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Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians, Second Edition—print/e-book Bundle
Lesley Ellen Harris
Item Number: 7700-9928
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $67.00
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The print edition and the e-book edition of this title are also available separately.

Save up to 45% when purchased together!

It’s the best of both worlds: this specially priced bundle includes a print copy for desk reference along with the e-book version. The e-book contains the complete text of the print edition in several different file types readable using a variety of software and devices. You will be able to download the e-book immediately upon purchase; the print copy will be shipped to you. Note: print/e-book bundles may only be shipped to addresses within the United States; international orders cannot currently be processed online. The download link for this product can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed from your Account History. ALA eEditions downloads are designed for single users only.

176 pages
Year Published: 2009

Read sample chapters and the book's index now!

The revised second 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
  • Updates licensing terminology and changes in technology
  • Covers opportunities for cost savings
  • Includes further information on the global aspects of licensing
  • Explains how to educate organizations that have signed license agreements

    Librarians play a unique role in license agreements and this book, which also includes a comprehensive checklist for a digital license, gives library professionals and students the tools needed to negotiate and organize license agreements.

    Check out the companion blog.

    Table of Contents

    Note to Canadian and Other Non-U.S. Readers
    Quick-Starter Tips for a Successful Agreement

    1. When to License
    2. Demystifying the Licensing Experience
    3. Learning the Lingo
    4. Key Digital Licensing Clauses
    5. Boilerplate Clauses
    6. Un-intimidating Negotiations
    7. Questions and Answers on Licensing
    8. Go License!

    A. Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act on Fair Use
    B. Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act on Interlibrary Loan
    C. Digital Licensing Clauses Checklist

    Online Resources

    About the Author

    Lesley Ellen Harris is a copyright, licensing, and digital property lawyer who consults on legal, business, policy, and strategic issues in the publishing, entertainment, Internet, and information industries. Since 1991 her practice has served a broad range of clients, and she frequently works with libraries, archives, museums, and educational institutions. She often speaks at conferences, and teaches in-person and online courses on copyright and licensing through and in conjunction with national and regional associations in Canada and the United States. Harris began her career in copyright in 1984 working with a lobbying group interested in revising Canada’s copyright laws. From 1987 to 1991 she was senior copyright officer with the Canadian government, in which capacity she helped revise the country’s copyright laws. Harris is the author of the books Digital Property: Currency of the 21st Century (1997), Canadian Copyright Law (3rd ed., 2001), Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians (1st ed., 2002), and numerous articles. Since 1997 she has been the editor of The Copyright and New Media Law Newsletter. She maintains the website and the blog Copyright Questions & Answers. Harris may be reached at


    "Any librarian or professional new to the process of digital content licensing will find much-needed clarification of the process: libraries or institutions entering into licensing agreements as either consumers or licensees (e.g., an institution in the process of negotiating the subscription to an online database or periodical) or as content owners or licensors (e.g., a library wishing to license any content it created for use by others) are all potential audiences for this text. Admittedly, Harris’s book is not pleasure reading; however, its clear organization—which includes boxed licensing tips and a concluding 'Question and Answer' chapter—allows for easy access to much-needed information."

    "It is rare to find a book that combines brevity and thoroughness, or rigor and readability. Licensing Digital Content does both … this book is wonderfully clear and concise. Highly recommended.”

    “Harris’ book has become the standard for libraries and has yet to have an equal published that is either as useful or as clear.”
    --ARBA Online

    “The book is intended for libraries of all types and sizes … Other users of electronic databases and periodicals, such as museums and schools, will also find the book helpful when they are licensing digital resources for use in their institutions.”
    --Book News Inc.

    "The long-awaited second edition of Licensing Digital Content is a must-read for librarians responsible for negotiating digital licenses ... It was written from the perspective of the library for libraries of all sizes and types. This makes it accessible and useful."

    "Though we are confident about our information skills and may know what our users want and need, we may not be as skilled at the arts of contract interpretation and negotiation--and not all of us have lawyers available to help us with this. Since signing licenses--or declining to sign them--can be a nerve-wracking business, this new edition of Licensing Digital Content will help to calm some of your fears ... Consider this an excellent resource for all information professionals who deal with licenses for electronic resources."
    --Information Today

    “I would highly recommend this book to both librarian novices and experts who have obligations in this area for their libraries.”
    --Public Services Quarterly

    “A ‘must have’ for anyone working with content licensing.”
    --Richard P. Hulser, information management consultant

    "I recommend this book for all practicing librarians. It is going on my bookshelf at an arm's length away."
    --Technical Services Quarterly

    Praise for the previous edition:

    “Harris makes a complex subject readily understandable and well within the lay person’s grasp.”
    --Kenneth D. Crews, professor of law and Director of the Copyright Management Center, Indiana University

    “This is an important book that provides a very practical approach to the legal and policy issues at stake. The content is very solid— straightforward, easy to read, and logically arranged.”
    --Laura N. Gasaway, Director of the Law Library and professor of law, University of North Carolina

    “Harris writes about a complicated topic with enthusiasm and clarity. With her straightforward and accessible advice, licensing novices will be able to make confident strides in securing excellent contractual terms.”
    --Ann Okerson, moderator, Liblicense-L (Associate University Librarian, Yale University)

    “Filled with down-to-earth advice from an expert who fully understands the challenges facing non-lawyer librarians, this step-by-step guide to setting up licensing policy, understanding contract terms and conditions, and negotiating institutional and consortia licensing agreements is invaluable. Make this book required reading for everyone on the content licensing team.”
    --Gail Dykstra, independent research consultant, Dykstra Research

    “This book is remarkably readable, free of legal jargon, and thoroughly enjoyable.”
    --Library Resources & Technical Services

    “Very useful for academic and public librarians of information professionals...well written and insightful.”

      Also of interest:  
    The Librarian's Legal Companion for Licensing Information Resources and Services
    Item Number:  978-1-55570-610-4
    Expert guidance in information acquisition including copyright and contract matters.
    Price: $134.00
    Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators: Creative Strategies and Practical Solutions, Third Edition
    Item Number:  978-0-8389-1092-4
    Kenneth D. Crews has completely revised his classic text to remap the territory with fresh, timely insights into applications of copyright law for librarians, educators, and academics.
    Price: $59.00
    The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter, Electronic Subscription
    Item Number:  7200-9926
    A subscription to this newsletter will keep you informed and provide practical solutions for everyday copyright-related activities.
    Price: $199.00
    Digital Licensing Online eCourse
    Item Number:  7100-9928
    The digital revolution has changed how libraries procure, access and store information. This eCourse is designed to teach librarians how to read and understand a contract as well as how to negotiate with vendors.
    Price: $149.00