September 24, 2003

NYTimes on the Library Hotel/Dewey Lawsuit [7:09 pm]

Followup to my earlier post: Where Did Dewey File Those Law Books? [pdf]

Dewey copyrighted his system early on and set up a company, Forest Press, to sell it, although he often donated his system to needy libraries.

He never intended to get rich with his system, said Dr. Wayne Wiegand, a professor of library and information studies at Florida State University and the author of a Dewey biography. Dewey’s goal, instead, was to educate the masses.

Dr. Wiegand said many smaller libraries, including prison libraries, use the system today without paying.

In 1988, the Online Computer Library Center, a group created to help libraries share resources and costs, bought Forest Press and the Dewey Decimal System trademark. Periodically, the group, based in Dublin, Ohio, issues updates to the system and sells them to libraries at $375 for a full printed update. More than 200,000 libraries in 135 countries are licensed to use the system.

Some comments from Infinging Actions, speculating on why the hotel hasn’t just settled: Why Not Call it the “Hotel Dewey”?

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