Vol. V, Issue 2, December 15, 2006
December Book Reviews | 1 - 2
Harris, Lesley Ellen. Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians. Chicago, IL: American Library Association. 137 pages. $45.00. [ISBN 0838908152]
The author used her expertise as a copyright lawyer and licensing consultant to create a helpful guide that provides the reader with a better understanding of digital content licensing. Although written by an attorney, the book presents issues in an easy-to-understand format, underscoring those concerns that should be considered the most important during the licensing process.
Harris’s guide takes the reader from the decision to license through negotiations, then visits the issues associated with the management of the completed license. Copies of essential sections of the Copyright Act serve as a handy reference concerning the concept of fair use as well as the limitations of reproduction by libraries and archives. The book’s glossary will be especially useful to those librarians who are new to the licensing process.
Some of the more important sections of the book cover the decision to license, licensing clauses, and negotiations. Information on model licenses and licensing principles helps to clarify the language and ideas that are in use within today’s agreements. The section on clauses offers an easy to understand explanation of some of the more complicated issues associated with the content contract such as definition of authorized use, content delivery, and licensee/licensor obligations. The negotiation section presents helpful tips for conducting an effective negotiation. Clearly understanding the library’s needs and asserting those effectively to the content owner are just two of the actions that librarians can take in order to conduct a successful negotiation.
While the author is quick to point out that each license negotiation is different, the book provides guidelines that can be applied within the general licensing experience. This book is recommended for librarians who are interested in developing a better grasp of licensing overall, with a focus on the digital content licensing process. Licensing Digital Content serves as a valuable guide for new and seasoned librarians alike.
Reviewed by Sophia Guevara, Advisor, Pfizer, Sophia.Guevara@Pfizer.com