Practical Steps to Uphold Knowledge Rights: Announcing the New Model Supplemental Agreement on eBookPledge.org

Knowledge Rights 21, in cooperation with Authors Alliance and Library Futures, is releasing a draft model supplemental agreement designed to align with the principles of last year’s eBook Pledge and designed to be added to contracts for eBooks.

What is the Model Supplemental Agreement?

The newly released Model Supplemental Agreement is conceived as an addendum to an existing eBook agreement between institutions (licensees) and publishers. The Supplemental Agreement is designed to be a starting point for institutions looking to augment their licences and contracts to establish more beneficial terms for both publishers and their institutional partners. While some institutions may use the agreement as written, it can be adapted to fit individual needs.

Key Features of the Agreement

  • Direct lending and inter-library loans: The agreement mandates publishers to offer all new eBooks for lending immediately upon public availability.
  • Individual eBook purchases: Libraries should be able to purchase eBooks individually, outside of bundles, promoting greater choice and flexibility.
  • Transparent pricing: The terms include clear differentiation of costs between the eBook file and any associated platform or hosting fees.
  • Fair pricing models: Publishers are encouraged to align eBook pricing with that of physical copies.
  • Access rights: Libraries are granted the right to host eBooks on their own platforms, ensuring long-term accessibility and lending on a “one copy, one user” model.
  • Subscription security: The agreement assures against the withdrawal of titles during subscription periods, except in specific legal scenarios.
  • Data privacy and sharing: The agreement aligns data collection with library privacy policies and facilitates sharing of non-personal usage data.
  • Author remuneration: The addendum creates the conditions for fair remuneration for authors, particularly in the context of public library eBook lending.
  • Catalogue sharing: Libraries can freely share catalogue records obtained through eBook purchases, fostering a collaborative environment.

Why is this Important?

This Model Supplemental Agreement is a practical tool for progress towards making eBook transactions fairer and more transparent. By standardising terms and fostering clearer communication and rights between parties, we aim to create a more equitable landscape for eBook distribution and use.

For Whom?

This agreement is especially useful for libraries, publishers, and authors involved in the eBook ecosystem, as it creates a fair environment where access to knowledge is promoted for the benefit of all the stakeholders involved. It serves as a guide to negotiate terms that respect the rights and needs of all parties.

Get Involved!

We encourage you to visit ebookpledge.org to review this draft Model Supplemental Agreement. 

Whether you’re looking to adopt it wholly or adapt it to suit your specific needs, we hope this agreement serves as a solid starting point for your eBook-related negotiations. 

Together, let’s continue to build a fairer, more transparent eBook world!


Important Caveat

Please note that the Model Supplemental Agreement available on ebookpledge.org is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This document is intended as a draft model to serve as a starting point or reference in your negotiations and considerations regarding eBook agreements. Legal contexts can vary significantly based on jurisdiction, specific arrangements, and other factors. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with a qualified legal professional to ensure that any agreement you enter into is appropriate for your specific situation and complies with all applicable laws and regulations.


17 January 2024