Netflix being used by academic libraries

From Fast Company via the EFF Facebook feed:

For some time now, academic librarians have been resorting to Netflix to plug shortages in their media holdings. In fact, they have been thoroughly above-board about it; even the distinguished journal Library Trends ran an article about “Netflix in an Academic Library” last winter; author Ciara Healy wrote in the abstract that “Netflix turned out to be an excellent, cost-effective solution.” The other week, an acquisitions librarian at Concordia College in New York blogged about the blessing of her institution’s double eight-disc-at-a-time subscription, which she wrote saved her library $3,000. Though one commenter wondered “how you got this past legal for your university,” she responded that there had been “no legal repercussions.”

Whoops. Turns out Netflix isn’t actually cool with libraries using the service and doesn’t want early adopting librarians to be encouraging others to do so.

On the one hand, librarians should be more conscious than the general public about usage terms and agreements (as a function of copyright). On the other hand, Netflix effectively doesn’t care. On the other other hand, it’s too bad libraries can’t wrangle a corporate Netflix account or at least get Netflix-esque prices from their vendors.

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