a supplier were to unreasonably fail to provide material, or not
meet a service quality agreement, we would expect to negotiate the
appropriate adjustments. If a supplier were to refuse to make them, or be
otherwise totally irrespnsible, we wouldn't renew. If the supplier was
performing so poorly, I can't see that it would be worth it to seek
monetary damages, or practical to attempt to compel specific
performance--everyone else would be cancelling also.

I think pricing should be on the basis of the service provided, either by
material supplied or population served (a totally general statement
leaving plenty of room for argument). It should't be based upon the
possible occurence of unlikely or irrelevant events, nor should it
penalize institutions that must subscribe to legally required terms, or
reward publishers who make them do so.

David Goodman
Research Librarian and
Biological Sciences Bibliographer
Princeton University Library
dgoodman@princeton.edu            609-258-7785

On Fri, 21 Jun 2002, Ann Okerson wrote:

> The issue of jurisdiction comes up frequently in licensing.  Does anyone
> have experience with a two-tier pricing model designed to address that
> issue?  That is, lower price if you agree to jurisdiction of the
> publisher's choice, slightly higher if you insist on your own?  It might
> be a way to find a win-win situation, if the price differential were not
> prohibitive.
> Would such a possibility be appealing to librarians and publishers?
> Ann Okerson