University of Texas Big Deal Contracts Released to Researchers

The Texas Attorney General has ruled that the University of Texas’ contracts with Elsevier and Springer must be released to Paul Courant, Ted Bergstrom, and Preston McAfee (these researchers run the Big Deal Contract Project).

Here's the ruling (also see the PDF version):

Texas Attorney General Ruling

Read more about it at "Texas Attorney General Orders ‘Big Deal’ Bundle Contracts Released."

Elsevier Fails to Block Release of Its Licensing Contract with Washington State University

Elsevier's injunction to block the release of its licensing contract with Washington State University to researchers has been denied by Whitman County Superior Court.

Here's an excerpt from the ARL press release :

Whitman County Superior Court, State of Washington, ruled Friday, June 19, 2009, in favor of full disclosure for a public-records request submitted to Washington State University by Ted Bergstrom, Paul Courant, and Preston McAfee for license information regarding the WSU-Elsevier contract. On June 9, Elsevier had filed a Motion for Injunction against release of the data. According to court papers, the plaintiff argued that disclosure of the Elsevier-WSU contracts would "disclose aspects of Elsevier's pricing methods and formula so as to produce private gain and public loss. Such disclosure would violate Elsevier's rights under Washington statutes. . .to preserve the confidentiality of its proprietary pricing methods and formulae."

"We could see no reason why the open-records request should not be fulfilled in this case,” said Jay Starratt, Dean of Libraries, Washington State University. "As a member of ARL's Scholarly Communication Committee, I am interested in the results of the data analysis being conducted by the researchers."

Researchers Ted Bergstrom, Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Paul Courant, University Librarian, Dean of Libraries, and Professor of Public Policy, Economics, and Information, University of Michigan, said, "We believe that state open-access laws serve the public interest by requiring full transparency of contracts that involve millions of taxpayer dollars. We will continue to collect and analyze the terms of 'Big Deal' contracts signed by a large number of universities and to share this information with the library community. We appreciate the efforts of university librarians who have helped us to collect contract information and we are grateful for ARL's support and encouragement."

ARL Board Passes Resolution against Nondisclosure or Confidentiality Clauses in Publisher/Vendor Agreements

The Association of Research Libraries Board of Directors has passed a resolution asking members to not sign publisher/vendor agreements that include nondisclosure or confidentiality clauses.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Board of Directors voted in support of a resolution introduced by its Scholarly Communication Steering Committee to strongly encourage ARL member libraries to refrain from signing agreements with publishers or vendors, either individually or through consortia, that include nondisclosure or confidentiality clauses. In addition, the Board encourages ARL members to share upon request from other libraries information contained in these agreements (save for trade secrets or proprietary technical details) for licensing content, licensing software or other tools, and for digitization contracts with third-party vendors. . . .

The resolution was prepared in response to the concerns of membership that, as the amount of licensed content has increased, especially through packages of publications, nondisclosure or confidentiality clauses have had a negative impact on effective negotiations. The Scholarly Communication Steering Committee took the position that an open market will result in better licensing terms. In their discussions, the committee also noted the value of encouraging research projects and other efforts to gather information about the current market and licensing terms, such as an initiative being undertaken by Ted Bergstrom, University of California, Santa Barbara, Paul Courant, University of Michigan, and Preston McAfee, Cal Tech, to acquire information on bundled site-license contracts.

Controlling Access to and Use of Online Cultural Collections: A Survey of U.S. Archives, Libraries and Museums for IMLS

Kristin Eschenfelder has self-archived a draft of Controlling Access to and Use of Online Cultural Collections: A Survey of U.S. Archives, Libraries and Museums for IMLS in dLIST.

Here's an excerpt:

This report describes the results of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded study to investigate the use of technological or policy tools to control patron access to or use of digital collections of cultural materials created by U.S. archives, libraries and museums. The technological and policy tools serve primarily to control copying or other reuses of digital materials. The study had the following goals: 1. Assess what technical and policy tools cultural institutions are employing to control access to and use of online digital collections. 2. Investigate motivations for controlling access to or use of collections (e.g., copyright, privacy, protecting traditional restrictions, income generation etc.). 3. Investigate discouragers to the implementation of access and use control systems (e.g., preference for open collections, lack of resources, institutional mission, etc.). 4. Gauge interest in implementing technical systems to control access to and use of collections. 5. Determine what types of assistance IMLS could provide. 6. Identify institutions with innovative controlled online collections for follow up case studies on policy, technical and managerial details.

University of California Affiliated Authors Will Be Able to Publish Using Springer Open Choice as Part of Journals License

Under the terms of the journals license negotiated by the California Digital Library for the University of California Libraries, UC-affiliated authors will be able to publish in Springer journals using the Springer Open Choice option without paying additional publication fees. (Thanks to Open Access News.)

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

There will be no separate per-article charges, since costs have been factored into the overall license. Articles will be released under a license compatible with the Creative Commons (by-nc: Attribution, Non-commercial) license. In addition to access via the Springer platform, final published articles will also be deposited in the California Digital Library's eScholarship Repository.

The University of California-Springer agreement is the first large-scale open access experiment of its type undertaken with a major commercial publisher in North America.

"UC faculty members have told us that they want open access publishing options in order to increase the impact of their published work and eliminate barriers to educational and research use," said Ivy Anderson, director of collections for the California Digital Library, which licenses content on behalf of the University of California libraries. "Just as importantly, they want these options in the journals in which they routinely publish, without disrupting their normal research activity. The CDL agreement with Springer supports the transformation that our faculty seeks, while continuing the libraries' crucial role in facilitating access to research information. Springer is a leader among commercial publishers in open access experimentation, making it a natural partner for the University of California in this endeavor."

Copyright Clearance Center Launches Ozmo, a Commercial License Service, as Beta

The Copyright Clearance Center has launched Ozmo, a web-based commercial license service that supports the Creative Commons CC+ protocol, in beta mode.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Ozmo puts artists and writers in control. They select their license terms and set the price for the use of their content. Then, CCC puts its three decades of licensing expertise to work. CCC handles the entire licensing process and all payments go through Amazon’s Flexible Payment Service when a license is purchased. With Ozmo, buyers know instantly that they have the right to use the content and sellers know how their content is being used.

There are no set-up fees with Ozmo and content creators can license as much content as they want. Payment is collected from the buyer when the rights are purchased. Ozmo even helps sellers track and manage sales and buying trends. Ozmo supports the Creative Commons CC+ protocol for bridging the gap between commercial and non-commercial licensing. Content creators can apply the Creative Commons link for non-commercial use, and the Ozmo link for commercial use. . . .

How Ozmo works

To get started, users need only create a free Ozmo profile. Then, the content creator selects his or her license terms and pricing, and registers the work with Ozmo. Sellers can add an image, banner or bio that will be displayed with their work. Profile information can even be pulled over directly from Facebook. Using Ozmo is easy because it works with content where ever it resides online. Content creators never have to re-enter their work; Ozmo simply links back to the original host location.

Buyers, such as design firms, publishers, bloggers and other journalists, who want to tap in to the fresh content available through Ozmo, can do so by searching the Ozmo website or clicking on the Ozmo link wherever they find it online. CCC handles the billing, the buyer receives the license by email and the content creator gets paid. It’s that simple.

Read more about it at "Ozmo Launches with CC+ Protocol Support."

Licensing across Borders—A Round Table Discussion Podcast

JISC has released a new podcast titled Licensing across Borders—A Round Table Discussion.

The podcast deals with the Knowledge Exchange's multinational licensing initiative. Knowledge Exchange participants are JISC, Danmark's Elektroniske Fag-og Forskningsbibliotek (DEF), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), and the SURF Foundation.

JorumOpen, UK Repository for Creative Commons Licensed Educational Materials, Announced

JISC has announced JorumOpen, a national repository of open access educational materials under Creative Commons licenses.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

It was announced today that Jorum, the UK national repository for learning and teaching materials funded by JISC, is to offer open educational resources. This will make it easier for lecturers and teaching staff to share and re-use each other's teaching resources. JorumOpen—as it will be called—will also provide a showcase for UK universities and colleges on the international stage. . . .

Jorum is managed jointly by EDINA and Mimas, the two National Academic Data Centres funded by JISC at the Universities of Edinburgh and Manchester. During the first phase of Jorum's development, the focus has been on building a system that safeguards investment in digital learning resources and offers controlled access to licensed materials. The result is a service that supports access to over 2,500 learning resources for download for direct use in the classroom and within virtual learning environments (VLEs).

Through the development of JorumOpen, lecturers and teachers will be able to share materials under the Creative Commons licence framework: this makes sharing easier, granting users greater rights for use and re-use of online content and easier to understand. Importantly, it does not require prior registration. As a result availability is global as well as across UK universities and colleges. JorumOpen will run alongside a 'members only' facility, JorumEducationUK, that will support sharing of material just within the UK educational sector; this will be available only to registered users and contributors, as is currently the case.

Creative Commons Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses Made Official

The draft designation for the Creative Commons Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses has been removed, and the document is now the official explanation of the goals of this group of licenses.

Read more about it at "Creative Commons Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses Released."

Creative Commons Gets New Leader and $4 Million Grant

Joi Ito, an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and free culture advocate, has been named CEO of the Creative Commons, replacing Lawrence Lessig. Lessig is leading a new effort, Change Congress. He will serve as a Creative Commons board member.

The organization has received a $4 million grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ($2.5 million of general funding for five years and $1.5 million to support ccLearn).

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

"Although I have changed my focus, I’m still very much committed to Creative Commons and the Free Culture cause," Lessig said. "The work I intend to do with Change Congress is in many ways complementary to the work of Creative Commons. Both projects are about putting people in power and enabling them to build a better system. I could not be more pleased to hand off the leadership of Creative Commons to the extraordinarily passionate and qualified Joi Ito."

"Under Larry’s management, Creative Commons has grown from an inspirational idea to an essential part of the technical, social, and legal landscape involving organizations and people in 80 countries," said Ito. "With it, the organization has grown in size and complexity, and I am excited to increase the level of my participation to help manage this amazing group of people. The Hewlett Foundation has been a major supporter of ours from the beginning and we could not be more grateful for their support going forward into the future."

Founding board member and Duke law professor James Boyle will become chair of the board, replacing Ito, who remains on the board. "Jamie has demonstrated his commitment to Creative Commons from its founding," said Lessig. "He led the formation of Science Commons and ccLearn, our divisions focused on scientific research and education respectively. There is no person better suited to lead the Creative Commons board."

Boyle is optimistic about Creative Commons' future. "If one looks at all the amazing material that has been placed under our licenses—from MIT’s Open Courseware and the Public Library of Science to great music, from countless photographs and blogs to open textbooks—one realizes that, under Larry's leadership, the organization has actually helped build a global 'creative commons' in which millions of people around the world participate, either as creators or users. My job will be to use the skills of the remarkable people on our board—including a guy called Larry Lessig, who has promised me he isn’t going away any time soon to make sure that mission continues and expands."

The Hewlett Foundation grant consists of $2.5 million to provide general support to Creative Commons over five years and $1.5 million to support ccLearn, the division of Creative Commons that is focused on open educational resources. "The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been a strong supporter of openness and open educational resources in particular," said Catherine Casserly, the Director of the Open Educational Resources Initiative at Hewlett. "Creative Commons licenses are a critical part of the infrastructure of openness on which those efforts depend." The Hewlett grant was a vital part of a five-year funding plan which also saw promises of support from Omidyar Network, Google, Mozilla, Red Hat, and the Creative Commons board.

Creative Commons also announces two other senior staff changes. Diane Peters joins the organization as General Counsel. Peters arrives from the Mozilla Corporation, serves on the board of the Software Freedom Law Center, and was previously General Counsel for Open Source Development Labs and the Linux Foundation. She has extensive experience collaborating with and advising nonprofit organizations, development communities, and high-tech companies on a variety of matters.

Vice President and General Counsel Virginia Rutledge, who joined Creative Commons last year from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, will take on a new role as Vice President and Special Counsel. In her new role, Rutledge will focus on development and external relations, while continuing to lead special legal projects.

Creative Commons License Option for ETDs at the University of Auckland

The University of Auckland now gives students submitting an electronic theses or dissertation the option of putting it under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Read more about it "University of Auckland Embeds CC Licensing" and "Guidelines for Formatting a Digital Thesis."

To Loan an Electronic Article from an Elsevier E-Journal, Print It, Scan It, and Send it with Ariel

Of late, there has been discussion on the Liblicense-L list about how libraries should go about performing interlibrary loan transactions for articles published in licensed e-journals.

Since, in the U.S., print journals are owned, are subject to the "first sale doctrine," and are covered by long-standing CONTU Guidelines, libraries have not had to generally grapple with complex ILL issues for them; however, e-journals from major publishers are licensed, licenses are publisher-specific, and the terms of the license agreements determine if and how ILL can be performed.

Elsevier has clarified for the list how articles from its e-journals should be handled: the article should be printed, and then "mailed, faxed or scanned into Ariel (or a similar system) as means of delivery to the borrowing library." (Ariel is an ILL system that is widely used by libraries to deliver digital copies of documents.)

To recap the Ariel workflow, the digital article should be printed and then it should be digitized for delivery via Ariel.

See the ScienceDirect Interlibrary Loan Policy for more details.

NISO Releases SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding

The National Information Standards Organization has released SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding. The document "codifies best practices for the sale of e-resources without license agreements."

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

SERU offers publishers and librarians the opportunity to save both the time and the costs associated with a negotiated and signed license agreement by agreeing to operate within a framework of shared understanding and good faith.

Publication of SERU follows a trial-use period of June through December 2007, during which time librarians and publishers reported—all positively—on their experiences using the draft document. . . .

The SERU Working Group was launched in late 2006 following the recommendation of participants in a meeting exploring opportunities to reduce the use of licensing agreements. The 2006 meeting was sponsored by ARL, NISO, the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP). More information about the SERU Working Group, including FAQs and an electronic mailing list, can be found at http://www.niso.org/committees/seru/.

AAP Reaches Agreement with Three Universities about E-Reserves Guidelines

The Association of American Publishers has announced it has reached agreement with Hofstra University, Marquette University, and Syracuse University about copyright guidelines for e-reserves.

The guidelines are below:

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The guidelines, which were developed separately by the three universities, govern how librarians and faculty members distribute copyrighted content through library electronic course reserves systems, course management systems, faculty and departmental web pages and other digital formats.

AAP worked with each of the three universities in cooperative efforts to establish easily understood and common-sense standards that help faculty and staff understand and interpret their rights and responsibilities when using copyrighted content in educational settings. Each of the guidelines reflects the specific needs of the particular university and is consistent with the principles of fair use while providing helpful guidance as to when permission from the copyright holder is required to copy or post materials in digital formats. AAP believes the guidelines, which are similar to those adopted by Cornell University last year, will serve as models for others colleges and universities. . . .

In the last two years AAP has initiated discussions with a number of universities after observing that unlicensed digital copies of course materials were gradually replacing the licensed physical copying of articles, book chapters and other copyrighted works. While it is well established that physical copying of materials for distribution to multiple students, often in compilations known as coursepacks, generally requires permission from the copyright holder, faculty and staff seem less aware that permission is similarly required for distribution of electronic copies of such copyrighted materials.

Read more about it at "AAP Pressures Universities to Limit Fair Use" and "Despite Skeptics, Publishers Tout New 'Fair Use' Agreements With Universities" (Chronicle of Higher Education subscribers only).

The Amazon MP3 Music Service: No DRM; but Read the Terms of Use Agreement

MP3 files in the Amazon MP3 Music Service are free from DRM restrictions; however, the Amazon MP3 Music Service: Terms of Use agreement imposes legal restrictions that customers should be aware of and compare to their rights under the first sale doctrine with a CD purchase.

In section 2.1, it states:

Upon your payment of our fees for Digital Content, we grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use the Digital Content for your personal, non-commercial, entertainment use, subject to and in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. You may copy, store, transfer and burn the Digital Content only for your personal, non-commercial, entertainment use.

In section 2.2, it states (excerpt; italics added):

Except as set forth in Section 2.1 above, you agree that you will not redistribute, transmit, assign, sell, broadcast, rent, share, lend, modify, adapt, edit, sub-license or otherwise transfer or use the Digital Content. You are not granted any synchronization, public performance, promotional use, commercial sale, resale, reproduction or distribution rights for the Digital Content.

Source: Dudley, Brier. "Unlocked Music Isn't Unlimited." The Seattle Times, 8 October 2007.

ALA Weblogs and Creative Commons Licenses

The American Library Association and its divisions have launched a number of Weblogs in the last few years. What copyright provisions are these digital publications under? Do they use Creative Commons licenses?

As the list below shows, the vast majority of ALA Weblogs have no explicit copyright statement on their homepage. The absence of such a statement does not mean that under U.S. law the Weblogs are not under standard copyright provisions. They are copyrighted, but by who? Unless ALA has a copyright transfer or work-for-hire agreement with Weblog authors, it appears that the author of each posting holds the copyright to that posting, and copyright permissions for uses of postings that exceed fair use would need to be obtained from their authors. (Some Weblogs have a single author.)

One ALA Weblog uses the standard ALA copyright statement (ALA Techsource), one is copyrighted under the name of the Weblog (ACRLog), one is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States license (YALSA), and three others are under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 licenses (District Dispatch, LITA Blog, and Office for Intellectual Freedom).

Thus, the vast majority of ALA Weblogs are under standard copyright provisions, one is under ALA’s more liberal copyright provisions, and a few are under Creative Commons Licenses that permit noncommercial use without further permission as long as it does not include the creation of derivative works.

New Electronic Resources Management Mailing List

The LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group has established a mailing list (lita-erm@ala.org).

Here is a description of the IG from its home page:

Established in 2005. The purpose of the LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group is to promote and enable the exchange of information and discussion among librarians, publishers, electronic resource management system vendors and related service organizations concerning issues related to the management of electronic resources. The group will assist in developing appropriate and responsive systems and standards by fostering open and collaborative discussions and implementation issues.

Is It Time to Stop Printing Journals?

There has been lively discussion about whether it is time to stop printing journals on Liblicense-l of late (March archive and April archive).

Here’s my take.

There are two aspects to this question: (1) Is the print journal format still required for reading purposes?; and (2) Is the print journal format still required to insure full access to journals given that many e-journals are under licenses (and are not owned by libraries) and digital preservation is still in its infancy?

It appears that the answer to (1) may finally be “no, for many users.” However, this may be contingent to some degree on the fact that many commercial e-journals are composed of article PDF files that allow users to print copies that replicate printed articles.

The answer to (2) is less clear, since continued access is contingent on periodic license negotiations and the changing business practices of publishers. Embargoes, ILL restrictions, incomplete back runs, and similar issues may give libraries pause. Very promising digital preservation efforts, such as LOCKSS and Portico still need to pass the test of time. Few libraries believe that publishers by themselves can be relied on to preserve e-journals (for one thing, publishers go out of business).

However, the reality for many libraries is that they have no choice but to dump print whenever possible for strictly economic reasons: print plus electronic is increasingly unaffordable for a variety of reasons.

SERU Working Group Draft Best Practices Document

The NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Working Group has released a draft best practices document (The SERU Approach to E-Resource Subscriptions: Framework for Development and Use of SERU).

According to the press release, this document "presents a shared set of understandings to which publishers and libraries can point when negotiating the sale of electronic content. The framework offers publishers and libraries a solution to the often-burdensome process of bilateral negotiation of a formal license agreement by allowing the sale of e-resources without licenses if both parties feel their perception of risk has been adequately addressed by current law and developing norms of behavior."

(Prior posting on SERU.)

Report on Sharing and Re-Use of Geospatial Data in Repositories

The GRADE project has released a report titled Designing a Licensing Strategy for Sharing and Re-Use of Geospatial Data in the Academic Sector.

The JISC-REPOSITORIES announcement indicates that the report presents "a licensing strategy for the sharing and re-use of geospatial data within the UK research and education sector," and that it "puts forward a conceptual framework for resolving those described rights management issues raised in relation to repositories."

Here is an excerpt from the report that describes it further:

Geospatial material created in the education sector can be highly complex, incorporating data created elsewhere either as found, or customised to fit the particular need of the academic or lecturer. The downstream rights can become very complex, as it is necessary to ensure that permissions have been gained to reuse or repurpose the data, and it is usually essential that correct attribution is made. There are currently concerns and confusion over the assertion of IPR and copyright of created geospatial data particularly where third party data are included.

This report considers a licensing strategy for the sharing and re-use of geospatial data within the UK research and education sector.

NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding Working Group

If you are tired of negotiating a license for every commercial information product that you purchase, there may be hope on the horizon.

The NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding Working Group (SERU), co-chaired by Karla Hahn, Association of Research Libraries, and Judy Luther, Informed Strategies, is addressing this issue.

Here is the group’s charge:

The working group is charged with developing Recommended Practices to be used to support a new mechanism for publishers to sell e-resources without licenses if they feel their perception of risk has been adequately addressed by current law and developing norms of behavior.

The document will be an expression of a set of shared understandings of publisher and library expectations regarding the sale of an electronic resource subscription. Negotiation between publisher perspectives and library perspectives will be needed to develop a useful set of practices.

The working group will build on considerable work to identify key elements of a best practices document already begun during a one-day meeting sponsored by ARL, ALPSP, SSP, and SPARC. All of the participants in that scoping meeting expressed a strong desire to continue to work on this project and form the proposed working group to develop best practices.

A recent article provides more details about SERU as does its FAQ.

There is also a mailing list. Send a message to SERUinfo-subscribe@list.niso.org to subscribe.

Draft White Paper on Acquisitions and Electronic Resource Management Systems Interoperability

The Digital Library Federation’s Electronic Resource Management Initiative Phase II Steering Committee has released a draft white paper on the interoperability of ILS acquisition modules and electronic resource management systems.

Here is the introduction:

Electronic resource management systems are becoming an important tool in many libraries. Commercial ERMS development has been driven in part by the lack of accommodation within integrated library systems for elements specific to electronic resources. Financial aspects of acquiring e-resources, in particular, necessitate recording an array of data not suited to ILS acquisitions modules. Unlike other data recorded in an ERMS such as licensing and administrative terms, a moderate percentage of acquisitions data is redundant, being populated in ILS during the acquisitions process, while also being accommodated within ERMS in accordance with the data structure detailed in Electronic Resource Management: Report of the DLF Electronic Resource Management Initiative (Digital Library Federation, 2004). ERMS implementers are eager to automate the process by which acquisitions data move from their ILS into their ERMS. This interest has grown substantially over the past few months as the prospect of connecting financial data to usage statistics has been facilitated through the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI), a NISO draft standard.

This white paper describes workflows at four libraries; reports on conversations held with product managers and other relevant staff of the leading ERMS; summarizes common themes; and suggests next steps. The paper is a draft for comment; it is hoped that those with interest in this area will provide insight to further this investigation.

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