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RE: [mythsoc] Dewey Decimal Owner Sues 'Library' Hotel

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  • Croft, Janet B
    It s been all over the library lists I subscribe to, as well. I don t think OCLC has a good case; the numbers aren t real Dewey numbers (just the broad
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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      It's been all over the library lists I subscribe to, as well. I don't think
      OCLC has a good case; the numbers aren't "real" Dewey numbers (just the
      broad subject number followed by a room number), and the broad
      classification scheme goes back to the late 1800's.

      Here's a follow-up article:
      http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/breaking_news/6836244.htm
      <http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/breaking_news/6836244.htm>

      Posted on Mon, Sep. 22, 2003
      <http://www.kansascity.com/images/common/spacer.gif>
      <http://www.kansascity.com/images/common/spacer.gif>

      NYC's Library Hotel Dismays Dewey Owner
      Associated Press

      DUBLIN, Ohio - A library-themed luxury hotel in Manhattan said Monday that
      it has not infringed on the rights of a nonprofit library cooperative that
      owns the Dewey Decimal system.

      The Library Hotel, which overlooks the New York Public Library, is divided
      according to the classification system, with each floor dedicated to one of
      Dewey's 10 categories and individual rooms to subcategories.

      Room 700.003 includes books on the performing arts, for example, while room
      800.001 has a collection of erotic literature.

      The Online Computer Library Center, based in this Columbus suburb, sued the
      hotel in federal court last week for trademark infringement, seeking
      damages.

      Craig Spitzer, general manager of the Library Hotel, said the theme was the
      idea of its owner, Henry Kallan, and is based on the hotel's proximity to
      the famous library on Fifth Avenue.

      "We do not believe that our guests or other consumers are confused into
      thinking that the Library Hotel's hospitality services and the OCLC's
      information services come from the same source," Spitzer said.

      The online library center charges libraries at least $500 a year to use the
      system.

      Joseph Dreitler, a lawyer representing the center, has said people looking
      at the hotel's Web site might think the hotel was connected with the owner
      of the Dewey Decimal System.

      ON THE NET

      <http://www.oclc.org/> http://www.oclc.org/

      <http://www.libraryhotel.com/> http://www.libraryhotel.com/


      Janet Croft

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Matthew Winslow [mailto:mwinslow-sf@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 12:05 PM
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [mythsoc] Dewey Decimal Owner Sues 'Library' Hotel


      A friend pointed this out to me, via Neil Gaiman's blog, and since we've
      discussed this hotel here, I thought I'd send it on.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41113-2003Sep20.html
      <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41113-2003Sep20.html>

      > Dewey Decimal Owner Sues 'Library' Hotel
      >
      > The Associated Press
      > Saturday, September 20, 2003; 10:01 PM
      >
      > DUBLIN, Ohio -- The nonprofit library cooperative that owns the Dewey
      > Decimal system has filed suit against a library-themed luxury hotel in
      > Manhattan for trademark infringement.
      >
      > The Library Hotel, which overlooks the New York Public Library, is
      > divided according to the classification system, with each floor
      > dedicated to one of Dewey's 10 categories.
      >
      > Room 700.003 includes books on the performing arts, for example, while
      > room 800.001 has a collection of erotic literature.
      >
      > In the lawsuit filed last week, lawyers for the Online Computer Library
      > Center said the organization acquired the rights to the system in 1988
      > when it bought Forest Press, which published Dewey Decimal updates. The
      > center charges libraries that use the system at least $500 per year.
      >
      > Melvil Dewey created his system - used in 95 percent of all public and
      > K-12 school libraries - in 1873, but it is continually updated, with
      > numbers assigned to more than 100,000 new works each year.
      >
      > "A person who came to (the hotel's) Web site ... would think they were
      > passing themselves off as connected with the owner of the Dewey Decimal
      > Classification system," said Joseph Dreitler, a lawyer representing the
      > center.
      >
      > Hotel general manager Craig Spitzer and OCLC spokeswoman Wendy McGinnis
      > did not return phone messages Saturday seeking comment.
      >
      > The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus seeks triple the
      > hotel's profits since its opening or triple the organization's damages,
      > whichever is greater, from the hotel's owner.
      >
      > Dreitler said Saturday he and his client do not yet know the size of
      > the hotel's profits. The center, based in Dublin, is willing to settle
      > with the hotel's owners, he said.
      >

      ----- End forwarded message -----

      --
      Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
      <http://x-real.firinn.org/>
      "Nowadays we don't live in a literary generation. We live in a generation
      of lookers, not readers. That is one of our great problems as Christians.
      We are book people in a non-book world."
      --J. Alec Motyer
      Currently reading: Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb



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    • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
      Wow, sadly it s oh so typical in today s America. You d think the Dewey Decimal System would take all the publicity it could get, too. Lizzie Triano
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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        Wow, sadly it's oh so typical in today's America. You'd think the Dewey
        Decimal System would take all the publicity it could get, too.


        Lizzie Triano
        lizziewriter@...
        amor vincit omnia
      • David S. Bratman
        ... That s a little weak, though. I for one didn t even know that OCLC had bought DDC. And while presumably all libraries using DDC pay a fee for using it
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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          OCLC's real complaint seems to be expressed in the article's last paragraph:

          >Joseph Dreitler, a lawyer representing the center, has said people looking
          >at the hotel's Web site might think the hotel was connected with the owner
          >of the Dewey Decimal System.

          That's a little weak, though. I for one didn't even know that OCLC had
          bought DDC. And while presumably all libraries using DDC pay a fee for
          using it (something else I didn't know), and are thereby "connected" or
          "authorized" with OCLC, it's a pretty weak form of connection. And some of
          them, I know well, tinker with the schedules as much as the Library Hotel does.

          There's certainly no copyright issue, if (as the article suggests) the
          hotel only uses the ten main classes. (The room numbers, as Janet points
          out, are not real Dewey numbers; they're just formatted like real numbers.)
          The ten classes are unchanged since Dewey's original edition, and are thus
          long out of copyright.

          The hotel could solve the problem by posting a tiny notice on its web site
          saying "Not connected with the Online Computer Library Center." OCLC's
          claim of a presumption of connection reminds me of Bill O'Reilly claiming
          that a tiny picture of him in a tv screen on the cover of Al Franken's book
          implied that he endorsed it. Fox got laughed out of court when they sued
          over that; may OCLC meet the same fate.

          If the Library Hotel really mixed up the meaning of the Dewey classes -
          which they're not doing - I'd be unhappy about it, but I wouldn't consider
          it a suing matter. I'd have stayed in the hotel had I known about it when
          I was last in New York, and I'm no less likely to want to go there in the
          future.

          - David Bratman
        • Croft, Janet B
          I cataloged exclusively with DDC at my previous library. I never paid them any fee just for the use of the system -- I never assumed I might not be able to
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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            I cataloged exclusively with DDC at my previous library. I never paid them
            any "fee" just for the use of the system -- I never assumed I might not be
            able to purchase a used, older edition of the DDC hardbacks and catalog from
            them if I wanted to. But I did shell out an annual fee for purchasing and
            updating the DDC on CD-ROM, because I wanted the most up-to-date revisions.
            I knew OCLC *published* the DDC, but I didn't think they owned rights to all
            versions, forever and amen. But they have revamped their website within the
            past few weeks, and hidden the old list of the Dewey 100s and 1000s you used
            to be able to print out -- it's still there as a PDF, but very well hidden
            indeed. Interesting -- like they were planning something like this...

            Neil Gaiman's weblog has a review of the Library Hotel -- biggest complaint
            was no room service. No restaurant on the premises. But other people have
            given it glowing reviews. I'd give you the link but our campus internet is
            down right now, though email still works.

            Janet Croft

            -----Original Message-----
            From: David S. Bratman [mailto:dbratman@...]
            Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 2:54 PM
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Dewey Decimal Owner Sues 'Library' Hotel


            OCLC's real complaint seems to be expressed in the article's last paragraph:

            >Joseph Dreitler, a lawyer representing the center, has said people looking
            >at the hotel's Web site might think the hotel was connected with the owner
            >of the Dewey Decimal System.

            That's a little weak, though. I for one didn't even know that OCLC had
            bought DDC. And while presumably all libraries using DDC pay a fee for
            using it (something else I didn't know), and are thereby "connected" or
            "authorized" with OCLC, it's a pretty weak form of connection. And some of
            them, I know well, tinker with the schedules as much as the Library Hotel
            does.

            There's certainly no copyright issue, if (as the article suggests) the
            hotel only uses the ten main classes. (The room numbers, as Janet points
            out, are not real Dewey numbers; they're just formatted like real numbers.)
            The ten classes are unchanged since Dewey's original edition, and are thus
            long out of copyright.

            The hotel could solve the problem by posting a tiny notice on its web site
            saying "Not connected with the Online Computer Library Center." OCLC's
            claim of a presumption of connection reminds me of Bill O'Reilly claiming
            that a tiny picture of him in a tv screen on the cover of Al Franken's book
            implied that he endorsed it. Fox got laughed out of court when they sued
            over that; may OCLC meet the same fate.

            If the Library Hotel really mixed up the meaning of the Dewey classes -
            which they're not doing - I'd be unhappy about it, but I wouldn't consider
            it a suing matter. I'd have stayed in the hotel had I known about it when
            I was last in New York, and I'm no less likely to want to go there in the
            future.

            - David Bratman



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          • Jack
            ... http://neilgaiman.com/journal/journal.asp Neil complains about room service a lot . [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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              >Neil Gaiman's weblog has a review of the Library Hotel -- biggest complaint
              >was no room service. No restaurant on the premises. But other people have
              >given it glowing reviews. I'd give you the link but our campus internet is
              >down right now, though email still works.


              http://neilgaiman.com/journal/journal.asp

              Neil complains about room service a lot <grin>.

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Croft, Janet B
              Thanks, Jack. If I d just waited a few minutes the internet would have been back... Janet ... From: Jack [mailto:jack@greenmanreview.com] Sent: Tuesday,
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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                Thanks, Jack. If I'd just waited a few minutes the internet would have been
                back...

                Janet

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Jack [mailto:jack@...]
                Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 4:06 PM
                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Dewey Decimal Owner Sues 'Library' Hotel



                >Neil Gaiman's weblog has a review of the Library Hotel -- biggest complaint
                >was no room service. No restaurant on the premises. But other people have
                >given it glowing reviews. I'd give you the link but our campus internet is
                >down right now, though email still works.


                http://neilgaiman.com/journal/journal.asp
                <http://neilgaiman.com/journal/journal.asp>

                Neil complains about room service a lot <grin>.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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              • Croft, Janet B
                That s a question for David -- I don t use LC. But since it s produced by the Library of Congress, maybe it s a government document and therefore public
                Message 7 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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                  That's a question for David -- I don't use LC. But since it's produced by
                  the Library of Congress, maybe it's a government document and therefore
                  public domain?

                  Janet (going farther and farther astray from Mythsoc topics... but one more
                  won't hurt)

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Jack [mailto:jack@...]
                  Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 4:35 PM
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Dewey Decimal Owner Sues 'Library' Hotel



                  >Thanks, Jack. If I'd just waited a few minutes the internet would have
                  been
                  >back...

                  No prob. It is a rather interesting story.

                  IS the LoC system copyrighted?

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                • Jack
                  ... No prob. It is a rather interesting story. IS the LoC system copyrighted? [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  Message 8 of 10 , Sep 23, 2003
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                    >Thanks, Jack. If I'd just waited a few minutes the internet would have been
                    >back...

                    No prob. It is a rather interesting story.

                    IS the LoC system copyrighted?

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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