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May 27, 2006 9:01 PM   Subscribe

O'Reilly and Associates apologize about threats to keep an Irish non-profit from stealing O'Reilly's "Web 2.0" service mark. The usually-forgiving blogosphere cabal is not amused.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (38 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
[there is no cabal]
posted by exlotuseater at 9:03 PM on May 27, 2006


Frankly the fewer times I have to hear or see the words 'Web 2.0', the better.
posted by atrazine at 9:14 PM on May 27, 2006


Anyone who uses that term seriously, needs to be shot.
posted by nightchrome at 9:18 PM on May 27, 2006


"Usually forgiving?"
posted by chicobangs at 9:29 PM on May 27, 2006


We better add a feature to Metafilter that automatically adds 'SM' or 'TM' beside registered service and trade marks so that we don't accidentally step on anyone's toes!

Web 2.0SM is the future, after all.
posted by blacklite at 10:10 PM on May 27, 2006


"The usually-forgiving blogosphere"

HAW HAW HAW! Thanks for the larff!
posted by arse_hat at 10:12 PM on May 27, 2006




ya reilly.
posted by First Post at 10:16 PM on May 27, 2006


[Added 27 May 2006 by Marc:] I deleted a comment that insinuated Tim is a child molester.

This makes me giddy with schadenfreude.
posted by Mikey-San at 10:22 PM on May 27, 2006


Erm. Yeah, I'm totally not seeing what all the fuss is about
posted by ubernostrum at 10:51 PM on May 27, 2006


Just make a comment insinuating that Tim is Bill's brother...

And there really is no cabal... it's a cartel.
posted by wendell at 10:52 PM on May 27, 2006


That's ridiculous. It's obviously already a general term (horrible as it is). If they wanted it as a trademark they should have done that years ago.
posted by delmoi at 12:19 AM on May 28, 2006


Oh wait a minute, the trademark is for "Web 2.0 conferences". That's a little different, since O'Reilly is the only one has been doing conferences.

On the other hand, they all need to be shot so meh.
posted by delmoi at 12:20 AM on May 28, 2006


Yeah, regardless of if they should be able to register "Web 2.0" as a trademark for conferences, they deserve to be kicked in the junk for helping to perpetuate this retarded phrase in the first fucking place.

Shakes fist angrily at Tim O'Reilly.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:25 AM on May 28, 2006


Oh, really.
posted by chicobangs at 1:07 AM on May 28, 2006


If you make use of legal threats as other than a carefully considered last resort, you are an asshole - no exceptions. It is not clear to me from the linked apology that the people responsible actually understand this at all. And comparing "Web 2.0" to "LinuxWorld" is just insultingly stupid. Hopefully this will cost them enough money that they'll decide to deal with people like human beings next time.
posted by teleskiving at 3:40 AM on May 28, 2006


The mob mentality onlines scares me. With so many voices raised in indignation, no one has any damned perspective.

I think I'll expand on this theory with a book I'll call "Blogging in a nutshell".

What? A cease and desist letter?! What gall! Don't they understand that I'm one of their *customers* and bullying me shows that they just don't get it. "in a nutshell" is a common english idiom so I can use it however I want. Oh, and don't bother apologizing O'Reilly -- I'd like to fume a little while first.
posted by adzuki at 5:35 AM on May 28, 2006


I've had a bad opinion of him since back when he first came out with the bookcovers with the Public Domain reproductions of woodcarvings featuring animals -- then intimidating people who used those same 100+ year old illustrations to decorate their web pages. Curious behavior for self-proclaimed champion of open source.
posted by RavinDave at 5:45 AM on May 28, 2006


And there really is no cabal... it's a cartel.

Is that like the Logging Cartel? [tinlc]


/oldschoolusenet
posted by thanotopsis at 6:02 AM on May 28, 2006


So what's the Gaelic translate into? The one online translator I found for it rendered it into gobbeldygook.
posted by Zinger at 6:33 AM on May 28, 2006


I guess now we have a reasonable definition of what "Web 2.0" means.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:33 AM on May 28, 2006


RavinDave, do you have a source for that woodcarvings story? Did he really try to intimidate people who were using the same public domain artwork he was?
posted by mediareport at 8:24 AM on May 28, 2006


The animal woodcuts were originally licensed from Dover Press; in more recent years, a series of book covers were produced in a (roughly) similar vein. It's those images which O'Reilly defends, as others assume its royalty-free clipart.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:10 AM on May 28, 2006


I had no idea it was trademarked (or whatever lawyerese they use to refer to it). I wonder what Tim Berners-Lee thinks about O'Reily's appropriation of the term 'Web'?

Time for a joke:

!st guy: My dog's name is O'Reilly.
2nd guy: Oh, really?
1st guy: No, O'Reilly.
posted by carter at 9:29 AM on May 28, 2006


Why on earth would anyone trademark a coy pretentious expression that's already dated, and that people are already tired of?
posted by slatternus at 9:41 AM on May 28, 2006


Welcome to Web 2.0!
posted by fandango_matt at 10:06 AM on May 28, 2006


slatternus: Why on earth would anyone trademark a coy pretentious expression that's already dated, and that people are already tired of?

Because the term started off a a tounge-in-cheek throw-away that was quickly grabbed by O'Reilly as a marketing gimick. For months now I've been trying to get Web 2.0 advocates to present a definition that either: 1: isn't identical with CSCL, CSCW or community computing or 2: isn't a vague list of sites and applications sharing similar usability features.

Now we have the answer. Web 2.0 really is a publisher's marketing campaign.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:19 AM on May 28, 2006


Hey, let's hold a Web 3.0 Conference!

I predict Web 3.0 would be all about <blink>-tags, Comic Sans and animated GIFs.
posted by Harry at 1:55 PM on May 28, 2006


Why on earth would anyone trademark a coy pretentious expression that's already dated, and that people are already tired of?

They trademarked it when they came up with it.
posted by delmoi at 2:50 PM on May 28, 2006


<blink>-tags, Comic Sans and animated GIFs.

and embedded midi farts. don't forget the farts.
posted by quonsar at 3:13 PM on May 28, 2006


The animal woodcuts were originally licensed from Dover Press

The same Dover Press that makes its money repackaging public domain material? Forgive me for doubting that anyone paid Dover Press for the use of those woodcuts, but I'm having trouble with the idea. And I love Dover Press, for what it's worth. I just don't see why O'Reilly would have had to pay Dover for the use of the woodcuts when they were already in the public domain.
posted by mediareport at 3:22 PM on May 28, 2006


Allow me to change the order of a couple of the comments here.

This makes me giddy with schadenfreude.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:22 AM CST on May 28 [+fave] [!]

Anyone who uses that term seriously, needs to be shot.
posted by nightchrome at 11:18 PM CST on May 27 [+fave] [!]

posted by cellphone at 3:49 PM on May 28, 2006


Welcome to Schadenfreude 2.0
posted by wendell at 4:53 PM on May 28, 2006


I just don't see why O'Reilly would have had to pay Dover for the use of the woodcuts when they were already in the public domain.

If one wants to spend the time going to the original sources, get permission to take the sources out of a collection, scan them, optimize them, then presumably one would not need to pay Dover. However, if one wanted to use the images pre-packaged by Dover for use in a commercial endeavor, then one would have to pay Dover for the convenience.
posted by squink at 5:46 PM on May 28, 2006


Ah, that makes sense. So, the upshot is that RavinDave was wrong here, if Smart Dalek is right, and O'Reilly was within his rights to enforce copyright on the new woodcut images. No hypocrisy there.

Anyway, the idiocy of the cease-and-desist still stands. The apology (for not first talking with the offenders like humans before sending in lawyers) is good, but doesn't get rid of the horrible impression this leaves about the O'Reilly people. How could they possibly have allowed that kind of thing to happen at this stage of the game?
posted by mediareport at 8:35 PM on May 28, 2006


mediareport: RavinDave, do you have a source for that woodcarvings story?

That was back in the mid 90's. Here's a representative UseNet message. It was a genuine issue, widely debated. In a gaffe curiously later repeated by Apple, O'Reilly dropped the hammer on fan web-sites -- the very people most eager to support him.

Here's Tim's offical position.

The issue was never people using "pre-packaged" or "optimized images" (which wouldn't matter anyway). He would have objected to anything even close. And I understand that one could argue that he was concerned with creating a marketable association with the camel image -- the issue never really a debate on his the legal right. The crux was that he was shaking his pomp-pomps for the open source philosophy while trying to outdo Jeff Bezos ("inventor" of 1-Click Shopping and I'll sue you to hell in back if you use it) in the arena of corporate pettiness.
posted by RavinDave at 11:04 PM on May 28, 2006


Heh. When I read the FPP, I thought this was about Bill O'Reilly. 2.0, Bill?
Then I was kinda disappointed...
posted by klangklangston at 6:52 AM on May 29, 2006


So, RavinDave, it was just the Perl camel, then? If so, then I kinda see O'Reilly's point; the link between Perl and the camel is trademarkable. Your original message implied there were multiple images O'Reilly went after folks for.
posted by mediareport at 7:37 AM on May 29, 2006


Tim O'Reilly is back from his vacation.
posted by teleskiving at 9:27 AM on May 31, 2006


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