O’Reilly & Co. get bogus over Web 2.0

This one takes the cake. CMP & O’Reilly media sent a cease a desist letter to the organizer of a conference in Ireland over the term “Web 2.0.” O’Reilly et al have filed a trademark on the term,in the U.S., for use regarding conferences and events. Then Doctorow of BoingBoing, grand duke of all things open and wonderful apparently supported the claim, drinking some kool-aid that told him O’Reilly staff invented the term “Web 2.0.” Not to be left out, Battelle chimed in on the issue, arguing there’s nothing really to see here, its just a trademark on the term for conferences and events. Incidentally, Mssr O’Reilly invested in Battelle’s Federated Media, while also partnering together in the Web 2.0 Conference.

Of course, neither of these is the point. It doesn’t matter whether O’Reilly & Co. invented the phrase “Web 2.0″. It doesn’t matter that its only a little trademark on conference names. The point is, its a common phrase used by gobs of elite and minions to describe a phenomenon. Trademarking a common phrase is sneaky, requiring anyone who objects to have the financial muscle to follow through. Guess I better file that application for “Web 3.0″ as soon as possible. Reminds me of when Robertson bought up all the domains MP4 – MP7.com

Odds are, when O’Reilly himself comes back from vacation he is going to call the whole situation a dumb idea, not worry about the trademark anymore, apologize to those involved, and continue to recognize that “O’Reilly” is the name worth protecting.

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