Saturday, 27 May 2006

Web 2.0 service mark controversy

via OLDaily

O'Reilly has long been heralded as a leading advocate of the open source ethos. But that reputation is under siege today. In a story that began here and spread into Tim Reilly's blog here [snip] it was revealed that O'Reilly is trying to enforce ownership of 'Web 2.0' as a service mark (at least for conferences). While I held out hope that it was all a mistake, their eventual admission has brought down the wrath of the blogosphere. [Stephen Downes]

I don't know the details about how one can register a trade mark or service mark. Even if Tim O'Reilly and company have coined the term, they are guilty of misleading thousands of developers all over the world. Without indicating that a term is or will be applied for a trade mark or service mark, but promoting the term in (or near) CC licensed content will mislead developers into thinking that this term can be used freely. That has prompted thousands of developers to put their effort into developing various concepts, routines and interesting application and linking such development to the term. This has the effect promoting the term further. Without all these people adding value to the term, there is NO value to that term. When people are later being told that the term you thought was free to use is in fact being trademarked or service marked, it is only natural to feel being betrayed.

With business man hat on, I understand there is a need to protect one's trademark or service mark. One would not like other people to dilute or damage a careful developed reputation through hard work and good service to your clientele. I believe that's the fundamental understanding of trademark or service mark. If the popularity of the mark was not your sole effort and when you capitalise on other's people work in order to gain commercially, that is immoral! That is greed! That is the beginning of the end of your empire!

Let's pull that bug out of O'Reilly's ass, and start calling it Web 2.1 - the bug fix release ;-) [Posted by: MarkB at May 26, 2006 12:58 AM from here]

Let start the bug fix and release our code and/or effort as Web 2.1. Please note that Web 2.1 is first coined by MarkB in a thread of a discussion clearly licensed under a Creative Common license. I hope people will understand that Web 2.1 is NOT trademarkable or service markable!

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