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Re: Model Licenses; Liblicense Software

I can report on the latest stage of work from the UK group.   We have
reconvened and are trying to produce a 'toolkit' consisting of three things:

1 - A standardised framework (rather more fleshed out than a simple 'heads
of agreement') which might be adopted, both by those using wording from the
original 'model licence' and by those writing their own licences.

2 - A number of completed examples of licences for particular, common
situations (such as a library licensing one or more journals from a
publisher, or licensing a networkable CD-rom, or obtaining a licence to
create its own digitised version of a text original).   For these we are
boiling down the wording in the original model (which we all agree was too
long, complex and legalistic) to the absolute bare minimum which our legal
colleagues on both sides consider acceptable.

3 - An agreed set of definitions which can be referred to in licences, and
does not therefore need to be included in every licence in its entirety
(though we do envisage a handful of key definitions being present).

We happen to think that the existence of these tools and the knowledge that
they are basically acceptable to both publishers and libraries will mean
that there are far fewer instances where the time and money of both parties
is wasted in unnecessary negotiation about the non-financial terms and

We are optimistic about completing this stage of our work by the summer, at
which point I'm sure we'll want to share the outputs as widely as possible
and gather further international feedback.

Sally Morris

At 03:04 23/04/98 -0400, you wrote:
>What an interesting message from Edward Barrow, given that as he says, "my
>loyalties tend to lie with rights holders." He proposes that librarians
>should develop their own license contracts, thus giving a perfect segue
>for a message about LIBLICENSE PHASE II.  As you've read here before, with
>funding once again from the Council on Library and Information Resources
>(CLIR, formerly CLR), weUve gone ahead to develop a downloadable generic
>licensing software (of the sort that one can now buy to create
>personalized wills and other types of straighrforward legal documents). 
>Rod Stenlake, the contract attorney who has done the development work, has
>now achieved beta-mode and a few of you are testing the software for us
>(we would welcome a couple more librarians and a couple more publishers,
>if you could take the software for a roadtest for us in the next month or
>so to see if it performs as you would like it).  It is our hope to make it
>available on the LIBLICENSE web site before the beginning of the fall
>The LIBLICENSE software will be downloadable onto Windows95 and NT
>operating systems.  The software is based on our observation during
>reading dozens or hundreds of licenses, that nearly all electronic
>resource licenses/contracts follow a standard format.  This standard
>sequence, with (what we hope is) relatively bias-free language, allows the
>creator of the license, either a publisher licensing TO libraries or a
>library licensing FROM a provider, to move rapidly through a set of
>standard terms and fill them in, make choices, and add free-form text as
>necessary.  ItUs easy to use and covers the territory.  We forsee it as
>both an educational tool and one that simplifies the lives of those who
>are seeking straightforward contract language.  It does provide a simple,
>straightforward format and language that can be readily understood by
>anyone.  It does not seek to be a 'model' in the sense of the UK efforts,
>but it seeks to be a template that works for most circumstances. 
>(What news from the UK model license front these days?)
>Now, this license software is an interface or overlay to the large array
>of topics covered in the standard license.  It helps express specifics of
>clauses such as use, users, liabilities, etc., etc.  What it cannot do,
>and what no model or software can do, is resolve the underlying issues. 
>These still need to be done between the negotiating parties.  Nonetheless,
>having a standard structure for doing so should advance all of our work --
>or so we and the CLIR hope. 
>If you are interested in doing a roadtest for us, please respond to this
>list, which Rod and I monitor/moderate.  We could surely use the services
>of a few of you, though if we are inundated with interest, we will have to
>politely say no to some of our readers.  Remember that you need to be
>using Windows95 or NT operating systems.  And that we would welcome a
>couple of publishersU input. 
>Ann Okerson/Yale University
>for Liblicense
>Edward Barrow wrote:
>From: Edward Barrow <>
>Subject: Re: Company of Biologists
>Having followed this and other related threads on this list for some
>time, and despite the fact that my tribal loyalties tend to lie with
>rightsholders, I can't help thinking that perhaps we've got library
>licensing the wrong way round. It seems to me that the conditions of a
>licence should be determined by the licensee, not by the copyright
>holder. The librarian knows what terms are feasible and enforceable in
>his or her institution; and practically it has to be more sensible for
>common access terms to apply to all the content of a library. Even with
>CD-Rom material, the fact that different usage conditions (such as
>printing) could apply with each different disc loaded in the drive
>placed those responsible for enforcement in an impossible situation, and
>resulted more often than not in conditions being honoured more often in
>the breach than the observance. I must admit it does seem rather
>blinkered for a publisher to declare conditions absolutely
>non-negotiable. I would have thought that everything is negotiable for a
>Thus, it seems to me that libraries should develop their own licence
>contracts, specific to their institution, and offer them to
>rightsholders - who would of course still determine the applicable fees.
>There are several problems with this approach. The first is that
>librarians must have reasonable expectations, which may sometimes
>involve moderating their laudable enthusiasm for the maximum
>unrestricted and unremunerated  dissemination of information; the second
>is that the perception is that the rightsholders have all the cards. I
>don't know whether it's more than a perception. And ultimately the
>biggest problem is finding acceptable pricing models, because it's clear
>that the current approach (current paper spend, plus or minus something,
>fixed for a time) may handle the paper-digital transition but won't work
>Finally, I should point out that here in the UK the problem is being
>addressed by the development of 'model agreements' by joint working
>groups set up by the Publishers' Association and, in the case of
>academic libraries, the Joint Information Systems Committee. I would
>imagine however that this kind of consensual approach in the US would be
>instantly vetoed by both parties' anti-trust advisers - even though the
>working groups have been careful to avoid discussion of price.
>Edward Barrow

Sally Morris
Director of Copyright and Licensing
John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Baffins Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1UD
Tel:    01243 770365     Fax:    01243 770429      Email:
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