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Re: Clarification on SERU proposal


Thank you for your note, but it hasn't answered my question, which admittedly may be based on my utter legal ignorance.

My understanding is that even if there is not a signed hardcopy document, there is still a license: a binding agreement concerning the terms of use for intellectual property. What I am puzzled by is the phrasing of the announcement of SERU. It seems to me that SERU does not eliminate licenses. Rather, it eliminates a hardcopy document, but the license (the binding agreement) is simply codified as terms of use.

If I am correct in this analysis (and I really wish a lawyer would jump in here and explain how this works), then saying that SERU does not involve a license is misleading. There are still obligations for both parties, which are enforceable under law.

Joe Esposito

----- Original Message -----
From: "Judy Luther" <judy.luther@informedstrategies.com>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 2:49 PM
Subject: Clarification on SERU proposal

Hi Joe,

One of the defining discoveries in this process was to learn that
as long as there was a written license agreement, it would be
normal for each state institution to require that their own
specific language be included, thus precluding any standardized
agreement. In part to avoid this situation, we sought to develop
a true alternative to a license agreement - rather than an
alternative license agreement. Librarians and publishers have
noted that often we are comfortable with an implied contract just
as with a verbal agreement. Where there is general consensus, by
avoiding the paperwork, we can streamline the process for anyone
involved. Realistically, in many transactions there isn't a
potential loss of substantial revenue for the publisher or risk
for either publisher or library. With new publishers who would
not take issue with terms supported by librarians, the SERU
approach actually shortens the sales cycle and eliminates the
delay of processing paperwork that isn't used.

Further comments are welcome on SERU which is available now in
draft form with FAQs on the NISO website.

Judy Luther MLS, MBA
610-645-7546 EDT