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(Previous discussion continued)
Re: Nature confidentiality update/call for responses (apologies -- it's crossposted, and a bit long) Andrew Waller (03 Oct 2006 15:54 UTC)

Re: Nature confidentiality update/call for responses (apologies -- it's crossposted, and a bit long) Andrew Waller 03 Oct 2006 15:54 UTC

Regarding the every librarian has "understood and supported the
reasoning behind it" line, I hear this fairly often when I'm negotiating
a license.  I don't think it's some sort of ploy to make me feel like
I'm an exception in the library world; I think it's a legit expression
on the part of some publishers and vendors.  However, I believe that
sometimes "understood" and "supported" are assumed to be the same thing;
I may /understand/ a licensing stand but that does not necessarily mean
I /support /it (or agree with it).


Andrew Waller
Serials Librarian
Collections Services
University of Calgary Library
(403) 220-8133 voice
(403) 284-2109 fax

Rick Anderson wrote:

>For any who are interested:
>I've heard from a member of Nature's management, who informs me that my
>sales rep was mistaken when he told me that the pricing confidentiality
>language would be removed from the negotiated version of our license.
>She reiterated that "there is no more movement on our lawyers' part."  I
>again pointed out that Nature employs its lawyers, not the other way
>around, and suggested that Nature needs to decide for itself whether
>confidentiality provisions are worth the trouble, and then either defend
>that decision to its customers or tell its lawyers to get rid of the
>confidentiality language in the license.  I offered again to speak to
>any member of the legal staff who might be willing to talk with me.
>She responded that really, confidentiality is needed for business
>reasons.  She feels that to give in to one library's demands and allow
>it to inform others of that concession would cause the entire community
>to demand the same concessions, and since not all libraries can be given
>the same terms, this would lead to an unworkable situation.  I told her
>that publishers conduct individual negotiations all the time without
>demanding secrecy, and that approach doesn't seem to be driving any of
>them out of business; I also suggested that all librarians understand
>that every library can't have the exact same terms.  We don't ask that
>we all get the same terms, but insist only that we be allowed to
>negotiate terms based on our own situations, and not be required to keep
>the results of those negotiations secret from our colleagues and from
>the public whose money we're spending.
>Now, here's the reason I'm imposing this message on the list: she also
>mentioned that every time she has explained Nature's confidentiality
>provision to a librarian, the librarian has "understood and supported
>the reasoning behind it."  It seems to me that those of us who object to
>the confidentiality provisions need to make that fact better known to
>Nature.  (And, of course, those of us who do support Nature's stance
>should feel free to say so as well.)  Without harrassing or bombarding
>anyone, I think this might be a good time to let your sales rep know if
>you feel that Nature's confidentiality provisions are unacceptable, and
>to ask him or her to pass that information along to upper management.
>One more note: Nature _has_ offered to add "subject to local law"
>language at the beginning of the confidentiality clause.  My problem
>with that solution is that I'm not deeply familiar enough with state law
>in Nevada to know whether there are loopholes that might allow us to
>keep some license and pricing terms confidential, and I'm not willing to
>put my library in a situation that would force staff to conduct a search
>in the Nevada Revised Statute whenever someone asks a question about the
>results of our negotiations with Nature, just to see whether or not we
>can answer the question.
>OK, I'm done for now.  Thanks for your collective patience; I hope these
>messages have been more useful than annoying.
>Rick Anderson
>Dir. of Resource Acquisition
>University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
>(775) 784-6500 x273