Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ebook Legalese

In the session Ebooks Legalese, UAA librarian Jodee Kuden, gave a rundown of the multitude of different ways of acquiring digital content ranging from subscriptions of databases to the purchase of access to ebooks. She mentioned the different formats of audio and text ebooks with the possibility of buying individual titles or packages of titles, which are sometimes more economical. Discussed was the need to understand whether you as the buyer are hosting the content yourself or more likely linking to a vendor or publisher's platform. In that case it is important to look at whether you are paying for annual access to the content or site or perpetual access and just what does that mean if the vendor or publisher goes out of business or is acquired by another company. It is very important to look at the licensing agreements, which can and should be negotiated.
Jodee mentioned Trisha Davis of the Ohio State University Libraries as a resource on licensing information as well as a post by Rick Anderson on what he calls the “Seven License Terms of Death.” His advise, while a little old (2006) might be well worth looking into. Jodee mentioned that among other things he recommends changing the jurisdiction of the license to be according to the rules of your own state, no others.
The unfortunate news is that there is still no standardization of formats either in the books or the reader platforms. She mentioned a few of the different things publishers are trying such as HarperCollins limiting books to 26 checkouts before requiring the purchase of a new copy. With the current continual upheaval in the ebook world I foresee the need for sessions similar to this at each and every conference for some time to come.

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