SkyRiver vs. OCLC antitrust lawsuit

“In a move that could have far-reaching implications for competition in the library software and technology services industry, SkyRiver Technology Solutions, LLC has filed suit in federal court in San Francisco against OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. The suit alleges that OCLC, a purported non-profit with a membership of 72,000 libraries worldwide, is unlawfully monopolizing the markets for cataloging services, interlibrary lending, and bibliographic data, and attempting to monopolize the market for integrated library systems, by anticompetitive and exclusionary practices. ” Karen Coyle has a great series of posts explaining what is really going on

The article quotes Karen Coyle as saying

As the representative of a major ILS company explained to me a few years ago, the library market is a zero-sum game: every time one vendor wins, others must lose, because the number of customers is not growing. The library market is a pie that can be divided into any number of slices, but the pie remains the same. This makes the rise of any one company a threat to all. In the commercial marketplace, the vendors compete over functionality and price. With its non-profit status OCLC has a distinct advantage: it doesn’t pay federal income tax on the revenues it brings in. That said, given its size and depth of its involvement in day-to-day library operations, it is plausible that even without its non-profit status OCLC would be a formidable competitor for ILS vendors.

Interesting times indeed. Follow the conversation on Twitter by looking for the skyoclc tag or read posts to the autocat mailing list that mention SkyRiver and OCLC. [via openlibrary]

HLA06 – Hawaii Library Association

I gave two talks yesterday at the Hawaii Library Association Conference which were variants of other talks. HLA likes to keep the interest level up and so all the time slots were short. I gave one 45 minute talk and one that was an hour, both of which were seriously shortened from their original lengths. I felt like I really had to distill them down and this may have made them better. Here they are.

The second talk is quick becoming a favorite of mine since it’s a niche that’s not discussed too often at conferences and it’s full of practical information. I also sat on a Dead/Emerging technologies panel with Aaron, Wesley Fryer, Marshall Breeding and Victor Edmonds. It was a pretty meta panel — Aaron and Wes were both taking and posting pictures during the talk and I was responding to blog posts from someone in the audience who turned out to be Dr. Drew, a library professor at UH. He gave us a great recommendation for a good place to go to dinner, complete with bellydancer.

I’m on my way to coconut waffles. Check out the HLA06 tag on Flickr and Technorati for much much more.