MEDLIB-L Archives

November 2003, Week 3


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Paul Blobaum <[log in to unmask]>
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Paul Blobaum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 18 Nov 2003 12:01:36 -0500
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I was thinking about this issue this week in regards to a local hospital
advertising for a "virtual librarian".   I think you need to consider
copyright issues for internal use and for resource sharing.  Being a non-
profit weighs in favor of fair use on the one hand... but if you are
serving the whole institution by paying for a subscription meant for an
individual, thats another thing.

It is not only unethical but against contract law to subscribe to a serial
publication for the library's collection using an individual's name and
subscription rate, to get around paying for an institutional
subscription.  As far as fair use of the periodicals, being a non-profit
doesn't necessarily protect you, especially if you are systematically
avoiding the payment of and institutional subscription.  You might be less
liable if the library was built entirely on donations in order to exist,
and you were a small non-profit organization with no resources, but this
certainly is an area where you have to decide what you are comfortable

Paul Blobaum
University Professor and Health Science Librarian
Governors  State University Library
University Park, IL