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End-User Licenses in the Z39.50 Environment


     One of the most vigorous discussions on the LibLicense list in recent
weeks has been about how to make a library's end-users aware of the
license restrictions that accompany most commercial databases (the "double
license" issue).  As an electronic database publisher, our model is to
have an enforceable clickwrap arrangement with the end user, in essence
saying "By using our data, you agree to accept the following use
restrictions".  Our intention is to take the library out of the role of
having to monitor end-user compliance these restrictions.  All we ask is
that the library take reasonable measures to inform the users of the
restrictions, and try to correct or inform us of violations that come to
the library's attention.

     However, technology may be streaking ahead of us: Many of you are
aware that the Z39.50 client software now available makes it possible for
libraries to use their own custom-designed search interface to connect
their users via the Internet to a variety of electronic databases to which
the library subscribes (SilverPlatter provides this capability). This
means the user need need not go through the database publisher's title
screen or search interface.  Indeed, depending on how the library's
interface is configured, the user may not be able to see the publisher's
title screen information at all.

     For libraries who use Z39.50 and the like to provide their own
interfaces, we would like to know how you are passing along to users the
often varying vendor requirements of different proprietary databases to
which you subscribe, and what is reasonable to expect from libraries in
this regard.

     David Mirchin
     Vice President & General Counsel
     SilverPlatter Information, Inc.
     100 River Ridge Drive
     Norwood, MA  02062
     Tel: 1-800-343-0064 ext. 235
     e-mail: dmirchin@silverplatter.com