ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Redefining Users, Access and Rights of Use

A New Paradigm in Electronic Libraries

The transition from print to electronic content entails challenges of negotiating rights and restrictions covered in licence agreements which are executed by contract law of jurisdictions and are often unfamiliar to libraries. The traditional functions of libraries are affected by the stringent terms and conditions in these agreements. This article analyses the agreements signed by the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore library in the acquisition of and subscriptions to electronic resources pertaining to business management, economics and other social science subjects. The growing displacement of copyright law by these agreements has created uncertainty and impermanence regarding the accessibility of content for posterity. The confluence of copyright and contract law and technological trends in publishing and dissemination will shape the information landscape for scholarship and research in the future.

I acknowledge with gratitude the comments and suggestions made by a referee while reviewing this paper. I am also grateful to Swati Bhattacharya, Librarian, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta for her valuable inputs on this paper. I am indebted in particular to V T Sampath Kumaran of the Sri Tirunarayana Trust, Bangalore for his insightful comments and perceptive readership.

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