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RE: Is publisher-librarian agreement open for signature?

I thought the message was if you already gave rowecom a buncha money, you
might come out better staying with the current situation.  My totally
uninformed guess is that it all would depend on how many lawyers it takes
:)  (or how many years and what kinds of litigation there might be ahead?)

The bottom line though, is we all pay for the mistaken belief and actions
on the part of those who acted like it was all just dandy.

There was lots of public evidence to the contrary. A lot of people,
publishers, libraries, purchasing agents, etc. ignored public filings (SEC
reports, 10Ks 10Q's etc).

The whole journal system, individual publishers and libraries have been
impacted by this - whether they were in business with rowecom or not.  Do
we need an industry imprimatur of fiscal soundness to make sure this
doesn't happen again, a regular external audit guaranteeing fiscal
soundness (not necessarily margins of profit, just that the companies have
the resources to meet commitments??)

Why did major publisher provide credit LAST YEAR and prepare to do
business for 03????? with a company with the "negative burn rates" that
Rowecom documented in required filings? Why in the world, given the
changes with Northern light, with what publishers KNOW about how agencies
work, and what their margins are, why did anyone think there was going to
be miracle with a chicago company mostly known for dotcom stuff??

I don't get what happened. Is there so much money in the system that
publishers chose to ignore previous experience?  Why didn't, say some of
them send a note to customers and say, we cannot guarantee your
subscriptions unless we get paid by your vendor no later than "fill in the
publishers say upfront, to rowecom AND libraries, and everyone else-no
money, no service?

It's beyond me. But clearly it the largest economic, i.e. dollars and
cents, melt down in academic /publisher/vendor/library relations since the
late 60's and early 70's -- where I began my career.

We have to change how we do business -- there are no safeguards in the to
stop something like this from happening again. Just because we like the
people we do business with doesn't mean we can ignore proof of fiscal
responsiblity. What about demanding audited reports even if they companies
aren't public? And don't any vendor bother to tell me we can't make that
demand. Everything is negotiable in a contract. The whole industry has
been teaching librarians that for the last 10 years.  (copyright, what
copyright -- it's all in the license)

The risk to the journals system, it seems to me, is too high to let trial
and error dictate where the next crash will come from. How many agencies
have gone under or disappeared in the last 15 years??  Library choices are
so limited now that we need more than the traditional, well, I like them
and their service -- as a reason for doing business .


-----Original Message-----
From: Kent Mulliner
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Sent: 2/16/03 2:36 PM
Subject: Re: Is publisher-librarian agreement open for signature?

Let me try to clarify.  This is what Sally said:

>  We are now very hopeful that the majority of publishers will sign an 
> agreement - to be issued next week - to supply journals for the whole of 
> 2003, on two conditions [emphasis added]

So, assuming completion, we should look to see the agreements available
this week.