Licences

What type of content is covered by licensing agreements?

To enable ZB MED to make digital content available to its users, publishers and authors grant the library a right of use. Licensing agreements specify what ZB MED and its customers are allowed to do with the content and how much has to be paid for this service.

Some questions crop up in almost all licensing agreements. For example: Is it permitted to open an e-book on multiple devices at the same time? Is it permitted to download the chapter of a book to a USB flash drive? Are print-outs required to have a watermark? Can ZB MED make a journal issue from a previous year available even if it has not renewed its subscription?

German legislation and statutes provide few concrete answers to these kinds of questions. The rights to be granted to ZB MED are clarified in discussions with the publisher as part of the license negotiations.

New technological capabilities require innovative contractual solutions

Text and data mining (TDM) is a good example of the complexity of these issues. TDM applications enable users to perform scientific analyses of very large data sets. Before scientists and researchers are allowed to process these data sets with TDM applications, they need to have access rights to the data sets.

ZB MED is in close contact with many different scientific publishers. Based on a series of sometimes radical and sometimes barely perceptible changes, ZB MED is striving to close the gap between what is possible and what is permitted, in other words between the technical possibilities and the legal framework.

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