Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sticking up for O'Reilly

The blogsphere is buzzing again... this time about O'Reilly attempting to protect a trademark they have applied for regarding the use of "Web 2.0" for conferences. It all started when Tom Ratery posted a cease-and-desist letter from a CMP Media lawyer on behalf of CMP & O'Reilly asking the IT@Cork conference not to use "Web 2.0" in the title of their upcoming conference.

Sara Winge, O'Reilly's VP of Corporate Communications responded quickly on behalf of O'Reilly because Tim is on vacation. Thats what the blogsphere wants right, a quick response with an explanation? Nope, O'Reilly Media, Inc., Sara and Tim O'Reilly are being absolutely roasted across the the blogshere and the comments on O'Reilly Radar are just plain nasty. Sara has now even written and update on the controversy that seems to just be adding fuel to the flames. This is ridiculous and O'Reilly, Tim and Sara all deserve better.

Many people see protecting the "Web 2.0" trademark as a hypocritical stance from Tim O'Reilly because he has been such a champion of the open source movement. I probably agree with this sentiment but I can't stand for the personal attacks that have taken place against Tim O'Reilly or Sara Winge. The insults flying on the O'Reilly Radar blog are absolutely childish. O'Reilly has spent so much time and energy promoting open source benefits to the community that even if they are completely wrong on this issue they do deserve wiggle room. Furthermore, Tim hasn't even had a chance to respond! Give the man a chance to explain himself! Oh and by the way, did anyone even consider that Tim may not have any idea that the letter was even sent? Surely Tim isn't involved in every legal decision that O'Reilly makes and this may not have even made it to his desk.

I like O'Reilly and they are going to have to F-up a lot more than simply attempting to protect a trademark in order for me to lose any respect for them.

Here are links to whats being said:


At May 28, 2006 10:45 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

I agree, at least Tim O'Reilly should get a chance to respond.

Also the free software movement has generally been ok with trademarks when used as a product brand. For example Moglen, the counsel for the Free Software Foundation, has encouraged the enforcement of the Linux Trademark. Stallman has said that Trademarks don't matter compared to the Free License, sort of a rose is a rose by any other name.

So if trademarks are OK, the issue with this trademark is that it defines Web 2.0 conference to not be any conference about Web based ad supported software as a service companies, but instead only such conferences sponsored by O'Reilly. This is different than the Linux trademark which can be applied to any copy of the Linux kernel that is under the GPL, regardless of if you get it from Linus or if you get it from SCO.

At May 28, 2006 11:36 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

After reading the Linux Mark Trademark agreement more, in following with the Linux agreement to protect the trademark, O'Reilly should ask they the conference acknowledge that Web 2.0 is a registered trademark of O'Reilly.

At June 19, 2007 6:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Refer to women the same way as men, e.g., Winge, not Sara, if you are referring to Tim as O'Reilly.

At June 19, 2007 9:23 AM, Blogger Andrew Fife said...

in this article, when I write "O'Reilly," I am referring to O'Reilly Media Inc. the company and not Tim O'Reilly the person.


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