International Coalition of Library Consortia response to STM on ILL

By Michael Kelley Jun 22, 2011  excerpted from LibraryJournal.Com

The ICOLC released a statement today critical of the position staked out on June 8 by the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) that argued that library exceptions for interlibrary loan and document delivery in the digital environment, particularly of individual journal articles, are justified only in very limited circumstances and with the permission of the publisher.

“We felt we needed to respond quickly and clearly because we think this is the first volley in what is a potentially harmful approach to the issues of sharing information in a digital world,” said Tracy L. Thompson-Przylucki, executive director of the New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO), which is a member of ICOLC. “We talked about whether we would wait until our next meeting in the fall to address it in a more formal way, but we felt it was so important that we needed to respond to it as soon as possible,” she said.

The ICOLC statement reads, in part:

While intellectual property laws vary from country to country, STM’s approach would radically alter well-established library practices that advance knowledge, support scholarship, and are compliant with current copyright laws. The STM recommendations are in conflict with widely held principles that provide a copyright exception for interlibrary loan (ILL) activities. The regime anticipated by the STM statement would place unfair restrictions on researchers’ access to information.

STM, which represents publishers like Elsevier, Wiley, Springer, among others, has contended in its statement:

  • In order to “maximize legal clarity,” cross-border deliveries “should be governed by voluntary licenses negotiated directly with publishers”;
  • Direct digital delivery to an end-user “is best governed and coordinated by rights-holders”;
  • Libraries should only be able to deliver on-site, print copies to walk-in library patrons;
  • Libraries should exercise “due diligence” to ensure that any deliveries to individuals are for “private, non-commercial use.”

To read more on the ICOLC response click here.

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