Just read a couple of deeply troubling posts at Libreaction and the library staff blog at the University of Lincoln in which librarians are crying foul over what appear to be mafia tactics by Harvard Business School Publishing. According to the Libreaction post:
For a few years now HBSP have been requesting payments of as much as £15k pa from several UK academic business libraries simply for the privilege of making persistent links to HBR articles on reading lists and VLEs.
The links in question are being made to EBSCO's Business Source products (which provide HBR in full-text), however, it is Harvard rather than EBSCO who have approached librarians directly for additional payment. Thus far these demands for extra monies, which are being requested on top of the EBSCO subscription, are, as mentioned above, merely part of a 'pilot scheme', however, HBSP plan to roll it out to all EBSCO subscribers in due course.
Thus far, all UK librarians who have been offered the 'opportunity' to pay this additional sum have unsurprisingly turned it down, and as a result have recently had the ability to make persistent links to HBR turned off by EBSCO.
I have the vaguest of recollections of hearing something about this a year or more ago, but it's so vague as to have possibly been a bad dream. But seriously, what's going on here?!? I just checked, and I can still create persistent URLs to Harvard Business Review within Business Search Complete.
Here's a scary PDF flyer
in which Harvard Business School Publishing
...is excited to offer the opportunity to upgrade your existing annual subscription to EBSCOhost to a new level that allows for use of HBR articles for course use... If you choose not to upgrade your current EBSCOhost at this time, please reiterate to your faculty and students that your license with EBSCOhost allows them to access HBSP content only for research purposes. If you choose not to upgrade, please be advised that EBSCO may disable the ability to persistent link to HBSP content at your institution.
Give me a break! This is ridiculous! According to both blog posts this is coming from Harvard, not EBSCO.
What do you think about this? Surely we're not going to let our UK colleagues get rolled, only to find that we're next!