In any cooperative database the participants contribute their data for their own as well as the benefit of the other members, usually with incentives from the database administrators. A South African library network company (LIBNET) provided a networked service to participating libraries. Member benefits included conversion of their catalogues into machine-readable form, significantly reduced costs through cooperative cataloguing and more efficient interlibrary loans through a union catalogue of the holdings of the participant libraries. This case study explores some of the issues influencing tariff determination in a cooperative database. Questions of data ownership and the provision of incentives for the uploading of data also raise legal and ethical issues. The case study provides a basis for exploring business strategy in collaborative database management.