ERL 12 – Contracts, agreements, licenses: 2.5 perspectives

  • contract: state law (oh, conferences in America)
  • agreement: not synonymous with contract
  • license: unilateral permission to use someone else’s property
Types of licenses:
  • end-user license
  • shrink wrap/click wrap
  • site license: software or use of databases for multiple users

Licensing e-resources (U of Akron perspective):

  • Met with university counsel to help them understand terms of licenses, process
  • now: Innovative ERM to keep license data, scans in the license record

Is a license required?

  • If journal pub is registered with SERU, they don’t bother
  • Need a license with pub: will publisher accept changes? If yes, one person in library who is authorized to do this, so don’t have to involved the legal department – make changes in the margins and have them signed
  • For big databases, send the license to legal department – legal dept. always writes an addendum about controlling users with reasonable effort – can take a while

Licensing and cost factors:

  • FTE
  • multiple campuses
  • simultaneous users
  • IP access or password
  • MARC records
  • payment schedules

Non-negotiable terms:

  • state/country of jurisdiction: either remain silent, or add an addendum
  • Indemnification: they can’t do it
  • Responsibility for patrons: reasonable effort
  • Walk-in users: state instititution, must be able to serve walk-in users


  • ILL
  • course reserve
  • copies for classroom use
  • IP authentication
  • distance users, both campuses covered

Important to know for you what is required (talk to your legal counsel!) and what is preferred. How much are you willing to negotiate? How much time are you willing to spend on the negotiation process?

Streaming videos:

  • whole other bunch of issues related to streaming video…

Play well with others and obey the law!

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