This is the Most Awesome Thing Since Sliced Bread.

The most awesome thing since sliced bread is, of course, a license to grant “public non-commercial online access to copyrighted material” after sales of the material has dropped below a preset threshold. How sensible and cool is that! Check out a tool to implement this idea plus others at Library License.

Library License is a project of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab. The project is still in incubation with details to be fleshed out (e.g. how will the thresholds be verified?), but the biggest hurdle is to get authors who actually use these licenses. Nonetheless, the project is so cool that I’m going to devote my (precious) blog space to re-present its ideas here to you peeps, my uncountably many readers.

  • What a performance-based license does: essentially sets a timetable for when your work becomes open access. You can think of it as using a Creative Commons license but attaching the condition that the Creative Commons license only kicks in after, say, your book sales have dropped below some threshold.

  • Other types of library licenses: rather than conditioning the licensing terms upon future events which may take place at any point in time, these licenses kick in after a set period of time. The Library License also allows for restrictions on who the licenses apply to, e.g. only libraries or only specifically named libraries.

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