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This brief yet informative guide will provide the basic steps for and general concerns about licensing digital content in libraries.
Last Updated: Jul 27, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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You may find articles on licensing digital content in libraries by using EBSCOHost's Library and Information Science database. These materials are peer reviewed and vary in format. For quick searches, use Google Scholar.

Citation Tools

Use these tools to help cite sources that you find or decide to use as you research licensing digital content for libraries.


A Welcome and An Introduction

Welcome to this LibGuide! We hope that by viewing the content on this page, you are able to learn more about licensing digital content in libraries. As the producers of texts and resources are increasingly doing so in digital spaces, it is important to know how, when, and under what circumstances libraries may provide access to those resources for their patrons. Feel free to take a look at all aspects of this LibGuide. Additionally, feel free to provide any comments or suggestions about the content and quality of the materials provided here. Thank you for visiting!


Guiding Questions

According to Lesley Ellen Harris in "Licensing Digital Content : A Practical Guide for Librarians" (2001), there are several guiding questions that librarians and other library personel may ask themselves when using, accessing, or promoting digital content for their patrons.

Do I need a written agreement when licensing digital content?

Who is authorized to use the content my library licenses?

What if the license offered to our library is nonnegotiable?

Is electronic archiving allowed under our license?

Click each question to learn more about how to license, use, and access digital content in libraries.


Resources at SML

Cover Art
Licensing Digital Content - Lesley Ellen Harris
Call Number: PROF 346.7304 H314L
ISBN: 9780838909928
Publication Date: 2009-06-01
The revised edition of this popular one-stop resource covers the basics of digital licensing for librarians in a plain-language approach that demystifies the process. Written from the librarian's perspective, this second edition

Cover Art
Copyright Perspectives - Brian Fitzgerald (Editor); John Gilchrist (Editor)
Call Number: K1420.5 .C678 2015
ISBN: 9783319159126
Publication Date: 2015-06-25
This book provides international and domestic perspectives on the law of copyright and is led by a foreword on the future of copyright by Dr Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO and a chapter on the lessons for copyright policy in classical Roman law, by Justice Arthur Emmett. The body of this collection covers current perspectives in the digital age, from the application of the Berne Convention, to time shifting and intermediary copyright liability, as well as perspectives from developing and developed countries covering laws, user rights, open access, government use of copyright material and the use of the criminal law to proscribe copyright infringement.

Cover Art
The Digital Librarian's Legal Handbook - John N. Gathegi
Call Number: PROF 346.730482 G259D
ISBN: 9781555706494
Publication Date: 2011-12-01
Keep your library - and yourself - out of court with the 'must know' answers to critical questions about intellectual property rights for digital collections. Here are authoritative answers to the critical legal questions that make digital collection development and management so challenging and complex for librarians, educators, technology leaders, information science educators and anyone involved with digitized content. This new work examines the intersection of digital library technology, and digital content, and the law. John N. Gathegi, Director of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida is uniquely qualified to address these questions from his decades of work as an attorney, author, speaker, and as a faculty member. From an opening discussion of general intellectual property issues to the application of copyright law to digital collections, the handbook covers all the key topics in the field of intellectual property including several new issues, such as the problems of non-permanence, the complexity of multimedia content, issues surrounding open and closed access, evaluating data providers, proprietary search engines, derivative works, annotations and metadata, privacy, and more. Practitioners will also appreciate the book's practical checklists, sample contracts, compliance tools, and sample policies. Anyone looking for a definitive guide to intellectual property applied to the world of digital content will keep and use this book as an ongoing source of insight and critical information.

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