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Liblicense Guide to Licensing Agreements

To Liblicense-l Readers:

Thanks to a grant from CLIR, the Council on Library Information Resources
(funders of the LIBLICENSE project to date), we are pleased to let our
readers know that the project continues to develop and in its next phase
will make available a software that will support library (and publisher)
licensing efforts.  (Perhaps this will be a partial answer to a recent
inquiry on this list.)

The principal creator is Rodney Stenlake, Esq., our consultant on the
project to date. 

The software, tentatively called "The LIBLICENSE Guide to Digital
Information Licensing Agreements," will systematically query librarians
(or producers) concerning the details of the information to be licensed
and, based on that input, produce a draft license agreement.  That draft
license agreement can then be sent to information publishers (or
customers) to serve as the basis for further negotiations for license
agreements with acceptable terms.  The LIBLICENSE software will also
include a complete copy of the material on the LIBLICENSE web site as a
reference guide for use in constructing a draft licensing agreement. 

The software works by displaying a series of screens, each asking the user
to input information relevant to particular terms of a licensing agreement
(e.g., a description of the subject matter of the license, the names and
addresses of the Licensor and Licensee, and the uses to which the licensed
materials will be put).  As the user enters data, the draft license is
updated to include their information.  Based on the significant number of
electronic content licenses that the Yale Library has assembled over the
past couple of years, we expect that the draft license (output by the
software) will contain all the provisions that have commonly been included
in licensing agreements for digital information, providing the user with
the option of selecting those provisions he or she wishes to be in a
particular agreement.  Easy to follow instructions are included for each
entry, and the user can consult the relevant discussion in the LIBLICENSE
reference guide for additional information and/or sample contract
language.  In many cases, users will simply accept the clauses included in
the draft agreement.

When the user has answered all the questions, a completed draft agreement
containing all the information selected by the user is displayed.  The
user may make any changes to the draft in the rich-text editor that is
included with the program.  When the user is done, the agreement can be
printed and sent to the licensor (licensee).

This software will:

% Be a learning tool for librarians and others who use it, including
publishers entering the electronic licensing arena.
% Serve customers and electronic content providers.
% Make it possible for effective, efficient, standard electronic content
license creation.
% Help libraries and publishers to scale up this side of their work to
meet the increasing number of license deals that need to be made.
% Be readily available to all who need it.
% Advance the electronic marketplace.

Schedule (tentative):

Develop working prototype of software and online reference guide for beta
testing.  This includes coding the software and drafting contractual
language for inclusion in model agreements.
- By September 30th

Beta test software by potential users.
- By October 31st

Incorporate information from beta testing into subsequent iterations of
- By November 30th

Port software to other platforms
- By January 1998

Sincerely,  Ann Okerson & Rodney Stenlake
For the LIBLICENSE Project
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