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The licensing contracts for electronic resources subscribed by the libraries are private commercial contracts that define and regulate the rights to use a service (the digital access and the distribution of the digital content) acquired by a particular subject (in this case a public institution).

The license agreements related to the e-resources are binding private commercial agreements between the parties, usually signed between the publisher (named licensor), which holds the copyright rights, and the institution or consortium (named licensee) who subscribes to the resource access service and acquires certain rights.

ALPE is the NILDE "E-journals Licenses Database", a support for the librarian who carries out the Document Delivery service and must operate in accordance with the uses allowed by the publishers. It contains the terms related to the document delivery service, extracted from the electronic licensing agreements signed by the Italian libraries belonging to NILDE.