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"Double" Licenses

Already this year I've seen two electronic information "deals" that
require two levels of license.  That is, the institution (library)
negotiates and signs a license with the provider AND then once the reader
goes to the site to retrieve the information, he or she is asked to
"click" to agree to a set of terms and conditions.  I.e., two license
agreements are in play: one with the institution and one with each
individual reader. Perhaps this has been happening to us all along, and
I've only noticed this because of reading two such licenses within a few
days.  The "click" is NOT the same as "dear reader, here you are and
here are our working rules" -- rather, it is an attempt to create a
legal agreement between the provider and the individual.

In each case, the terms are reasonable enough, but I question that the
readers fully understand the kinds of liabilities that they are accepting
by clicking.  And, as we have heard/discussed ad nauseum, "click" licenses
are also problematic in that there is no possibility for the reader to
query or negotiate with a form on the web.

In any case, it seems to me that the information provider's deal needs to
be either with the INSTITUTION, who negotiates and accepts all the
overarching responsibility for compliance with the license, OR with the
READER, leaving the institution out of the relationship.  There is an
incompatibility between asking for both.

Comments please from you publishers, librarians, and lawyers out there?

Ann Okerson
Associate University Librarian
Yale University