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Clarification on SERU proposal
- To: <email@example.com>
- Subject: Clarification on SERU proposal
- From: "Joseph J. Esposito" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 18:19:09 EDT
- Reply-to: email@example.com
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am struggling to understand the following. Can anyone help?
Framework for Development and Use of SERU," presents a shared setThis document, "The SERU Approach to E-Resource Subscriptions:
of understandings to which publishers and libraries can point
when negotiating the sale of electronic content. The framework
offers publishers and libraries a solution to the often
burdensome process of bilateral negotiation of a formal license
agreement by allowing the sale of e-resources without licenses if
both parties feel their perception of risk has been adequately
addressed by current law and developing norms of behavior.
JE: This is a legal matter, and I am not a lawyer. My layman's understanding is that there is a distinction between a license (a form of contract, which in this case is between copyright holders and organizations that want to use their material) and the codification of that contract, typically in a hardcopy document, which is confusingly also called a license. There is a difference, in other words, between the agreement (the license) and the codification in the form of a document (the, er, license), just as there is a difference between a marriage and a marriage certificate.
Is SERU addressing license #1 or license #2? If #2, as I suspect, then calling this the elimination of licenses is terrribly confusing, as many people would confuse #2 with #1 and thus think there is no binding agreement between the parties simply because no document had been signed.
My understanding is that SERU is seeking to reduce administrative costs by eliminating paperwork and many aspects of negotiations (a worthy goal) and is working to improve the terms of licenses for its constituency by pointing to "best practices" (meaning good for libraries), also a worthy goal, though whether the proposal will have the intended effect is unknown.
Any clarification of this situation would be appreciated.