November 9, 2010
Sharing Software License With Third-Party Attorney for Licensee's Benefit Violated License Agreement
I have hear and read but have no direct knowledge of instances where a corporate GC who has retained outside legal counsel has provided outside counsel with user name/password login information for WEXIS legal search. Don't know how widespread the practice has become but typically such third-party use probably violates WEXIS licensing agreements. Any regular reader of LLB knows I am pretty damn critical of some WEXIS business practices, pricing and licensing but access sharing is not one of them. OK, call me a WEXIS sock puppet but a contract is a contract is a contract.
As law library institution buyers we are not the login police but I, for one, do not tolerate login sharing and do insist that regular users of WEXIS have their own logins even if that increases our online WEXIS spend. Of course, I will push back any WEXIS demand that all institutional users must have WEXIS personal logins if some (many) never or very rarely need WEXIS online access and that demand will increase costs because we can perform the online research for them.
For those who are handing out logins for third-party use, as may be the case of corporate GCs handing out their WEXIS accounts for their benefit to outside counsel, one ought to take notice of the ruling in Compliance Source Inc. v. GreenPoint Mortgage Funding Inc., 5th Cir., No. 09-10726, Oct. 18, 2010), [Download text] which holds that a software licensee's sharing of the software with its lawyers that was “on behalf of and for the benefit of” the licensee, violated the terms of the licensing agreement. Might be time to examine one's WEXIS license.
Hat tip BNA's Software Licensee's Sharing With Attorney, For Its Benefit, Violated License Agreement, 11 CTLR 619. [JH}