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
A principle in the “ARL E-Book Requirements” is that the publisher warrants to the licensee that the
content does not infringe the copyright or any other proprietary or intellectual property rights of any
person. The publisher shall indemnify and hold the licensee harmless from and against any loss, damage,
costs, liability, and expenses (including reasonable legal and professional fess) arising out of any legal
The provider did agree to this principle provided that there is prompt notification of any claim or
threat of claim, there is full cooperation in the defense or settlement of the claim, and the publisher has
sole and complete control over the defense or settlement of the claim.
Scholarly Sharing Rights
An important aspect for global scholarship is that users often share content with colleagues. This “ARL
E-Book Requirements” principle states that authorized users may transmit to a third-party colleague in
hard copy or electronically the licensed materials for personal use or scholarly, educational, scientific
research, or professional use, but in no case for re-sale. In addition, authorized users have the right to use
(with appropriate credit) figures, tables, and excerpts from the licensed materials in the authorized user’s
own scientific, scholarly, and educational works.
The resulting agreement allowed the sharing of content, although it is limited by the system to
chapter-by-chapter transmission. While this implementation is not altogether desirable, ARL continues to
press for it to be changed. That will require technical work on the licensor platform.
The “ARL E-Book Requirements” oblige content suppliers to provide use data in conformance with
the Codes of Practice for Project COUNTER.6 The data must be gathered in a manner consistent with
applicable privacy and data-protection laws, keeping users anonymous and their searches confidential.
Under the resulting agreement, usage data will be provided to the participating libraries and to the
agent and ARL and gathered in a manner consistent with applicable privacy and data-protection laws.
The anonymity of individual users and confidentiality of their searches will be protected.
The negotiations were protracted as ARL, its agent, and the content provider worked together on a new
product offering. The final license is in alignment with nearly all of ARL’s technical, licensing, and service
requirements. This achieved ARL’s several objectives: to work with the university press community,
address license terms that affect research libraries, and create a business and technical specification model
that would meet the needs of both content producers and purchasers.
As previously pointed out, some provisions are dependent on technical capabilities or with whom the
license is negotiated (an aggregator or the e-book publisher).