And the Claws Come Out: Gale Posts an Open Letter to Librarians About Ebsco Content Hoggery

Well, well, well. While I admit it's sort of fun to see vendors sniping at each other instead of getting together to pillage library budgets, this is interesting. Gale has posted an open letter to the library community about Ebsco's recent acquisition of a buttload of Major Magazine content. This acquisition will make Ebsco the sole online distributor of content of such mags as Time, People, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Fortune, Money, Harvard Business Review and more.

The rest of the letter details how Gale was okay with allowing others to sublicense content, but evil Ebsco is a greedy thing that wanted exclusive rights, which will drive costs up artificially and problematically in this time of awful library budgets. Oh, and that Ebsco does this ALL THE TIME because they are GREEDY BASTARDS. (That's a paraphrase. Read the letter.)

A feelgood moment for librarians and vendors, ganging up on a rogue vendor who broke the rules? or an instance of vendor backlash after getting sandbagged by a competitor? You be the judge.


If you actually read Gale's proposal, they really weren't doing anything differently than EBSCO. If Gale had won the bid, they asked for the right to sublicense the material which would have required any other database vendor to go through them (and pay them) for the rights to the material. This is not actually all that different.

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