Re: [Videolib] Library catalog system owner sues book-based

Mark W. Kopp (
Wed, 24 Sep 2003 10:42:05 -0400

I am not a "Librarian", but I play one (sort of) at work, so please forgive
me for my lack of background in asking this question.

Do libraries pay to use the Dewey Decimal System? Does anyone else pay to
use the numbering system, and to whom do they send the check? Would not a
deviation from the original Dewey configuration, no longer be the Dewey system?


At 05:24 PM 9/23/03, you wrote:
>Actually sounds like a fun place to stay.
>Library catalog system owner sues book-based New York hotel
>September 20, 2003, 9:29 PM EDT
>DUBLIN, Ohio -- A global computer library service is seeking one heck of a
>fine against a New York City luxury hotel.
>The Library Hotel, overlooking the New York Public Library, opened in August
>2000 as an homage to the Dewey Decimal system of classifying books by topic.
>Each floor is dedicated to one of 10 Dewey categories. The 60 rooms are
>named for specific topics, such as room 700.003 for performing arts, with
>appropriate books inside.
>Trouble is, the classification system isn't in the public domain.
>Online Computer Library Center, a nonprofit organization based in this
>Columbus suburb, acquired the rights to Dewey Decimal in 1988 when it bought
>Forest Press.
>The system is continually updated, with numbers assigned to more than
>100,000 new works each year as soon as they are cataloged by the Library of
>Congress, according to the OCLC website.
>Now the library group is suing the Library Hotel, accusing it of trademark
>The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus on Wednesday seeks
>triple the hotel's profits since its opening or triple the organization's
>damages, whichever is greater, from hotel owner Henry Kallan.
>"I would term it straight-out trademark infringement," said Joseph R.
>Dreitler, a trademark lawyer with the Columbus office of Jones Day, which
>represents the Online center.
>"A person who came to their Web site and looked at the way (the hotel) is
>promoted and marketed would think they were passing themselves off as
>connected with the owner of the Dewey Decimal Classification system."
>Melvil Dewey created the most widely used library classification system in
>1873. Each of 10 main categories, such as social sciences, mathematics or
>the arts, has thousands of subcategories, designated by decimal points.
>The center charges libraries at least $500 a year for its use.
>The center also provides computerized services such as cataloging materials,
>locating reference books and arranging interlibrary loans to more than
>45,000 libraries in 84 countries.
>Similar unauthorized uses of the Dewey system mostly have resulted in
>out-of-court settlements, Dreitler said.
>The lawsuit said the center sent three letters to Kallan from October 2000
>to October 2002, asking for acknowledgment of Online's ownership of the
>Dewey trademarks, but the hotel owner didn't respond.
>Hotel general manager Craig Spitzer and OCLC spokeswoman Wendy McGinnis did
>not return phone messages Saturday requesting comment on the lawsuit.
>Dreitler said the center is willing to settle with the hotel's owners.
>"At a minimum, if they want to continue to use it, there certainly has to be
>some sort of a license to the Library Hotel," he said. "We're not interested
>in putting the hotel out of business."
>Videolib mailing list

Mark W. Kopp
Circulation Coordinator
Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8
Instructional Materials Services Department
580 Foot of Ten Road
Duncansville, Pa 16635
(814) 695-1972 Phone
(814) 695-3018 Fax
See us on the Web at:
Click on; "Instructional Materials Services"

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