License management through the ERMS application and critical importance of public display of terms and conditions at your e-journal portal : a practical approach
Bhatt, Anjana H.
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Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 1998 (DMCA), despite recognizing the needs of the libraries, actually protects the copyright holder. Most of the educational institutions, especially university libraries, route online copyrighted information from the copyright holder to their students, staff and faculty, and thus, meet the definition of Online Service Providers (OSP) as described in the DMCA. Chapter II (1-3) of the DMCA provides guidelines for such institutions and does not hold them responsible for all research activities of a faculty member or a graduate student, but it, however, clearly states that this protection is valid only if the institution provides informational material that accurately describes and promotes compliance with federal copyright laws. Vendor licensing agreements are fairly complicated documents and require that their terms and conditions are met for all practical purposes. As E-resources are becoming a preferred format desired by faculty, students and librarian alike, e-resources librarians are dealing with complicated licensing terms and conditions on a daily basis. How many of us remember to convey, or, actually convey the licensing terms to our patrons? Or, in fact, how many libraries have a mechanism to take care of this important aspect? According to the DMCA, an institution must not only convey these terms it also must have a designated agent to receive infringement notifications. Florida Gulf Coast University library uses an ERMS program that includes the License Manager (LM) tool for recording critical licensing terms and then displaying these terms and conditions through the e-journal portal. The LM tool allows us to store either the PDF copies of the licenses on a secured server that are accessible only through a user ID and password or provide a direct URL to the electronic copy of the license. In addition, it also allows us to enter following information to be displayed through our e-journal portal. Basic information regarding authorized user, concurrent users, fair use clause, remote access, and user restrictions Printing or copying restrictions/permissions Terms and conditions related to making digital or print copies for scholarly sharing ILL restrictions: print or Fax, secure electronic, or by email, Restrictions/permissions for course reserves/course packs and persistent URLs, and Other user restrictions Additionally, we can also provide information that is not displayed in the public view but is always available to the ILL staff and the librarians. This information includes: License termination: requirements, period (days, weeks, months etc.), rights and conditions Perpetual access rights/notes Governing Law Copyright Law Non renewal notice period Archiving rights and restrictions etc. Cure Period for breach etc., and Renewal terms The biggest benefit of this exercise is that we are always in compliance with the act and can not be held liable for any infringements. The LM tool also allows us to link terms and conditions of one license agreement to multiple databases that a vendor may provide access to, thereby saving duplicate efforts. A practical demonstration of this process will follow the general discussion. Learning outcomes: Grasp importance of DMCA (1998) act. Understand crucial elements of an e-resource license and why these should be made accessible to patrons. Benefit from a simple demonstration of the complete process of selecting licensing terms and displaying them in the public view of the e-journal portal using a software application. Receive an annotated bibliography of relevant articles and the web sites.