Re: The role of subscription agents

Subject: Re: The role of subscription agents
From: Mr C A Rusbridge (
Date: ma 15 heinš† 1996 - 13:49:50 EEST

> If the subscription agents took a more active role in licence
> administration, they would be in a position to suggest simplifications to
> those licences and eventually, to move all publishers towards a standard
> form agreement (as much as this is possible). At least then libraries
> would have a chance of knowing what the T+C of use actually say. Only
> then can the publishers hope to have the licence conditions followed.

I agree strongly with this. My 'nightmare' scenario for libraries 10+
years hence is millions of electronic objects governed by thousands of
licences, all slightly different.

Part of the problem is anti-cartel legislation. The PA or a related group
here in the UK apparently produced a model contract, but the legal advice
was that it was OK to advertise to their members as long as everyone
changed it! However, licences negotiated by intermediaries like
subscription agents, or CHEST (Combined Higher Education Software Team in
the UK, which has negotiated many standard licence deals) might get round
this problem.

Chris Rusbridge

Programme Director, Electronic Libraries Programme The Library, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK Phone 01203 524979 Fax 01203 524981 Email

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