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[Fwd: ALPSP Seminar - the Future of Licensing ]

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Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html
Laboratoire de Cristallographie               Phone: +41 22 702 62 49
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Date: Mon, 28 May 2001 16:55:58 +0200
From: Stephanie de La Rochefoucauld <icsti@DIAL.OLEANE.COM>
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Dear Membership,
The following is a report written by Executive Director Barry Mahon on the
meeting he attended in London last Monday:

ALPSP Seminar - the Future of Licensing - moving into the digital age.

London, May 21 2001-05-21

This seminar, which you will recall was flagged by Gail a while ago, was
well attended by a mix of publishers, librarians and people like me!

The QUOTE of the DAY: "Access is more important than collection"

By Desmond Reaney of Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP), referring to
the fact that preliminary evidence from the library consortia they have been
dealing with shows that users make more use of materials to which their
organisation did not have a subscription before they had access via a

This information has been known anecdotally for some time but the data
Desmond gave was interesting: in 1996 IOPP data showed that 33% of the
document orders for their materials from consortia originated from
organisations who had not had a subscription. Data from OHIONET for 1999
indicates that 52% of the requests from their members were for items from
previously un-subscribed material.

John Cox chaired the seminar which was roughly divided into customer views
and publishers and others views and ideas on the ways forward.

>From the customers side we had Mick Archer from Astra-Zeneca who gave, as
expected, a big user's view - we want one point of contact, one feed, IP
address access, pay by usage. However, he did say that they saw licenses as
co-operation agreements, and offered incentives to publishers to join with
them in meeting their needs. They also wanted specific Service Level
Agreements (SLAs) with their suppliers.
Then we heard from Andrew Braid of the BL who said the BL was reviewing its
situation in the light of the inevitable changes that would occur in their
services when the new EU Directive became part of UK law, but they wanted
agreements from publishers on issues such as direct transmission of
electronic copies to customers, and were working to provide security for
publishers who were worried that users would retain or re-distribute the
copy they received. Andrew also mentioned that, in their role as a deposit
library, they were investigating a "guaranteed perpetual access" service for
electronic materials deposited with them. I spoke to him later about this
and he said they were negotiating with IBM for a large storage device
similar to that used by the Netherlands National Library and they had as yet
not decided on the "metadata" they would store but if the scheme was
successful they would need to consider standards for a minimum data set.
Finally for the customers we had Alicia Wise from the UK universities Joint
Information Systems Committee who were developing DNER (Distributed National
Electronic Resource) a huge project to provide a single point of entry to
all data sets for over 180 Universities  and 600 Colleges in the UK. They
needed an unbundling of the paper and digital copy pricing schemes, flexible
agreements and a response time for their users of less than 5 seconds at all
times!! They had been using a modified version of the Publishers Association
license model but they were disappointed that there was not more
international endorsement of license arrangements, (which made me think that
ICSTI's proposed collection of license agreements on the Web site would be a
useful tool).

>From the publishers side we had the experience of the British Medical
Journal with their new license since January 2001 which basically unbundled
the online version from the print version and instigated a usage fee based
on user populations on their customer sites. The interesting thing about
their approach was that they had no written agreements with the user sites
the license was published on the BMJ web site and users signed up for this
like you would with a piece of software when you install it. The BMJ has had
very few problems with this approach which provides them with the essential
flexibility they needed as they entered the new world of electronic
Chris Beckett now of Ingenta (formerly of Catch Word) spoke about the
opportunities for intermediaries in the electronic world. He acknowledged
that the licensing regime made it easier for publishers to sign up with
consortia directly but they saw opportunities in dealing with smaller
publishers and dispersed user populations. They also saw opportunities as
agents for publishers in licensing arrangements as well as providing
technical facilities for the delivery of the electronic versions of their
Desmond Reaney, besides raising the access v collection issue I mentioned at
the beginning, also spoke of the need for smaller publishers to come
together to develop their own consortia to deal with the demands of user
consortia. He did indeed point out that there were risks in this, not least
of the creation of a monopoly situation.  He also revealed that 25% of the
IOPP income was from consortia.
One is tempted to think that the idea of the publishers consortium was to
avoid being squeezed further by consortia buyers!!

Finally we heard from Jens Bammel of the Publisher Licensing Society to talk
about the role of the Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs) in the new
world of electronic distribution. He took the view, contrary to many, that
there was job for them, especially as the distribution systems became more
disintermediated and rights owners had many revenue streams. He also made
the point that there was little or no "brand loyalty" in publishing and that
users would go wherever the information was so that publishers could not
expect to force customers to their site. He likened the present situation
for rights owners as "selling snowflakes in the information blizzard" and
that getting paid for your product would become more and more difficult.

Overall my impression was that the world of specialist publishers was, if
not obsessed, at least preoccupied with the arrangements for selling large
quantities of content to large user groups. Given that the seminar was about
licensing this is inevitable but it did strike me that if scientists went
down the road of the "library of science" then there were going to be a lot
of individual users and writers and the present development path would have
to take account of them. It does seem that the individual or user in a small
organisation was being left behind in these situations.

It also struck me that the smaller more specialist publishers, especially
those selling into the academic area who had not (yet) decided their policy
vis a vis consortia etc., or who were in negotiation to have their content
included in offers to consortia should be seriously examining the present
state of the art and the likely changes. As in so many of the developments
under way it behooves them to be careful not to make arrangements which
might rebound on them later.
The other question that arose in my mind was how licenses would deal with
the increasing trend for inter-working between private and public bodies in
research. Many of the agreements did not allow a mix and match situation
like this, where, for example, academic researchers worked alongside private
sector people and had vice versa and had access to documents available under
the various consortia agreements but in different environments. There is the
inevitable temptation for the private sector people to hold back their use
until they were in the "cheaper" academic environment.

Sally Morris, Secretary general of ALPSP, said the speakers slides would be
available shortly on the ALPSP web site www.alpsp.org if you are interested
in more details.


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