SkyRiver Files Opposition to OCLC's Motion to Dismiss

From SkyRiver, Feb. 7, 2011:

Lawyers for SkyRiver Technology Solutions, LLC have filed its opposition to OCLC’s motion to dismiss its Complaint, which alleges that OCLC has engaged in predatory and exclusionary business practices in violation of federal and state antitrust laws.

“OCLC’s motion to dismiss that was filed in December misrepresented the antitrust claims made in the original complaint and our February 4th filing sets the record straight,” said SkyRiver President Leslie Straus. “We are seeking a level playing field for the development and marketing of products for libraries and an end to the anti-competitive behavior by OCLC that punishes its own members.”

Straus continued, “Non-member libraries around the world have loaded millions of records into OCLC’s WorldCat at minimal or no cost, while legacy OCLC members such as Michigan State University and California State University Long Beach are being asked to pay outrageous batchloading fees – simply because they decided to choose SkyRiver for their cataloging services.”

The introductory section in Friday’s filing addresses the deficiencies in OCLC’s motion to dismiss: “OCLC fails to address (other than to deny) Plaintiffs’ allegations of anticompetitive and exclusionary membership terms, policies and practices that have been imposed on its member libraries for years. OCLC also mischaracterizes its unlawful punitive pricing and tying arrangements.”

The filing goes on to say, “Since at least 1987, OCLC has demanded that its member libraries agree to terms of membership that prohibit sharing the metadata of their own library holdings contributed to OCLC’s bibliographic database known as WorldCat with any for-profit firms for commercial use and require member libraries to use OCLC’s services. OCLC has imposed these membership terms to prevent the development of competing bibliographic databases, cataloging services or ILL services by erecting barriers to entry in these three markets.” SkyRiver and co-plaintiff, Innovative Interfaces Inc., also claim that OCLC is using its monopoly power illegally in these three markets in its attempt to monopolize the ILS market.

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