HBR “Notice of Use Restrictions” questioned

There have recently been a number of tweets in response to an article by Joshua Gans in the Contribution Economy blog about a very curious notice of usage restriction attached to Harvard Business Review articles accessed via EBSCO.

The restriction reads:

Harvard Business Review and Harvard Business Publishing Newsletter content on EBSCO host is licensed for the private individual use of authorized EBSCO host users. It is not intended for use as assigned course material in academic institutions nor as corporate learning or training materials in businesses. Academic licensees may not use this content in electronic reserves, electronic course packs, persistent linking from syllabi or by any other means of incorporating the content into course resources. Business licensees may not host this content on learning management systems or use persistent linking or other means to incorporate the content into learning
management systems. Harvard Business Publishing will be pleased to grant permission to make this content available through such means. For rates and permission, contact permissions@harvardbusiness.org”

I thought I would click on the “report problem” link on the UWO library record for a random HBR article to say:

I have three questions about the  “Harvard Business Review Notice of Use Restrictions, May 2009” that appears at the end of HBR articles accessed through EBSCO:

First, why would a university library (or consortia acting on behalf of a university library) subscribe to an academic journal and then agree to a rider which prohibits the use of the licensed material for instructional purposes? It seems to me that using an article for instructional purposes is not an unusual use in a university setting.

Second, to what degree is this restriction binding on students and faculty who were not a party to the agreement?

Third, any in any event: Wouldn’t the use of an article for instructional purposes clearly fall within fair dealing?

I would appreciate a response in writing from someone who was responsible for the negotiation of this clause with EBSCO.  Thank you for your attention, the full text of the clause is reproduced below.

It will be interested to read the response.


One comment

  1. […] At one library, this has led to a hero-or-villain moment. Similar questions are, in the Loon’s estimation, quite likely to spring up at other libraries, whether over HBR, ACS, NPG, AAAS, or whatever other three- or four-letter publisher acronym commits the next outrage. […]

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