Louisville gets Seuss-and-desist letter over holiday Whoville display

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- There will be no Whoville in Louisville this Christmas.

The city of Louisville is scrapping plans to use the iconic Dr. Seuss village and characters as part of its annual Christmas display after receiving a cease and desist letter from Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

"It appears these lawyers' hearts are two sizes too small," Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson said.

Barbara J. Orr, the San Diego, Calif., lawyer who sent the letter, did not immediately return a Monday afternoon phone call seeking comment.

The city had planned to use "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" as part of its theme for the annual Light Up Louisville holiday celebration. The display called for an area called "LouWhoVille," complete with costumed characters from the Dr. Seuss classic such as Cindy Lou Who and the Grinch.

But the cease-and-desist letter from the law firm DLA Piper, which represents Dr. Seuss Enterprises, said the "Whoville" name and image, as well as the Grinch, are copyrighted and cannot be used without permission.

Kerri Richardson, a spokeswoman for Abramson, said the city complied with the request and renamed the display "Louville."

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