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RE: Response from Ted Bergstrom to Ann Okerson

A very brief response to the "Public Lending Right" idea.  Elsever (and many
other publishers) do exactly this with our pay-per-view option, which is not
widely taken up by universities.

Tony McSe�n
Director of Library Relations
+44 7795 960516
+44 20 7611 4413

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of adam hodgkin
Sent: 18 November 2005 13:34
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: Response from Ted Bergstrom to Ann Okerson

I found Ann's explanation of the complexity and irreversibility of
contractual/pricing negotiations very intriguing. It has the hallmarks of
bitter experience and hard-won perplexity.

It is odd in some ways, that publishers and aggregators have not found it
ossible to develop a transparent, rational, scaleable and public way of pricing
ccess/subscriptions to electronic literature. But I know from personal
experience that networks and consortia have been complicit in encouraging
pricing variability and opacity. Its not just the publishers who have been
creating the complications.

Odd too that some publishers have apparently wished to prevent their cusomers
discussing pricing arrangements, because historically publishers and
booksellers have been very attached to the idea that a physical book, journal or
magazine has a 'published price'. It has to be the case that the confusingly
different and non-standard licensing and pricing terms for proprietary
databases is one of the factors that makes toll access publishing relatively
inefficient as a way of communicating scholarship and research.

Amazon, Google, and their like are developing much more scaleable and
automatable pricing and licensing models for literary content through the web
--- but there is not much sign that they would regard libraries as a
significant part of their market (except of course in the case of Google
finding libraries a convenient content-partner). If they do decide that
libraries are a market, then we may find some awkward licensing and pricing
arrangements under discussion.

Perhaps its time that the librarians proposed a 'public lending right'
standard for pricing per page view or annual rental per title. It could and
should be very low -- and it could be on top of the 'fair usage' right of
automated search (which will be accepted if Google win their case) -- and yet it
still might be economically interesting and so encouraging to greater
provision of electronic access for in copyright works.