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Re: Fallback Position

Ivy Lee Anderson wrote:
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 18:50:06 -0500
From: Ivy Lee Anderson <anderson@BINAH.CC.BRANDEIS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Fallback position

At Brandeis, we have just begun grappling with the same question - how
firmly should we stick to our licensing principles (now being formulated) 
if it means foregoing access to a given resource?  I am not speaking here
for Brandeis officially since these discussions are ongoing, but I can
state what I believe to be an appropriate position. 

In many instances, we are continuing to subscribe to the print
counterparts of the new electronic offerings, either by choice or through
publisher arrangements which require or encourage the retention of print. 
(By "subscribing" I am including cases where the e-resource is free to
print subscribers).  Access to the information content of such resources
is not compromised by an assertion of the rights and needs of our academic
communities. While the environment for electronic licensing is still in a
stage of formation and ferment, now is the time to make our requirements
as consumers of scholarly information known to the publishing and vending
community.  If it means refusing to agree to licensing terms that we find
unacceptable, and enough of us take that position in the marketplace, the
force of the market should prevail.  

I use the term market advisedly, since one of the fair use principles
articulated in the copyright law is the impact of a given use upon the
market for the work.  If there is no market because buyers are not
interested in buying under certain restrictive conditions, then there is
no negative effect upon the market. (Even if the electronic information is
'free with print subscription,' the publisher still has a future economic
interest in garnering our allegiance to the electronic product.)  I might
add that members of our faculty advisory task force on electronic
resources have encouraged us not to sign license agreements that are not
in the best interests of our institution.

I believe it is both our opportunity and our responsibility, now, to
define acceptable and workable models for the acquisition and use of
electronic information which fairly serve the interests of our academic
communities.  As a single, rather modestly-sized institution, we at
Brandeis are unlikely to significantly affect the marketplace.  But
collectively, institutions of higher education, and libraries in
particular, *are* the market for scholarly electronic information.  We
will certainly be discussing this stance with our own consortial partners. 
The power, it seems to me, is in all of our hands. 

Ivy Anderson
Head of Library Systems
Brandeis University Libraries
Waltham, MA

At 01:48 PM 2/19/97 -0500, Scott Wicks wrote:

>We often discuss what we should or should not sign in any contract.  I'm
>wondering what others have done when the vendor returns a response that
>they will not do business with you if you insist on crossing out key terms
>of their license agreements?  What is your fallback position? 
>So far, I've only had this experience once.  We knew that the policital
>fallout would be heavy, but we stuck to our guns and now do not offer
>electronic access to a major resource. 
>Anyone else care to comment?
>--Scott Wicks
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