Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians. (Professional Materials)

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians. (Professional Materials)

Article excerpt

By Lesley Ellen Harris. Chicago: ALA, 2002. 135 p. $45 (ISBN 0-8389-0815-2). www.ala.org.

Electronic resources are not bought and owned like print materials; they are licensed for certain uses, and this difference means many librarians are confronting the legal and business aspects of accepting or negotiating licenses. Harris' book provides gentle, thorough, and up-to-date guidance in this process. The author is a lawyer and consultant for copyright, licensing, and e-commerce, and has given seminars on licensing to librarians in the United States and Canada.

Licensing Digital Content targets libraries of all kinds and sizes. The outlook is global, though most examples include references to the laws of the United States as well as Canada and Europe. Librarians with little or considerable licensing experience can benefit from the explanations, guidance, and references provided in Harris' text. The layout is pleasantly readable, with subheadings, boxed definitional sections, tips, and other summaries.

The first chapters cover when to license, an overview of licensing options, and specifics about licensing lingo and clauses. Final chapters include practical guidance on unintimidating negotiations, questions and answers for remaining issues, and how to integrate licensing into the unique structure of one's own library. …

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