e-bOOk licensing and ReseaRch libRaRies—negOtiating pRinciples and pRice in an eMeRging MaRket
SEPTEMBER 2012 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
The principle also states that the licensing libraries should be protected from liability for unauthorized
uses so long as they have implemented reasonable and appropriate methods to notify users of any
restrictions. Libraries are responsible for establishing policies that create the environment in which
appropriate uses of content can be made and have a mechanism for carrying out due process if there is a
The resulting agreement supported all of these principles and allows unlimited access to the full text
of the e-books in the collection with no contractual limits on the number of authorized users from one
campus at any given time.
Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act
A required principle is that the content provider should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) by supporting the necessary software or devices consistent with the guidelines published by the
World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative.5
The provider agreement stated that they would comply by supporting the necessary software and
devices as indicated by the Web Accessibility Initiative’s guidelines.
While specifying in the “ARL E-Book Requirements” that access to the licensed materials should not be
restricted to any one type of device as part of the licensing provisions, ARL does recognize that this also
is a technical challenge for content providers as delivery platforms and mechanisms evolve. Initially the
e-book content is likely to be PDF, but the long-term expectation is standard file formats that allow for full
functionality on any computer or reader.
The content from the provider for this project is PDF and can be sent to any device that reads that
Display, Printing, and Downloading
Users doing research may need to access or use an entire work for an extended period of time, so it was
important for ARL to include a principle for authorized users to display or download the complete extent
of individual titles. That ability to download also should not be restricted to any specific device. Printing
is to be consistent with the exceptions and limitations of the previously referenced copyright acts.
The provider agreement states that users may download and print one copy of each e-book chapter for
personal use and archive the content on their own personal devices.
Course Reserves and Course Management Systems
This “ARL E-Book Requirements” principle requires that licensed materials can be used in preparation of
course reserves and course management systems, whether print or electronic.
The resulting agreement allows chapter linking for the duration of a course using a persistent or
durable URL where access is restricted to students enrolled in the course, to the course instructors, and to
library staff maintaining the links.