LII: Be Sure You're Getting the Real McCoy


LII Chief (Karen G. Schneider) writes "Someone has created a blog with LII's name, Librarians' Index to the Internet. The blog (six posts purportedly listing librarian blogs--hello, hasn't that been done?) is at and the person who created it hasn't left any contact information. It's not a rip-off of LII, but it IS a rip-off of our name, and could confuse users. Have we trademarked our name? No. Do we want other people to use it? No. If you know anything about this blogger, we'd appreciate it."


It didn't look like links had been chosen with the rigor that I'd expect from, I was wondering if it was associated with LII and now I'm happy to know that it is not.

My, my, "Left-wing librarian." "Favorite propagandist."

Wrong on all counts (or, I suppose, "right" on all counts).

I'm only a left-winger by your hard-right estimate.

I'm not a librarian (and am one of those library professionals who believes that an MLS *does* make a difference; I don't have one).

I don't care for Michael Moore at all, as I thought I made clear.

Bradbury can be upset about anything he wants to be upset about. In this case, if he isn't drumming up publicity, then he's just being silly. Why would Moore check with him before taking off on his title?

Want to start a zine called Cites on the Right or Cites & Incitement? Be my guest.

"As ye sow so shall ye reap."

I'm still waiting to use that one in a rant, because I intend to follow up with, "They have sown the wind, now let them reap the whirlwind."


I'm only a left-winger by your hard-right estimate.

Well, that's what I said, isn't it? I'm only "hard-right" by your left-wing estimate.

If I were going to steal someone's title, I would probably use a clever take off on a title that people would recognize.

>Moore should absoutely have checked with him
>before using it, and Bradbury has every reason> to be upset

Why should Moore check with Bradbury?

I don't think Bradbury can legally protect the title. If you think he can, what authority are you basing that on? As far as ethically I don't see an argument why Moore should have to ask to do a parody of a title.

What is your reasoning of why Moore should check with Bradbury?

It does not seem to be a parody, as the film is fixated on the Bush administration, and not on the original work.

Moore straightforwardly stole the title because of its instant recognizability. As Karen Schneider says herself, this will confuse the public.

Moore should have checked with Bradbury out of common decency, which is precisely why he didn't.

We might note in passing that the new site is called "Librarian's Index" [singular] and not "Librarians' Index" [plural], so Karen really has nothing to worry about.

Interesting comment. I see that they didn't even rip off the DMOZ category for Librarian Weblogs, which would have given them a few they missed, and would have meant they didn't link to non-blog sites (like Walt's homepage, as he mentions).Call me naive, but I didn't immediately click that this wasn't linked to the real LII. I did register how different the site design was, and vaguely wonder why it wasn't located at, but didn't think that it might be a completely unrelated site.

If I understand correctly, you can't copyright titles. The title is obviously an allusion to Bradbury's depiction of a tyrannical government (whether you agree with Moore's characterisation of Bush, he surely has a right to make that characterisation).

And such allusions are commonplace in our culture, in books, films, music. We don't hear this same outcry when other films take their titles from cultural references (pop or otherwise) that we all recognise. Which leads me to suggest that the outcry in this case is occuring because it's Moore who made the film.

1) Who in their right mind would want to listen to or read what lawyers say or write? (They'll probably bill us for our reading of it.)

2) Yes I am grumpy, but I think it is genetic. I've been that way since birth.

conservator! You've discovered common decency! That's a great step forward for you! We'll all look forward to your continued progress!

Why can't blogger just shut it down? That seems to be the simple option. Where is the real boss of LII? I saw she posted a comment this morning asking for a reply. I doubt they will.

this just seems like something silly some librarian blogger had too much time with, and went a bit wonky.


do you think the movement of the apostrophe will be enough?

i would imagine a professional site wouldn't need to be hosted, it would own its own domain name..but to a novice..maybe confusing.

i don't know why i care. i feel left out that my blog wasn't on the list!



The people whose works Bradbury used for his titles were not around to ask their permission.

Inasmuch as Moore's title is, as you say, a "takeoff" on Bradbury's, Moore should absoutely have checked with him before using it, and Bradbury has every reason to be upset.

Your suggestion of an ulterior motive on Bradbury's part is an unsurprising confirmation that there's absolutely nothing that left-wing librarians won't do for their favorite propagandist.

And, you know, if it was called "Librarians index to weblogs" or "LII 9/11," Karen wouldn't say a word, I'll bet.

Just as ol' Ray ("ol'" being all too appropriate in this case!)*, some of whose best titles were lifted directly and appropriately from works of literature, is on v*e*r*y* thin ground in being indignant about Moore's takeoff of his title. But it sure does get Bradbury lots of publicity for the new edition of F.451, and for the eventual movie tratment. (Of course, Moore's a master at mining indignation for publicity, as far as that goes.)

* I get to say that. I'm old. Not as old as Ray Bradbury, to be sure...

(PS: I agree with the "funny" mod. Don't have much trouble with calling Michael Moore "some shlep" either.)

Surely you can acknowledge that there's a big difference between two similar titles, one of which is admittedly a take-off on the other, and two separate entities with the exact same title.And yes, I know Bradbury's angry at Moore over his choice of movie title.

Are we the only profession that talks this much?

As to Scheidner's worries, why didn't she just post a comment asking the person to contact her?

Huh? Karen posts a perfectly reasonable warning that someone's misusing LII's name in a way that could mislead the rest of us--and you whitter on about "talking this much"? This was a specifically useful posting for LISNews, solidly on topic.

I'd bookmarked the site, thinking to look at it later and wondering why Karen would choose such a radically different style than either LII or FRL. After seeing her note, I clicked on a few of the links in the faux LII list...and deleted the bookmark.

A direct answer would be no. Lawyers, for example, talk a lot more.

As to your worries, why didn't you just email Karen?

Who knows?

It certainly is poorly set up for what it is. The blog format isn't really conducive to a directory. Things aren't even alphabetical.

I have to wonder if it was even set up by a librarian.

The first comment concerned the list of library blogs, as in "are we the only profession with this many blogs?" The second comment was directed to Scheneider's post. I thought seperating them was enough, my bad. A grumpy bunch today are we?

And please, I mean really, can you not tell the difference between the two sites? It would be like not knowing the difference between Coke and and whatever cheap knockoff that happens to sell in your state.

From what I can see, they just cribbed the "Reference -> Libraries -> Library and Information Science -> Librarians" listing from DMOZ as their base work. formation_Science/Librarians/

My bad...sort of.

Any testing of the so-called list of blogs reveals that most of it isn't blogs at all (e.g., the link to my home page, links to bunches of other home pages). I'd guess that other professions have as many or more actual weblogs as librarianship does (again, I'll note lawyers).

Of course I could tell the difference between the two sites. But I couldn't tell immediately that the site's name was pure ripoff--and a naive newcomer who's never been to LII certainly couldn't tell instantly that the "blog" site was a ripoff. (I suspect the deceit was intentional, but since the site is anonymous it's hard to be sure.)

Me grumpy? Geez, Greg, I just looked through shush. You're calling me grumpy? Whatever.

"A grumpy bunch today are we?" How's that saying go?A man reaps what he sows.

I prefer to think of my site's attitude as less 'grumpy' and more 'righteous indignation'.

Yeah, I've heard some shlep just made a movie called "Fahrenheit" something-or-other without asking Ray Bradbury about it. The nerve!

Greg, sorry. Your site is actually "banal".

Know anything about the person who created the "fake" LII resource? Tips leading to the positive identification of this person will be rewarded with a handsome LII tote bag, in sturdy canvas, mailed to your address of choice. Send tips to the LII director, Karen G. Schneider, at [email protected] .