[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Developing impossible situation, Re: Authority to sign

> However, I suppose an analogy is possible to what credit 
> card companies do. Periodically, they'll issue a new set of 
> rules or terms. As a credit card holder, I can choose to 
> accept the new terms or reject them by terminating the 
> agreement. That feels pretty unilateral to me, though I 
> suppose technically, legally, it's not, since the card 
> holder can't be bound by the new rules against his/her will.

Certainly the *action* is unilateral in the case above, but, as you point
out, the agreement is still bilateral if the cardholder is notified and
has the opportunity to reject the terms.  The notification process should
have been agreed to in advance, of course.

This sort of ambiguity is one reason we (libraries) should always insist
that licenses be countersigned by licensors.  If I have a license
agreement in my possession with original signatures on it from both my
boss and the licensor, then I can be confident that what I have is the
only legally binding version until we renegotiate -- my signed version
would trump a subsequent, unsigned version.  It also means that you'd
better be sure that there isn't language in the license that might open
the door to unilateral changes in the terms.
> Science Online has, over the last year, significantly 
> liberalized its online agreement in favor of libraries and 
> their users. The new terms are posted online, but we haven't 
> gone back to those institutions who signed the earlier 
> agreements to either 'force' or 'ask' them to sign the new 
> agreement. That's because, in our case, we are willing to 
> honor either version of the deal. Then, at renewal time, I 
> would think the new terms would come into play...Does this 
> strike you/others as sensible?

I guess as long as you're going to continue to honor the terms upon which
we mutually agreed, I don't really care that much what other documents you
create internally.  If I've got a signed contract, any other version that
you create on your own amounts to a draft proposal.  The version we agree
on, of course, should specify the process involved if either party wants
to change the terms, and I'd expect you to follow whatever procedure we
agreed to.  You should expect the same of me.


Rick Anderson
Head Acquisitions Librarian
Jackson Library
UNC Greensboro
1000 Spring Garden St.
Greensboro, NC 27402-6175
PH (336) 334-5281
FX (336) 334-5399

"All beauty today is meretricious."
          -- Fredric Jameson

"But beauty is found in life far more 
than in art.  If we avert our eyes to
escape the seduction, what will our
eyes be good for?"
            -- David Bromwich