Kevin Smith, Scholarly Communications Officer at Duke University, comments on international ILL in a new post titled, “A Second Front,” on the Scholarly Communications @ Duke blog.
Smith’s post came after STM (Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers) published a statement of principles last week.
The principles that the STM publishers propose would have several novel effects. First, they would forbid ILL across national borders without specific permission (paid, of course) from the publisher. Second, they would make digital delivery entirely the province of the publishers (for a fee, undoubtedly). Libraries would not be able to e-mail a journal article to a patron, even though nothing in the current law forbids such a practice. Third, it would impose a vague standard of “due diligence” — language not found in the law — on all document delivery for “private, non-commercial use.” Presumably this is the thin end of a wedge to attack all private research use for which permission fees are not paid. It is important to understand that such a standard would give the United States the most restrictive copyright law in the world, and it would do so without the intervention of Congress.
See Also: Report of the Task Force on International Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Practices and Other Articles (via ARL, CNI, SPARC; Research Library Issues, June 2011)