Opening up licensing agreements – Annette Keogh #open17

Opening up licensing agreements: How to interpret and how to convey terms to our users
So much of our lives and access seems seamless, but so much of this relies on small print. While we may be a bit easygoing in our personal lives we need to be a bit more rigorous when it comes to our patrons’ lives.
What to look out for:
  • are authorised users specified?
    • eg current employees/contractors/students? retired faculty? alumni? visitors? walk-ins?
    • Are definitions clear?
  • are permitted uses specified?
    • coursepacks and reserves (print and electronic); linking (just like to see it clearly specified); interlibrary loan; scholarly sharing (lets an individual with authorised access to email an article to a colleague)
    • To a certain extent don’t mind if something’s permitted or prohibited as long as it’s clear!
  • liability – you don’t want to be legally liable for anything your users do!
    • Companies used to working with business may have a liability clause.
    • But prefer “Licensor shall indemnify and hold harmless the Licensee and an Authorized Users for any losses […] which arise from any third party claim […]”
    • AMA account shut down for 48 hours because user’s account was hacked. License says saying we’ll ‘take reasonable steps’ – but AMA reserve right to suspend access to the database. Prefer the database to notify the organisation so we’ve got time to suspend the individual’s account. Need to take account of timezones.
  • accessible formats for users with disabilities?
    • Most have a stipulation that you can’t change the content/form but like to see an exception to change into audio or Braille
  • access if you suspend/terminate?
    • Renewal – be careful of automatic renewal clauses with a notice period that’s earlier than when they typically send renewal notices….
    • Post-termination perpetual access – archival copy or access on server – ‘reasonable cost-based fee’ may want more details

If something’s not working for you, negotiate. Use the CEIRC Licences – Model Clauses page on CAUL’s site. LIBLICENSE has a good set of model licenses too.

Have 1000s of licenses; 34,000 students. How to communicate these? One vendor suggested a handout…. Previously  faculty member wanting to use in a course pack would contact their subject librarian, who’d consult the confusing spreadsheet, consult the e-resource librarian, then go back to the faculty member and say ‘no’.

Now putting these into Alma at the collection level so they can display in the catalogue at the title level. (35 of the most common ones done, 1000 to go 🙂 )

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