- A Sales Representative from STM Corporation
- An Acquisitions Librarian at Prestige University.
PU Acquisitions Librarian: Actually, I'm afraid we have some bad news for you. The Acquisitions Committee has had to make some cutbacks...
Sales Rep: I'm sorry to hear that. In fact, we also have some disturbing data to show you.
Librarian: We've been studying our usage data, and STM Corp's journals aren't seeing the usage we'd expected.
Librarian: Now that's interesting. We've been discussing whether that sort of data could improve our services, but as librarians we need to respect the privacy of our users.
Sales Rep: Of course! And as publishers, we need to protect our services from unauthorized access and piracy.
Librarian: ... and our license agreements oblige us to respond to those concerns.
Sales Rep: I'm so glad you understand! But the TIA has exposed some disturbing information about journal usage on your campus.
Librarian: Yes, usage is dropping, That's what we wanted to discuss with you.
Sales Rep: Actually, total usage is increasing. It's just licensed usage that's dropping. Illicit usage is going through the roof!
Librarian: What do you mean?
Sales Rep: Have you heard of a website called Sci-Hub?
Librarian: [suppressing smile] Why yes...
Sales Rep: It seems that students and faculty on your campus have been accessing our articles via Sci-Hub quite a lot, and have been uploading...
Librarian: [starting to worry] We would never condone that! Using articles from Sci-Hub is likely copyright infringement in our jurisdiction. And uploading articles would be a violation of our campus policies!
Sales Rep: Exactly! Which is why we wanted you to see this data.
Librarian: [scanning several pages] But.. but this is a list of hundreds of our students and faculty, including some of our most prominent scientists!
Sales Rep: [grinning] ... each of them potentially facing hundreds of thousands of dollars of statutory damages for copyright infringement. Even career-ending litigation. It's such a blessing for you that we would never pursue legal actions that would hurt a good customer like Prestige U. Now about your renewal...
Librarian: Where did this list come from?
Sales Rep: As I said before, STM Corp's "Total Information Awareness" system monitors usage of our articles and pinpoints the users. You said before you had some bad news for us?
Librarian: Umm... we need to make some cutbacks.
Sales Rep: [smug] Well, then you'll be happy to know that we're limiting your big deal price to just a 19% increase over last time.
Librarian: [non-gendered expression of profound despair] ... and our Dean who's been using Sci-Hub?
Sales Rep: Sci-Hub? never heard of it.
Librarian: [resigned] OK, send us the invoice.
[Everything in this drama is fictitious except Sci-Hub and TIA. more next time.]