Media Resources Center
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
"You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it is aimless,
it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld
On Tue, 23 Sep 2003, Jed Horovitz 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."
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