May 25

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

Controversy about our "Web 2.0" service mark

Sara Winge, our VP of Corporate Communications, asked me to post this:

The blogosphere has been buzzing today about O'Reilly sending a cease-and-desist letter to IT@Cork, demanding (yes, that's the legal term) that they not use "Web 2.0" in the title of their conference. I'd like to give the O'Reilly perspective, and clear up a few things. You'd be hearing from Tim, but he's off the grid, on a (rare) vacation.

O'Reilly and CMP co-produce the Web 2.0 conference. "Web 2.0" was coined when we were brainstorming the concept for the first conference in 2003. As noted in the letter to IT@Cork (sent from CMP's attorney, but with our knowledge and agreement), "CMP has a pending application for registration of Web 2.0 as a service mark, for arranging and conducting live events, namely trade shows, expositions, business conferences and educational conferences in various fields of computers and information technology." To protect the brand we've established with our two Web 2.0 Conferences, we're taking steps to register "Web 2.0" as our service mark, for conferences. It's a pretty standard business practice. Just as O'Reilly couldn't decide to launch a LinuxWorld conference, other event producers can't use "Web 2.0 Conference," the name of our event. In this case, the problem is that it@cork's conference title includes our service mark "Web 2.0," which the law says we must take "reasonable steps" to protect. We've also contacted another group that has announced a "Web 2.0 Conference" in Washington, DC this September.

In retrospect, we wish we'd contacted the IT@Cork folks personally and talked over the issue before sending legal correspondence. In fact, it turns out that they asked Tim to speak at the conference, though our Web 2.0 Conference team didn't know that. We've sent a followup letter to Donagh Kiernan, agreeing that IT@Cork can use the Web 2.0 name this year. While we stand by the principle that we need to protect our "Web 2.0" mark from unauthorized use in the context of conferences, we apologize for the way we initially handled the issue with IT@Cork.

[Added 26 May 2006] A further update is here.

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

[Added 1 June 2006 by Brady:] You can see Tim's response to the controversy in this post.

tags: web 2.0  | comments: 282   | Sphere It

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Comments: 282

  JP [05.25.06 11:09 PM]

"Sara Winge": I regret to inform you that me and my legal team have applied for a service mark for the business term "Sara Winge." Me, my company -- Consolodated Holding Consortium, Inc. -- and our legal representation hereby "demand" (that's a legal term!) that you immediately cease-and-desist using our business term in any public forum. The term "Sara Winge" was coined in a brainstorming session from 2003 when we were trying to come up with a new brand name for our top-selling hemorrhoid balm. Any attempts to claim that the term existed prior to said brainstorming session are fraudulent and illegal. I'm sure you understand -- this is pretty standard business practice. The law compels us to take "reasonable steps" to protect our financial interests in "Sara Winge Hemorrhoid Ointment". Hopefully you'll agree to change your name before we ask a judge to issue an injunction against you prior to the launching of next month's "Sara Winge Is A Giant Hemorrhoid Conference."

Thank you for your cooperation. As you know we at the Consolodated Holding Consortium, Inc. are activists for open source and open standards, and opponents of software patents and other incursions of new intellectual property laws into the public domain.

  backfire [05.25.06 11:12 PM]

yeah, this is going to backfire big time.

  Scott [05.25.06 11:21 PM]

So does this effectively mean that no one else can hold a conference about Web 2.0 except for O'Reilly/CMP? How about if I use "Web Twodotzero" would that still receive a cease and desist?

Surely it would have been better to trademark a specific usage of the term rather than the all embracing "Web 2.0"? This is where your example of 'LinuxWorld' does not hold up. 'LinuxWorld' is a specific phrase that is associated with a conference. Without the conference link it doesn't make sense, while if you refer to 'LinuxWorld' people know that it means the actual conference. 'Web 2.0' on the other hand is used constantly as the easy to use entry point when discussing a wide variety of concepts.

If you had used a more specific name for a conference such as 'Web2.0World' then there would be no issue, as it is you seem to be trying to preventing to the use of 'Web 2.0' in any conference ever?

  VoR [05.25.06 11:40 PM]

Now this is how you go about rubbing people up the wrong way.

If anyone is claiming "Web 2.0" as their intellectual property.. then it's time to find a different name and for everyone except O'Reilly to start using that instead.

One where people aren't going to get anal over it being freely used by those who develop in that particular style.

If "Web 2.0" was to be a trademark (I assume this isn't a registered trademark yet as you have referred to it as a Service Mark), then the larger dev. community should cease using the phrase at all and stop giving your "service mark" exposure.

I am also under the impression that you may have some difficulty with registering "Web 2.0" as a trademark. Maybe not in the states, but in other countries - you'll probably have a hard time enforcing anything over the use of "Web 2.0".

  Liam @ Web 2.5 Blog [05.25.06 11:48 PM]

There's a notable difference between a mark such as 'Web 2.0 World' and 'Web 2.0 <event>' where <event> can be any generic term, e.g. conference, workshop, etc. It's highly questionable whether you should have been granted that mark in the first place, and whether you have defended it sufficiently during the time it was pending.

In any case, O'Reilly has given itself a shiner of a black eye, and will continue to be beaten by most web commentators, despite the years and care that have gone into Tim's reputation as a champion of enlightened business practice. These commentators will likely advocate a boycott of your upcoming conference.

I and a very few other bloggers had jumped to the conclusion that this must be CMP's blunder; surely Tim O'Reilly was too savvy to make such a mistake. You have proven us fools, and that we will not forget.

  William [05.25.06 11:58 PM]

I think the problem is two-fold:

1. Trying to service mark "Web 2.0" for conference use isn't really in the spirit of Web 2.0 at all.

2. Sending a cease and desist letter before asking nicely, even if you were justified, is certainly one way to earn the contempt of the blogosphere. People don't take well to heavy handed corporations throwing their legal team on a not-for-profit.

I think Scott is dead-on in his example of LinuxWorld vs. Web 2.0 World.

Attempting to service mark a generic name is simply evil. It's no better than cybersquatting.

And don't act like your doing THEM a favor by *letting* them use the term Web 2.0.

  R. Mullen [05.26.06 12:08 AM]

It doesn't make a lot of horse-sense to define Web 2.0 in terms of shared resources, open-source and collective development, yet take the same term and monopolize the usage.

While conferencing is probably the only usage worth trademarking, the backlash is coming from the apparent inconsistency.

The problem may not be in the usage of "Web 2.0 Conference," rather, that some poor soul might want to use a confusingly similar phrase. The company makes a lot of hay out of conferences (name recognition/influence, registration fees, book sales, etc.), so what happens when someone wants to use:

--"NY Explores Web 2.0 Conference"

--"The We Love Web 2 Conference"

--"Conference: The Web 2.0 Experience"

--"Confer about Web 2.0"

--"Web 2.0--Conference or Interference?"

--"Web 2.1234 Conference"

even down to

--"Law 2.0 Conference"

--"Medecine 2.0 Conference"

--"Plumbing 2.0 Conference"

Web 2.0 alone is surely not subject to exclusive use, so at the end of the day, how valuable is it really going to be in terms of conference marketing? Is it purely a source of licensing revenue?

I also wonder if Web 2.0 has not, by its very nature, already gone the way of kleenex, xerox or Why not just walk away? Or better yet, skirt the issue and donate it to the public domain.

  Nik Cubrilovic [05.26.06 12:26 AM]

Not the sort of response we were all waiting for - I was hoping to hear that it was a mistake but it seems that O'Reilly will be going after anybody who tries to setup any conference around 'Web 2.0' (well, using that exact phrase).

LinuxWorld is the name of a complete brand, very different - the analogy there would be if somebody tried to setup an O'Reilly conference - certainly not the case here.

Just like we should be able to setup a Linux, Apache, Open Source conference we should be able to setup a Web 2.0 conference - it's not your brand (you didn't build it - the community did)

All very ironic

  Fred [05.26.06 12:31 AM]

Ms. Winge says: "Just as O'Reilly couldn't decide to launch a 'LinuxWorld' conference, other event producers can't use 'Web 2.0 Conference', the name of our event." This is a bad example. "Linux" is a technology. "LinuxWorld" is a conference. You are asserting that no one else can use "Linux" in the name of a conference without infringing on "LinuxWorld." This is prima facie nonsense. Beyond this, you'll have a hard time upholding your claim against prior art and incur the enmity of the entire community you claim to represent. Lookup "Pyrrhic victory" in your Funk & Wagnalls.

  Nippo [05.26.06 12:35 AM]

It is completely anti web 2.0 attitude to protect web 2.0. I hope that all this legal mess will end very soon, because it is childish disputes.

  MarkB [05.26.06 12:58 AM]

Let's pull that bug out of O'Reilly's ass, and start calling it Web 2.1 - the bug fix release ;-)

  Kevin [05.26.06 01:25 AM]

Seriously, people... take some valium to loosen your uptight puckerholes and chill the hell out. They're apologizing for their heavy-handed approach, and you're still working on that site. They're even LETTING THEM USE THE NAME THIS YEAR. What more do you fairweather fans want?

Even THE BEST companies have to defend their service marks, or they LOSE THEIR RIGHTS FOREVER. Our court system DEMANDS that O'Reilly act whenever someone's actions could potentially lead to confusion in the marketplace. And you're all fucking idiots if you think that someone else calling their conference "Web 2.0 Conference" can't possibly confuse anyone.

You all might live in hippie communes where everything is community-owned, but some of us live out here in the real world where people own land, toaster ovens, and yes, even concepts and words. That's called a BRAND, and if you've heard of strange terms like "IBM" or "Hallmark", you might see how silly little names can be valuable and worth defending.

  Denis Fevonio [05.26.06 01:26 AM]

This is typical O'Reilly, really. Greed. Makes him a hypocrite too... Shame on you Tim.

  Brendan Lawlor [05.26.06 01:40 AM]

This whole farce has demonstrated very clearly that the Web2.0(sm) phenomenon, far from being a real movement with any business value to the community at large, is being operated exclusively for the benefit of its creators and would-be owners.

  Pat Allan [05.26.06 01:41 AM]

Brady, Sara

I'm glad you've cleared this up relatively quickly - and to some extent, I understand the reasoning. That said...

You might want to make it very very clear - as it seems some people are still a bit confused - that you've not trademarked the term 'Web 2.0' in general, but are claiming ownership of it only in relation to conferences.

And, echoing most other people (and I know repeating it isn't really constructive, but the emphasis is important): The action taken does not match who O'Reilly are, to the public. It could be said that O'Reilly is even a Web 2.0 company, in the sense of how it acts mirrors the best of the Web 2.0 ideals. Mind you, it's a lot harder to say such a thing now.

It seems like all that's happened is some people haven't spoken to other people - and these problems aren't anything new (they happen to the best of us), it's just a pity they blew up so publicly.

  Larkin [05.26.06 01:53 AM]

Face it guys. You've just killed Web 2.0(sm?) - even if it's just for conferences. Now maybe people will use meaningful phrases to describe the realities of the Internet.

  Tieros [05.26.06 02:18 AM]

Getting a service mark for a name of a loose collection of "standards" thrown together in a futile attempt to make HTML into an application programming language is just sad, doubly so when it comes from a reputable firm such as yours.

I hereby claim exclusive rights to any term of the form "Web <n>", where <n> is any number, real or imaginary, except 2.0. :-)

  Anonymous [05.26.06 02:27 AM]

What is Web 2.0?

- Get other people ideas
- Market said ideas under a nice package
- Unleash lawyers

  Anonymous [05.26.06 02:28 AM]

What is Web 2.0?

- Get other people ideas
- Market said ideas under a nice package
- Unleash lawyers
- Profit??

  Disappointed (Former) Fan [05.26.06 02:37 AM]

Kevin and Pat, pull your heads out of your *&&es. O'Reilly chose to register a mark that is generic, descriptive and in wide public use ("Web"? "2.0"? Please, spare me - gee, I wonder whether that might ever be in wide public use by, oh I don't know - everyone), and they are trying to monopolize its use in association with educational events about a phenomenon that is specifically about collaboration, sharing and open access. This is sickeningly unironic. O'Reilly has just declared itself to be no more about Web 2.0 than the record labels are about sharing. And at the end of the day, the only supporters left will be O'Reilly's hardest-core base - the Kevin and Pats who will defend them, no matter what.

What's worse, O'Reilly tries to portray itself as a victim to avoid the responsibility it bears for its choices - they are no more forced to protect this mark than they were forced to file for its use in the first place. This "we are required by law to defend it" crap is the worst kind of "oh lordy I'm such a victim" deflection of their personal responsibility for trying to monopolize the term in the first place.

So - O'Reilly has just demonstrated that:

- it doesn't understand Web 2.0;
- it's not interested in the community (just when did you lose your soul?)
- it's cowardly and evil.

Nice job, lads.

  anon [05.26.06 02:52 AM]

I don't see anywhere in here that says "not for profit:"

maybe our little bubble can burst now?

  Philipp Lenssen [05.26.06 02:53 AM]

> It's a pretty standard business practice

Seems very 1.0 to me. I can't believe you guys are doing this to your reputation... how long until you realize what's happening?

  Graeme [05.26.06 02:54 AM]

The problem is that you are claiming a service mark on the use of Web 2.0 for conferences about a particular technology, when you do not have a service mark on the use of Web 2.0 to describe the technology.

You should either have registered Web 2.0 for all uses related to the technology and defended it for all uses related to the technology, or you should not claim any ownership.

  Pat Allan [05.26.06 02:56 AM]

"Disappointed (Former) Fan", excuse me if I don't go for the jugular. I'm not going to crucify O'Reilly for making a mistake. If this becomes one in a series of bad moves, then I'll certainly be less forgiving, but I think some patience and understanding is allowed at this point in time.

Perhaps I wasn't quite clear (although I thought it was implied in the third paragraph of my previous comment), but I definitely do not like the way the action has been taken, and I'm not really a fan of the reasons given.

I'm not going to go off and burn any O'Reilly book I can lay my hands on, though.

  Joseph Lindsay [05.26.06 03:07 AM]

Sesame Street are also suing to stop use of "the number two" and "the letter O"...

...who owns "point"?

  JD [05.26.06 03:10 AM]

This is a vastly unsatisfying response. You should have waited for Tim to blackberry in from vaca.

  Konstantinos [05.26.06 03:15 AM]

Way to go, Tim & co.!

This is ridiculous.

  jjzeidner [05.26.06 03:19 AM]

what exactly does he mean 'going to register'? Its already registered. It was registered in 2003. The entire 'Web 2.0' thing is an incredibly poor attempt at creating a multi-level marketing scheme for web technologies. If Orielly is implying that he didnt know this... that is a very deceptive tactic in my view.

  Yagiz Erkan [05.26.06 03:20 AM]


Here you go! That was the end of this none-sensical bubble.

Please let's carry on now and work on something that has real value and not some kind of leach service mark that tries to encompass too many unrelated technologies/concepts just for one company's profit.

  Yagiz Erkan [05.26.06 03:22 AM]

Hey! Someone is selling "Web Sue.0" t-shirts just outside my office building. I think I'm going to buy one...

  Tim Child [05.26.06 03:36 AM]

This is pathetic. I want to know what Tim really thinks on the matter, I have a feeling he will agree too.

If not you have lost another customer.

  james [05.26.06 03:46 AM]

bad move tim, what were you thinking?
web2.0 proprietory culture?
anyway, enjoy the karma from this one...

  Mike [05.26.06 03:47 AM]

Up until you guy's went 'legal' you probably would would have made better milage out of a conference named "O'Reilly's Web 2.0 Conference", since there was a lot of mana attached to the "O'Reilly" name.

And nobody would have disputed the validity of trade marking this (or similar term).

Now, of course, you are going to look rather MicroSoftish no matter what you do. Time for a new VP of Corporate Communications perhaps?

Remember, we may only be the little guy's but we are also the ones who buy the books and come to the conferences.

PS - I am thinking of trade marking "O'Reilly's Web 2.0 Conference". Oh Really - yes really.

  Laurence Timms [05.26.06 04:00 AM]

I'd simply like to say that you're a bunch of nutcases if you think that registering 'Web 2.0' as a service mark is going to improve your business kudos.

  jjzeidner [05.26.06 04:17 AM]

Again, the trademark was registered in 2003. This whole thing is trying to cover up the fact that Web 2.0 is a poorly constructed infomercial that Dale Dougherty, Tim O'Reilly, and all of CMP Media LLC. were in on. Guess what Tim? you just lost all youre credibility with the OSS community for pulling a classic Microsoft-like move. Good folks dont appreciate being swindled.

  Andy [05.26.06 04:18 AM]

Has anyone noticed the creative commons badge in the side column of this blog post?

Oh the irony!

  web3 [05.26.06 04:19 AM]


Web 2.0 is over! It is done. The time is now for Web 3.0 (as he calls his lawyer to register a service mark) sigh!

  Angry, Tonbridge Wells [05.26.06 04:25 AM]

You have really shot youself in the foot this time. You couldn't have done a worse PR job if you tried. As a company who work hard to support "open" projects and so on your "legal" department and "PR" team have created so much bad feeling within the community that I suggest you fire them (well, at least remove the numbskull who let this debacle happen). Heads must role for this balls up. Is it telling that O'Reilly himself in on his hols? Will he like what greets him when he gets back to his desk after the vacation? I doubt it.

  Aral Balkan [05.26.06 04:32 AM]

How about "Open Web" instead?

  bernard [05.26.06 04:35 AM]


As someone in the comments above mentioned, you *may* want to clarify *exactly* what you are trying to trade mark.

If you are trying to trade mark Web 2.0 then that is wrong. Period.

Lets take it to an extreme here. The actual name of the conference is "Web 2.0 Half Day Conference".

So does that mean they are infringing on your marks?

What if it was called Bernard's Web 2.0 is crap 2 week long conference". Would that also infringe?

*IF however* you are trying to trade mark "O' Reilly Web 2.0" conference (or "O' Reilly Web 2.0 conference") then I don't think there is a problem here.

What you are doing, if you know it or not, is going against an ideal of what web 2.0 is.

Also, I don't think its fair to dump on Tim, when his view has not yet been released.

I think it would be really smart for him, and for O' Reilly Press to release a *personal* view.

Otherwise, from the general feeling of the comments here, and in the last post, O' Reilly Press may loose some customers.

Web 2.0 is (almost dead). Long live Web n.n.

Just my views on it.


  jjzeidner [05.26.06 04:35 AM]

BTW- in case anyone doest have time to sort through the wikipedia discussion, I had tried to add info regarding the service mark status of 'Web 2.0' 3+ times to Wikipedia. It was erased every time by various users( mainly ArtW ). Finally it was allowed to stay as a minor side comment. Anyone who thought Web 2.0 was an authentic community of developers has been essentially scammed by Tim O'Reilly and friends. You may have built your professional house on CMP Media's land without knowing it. That was their plan. This begs the legal question, does a trade/service mark owner have the obligation to inform people of the status of terms that they use? What happened to the (r) or (tm) sign?

  jjzeidner [05.26.06 04:51 AM]

oh btw- all these things happened on wikipedia weeks ago. And I posted this data on google groups months ago.

  jjzeidner [05.26.06 05:02 AM]

a record of my Wikipedia Edit comments:

21:05, 10 May 2006 Jjzeidner (CMP Media LLC.)
21:06, 10 May 2006 Jjzeidner (added USPTO)
03:53, 11 May 2006 Jjzeidner (CMP Media LLC. , re-adding highly pertinent information regarding legal status of service mark 'Web 2.0')
04:02, 11 May 2006 Jjzeidner (turned CMP Media LLC. into a link)
04:06, 11 May 2006 Jjzeidner (CMP Media LLC. fixed link problem)
07:31, 11 May 2006 Jjzeidner (CMP Media owns Web 2.0 Service Mark( serial: 78322306 ) . The reference is NOW SOURCED. You will not suppress this information. Lets not have another WALMART WAR.)
08:13, 11 May 2006 Jjzeidner (USPTO link to CMP Media LLC. Service Mark 78322306 expires, added data to page)
18:04, 11 May 2006 Jjzeidner (CMP Media LLC. : Web 2.0 is USPTO service Mark 78322306 ... THIS IS HIGHLY RELEVANT INFORMATION DO NOT DELETE IT... you may own the service mark but you do not own this page.)
19:33, 11 May 2006 Jjzeidner (the business is: a multinational corporation called CMP Media LLC. OWNS 'Web 2.0' if you don't think that is relevant I question your motives.)


O'Reilly is not the 'peoples software company'. They are a sleazy manipulative corporation just like Microsoft. Tim, did you sell your soul?

  Ben [05.26.06 05:22 AM]


1) Saying something is a "standard business practice" does not excuse your actions or lessen my dissappointment in your company. I can find "standard" anywhere --- you should be aiming for better.

2) The law requires you to take reasonable action to protect your service mark. Ok, great. Sounds like you have that well in hand. The goodwill of your customers is a great deal more important than a service mark. It troubles me that O'Reilly seems to need help understanding this point.

3) What aggravates me the most about these heavy-handed tactics is that they imply a fairly low regard for the intelligence of your customer base. Why is this "Web 2.0" brand is so important to you? Do you think that the people driving the development of this new technology are glassy-eyed zombies who walk around mouthing "AJAX... Web 2.0... AJAX". People will judge the value of your books and conferences mostly on their technical merit, not on a silly service brand. The reputation of your company will be determined by whether or not you conduct yourselves in a manner that indicates that you understand and respect the values of the community you purchases your products.

3) You last point sort of sounds like an apology. Or maybe you just mean that you wished you could have been a little quieter when you squeezed these guy's nuts.

I've got a bookshelf full of O'Reilly books. I've learned a lot from them, and I've paid a lot for them. Strictly business I guess. Sigh.

  Steve Mallett [05.26.06 05:24 AM]

As someone who has been professionally piled up on I'm wading in in defense of your friend and mine Tim.

First, not having made a polite phone call first is obviously a big fuck up. It happens. Tim is a bridge builder - he does NOT go looking to pick fights.

Second, we all know how lawyer's act. Big and important. They should have been on a leash. See my first point.

Third, we haven't heard from Tim yet so please stop burning him at the stake.

Tim just isn't like this. Everyone please take a breather until we hear from him.

  Dave G. [05.26.06 05:26 AM]

O'Reilly, you suck! It's a pity that you publish such well-written technical books, because I won't be buying any more of them. Fortunately, there are many equally good alternatives available, so I'll be fine. (The "Core" books from Prentice Hall are every bit as good as O'Reilly books.)

  Eamonn Fitzgerald [05.26.06 05:46 AM]

Seeing that Tim is probably in the castle he owns in Killarney, Ireland, which is not far from Cork, where Tom Raftery lives, a trip across the county border might be the best way to sort this out. Tim could also bring a present to celebrate the arrival of Enrique Raftery Carnicero, born on Tuesday morning. And to think that Tom had invited Tim to address the conference in Cork! Rich!

And to think that Tim's lawyers would harass someone who's doing his best to make a living in the land that the O'Reilly's had to flee because of colonial-induced poverty is too rich! This has all the elements of comedy and tragedy. I see a flood of articles, blog postings, TV reports featuring Tim vs. Tom advancing.

  Ian McAllister [05.26.06 05:46 AM]

Good post Brady. A PR black eye, to be sure, but rational minds will understand that the service mark you applied for was scoped appropriately and O'Reilly has legitimately created value worthy of protection in the conference context.

On the bright side, if the term Web 2.0 gets overused you can always version it.

  Chris [05.26.06 05:59 AM]

For the people who say "chill out", how would you feel if the same situation were to happen with service marking "CSS", so only one company could have a CSS Conferece? Sounds silly doesn't it? Same goes for Web 2.0 now that it's a common term.

Aside from that I will say that we do need to keep in mind Tim O. != O'Reilly BigCo. Companies, and their legal teams, have a certain inertia that can't be controlled by one person, even the namesake. Tim himself has done a lot for the community and I'm sure he's not out picking victims for the next C&D of the day.

  Bob Aman [05.26.06 06:00 AM]

Now, obviously, IANAL, so I don't know how valid this suggestion is, but it seems to me that one way to make everyone mostly happy, would be to grant all of these conferences license to use the "Web 2.0" phrase in their names if they agree to note on all registration materials (including the registration websites) that the conference in question, is, in fact, not the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Conference. Seems to me that that should deal with the issue of defending the Service Mark, plus the conferences get to keep their name, and O'Reilly gets to keep its reputation, and everyone can chalk the whole fiasco up to an overzealous legal department who has the significant advantage of being generally faceless.

But then again, IANAL, and I have no idea whether that's a valid option or not.

  Ted Shelton [05.26.06 06:00 AM]

Who has filed for a trademark on Web 3.0?

  Jonathan [05.26.06 06:05 AM]

Lets see this fiasco is now

Alienating you customers
Appearing Hypocritical
Acting like just another bunch of greedy litigious jerks

Throw away all the good will you have built up in the tech community, squander it.

Damage your own image, have a PR black eye and all for what
claiming ownership of a silly limited life span phrase

Way to go !

  /pd [05.26.06 06:11 AM]

Oh I was going conducting a web2.0 conference in my basement. Beers and snacks were going to be free.. Now should I BOGU and charge my buddies because , I 'll be getting a C&D letter ??

Yeah, just kidd'en. ANyhoot to some more serious business...

They say : "Web 2.0 was coined when we were brainstorming the concept for the first conference"
I say : "Capitalize Vulture's coin stuff under the open source paradigm"
They say :"Web 2.0" as our service mark, for conferences. It's a pretty standard business practice"
I Say : "Tell that too a Joe Blow who wants to run an ajax /Ruby on Rails web2.0 Conference"
They say :"Web 2.0," which the law says we must take "reasonable steps" to protect. "
I say : "Please quote Article and Section and previous docket# wherein which the law as enforced"
They say :"sent from CMP's attorney, but with our knowledge and agreement"
I say : "Agreed ?? Which planet are you on ?? "
They Say L"In retrospect, we wish we'd contacted the IT@Cork folks personally and talked over the issue before sending legal correspondence"
I say: "In retrospect, please contact CMP and inform them to withdraw the letter"

We are in the Attention, Intention and Reputation Economy
Attention : Granted, you got you 15 minutes of Fame
Intention : Oh, it's openly come out- you just want to squeeze the balls of just anyone to make money.
Reputation: What reputation ?? you have none now !!

  eh [05.26.06 06:13 AM]

i demand (DEMAND!!) that you immediately cease using the term Web 2.0. i claim prior art. case in point: i used the term Web x for x in a certain set of real numbers (a trade secret) and therefore you are in BLATANT violation of _MY_ "service mark". how you like them apples, baby? how's it feel to be a rolling stone?

my counsel, dewey cheatem and how PLC will be in touch with you. GOOD DAY, SIR.

  bloJo [05.26.06 06:13 AM]

You guys are losers. Shake your heads and go have a long weekend. Start up next week with a new idea please.

  anonymous [05.26.06 06:27 AM]

sorry guys, web 2.0 to Web 100.0 and all the dot releases in between have been registered by none other ;)

  jbm [05.26.06 06:31 AM]

I say we start using "Web++"

  Brendan O'Connell [05.26.06 06:34 AM]

A win - win would be to have Tim ask someone to attend and contribute to it@cork Web 2dot0 half day Conference on 08 June.

  PJ at KnowingArt [05.26.06 06:49 AM]

I guess we can move on to Web 4.0 now.

  backfire plus [05.26.06 06:57 AM]

You shouldv'e trademarked "Web 2.0 conference" not web 2.0 - you'll never get awarded a TM for that. At least I hope you don't. Yes, this will backfire even more so especially if you attempt to claim the name for anything that is not conference related.

  plus [05.26.06 06:59 AM]

Business 2.0 mag should fight you

  Hans Omli [05.26.06 07:01 AM]

An Open Letter to Tim O'Reilly

May 26, 2006

Borrowing the words you once wrote to Jeff Bezos, we now write to you in strikingly similar fashion to request that O'Reilly Media, Inc. cease all attempts to prevent others from using the term "Web 2.0" for any purpose including "arranging and conducting live events, namely, trade shows, expositions and business conferences in various fields, namely, computers, communications, and information technology" and "organizing and conducting educational conferences, tutorials and workshops in the fields of computers, communication and information technology." It is our belief that this trademark application should and will not be accepted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and further, that even were it ultimately found valid, such trademarks serve only to hold back further innovation in this industry.

Web 2.0 is a clever marketing slogan. However, the trademark application fails to meet even the most rudimentary tests of genericity. Web 2.0 has clearly become generic, as evidenced by the more than 79 million search results found via Google for the term in question. It is clear that in the minds of a substantial majority of the public, the term �Web 2.0� denotes a broad genus or type of product and not a specific source or manufacturer as was claimed in the cease-and-desist letter sent to IT@Cork.

We believe that the rapid innovation on the World Wide Web and Internet platform that has created so much new value for the public (as well as for O'Reilly Media, Inc and its shareholders) will be choked off if companies that the short-sighted rout of claiming trademarks on terms that have become commonly accepted as generic in nature in an attempt to keep competitors from using them. Ill-advised trademarks and other attempts to limit the use of generic web terms for private advantage have put the whole software development and standards process into a precarious state.

We urgently request that you clarify your intentions with regard to trademarks, and avoid any attempts to limit the further development of what has become known as Web 2.0 applications or any part of the industries surrounding them.

Hans Omli

Note: While I don't intend to ask others to sign a petition at this point, I expect you will agree that 10,000 would be an easy milestone given the tremendous outcry across the blogsphere. Suffice it to say, I would expect much less than five days. We look forward to your open conversation with the community.

  Chris Edwards [05.26.06 07:11 AM]

CMP/MediaLive and, indeed, O'Reilly seem confused. The USPTO database clearly shows an application for Web 2.0 being made in late November 2003 as a trademark for events. Yet, the following year, MediaLive was claiming that the longer, and arguably fairer, version was the claimed trade or service mark:

"MediaLive International, Web 2.0 Conference, … and associated design marks and logos are trademarks or service marks owned or used under license by MediaLive International, Inc., and may or may not be registered in the United States and other countries."

Even today, the service mark noted on the conference’s website is for Web 2.0 Conference (not just on the phrase ‘Web 2.0′). If you believe CMP owns an enforceable trademark or service mark on Web 2.0, why has CMP, MediaLive and O'Reilly persisted with the illusion that Web 2.0 Conference was in fact service-marked?

  mark evans [05.26.06 07:37 AM]

the real value of "web 2.0" for o'reilly is not a trademark by the cache associated with him being seen as one of the web 2.0 thought leaders. you would think someone with his foresight would realize this reality. if, at the end of the day, o'reilly gets the web 2.0 trademark and starts to enforce it, some of the goodwill he's built up over the past 2+ years will start to disappear. it may be a good business move but it's flawed strategic move.

  Josh [05.26.06 07:41 AM]

Thanks for the info...I will make sure to avoid anything O'Reilly related in the future.

  Anonymous [05.26.06 07:42 AM]

Oh no! You mean I can't use a meaningless, superficial marketing buzzword without OReilly's approval??? How awful!

Next you're going to tell me I can't talk "synergy" or "the blogosphere" -- what are we going to do?

  John McCormac [05.26.06 07:49 AM]

Registering an application for a US trademark or service mark is a US application not an Irish or an EU application. Until there is a valid Irish or EU service/trademark, IT@Cork would be well within their rights to tell you and CMP to go procreate with yourselves.

But it is the sheer hypocrisy of the issue that irritates many of us here in Ireland. For all the guff about One Click Patents, here is something even more dubious and reprehensible - trying to claim intellectual property in what is now a common term.

Once, the O'Reilly marque stood for something. It identified with the free and inventive spirit of Open Source. Not any longer.

  Alistair MacDonald [05.26.06 08:02 AM]

You must recognise that "Web 2.0" is a nickname that you gave to something and not a brand you created. Although I accept you potentially have a claim to the name few will believe you have a moral claim over it.

I would urge you to consider what your actions will do to your image and trustworthiness among the Internet community, and what impact this will have on your sales and the willingness of other authors to work with you.

By the way I am laying claim to the name of Web 4.0. In my mind it is kind of like Web 2.0 excluding anything that could get me sued. Please not that I have skipped Web 3.0 to avoid confusion with Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 Layer III. :-)

  Dennis Howlett [05.26.06 08:03 AM]

Take one bullet, apply to brain. Seriously though, I note Tim says: "Sara Winge, our VP of Corporate Communications, asked me to post this" - are you not your own person?

  Roo Reynolds [05.26.06 08:03 AM]

[...] I can�t help thinking that O�Reilly are victims of their own success here. Like it or not, �Web 2.0″ has stuck pretty well as a term. Protecting their Web 2.0 conference while still hoping to keep it in popular use is going to be a difficult line to walk. [...]

  Yagiz [05.26.06 08:06 AM]

Dude! Watch out! I have a pending patent on the word "Blogosphere"! But you seem like a nice guy, :) I'm going to let you go without a fine this time...

  Joe Doe [05.26.06 08:09 AM]

Fuck you O'Reilly for being such a scum. The real Web 2.0 community will bring you down.

  Dave G. [05.26.06 08:11 AM]

This just made the front page of Slashdot. I predict a full-on O'Reilly surrender within 24 hours. (Not like the weasly crap in this post.)

Hey Tim! Your customers all hate your guts! What do you think of that?

  ann [05.26.06 08:12 AM]

Are you the same Yagiz who made the comments in

You're not doing your company any favors with your responses

  Bill [05.26.06 08:19 AM]

Much Ado about nothing... The trademark/service mark is the entire phrase. No one has restricted rights to use Web 2.0. So about 90% of what is being said here is an enourmous waste of time and energy, probably on time paid by someone else.

As is often the case in these threads, a lot of folks speak without knowing what it is they speak of and make a mountain out of a molehill to appease their own egos. We need a new filter to detect and eliminate this but then that probably wouldn't be web 2.0'ish.

  Nathan [05.26.06 08:23 AM]

This is truly amazing -- I am so disappointed with the O'Reilly folks over this embarrassingly petty and unneeded legal spat. In an age and day when increasing litigation threatens technological innovation and creativity, it's a shame that a reputable computer book company have descended to this level. Shame on you. I used to prefer purchasing O'Reilly books, my own way of supporting your business and ethics. However, from now on, I'll consider you no less ethical than anyone else. Congratulations, you've just lost a loyal fan.


  Marc Hedlund [05.26.06 08:41 AM]

I'm completely biased on this question by my friendship with Tim and my former role at O'Reilly. But I wanted to say: I earned that bias by admiring the way Tim and the other O'Reilly employees -- including Sara -- work more than any other company I can think of. Tim tries harder -- too hard, sometimes -- to find the right thing to do in questions like these than you would imagine. Even still, sometimes everyone makes mistakes, and if Tim comes to conclude that this was one, I'm sure he'll say so. Likewise, if he listens to all of the above comments and more, and decides that this was still the right choice to have made, he'll say that, and argue for it strenuously, too. How many companies can you expect to see act that way, in any industry?

If you have reason to doubt that Tim will try to find the right path, argue for it, and then follow it in the way he acts, go read Search Engine Spam?, an earlier controversy on this blog. You'll see that Tim heard complaints from people on the net about an O'Reilly business relationship, that he thought long and hard about what to do about it, and then argued clearly and articulately for his decision. That decision cost O'Reilly a lot of money, but Tim stuck with it because he felt it was the right thing -- and got right on the phone with Google to tell them what he thought they should do about it, too.

I admire Tim more than just about anyone I've worked with or known, period. There are some legitimate complaints and points in the comments above and elsewhere, but I reject the personal aspersions on Tim. At least let him read what people have to say, and consider it and respond, before you start talking about book-burning. You may not agree with his conclusions, but you'll have every chance to see why he arrived at them.

-Marc Hedlund

  Alan [05.26.06 08:45 AM]

We're well along planning our conference in
October, 2006, "Web 3.0" (tm). You just won't believe how stunningly cool Web 3.0 concepts

  Anonymous [05.26.06 08:46 AM]

I must have woken up in a parallel universe today. I can't believe this even happened. web2.0 is trademarked??? O'Reilly are you serious? Someone has been drinking too much hype-cool-aid.

  bob2.0 [05.26.06 08:50 AM]

By never using Web2.0 with the qualifying (tm) or (sm) gives this an air of deception.
O'Reilly has really promoted this terms generic use without revealing his Trademark.
Now it is a widely used generic term they are trying to monopolise conferences and education.
This is quite clear from the sequence of events and claiming Tim is a nice guy some lawyer did it.
To save face Tim will no doubt donate this term to the public domain, but the really sneaky way this was put over on the community will never be forgotten.

  Patrick [05.26.06 08:57 AM]

Bad call. Should have waited for Tim to get back before addressing this. Despite the current hoopla, a simple note that Tim would be back after Memorial Day to make a statement would have been better than a canned corporate response, no offense Sara. The C&D and this post just smacks of oppressive legal manuevering and very uncharacteristic of O'Reilly. If Adaptive Path makes a similar move on "AJAX", we need to move on to Web 3.0 - this is BS.

  Bill [05.26.06 08:57 AM]

It is not possible to protect the trademarking of terms that have become common usage. A case could be made that Web 2.0 is one of those terms. The application for Web 2.0 has been made and is currently published for opposition by the USPTO. Anyone can file to oppose the granting of this trademark. So stop whining and file an opposition if it will make you feel better.

  Daniel [05.26.06 08:57 AM]

Would everybody be equally upset if I arranged a "Where 2.0 half-day Conference" and O'Reilly came down on me? I guess not.

Still the only difference is that the "Web 2.0" term has catched on. "Where 2.0" is made up of equally generic terms, but is not widely used in other contexts.

The comparison with LinuxWorld might have been better if you spelled out the copycat conference like this: "The Linux World Conference". Just generic words (save Linux) still close enough to the original as to create confusion. I wouldn't find it very surprising if LinuxWorld was upset about that. (But "The World Conference on Linux" would be alright in my opinion.)

O'Reilly obviously isn't trying to prevent others from arranging conferences on "Web 2.0", nor from using it to discuss the phenomena. They are simply trying to prevent others from branding their conferences to similar to their own.

  Don [05.26.06 09:12 AM]

Open Web
It's not Web 2 it's not Web 3 its Open Web and it's happening regardless of any name.
bye bye Web 2.. roll on Open Web oh yea, that term is not going to unleash a raft of lawyers on anyone either

  Julien [05.26.06 09:13 AM]

Bad call. Should have waited for Tim to get back before addressing this. Despite the current hoopla, a simple note that Tim would be back after Memorial Day to make a statement would have been better than a canned corporate response, no offense Sara. The C&D and this post just smacks of oppressive legal manuevering and very uncharacteristic of O'Reilly. If Adaptive Path makes a similar move on "AJAX", we need to move on to Web 3.0 - this is BS.

Agreed. This really did not help the PR of the company. Though O'Reilly came up with an innovative conference title in 2003, three years later the term was a commonplace buzzword. One that describes something in no way affiliated/related to O'Reilly; much as the "Internet" is a term that has very little to do with Syngress Publishing.

It is unfortunate that there was such fierce backlash (and trolling), but the reply really failed to address what the community was so upset about to begin with.

  Dave! [05.26.06 09:18 AM]

Incredibly stupid, stupid move.

First, CMP Media already *registered* "Web 2.0" in 2003...

Second, the way people are using "Web 2.0" doesn't associated it with ORA... it's well on the way to generic town, population unregisterable.

Third, ORA just bought a metric a**load of bad will in the web community.

Way to go, Tim, Sara and Brady! Not only are you on shaky legal ground, you've alienated the very community you want to market to! Whoo-hoo!

  Hashim [05.26.06 09:34 AM]

I absolutely did not know Web 2.0 had anything to do with Oreilly.

  Michael Judge [05.26.06 09:35 AM]

I have twelve O'Reilly books. I'm not buying any more. This is fucking bullshit.

Who gives a shit if you were there first? You're still assholes who are enforcing a pending servicemark on THE NAME OF AN INDUSTRY.

  WEB 2.0 Spirit [05.26.06 09:37 AM]

I suggest that you shove it up on your ass, you greedy motherfuckers.

  tyler [05.26.06 09:41 AM]

When will companies learn this kind of behavior gives the public a very negative view of the company as a whole? Never probably, there's too many greedy people sitting at the tops of all these companies trying to make money off a term that's been widely adopted by the internet community as a whole.

boo O'Reilly!

  Roger [05.26.06 09:46 AM]

It was obviously a poor decision by O'Reilly to go down this route. It's easily fixed.

Tim:"We made a mistake"
Sara:"I made a mistake"

Hey, we all make bad judgment calls from time to time.

Then we can all look forward to attending "The O'Reilly Web 2.0 Conference". The only frustrating thing is waiting while the key decision maker is on vacation.

The upside is that it has brought attention to the award winning Tom Raftery and the Web 2.0 conference (:))in Cork. I'm looking forward to Tim and Tom having a laugh about it on Tom's Podleaders site.

  Kimberly Lazarski [05.26.06 09:47 AM]

You know, I think it's high time that Oreilly tastes its own medicine. Looking over their various book titles, I see many, many egregious trademark infringements. Oreilly should not be allowed to publish books entitled "The Mac Tiger Server Black Book," "All About Your iPod Photo," "AppleScript in a Nutshell," "Crossing Platforms A Macintosh/Windows Phrasebook," "Mac OS X V.10.2 Jaguar Book," "Degunking Linux," "Hack Proofing Sun Solaris 8," and may other titles they chose which obviously flagrently misappropriate others' IP.

Can you imagine if Tim Berners-Lee acted the way Oreilly did, by popularizing the terms "Web" and "world wide web" and waited until they were ubiquitous and threatened to sue those who sponsored events and projects which supported his invention? It would have been inconsciable.

Can you imagine what would have happened if Bjarne Stroustrup handled the C++ service mark the way O'Reilly handled Web 2.0? We'd still be using primarily COBOL or BASIC or possibly C, and object oriented application would have taken a lot longer to catch on due to the limited dissemination of information on the matter. Of course in the "Web 2.0" case (let's face it: it's just a rejuvination and extension of DHTML design techniques) it's seeming to me that O'Reilly is intending to corner a monopoly on documenting those techniquesm because if a PHB (or professor) is looking at technical books his programmers (or student) want/need to buy, he's of course going to learn toward "Web 2.0" entitled publications rather than "AJAX" or simply "Javascript" or "HTML" titles because manager types are often swayed by trendy buzzwords.

I can see O'Reilly's point to an extent; but that ought to have been clear up front that they did not want the term to become ubiquitous. Instead what they did was handle it like certain prior-art-patenting dirtbags practicing the "submarine patent" business practice (ref: Rim's Blackberry suit and recent payoff). It's dirty pool and O'Reilly has got to see that and admit that not only did they do wrong by handling the specific alleged "infringement" wrong, but the whole "Web 2.0" ordeal is flat-out wrong and belongs in the public domain now. Shame on you, O'Reilly, for using the submarine tactic.

Contrary to many marketers' belief, not all PR is good PR. Bad PR is bad PR and IT professionals often hold grudges forever, leading to either negative press, bad reviews, NO reviews, or product boycotts. IMHO you should do the right thing and apologise to the community at large, offer the mark "Web 2.0" under a creative commons license, and just let it go.

Now just a meta-comment: I found JP's post (dated 25 May 11:09) to be hilarious and great satire of the Web 2.0 ordeal, and to be fair to you folks at O'Reilly, you folks should be commended for letting posts such as that stand undeleted in this thread. It shows that you are listening to your customers.

  samurai-yh [05.26.06 09:51 AM]

The reason of confusion stems, as some before has pointed out, from the fact that the posting did not clarify exactly what was service marked.

If it is the word "Web 2.0", even if it is limited to conference use only, I think is a bad decision/move for O'Reilly, since the word itself is so generic and used in many occasions to define the category/purpose of the conference. It would anger many people, which will cause friction and O'Reilly will need to divert many resource to cope with such reaction. What's more, the move will be seen as counter to the real spirit of "Web 2.0" which O'Reilly has been in the center to advocate, and hurt your brand heavily.

If it is the word "Web 2.0 Conference" I think it is a reasonable action for for-profit company in order to secure their service brand, since it should be considered like a product name.

Having said that, I think it would of have been best for O'Reilly *not* to service mark this in the first place, and if possible, you should forfeit the right to do so.

The reason why I think that way is that most of the people who are your clients already know that O'Reilly is the center advocate and forward thinker to this phenomenon.

Many people understood what "Web 2.0" is through Tim's definition, and through O'Reilly's conference. You have already established stake in the word through your past action and efforts without going through any legal protection. I'm quite sure if some company other than O'Reilly claimed they were the first to coin the term, people would just laugh and dismiss such claim.

And let's face it, this word just defines just a step of internet evolution. I trust O'Reilly will work hard to explore the next aspect of internet and serve as the center of community.

Rather than alienating your allies/clients, why not be what you are, and let the people hail the wisdom?

  Darcy McGee [05.26.06 09:53 AM]

Damn. Now I'll have to tell the bred of super spiders that I'm raising to find a new name for their webs.

  Yagiz [05.26.06 09:57 AM]


I'm the one! The views that I express are mine and not my company's however I blog about the same idea in my companies blog as well.

I'm saying that Web 2.0 doesn't exist. And this whole thing proved that it is merely a service trademark now. I have the right to technically challenge people when they start to talk about how beautiful Web 2.0. But they cannot come up with technical satisfactory explanations.

I'm glad because thanks to this incident, people would understand that Web 2.0 is nothing but a strategic move from a greedy company...

And the link that you added contains just my reaction to someone who thinks that he talks the talk but who cannot defend their ideas when challenged. So, are you a Web 2.0 fan?

  Jane Doe [05.26.06 10:11 AM]

Tim is a wolf in sheeps clothing, always has been. As least now everyone knows it.

I'm so done with O'Reilly, I'll just buy books from Manning and Apress now. Screw the corporate companies. They only care about money, not community.

  Steve Pierce [05.26.06 10:19 AM]

I was once involved in a start-up that was threatened with legal action by O'Reilly. Tim talks a good game about being magnanimous, but he is ultimately a businessman who will protect what he thinks is his. In our case, it turned out there was no legal basis for O'Reilly's claim, but we spent several thousand dollars in legal fees to find that out. It was a lot of money to us at the time (still is). I still buy their books, 'cause they're just that good, but I wish he would practice what he preaches. It grates to listen to him.

  PK [05.26.06 10:19 AM]

O'Reilly spends so much time promoting the idea of open source and sharing that, regardless of protecting business marks, this seems incredibly disingenuous to me. On one hand it seems O'Reilly wants the IT world to be abuzz with references to Web 2.0 technologies and to identify them with the term "Web 2.0" and yet they don't want anyone else to use the term in the title of any conference, etc.?

Listen carefully Tim and company, this is the sound of someone who once believed in you quickly losing faith...

  Web Guy [05.26.06 10:31 AM]

Thanks a lot for clearing that up. You obviously have good intentions. [/sarcasm]

I'll never buy an O'Reilly book again.

  menneke [05.26.06 10:32 AM]

"Much Ado about nothing... ".
Thank you, Bill, for being the voice of reason.
O'Reilly, thanks for the books.

  Thomas Hawk [05.26.06 10:33 AM]

Get your own "Tim O'Reilly, Original Web 2.0 Asshole" graphic here:

It's Creative Commons licensed and all, feel free to use it all you like!

  fart 2.0 [05.26.06 10:43 AM]

Tim and cohorts,

why do you think US law applies in Ireland? In case you don't know where Ireland is, it is a rather nice country in Europe. You do know where Europe is, don't you? Ah well, you probably don't. I guess you think it is somewhere in Texas.

  Peter Boyd [05.26.06 10:47 AM]

Actually, the odd part is that your mark seems very descriptive and/or generic. I am suprised the trademark office or the opposing company has not simply filed to cancel your mark as its still within the five years after initial application.

  Marlboro [05.26.06 10:49 AM]

Web 3.0! Called it first!

  David Christoff [05.26.06 10:51 AM]

Wow, I just bought two O'Reilly books this week. I hope I still have the receipt.

  sirshannon [05.26.06 11:02 AM]

They let someone else use their service mark, doesn't that mean they are not vigorously defending it? And that they will lose it?

If the excuse for the letter was that they are required to defend the mark, then they have failed that requirement (giving up and letting the other conference use the mark is the opposite of defending it) and should now lose that servicemark.

Yes? No?

  Web 2.11 [05.26.06 11:10 AM]

Don't get too upset *yet*... It's not as if Tim O'Reilly initiated this, he's on vacation, is he not?

This is probably just one of those fuck ups by incompetent underlings/peons that exist in each and every company.

If Tim hasn't lost his mind, heads will roll when he comes back. Hopefully, starting with Ms. Sara Winge's. Sorry Sara, but surely you understand, it's a pretty standard business practice to get the pink slip when you screw up.

  Weave [05.26.06 11:12 AM]

Sara and Brady,

Your firm may have coined the term, and may (or may not) have the legal rights as denoted in your application to the USPTO, but the term is so widely used in ways not affiliated with CMP that it's the equivalent of trying to own the phrase "Marketing Conference". Is your conference revenue stream TRULY threatened by smaller conferences using a ubiquitous term? I seriously doubt it.

People aren't that stupid to confuse your conference with the rest, because brand value comes from more than one small phrase. In reflexively threatening IT@Cork, you guys have missed the boat on something a lot more valuable than the weak associative brand equity in the term "Web 2.0". You've violated the essence of the collaborative spirit behind the Web 2.0 movement, and flushed a tremendous amount of customer good will down the toilet.

Customers = revenue. You've lost so much more than what you tried to protect. It's a shame.

  belg4mit [05.26.06 11:19 AM]

I'm amazed by how many people even thought, let alone thought it was worth proclaimaing "this is anti-Web 2.0". As if "Web 2.0" were anything other than a buzzword in the first place. It's not like Wv2 is the GPL or something. Was this the best outcome? No? Is it the end of the world? Not by a long shot.

  John Smith [05.26.06 11:26 AM]

This is so sickening. I really despise you Tim O'Reilly and vow to never buy your books or attend your conferences. Go to hell !

  Paul Graham [05.26.06 11:27 AM]

I hope Tim gets back from his vacation soon, because this verbose brushoff is not going to cut it. You guys sound the kind of do-do-evil company you like to make fun of.

  Dave G. [05.26.06 11:28 AM]

Web 2.11 said:

Don't get too upset *yet*... It's not as if Tim O'Reilly initiated this, he's on vacation, is he not?

That reminds me of Andrew Carnegie's "vacationing" in Scotland while his partner H.C. Frick broke the Homestead steel strike. I don't buy it. If Tim O'Reilly is awake now, in whatever timezone he's in, he's fully aware of what's going on, and he's perfectly capable of making his own statement on the matter. In fact, he's probably read this post and many of the comments, and is at this very moment concocting a strategy for putting out this fire.

  Anonymous [05.26.06 11:31 AM]

Boycott O'Reilly! Fire Sara Winge!

  Stephen Gilbert [05.26.06 11:31 AM]

'In this case, the problem is that it@cork's conference title includes our service mark "Web 2.0," which the law says we must take "reasonable steps" to protect.'

If this was about protecting a service mark, would it not be easier for O'Reilly to simply give legal permission to it@cork to use the mark? This is also a "standard business practice", and they would post a notice to the effect that "Web 2.0" was your mark, used with permission. As it stands, this looks more like an attempt to bully other organizations that wish to hold conferences on "Web 2.0" topics.

  Sam [05.26.06 11:40 AM]

I think this "Tim is on vacation" statement is just an excuse.

It doesn't matter if Tim triggered the sending of that letter or just some underling or buiness associate (CMP). It was Tim who either hired the underling and set the corporate standards or who associated with that business. Tim made a decission, Tim should get his arse up and stand to it, instead of sending some underling into the fire.

  Jeff Bowman [05.26.06 11:40 AM]

Problem: Love the books, but hate the heavy-handed tactics of the company.

Solution: Buy books from another company.

Take your Web 2.n and shove it O'Reilly.

  William D. Neumann [05.26.06 11:41 AM]

I don't know why this is surprising to anybody. O'Reilly stopped being about interesting technology years ago, when they shifted instead to a model of making money on the same tired old buzzword tech everyone else was writing about.

It's no longer about what's good. It's about what makes the most money.

  Chris Edwards [05.26.06 11:43 AM]

Stephen Gilbert,

An excellent point, especially when the status of the mark in Europe is, as it stands, quite precarious. CMP applied to register the mark in Europe only in March this year. Events named Web 2.0 Something or Other have already taken place in various bits of Europe. Given that, CMP really needed to get people on its side to "understand" that the word mark was in the bag. That could have been done, as you say, by offering a licence. All done very nicely. So nicely, in fact, that nobody need have checked. Have a few events licensed in that way, CMP would be well on the way to being able to enforce the mark more aggressively.

One nastygram has undone that completely. I think it's one more indication (like marking the wrong phrase in other documentation) that indicates how much of a cock-up this has been, from start to finish. But, because of that, I doubt it's any meme-hijacking conspiracy.

  Chad H [05.26.06 11:43 AM]

Time for web 2.1 :)

  Stephen Gilbert [05.26.06 11:43 AM]

Also, if Tim's "off the grid" and unable to comment himself, how was he able to post this piece on the same day as Ms. Winge's post?

  Jessica Doyle [05.26.06 11:49 AM]

From what I understand "Web 2.0" is an idea. This idea is of sharing, tagging, linking, RSSing, Blogging, instant messaging, networking and Learning.

By taking "Web 2.0" for your own is akin to Walmart taking the happy face. Now where would we all be if Walmart suceeded in trademarking the happy face? Web 2.0 would have no more emoticons and that would be sad :(

  Chris Roberts [05.26.06 11:54 AM]

How does it feel to completely lose en entire community's faith and support with a single letter from some jackhole lawyer?


Nobody will believe you.

  Anonymous Coward [05.26.06 12:08 PM]

OK, ORA made a mistake, one that's made them look a bit silly and they'll probably lose some goodwill accordingly. But the self-righteous and hysterical baying of the slashdot crowd (it's soooo obvious when you guys discover a thread, the quality of the comments nosedive), it's just, just what? Well, it's just depressing frankly. Probably the best justification I've seen yet for raising the voting age to 35.

  Dave G. [05.26.06 12:09 PM]


Nobody will believe you.
Personally, I'm willing to forgive and forget if they come to their senses and do the right thing.

  Tim Almond [05.26.06 12:09 PM]

Dumb. Really dumb.

You as well as anyone, Tim, should understand the value of common currency. How "owning" standards eventually sees the death of them, because people seek openness.

Well, that term I won't use for fear of litigation is now officially dead. No-one will use it because of fear of litigation, and the spin-offs and coolness that coining the term brought you are now dead.

26th May 2006. The day that your company jumped the shark.

  Farker [05.26.06 12:13 PM]

From Fark message board

""Sara Winge": I regret to inform you that me and my legal team have applied for a service mark for the business term "Sara Winge." Me, my company -- Consolodated Holding Consortium, Inc. -- and our legal representation hereby "demand" (that's a legal term!) that you immediately cease-and-desist using our business term in any public forum. The term "Sara Winge" was coined in a brainstorming session from 2003 when we were trying to come up with a new brand name for our top-selling hemorrhoid balm. Any attempts to claim that the term existed prior to said brainstorming session are fraudulent and illegal. I'm sure you understand -- this is pretty standard business practice. The law compels us to take "reasonable steps" to protect our financial interests in "Sara Winge Hemorrhoid Ointment". Hopefully you'll agree to change your name before we ask a judge to issue an injunction against you prior to the launching of next month's "Sara Winge Is A Giant Hemorrhoid Conference."

Thank you for your cooperation. As you know we at the Consolodated Holding Consortium, Inc. are activists for open source and open standards, and opponents of software patents and other incursions of new intellectual property laws into the public domain.

  Matthew cooke [05.26.06 12:14 PM]

I think claiming this as a servicemark may have been a small tactical error :)

  MaoMao [05.26.06 12:24 PM]

Sara, this is what we call "Flack Catching."

Hope you get paid enough to stand up through it.

  Mick P [05.26.06 12:31 PM]

Is anyone else more than mildly disappointed that they own a bookshelf full of O'Reilly books after reading this? Anyway, mine won't get any bigger and I'll try to make sure none of my friends buy anythig from O'Reilly either.

  Fu Manchu [05.26.06 12:35 PM]

It's obvious that most of the people that have written comments here have never had original thoughts in their life -- and consequently, wouldn't have the foggiest idea of protecting one’s IP.

I’m a web app developer and I use the phrase at least 3 times a day, and I don’t see a problem here. They thought it up, it’s theirs. Get over it.

Hey and JP, while I appreciated the humor of your comments (they were really funny), you really show your lack of intelligence by taking this issue personal to the person who just posted the blog. From what I’ve heard, anal people tend to have hemorrhoids so I guess it follows suit that your pseudo company would be making a hemorrhoid cream.

  Joey [05.26.06 12:40 PM]

boy this makes you guys look terrible.

it's funny to me that the "web 2.0(tm) (owned and operated by o'reilly so please dont sue me for using this term)" community that you "named" is coming back to bite you in the ass. perhaps you better go back to the drawing board on this one. makes me wonder if you really understand the thing that you named. or rather if you just named something in order to make a buck off of it.

o'reilly and the organization has lost total credibility with me.

  Farid Hajji [05.26.06 12:42 PM]

Tim: I've been buying O'Reilly books since 1995 up to now; and I've been a very satisfied reader most of the time. I also used to recommend O'Reilly books to fellow co-workers and readers and to anyone who cares to listen.

After this incredibly ruthless heavy-handed legal stunt against a small non-profit (!) conf. organizer, who even invited you to participate; thereby promoting your own business... I'll still recommend O'Reilly books, because of their merit.

There's no reason to penalize the authors (I'm an author too) for the bad behavior of their publishers. After all, there's not so much they can do about it, isn't it? But I'll strongly recommend authors writing new books to AVOID O'Reilly in the future; until you make amends and PROPERLY and PERSONALLY apologize for this totally unacceptable behavior.

After all, who knows how you treat your own authors behind the scenes? As an author, I wouldn't want to be at the mercy of such a legal team! A lot of trust in your company has been burnt by this: no trademark whatsoever could compensate for this. Time to mend fences and repair your hurt reputation. Thank you.

  Fu Manchu [05.26.06 12:44 PM]

Ugh! your SOOOOO right Joey! who cares about the 1000s of books that come from O'reilly, they suck so bad now because of this!

Why, you should probably sell your whole library of O'reilly books on eBay! (just let me know if you do so i can buy them).

Shesh! O'reilly sucks now because of this? won't trust their books anymore because of this?

This is absolutely amazing to me.


  Nate [05.26.06 12:44 PM]

2 Words: For shame!

  Matt [05.26.06 12:46 PM]

Screw O'Reilly 1.0

That's my new servicemark. Go to hell greedy bastards!

  Adrian Holovaty [05.26.06 12:48 PM]

Hey, if this gets people to stop using the ridiculous, meaningless term "web 2.0," all the better!

  K from silicon valley [05.26.06 12:51 PM]

The first "Web 2.0" book was published in 1998, according to a link on Slashdot.

Granted, the concept of that book was that the old ways were getting stale, so new rules would bring back the magic, causing more users to join. And that everything was to be rethought and renewed after a big crash pulled down the original web.

Yup, completely different concept.

  Joe Hunkins [05.26.06 12:52 PM]

Sure there is irony here as Tim is the key guy teaching so many that 2.0 is about getting rid of rigid old age biz encumbrances rather than embracing them.

However if ANYONE can legitimately claim a right to "Web 2.0" it's Tim O'Reilly. He's the key spokesperson, has fostered and embraced the concepts of Web 2.0 through things like Foo Camp, Web 2.0 conferences, very insightful presentations, collaborations, and blogs.

  Cyrus [05.26.06 12:53 PM]

ever read the tipping point? we are the core group of trend-makers on the ill-treating us as a bunch of fools, you are assuring that O'Reilly will become the laughingstock of the web.

  Anonymous [05.26.06 12:56 PM]

"I suggest that you shove it up on your ass, you greedy motherfuckers."

Wow. Such a simple statement carries so much emotion.

  JP [05.26.06 01:04 PM]

I love watching this Chernobyl-sized PR disaster unfold in real-time. Great diversion on a lazy Friday afternoon before a long weekend. Thanks, Web 2.0!

  Jessica Doyle [05.26.06 01:05 PM]

I'm sorry O'Reilly. I got scared that I wouldn't be able to use the term Web 2.0 anymore. I'm just beginning to understand and learn about it.

from Fu Manchu.

I would politely like to bow out of this argument.

  Jon [05.26.06 01:13 PM]

In Cork, Ireland where the conference that started the whole issue is happening they have a great Slang word for what O'Reilly is

  Liam [05.26.06 01:14 PM]

This is a really weak response. US law does not apply in Ireland and by pretending to be all nice and grant them permission is stupid.

The C&D and your response to the web 2.0 community shows your true spirit; why do you even bother leaving a Creative Commons license on this page? If your going to be an evil corporation that bullys nonprofits please stop claiming to be all progressive and 2.0

  anonymous [05.26.06 01:14 PM]

omg, today isn't April Fools Day?

  Jon [05.26.06 01:26 PM]

I won't buy any o'reilly book in the future...

There is a lot of good publishers out there ^^

  Pinky [05.26.06 01:27 PM]

This does appear to be a brain-fart moment for O'Reilly and CMP. The ridiculous thing to do now will be to dig in your heels, screan about your rights, and offend everyone. Since lawyers are involved, and it will help generate fees, I expect that's exactly what you will do.

  Jon [05.26.06 01:28 PM]

Here's what one IP site defines a Service/Sales Mark (Sm) as doing

**Service marks protect the good will and reputation earned by businesses that have invested time, energy, and money in bringing quality services to the public**

And here's what you've done with you jackbooted legal posturing

You've gone and

1.thrown away the good will,
2.sullied your reputation
3. devalued your investment in time,energy and money

- jeez you should be a PR case study on how to screw up;

  Jon [05.26.06 01:29 PM]

Here's what one IP site defines a Service/Sales Mark (Sm) as doing

**Service marks protect the good will and reputation earned by businesses that have invested time, energy, and money in bringing quality services to the public**

And here's what you've done with your legal posturing

You've gone and

1.thrown away the good will,
2.sullied your reputation
3. devalued your investment in time,energy and money

- jeez you should be a PR case study on how to screw up;

  Jon [05.26.06 01:52 PM]


I always thought of oreilly as a geek-friendly, credible, high-standards company but this just blows that image out of the water.

I'd expect this kind of thing from Microsoft or SCO but wow, I never saw this coming from OReilly.

  Lux [05.26.06 01:53 PM]

People, drop the Web 2.0 tag, it's already obsolete. Call it Webware!

  Sam [05.26.06 01:56 PM]

Quick someone issue a patch for web 2.0 so it can be litigation-free.

Look for web 2.1 coming soon! It's patent/copyright/litigation free (well, until OReilly decides to make that a 'service mark' too).

  eduardoj [05.26.06 01:58 PM]

This is a spectacular, grade-A, prime example of a flame-out - I'm terribly glad there's such a large selection of quality publishers by this point. Didn't see this coming a mile away for ORA.. never in a million years.

  Search Engines WEB [05.26.06 01:59 PM]

A Web 2.0 Trademark may not be an ethical idea

That would be like Tim Berners-Lee or CERN - demanding that you drop the WEB from Web 2.0.

Supposed they disallowed any domain with the term "Web" in it.

  Brandon [05.26.06 02:02 PM]

I think that O'reily should used a less used term. Especialy when the term 2.0 comes up with the other key words of "event+exposition+conference" Over 400 Million times in Google. It seems as they have a lot of reasonable steps to take to defend that name.

Coke-a-Cola spends millions a year to defend Coke from becoming a household name. Is O'Reilly willing to do the same with the newest internet fad term?

BTW. Anyone know if there is going to be a FireFox 2.0 conference when FireFox 2.0 is released? Someone might warn Mozilla to go straight to a 3.0 release to keep the lawyers at bay.

  kosso [05.26.06 02:02 PM]

'Web 2.0' is dead. That's it. Get over it.

This was the final nail it needed.

Now, can we please all just get on with all creating great evolving web applications, systems and methods and not go about finding a way to create exclusion, pecking orders, dominance and further disparity.

Now, I love coining fresh nomenclature for things - just so I know what it is. It also helps explain things.

But I totally disagree that there is a Web1.0 and a Web2.0 - that should suggest a version upgrade.

All that happened is tools and systems have constantly evolved to achieve easier communication and distribution of opinion.

As a web developer for over a decade, I've always strived for better tools, user interface and user experience. Mostly so things get easier and I don't have to spend all day writing documents or explaining things. ;)

Just because a site uses Ajax methods or has a social networking aspect does not make it 'web 2.0' - it doesn't exist. All it means is you have devlopers who care about making things easier.

Sites which mash data together to create different recipes of existing data do/can provide a new way of looking at things, a different (and possibly broader) perpective, but is it a 'web' upgrade? I don't think so.

OK. So who *owns* the terms 'Web 3.0'. ..4.0, 5.0, tc...???

Maybe someone has just the digits?

  Paul -V- [05.26.06 02:05 PM]

You just guaranteed that no matter what form the internet takes in the future, it won't be called Web 2.0.

Talk about killing your golden goose!

  Andrew [05.26.06 02:08 PM]

Is ORA staffed by a bunch of cretins? Really.

ORA have profited on the back of Linux, Perl, Apache, MySQL, Postgres, Javascript, HTML and you don't own any of those SMs. For the sake of trying to screw over a not-for-profit you've gone and lost respect and probably a few million $'s. Hope it was worth it. And don't say "we're letting them use the name this year" - the truth is that's only because of your trying to save face.

Fucking pathetic. Drop your legal eagles, drop your PR and you might just have a hope in hell in getting some respect back, because right now you're an object lesson in how to throw it all away.

  Lance Fisher [05.26.06 02:12 PM]

It's nice that you let them use the name this yearso they don't have to worry about all of this in addition to planning the conference, but you should quit laying claim to the term (even if only in conference titles) or it will die and so will your company's reputation.

  Steve [05.26.06 02:18 PM]

Oh no, you can't say Web 2.0 anymore. Whatever will you do? Oh yeah, stop using such a stupid term.

  Alasdair Allan [05.26.06 02:27 PM]

I'm willing to give Tim a break if he's on holiday. But considering this is all over the web now, it even made the front page on Slashdot for heaven's sake, I expect him to not be on holiday starting from first thing tomorrow morning.

I'm also hoping for some sort of personal statement to the affect of, "My lawyers are idiots and have been fired, and the people at the office who tried to handle this without my input have been hit with a clue bat".

Did everyone at O'Reilly who had a clue, or any sort of power to make decisions, take the weekend off? I mean, I wouldn't really expect this from Nat or some of the others either.

  JW [05.26.06 02:34 PM]

This is utterly ridiculous, and a ludicrous response.

You 'give' (inflict) the term Web 2.0 to the Internet, encourage them to use it then a couple of years later come back and try to extort money from them for using it.

I've just cancelled my subscription to Make - I will not support a company that acts like this.

  philster [05.26.06 02:34 PM]

First it's Sony and the rootkit fiasco, then Google seems to start Being Evil, and now yet another icon of the computer age falls into disrepute.

But perhaps I am just cranky, hauling a couple of hundred pounds of O'Reilly books down to the recycle bin hurt my back.

  (8?� [05.26.06 02:34 PM]

Vindicated at last!!!

Never again will I have to endure blank stares when I describe the evils of this company, and the damage that IP companies inflict upon mankind.

Owning an identity is one thing, claiming to own an idea is quite another altogether.

I knew you folks would show your true colors to the world you pretended to represent, given enough time.

Once enough of these mental prisons are illuminated for what they really are, perhaps then the open source free-market revolution can begin in earnest.

Until then, we get to watch these evil do(good)ers continue to claim to own our thoughts, while defending their actions as being for our own good.

FWIW, I'm all for protecting the creators of IP. Thing is, I've yet to ever see any. So far, all I see are derivatives. This message included.

  Kevin Burton [05.26.06 03:12 PM]

Funny thing...

I own (O'Reilly's main Web 2.0 conference site is

If anyone wanted to setup their own Web 3.0 conference or even run a parody site on the URL I'd be happy to oblidge :)

All in good fun of course :)


  Anonymous [05.26.06 03:19 PM]

And I quote, from Tim O'Reilly Himself, "... the Web 2.0 meme has become so widespread ..." How do you apply for a trademark on something like that?!

Quote taken from

  Anonymous [05.26.06 03:39 PM]

This is breaking the faith. I liked the fact that O'Reilly books seemed to be coming from a small company that had one foot in the community. But if O'Reilly has turned into another megacorp with enough cash to pay lawyers to molest harmless people on technicalities, it'll be a while before I buy another book from them. I understand the need to protect trademarks, but "Web2.0" can in no way be considered specific enough to be trademarked, particularly since, by definition, people must have been using the term before O'Reilly/CMP built a conference around it.

  Potter Colonel [05.26.06 03:40 PM]

Maybe we can take a page from Tim himself and just reverse the tag, turning it into "2.0 Web". You know, like stealing a famous character's name from a long-running TV series and doing just that, hoping to avoid some sort of law suit.

  K from silicon valley [05.26.06 03:42 PM]

Alasdair Allan-

This upcoming weekend is the first major summer holiday in the US, so its quite likely he could be fully offline. Many people take today (Friday) off to make it a nice 4 day holiday.

And as everyone else is taking the weekend off too, then nothing much can happen during those 4 offline days... no worries.

  JP [05.26.06 03:51 PM]

Sara: Hi Tim, how's your vacation going?
Tim: Pretty good. What's up Sara?
Sara: Um, well, remember that idea I had to sue non-profits for cash?
Tim: Yeah.
Sara: And remember how I told you I was good at PR?
Tim: Mmm-hmm.
Sara: Yeah, well...hmm, let's see, how to put this? There's a bit of a "situation" developing here.
Tim: Don't worry about it, Toots, I'll have facilities fix the coffee-maker first thing Monday morning, as soon as I get back.
Sara: No, no, it's not about the coffee-maker.
Tim: So what's this about?
Sara: Well, remember when Michael Brown got that FEMA job for which his only qualification was being a colossal failure at raising Arabian horses?
Tim: Yes.
Sara: And remember how I told you that I had some PR experience but you never checked my references because we were sleeping together at the time?
Tim: Yes.
Sara: Well, I've never actually "done" PR. My most recent position was cleaning the Arabian Horse stables for Michael Brown.
Tim: Are you saying you've Katrinaed us?
Sara: Yes. And I've done a "heckuva job" of it.

  whome [05.26.06 03:52 PM]

May Tim O'Reilly wake up to the terrible spectre of Tuttle, Oklahoma's city manager standing at the foot of his bed - and Tim is stuck with him as a permanent houseguest. Even worse... that city manager constantly expects Tim to fix something.

(Google for CentOS and Tuttle if anyone is missing a clue)

  JP- that was hilarious! [05.26.06 04:22 PM]

I'm so glad I made it down to the bottom of the comments!

  Bored Already [05.26.06 04:43 PM]

OMG!!! When did the meteor slam into the earth killing all life? Oh wait, it hasn't. Let me take stock here. Sun will come up tomorrow (Check). Family and friends still here (Check). Neighbors dog still chasing my cat (Check). So what the hell is the big deal. O'Reilly made a business decision. Life goes on! Is this really going to affect the quality of our lives? Is the bank going to forclose on my house? Is my doctor going to tell me I have some terminal disease?

Lets keep life in perspective. If this is really the biggest thing we have to rant about then things must be pretty damn good. Some of us might be being a bit obsessive and working ourselves into a stroke or heart attack.

Frankly, I will spend my energy enjoying life and my family. Don't get me wrong. Our technological society is wonderful and benefits us all. But give me a break, the term "Drama Queen" comes to mind reading some of these posts. Take the razor away from your wrists and put down the spiked KoolAid! Now get off the freakin' soapboxes and spend some time with your kids or your spouse.


  American Engineers [05.26.06 05:07 PM]

guess what? young american engineers can no longer afford a house. or a dog for that matter. Were sick of it. Were sick of being lied to. You mess up once and we'll bite your face. UBM, who ownes CMP media, is a huge multinational conglomerate. The kind that mess with our medical system and ensure cheap labor in third world countries. Sorry your, lets just get back ta livin'! BS doesnt go very far. O'Reilly lost his credibility. For Good. NEXT!

  ben [05.26.06 05:08 PM]

There's no question of apologising for their heavy-handed approach -- either they're going to go this route or they're not. Bleating on about "oh, we're so sorry, we should have talked to them" but not budging on the substantive issue is a waste of energy. Either you're going to be restrictive, evil IP-squatting parasites or you're not. Don't say "oh, we're sorry" and KEEP DOING IT.

  dave cormier [05.26.06 05:11 PM]

might i add my fury.


there. thanks for listening.

  Andrew [05.26.06 05:36 PM]

"Frankly, I will spend my energy enjoying life and my family."

How fascinating.


  Tony Blake [05.26.06 06:09 PM]

You're a fucking useless ----...

Take your Web 2.0 and shove it up your arse.

I will make it my life goal to rip-off O'Reilly books and distribute them widely...

[Ed. note: removed one of the seven words you can't say in kindergarten (replaced with dashes).]

  anonymous [05.26.06 06:14 PM]

Folks this is getting out of hand. What's the big deal?

If people wanted to use Web 2.0 freely then they should've come up with the name themselves.

There's no free lunch!

  John McCormac [05.26.06 06:26 PM]

"If people wanted to use Web 2.0 freely then they should've come up with the name themselves."

Quite so!

  Brad DeLong [05.26.06 07:02 PM]

You don't have a clue how much damage you've done to your reputation, do you?

  anonymous [05.26.06 07:10 PM]

Yeah you're crazy dude.

  Nat [05.26.06 07:56 PM]

Good thing this blog has comments enabled. They're all so, er, productive.

  TO - Ticked Off [05.26.06 09:15 PM]

HOPE YOUR BOOK SALES DROP 25%, SO YOU CAN'T HIRE MORE LAWYERS. You did not HAVE to enforce your service mark on Web 2.0 -- you COULD HAVE JUST LET IT DIE for the good of the web.

  Anonymous [05.26.06 11:47 PM]

I have never thought that you people at O'Reilly are such lowlifes, but now i'm convinced. Shame on you, i really thought at least you people would have a sense on whats right and whats wrong. But it seems that you are like all others: All that counts is business. Big business.

  Liam [05.27.06 12:13 AM]

Tim, I can kind of understand your point here. As far as I can remember, you coined the phrase, and other people are now making money off the phrase that you coined (because they sure as hell couldn't fill as many seats by calling it "Modern Web Computing Conference"); you deserve a piece of that.

At the same time, I honestly think you're being a hypocrite. Around 2000 or 2001, copyrighted their "1-click technology", and there was a lot of outrage in the software development community, due largely to the fact that they basically took what was already out there in the market, made it slightly different, and defined it in such terms as to make it copyrightable. Your response was controlled disappointment. While you as a business man couldn't afford to pull your books from, you urged your customers to purchase their books from elsewhere.

I really don't think this is so different.

Is AJAX copyrighted yet? Good lord. What about LAMP? I really think this is one term that should be left in the public domain. Web 2.0 is all about community; don't take from that community its moniker.

If Tim or Sara (or anyone else from O'Reilly) reads this comment and would like to respond, I'd really welcome that. You know that O'Reilly flourishes on its great reputation in the developer community; don't forget that.

  bob roberts [05.27.06 12:15 AM]

Still a stupid trademark whatever your lame comms department spurts out. no more o'reilly for me.

  Don Crowley [05.27.06 12:23 AM]

Even from a pure commercial perspective "lets make money"... this is difficult to understand. Besides being very bad publicity and the fact that maybe the Adaptive path should actually be holding this patent, besides the fact that it seems to go against everything you championed in the past... Commmercially the more web 2.0 conferences there are (even outside the O'Reilly umbrella) the more book sales it will generate. What if someone had 'service marked' telephone 100 years ago.

  Mickael [05.27.06 12:27 AM]

I am ashame having so many books from O'Reilly, bastards.

  Robert G. Medford [05.27.06 12:29 AM]

Wev 2.0 is mine! All mine!! Oh, the sweet piles of green that can be made from typos--another standard business practice.

  Gillian Carson [05.27.06 12:42 AM]

Here is CMP's application for the trademark in the UK
It clearly states that they are applying for it in respect to conferences and events only.

My view is that they are well within their rights to try to protect their brand and the brand name of their conference. However, it's unlikely they will succeed (at least here in the UK). It's notoriously difficult to trademark phrases that are in wide use within the very industry that you are trying to operate. For instance we tried to trademark the word 'DropBox' for one of our products and it was denied because the term is a general phrase used in computing. I think we can safely say that Web 2.0 is the same.

  Web 2.0 now = Interaction Internet [05.27.06 12:48 AM]


I'm going to register it in the morning.....

  Rob [05.27.06 01:57 AM]

I predict this will be the last vacation Tim takes "off the grid"...

You run a company that does great things for the FOSS community for 20+ years and take _one_ freakin vacation and all hell breaks loose.

Never in the history of man has a company with so much goodwill, lost so much, so fast.

Tim will be a hero if he can straighten this out.

  ralph [05.27.06 04:23 AM]

I call prior art (thx John McCormac):
The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop.

Ironically, the defining trait of Web 2.0 will be that it won't have any visible characteristics at all.
from July 1999,
so it seems you did not invent the term.

  Michael Crowley [05.27.06 04:57 AM]

Just to give interesting direction to this whole controversy:

Why Tim O’Reilly cannot legally own Web 2.0??

  Anonymous [05.27.06 07:45 AM]

?como se dice "web numero dos y zero"

  Liam @ Web 2.5 Blog [05.27.06 08:09 AM]

Nat: "Good thing this blog has comments enabled. They're all so, er, productive."

I realize you folks are taking an unprecedented pounding, but a great many of the comments are indeed thoughtful or witty. Your team may find it productive to absorb how the community, in which you have invested so heavily, feels about the trademark issue.

  ykarj [05.27.06 10:16 AM]


  JOSEFO [05.27.06 11:02 AM]




  Gonzarelli [05.27.06 11:16 AM]

O'Reilly people:

You are loosing. Don't you notice it?
You are not going to win, the only winner will be the guys at IT@Cork who represent millions of people around the world who doesn't agree with you. It's insane to get infected by the Amazon (and it's "One-Click" feature) virus.

What if someone decides to put a "W E B 2.0" conference? Yes, with spaces between characters, or "WEB 2dot0"?

It's a shame that after years and years of excellent work and an increasing number of "fans" of your books now you come and do this to the community!

What a shame!

  Chris [05.27.06 11:17 AM]

I am disgusted that people I had respected so much would behave in this fashion. You are an absolute disgrace.

  Martinica [05.27.06 11:23 AM]

Where is your good reputation now?
Years of good work... and now what?
It's a pity...

  Tim Almond [05.27.06 12:29 PM]

"Good thing this blog has comments enabled. They're all so, er, productive."

I'll try and be productive, Nat. I suggest that instead of just posting sarcastic comments about how bad your customers comments are, you devote your resources to trying to understand what their grievances are.

It seems to me that you don't grasp just how big a PR disaster this is for O'Reilly.

  Ray Masa [05.27.06 12:34 PM]

How about calling it "The conference previously known as Web 2.0"?


  Anonymous [05.27.06 04:18 PM]

OMG - you guys need to get a life.

  Eddie [05.27.06 04:23 PM]


  Pete [05.27.06 05:03 PM]

Would you like to go to the next Web 2.0 Oreilly Conference?

No, thanks

  Brett [05.27.06 05:50 PM]

Uh oh. O'Reilly pissed off all the open source socialists whom just don't seem to get it. By nature a corporation can't truly embrace open source nor the dilution of intellectual property rights. They can only embrace it to the extent that it is profitable for their shareholders. Corporations exist to please shareholders. Period.

It's a guarantee a Google or an O'Reilly is eventually going to piss off their biggest fans as demagoguery inevitably gives way to pleasing investors. To get enraged over this is pointless. And if someone is going to stop buying O'Reilly, then what are they going to buy instead? Not that I care either way, but none of the other corporations are any different. The truly devoted will have to stick to one of those sh*tty wikis.

  Jason Kolb [05.27.06 07:34 PM]

Hey, did you guys hear that? That was the sound of your reputation committing suicide.

  Boris Anthony [05.27.06 08:29 PM]

"It's all about you!"
"We've done this for you all!"
"Web 2.0 is about YOU! The PEOPLE!"

You folks are too too much. Money will corrupt standards every single time.

  Anonymous [05.27.06 08:53 PM]

"And if someone is going to stop buying O'Reilly, then what are they going to buy instead?"

There are better options indeed.

"Not that I care either way, but none of the other corporations are any different."

Probably, but this one has made something really stupid, really, really stupid!

  Anonymous [05.27.06 10:42 PM]

Well these lawsuits explain why that awful "Web 2.0" term was coined in the first place.

Clearly the goal was to popularize the term, then start enforcing trademark status on it after it's popular... thus making you the only Web 2.0 people in town, just as Web 2.0 gets hot.

Whoever decided this was a good idea should be the first one up against the wall.

  D14852001neko [05.28.06 12:24 AM]

wow, I can't believe the beating the comment system is receiving, and.... how utterly disgusting the topic seems...

that been plain abusive... shame on you o'reilly

  chris b [05.28.06 02:55 AM]

this all sounds so Un-web 2.0.... think community, open source, mix and mash up, creative commons, api's and open web etc....

Isn't that what web 2.0 is all about, its a way of thinking. how can a way of thinking and acting online be trade marked???

some lawyer messed up big time!

c'mon Tim put it right.

  Paul Elosegui [05.28.06 04:37 AM]

This total radio silence from OReilly is another big mistake. When handling a PR incident, no communication in bad communication.

  Xig [05.28.06 05:49 AM]

Oh lordy, please rethink your strategy on this one. I'm sorely disappointed.

  pollington [05.28.06 07:45 AM]

I for one am delighted that the insular, back-slapping, naive it@cork/irish dev/IAA community have had their little wordpress powered bubble burst.

welcome to the real world Raf / Neylon / Connolly / Mulley et al.

  David Russell [05.28.06 08:31 AM]

Good luck getting the EU trademark. As Microsoft have found out, the EU doesn't take kindly to foreign corporations abusing its citizens.

  David Russell [05.28.06 08:37 AM]

'There's no free lunch!'

Well, Tim, I hope you remember that when your company fails and you're on the unemployment line. Being hated and profitable is possible for big corporations like Microsoft, but not for smaller, largely community-driven ones like yours.

  Humberto [05.28.06 09:54 AM]

First: I am not a programmer but a user but this doesn't stop me from noticing what you have done!

I felt respect for your books but now I feel some degree of rejection.

Just to let you know...

Hope you desist on this nonsense issue.

  Livia [05.28.06 10:30 AM]

This was a bad move. Totally.

I think the best thing is leaving the Web 2.0 to O'Reilly and go ahead, towards Web 3.0

And let's hope Web 3.0 won't die in this shameful way.

  Pablois [05.28.06 01:23 PM]

I think Web 2.1 would be better as it sounds like 2.0 but has that "I-don't-know-what" that can make Mr. Tim go mad ;)

  Antonio Vega [05.28.06 01:26 PM]

Yeah, this is a bad bad move...

  HR [05.28.06 04:08 PM]

1. coin a new name for an old technology
2. use it over and over as a common term while you're registering it as a trademark at the same time
3. send cease and desist orders
4. profit!! (?)

No one reads those comments anyway.

  Dan [05.28.06 05:28 PM]

Let's register "In a nutshell"...

  Baba O'Reilly [05.28.06 07:06 PM]


I have taken note of your comment.

"Good thing this blog has comments enabled. They're all so, er, productive."

If you were to actually _listen_ to the essence of the comments. you might actually learn something. It seems like the fine folks at O'Reilly have forgotten that the Customer is Always Right.

Good luck with your effort- you're going to need it.

  Fonzie [05.28.06 09:48 PM]

Dear O'Reilly sirs:
I believe it's a mistake what you have done and I also believe you have the intelligence to fix it.

  Pooh Pooh [05.29.06 04:41 AM]

I actually don't care about any of this.

What I do care about is those animals on the cover of O'Reily books being slaughtered.

No, actually, I don't about that either.

  David [05.29.06 11:42 AM]

Me thinks Tim's gonna be kicking some butt when he gets back off vacation and finds what you've done to his company's good reputation.

  Gareth Matthews [05.29.06 01:48 PM]

Sorry O'Reilly, you've lost me as a consumer of your rather excellent range of technical books.

I cannot stand it, when a large corporation feels that it can bully smaller companies into submission, knowing full well that they could not afford a legal challenge.

You may feel justified in this, whats next, are you trademarking Ajax as well?, Ajax being the more realistic term for what you coin as Web 2.0.

Oh and the definition you give of what exactly is Web 2.0 os mere flim flam.

I know my stance of no longer purchasing O'reilly products will barely make a dent in your bank balance, however if several thousand IT professionals take a similar stance, where would you stand then?

I say to all IT Professionals who feel upset by this stance, stand up and be counted, vote with your wallet.

  Mike Gale [05.29.06 01:56 PM]

Maybe this is "while the cats away the mice will play".

Several people wanted to grant you exclusive rights to
"Bonehead 2.x"
where x is any number on the real number line.

(We didn't have the money, time or motivation to go through the legal nonsense, but you're really skilled at that so we'll let you do it!!)

  Tyron [05.29.06 02:45 PM]

O'Reilly you've lost me as a customer!

  Anonymous [05.29.06 05:35 PM]

that Kevin guy with the IBM and Hallmark example was a hoot. Kevin, web 2.0 is not the same as 'Playtex' and 'Jamba Juice'. Think before you apply the word "branding" to anything. Web 2.0 is now a generic term not a proprietary moniker.

  Anonymous [05.29.06 08:24 PM]

Who cares? Web 2.0 is a nonsense term thrown about almost exclusively by the same kinds of people who fueled the last boom and crash. Using the ill-defined, nebulous, and ultimately meaningless term Web 2.0 defines you as a poseur.

  Carlos Ch. [05.29.06 09:10 PM]

O'Reilly... this was a stupid stupid decision...

  Kal [05.30.06 01:26 AM]

It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad deed to lose it.
–Benjamin Franklin.

  Johannes de Jong [05.30.06 01:46 AM]

When I first heard about this hard handed approach by O'Reilly I also though "Aah no not you too", but after reading Sara Winge's response where she apologized for the their hard handed action I had to think back about an "incident" that the JavaRanch had with Sun. The owner of JavaRanch Paul Wheaton was told by sun to drop Java from his sites name, whilst Paul's site has done more for Java, and indirectly Sun, than any other site on the web.

To make a long story short, it turned out that Paul was approached by an overzealous lawyer. Maybe it was the case here too??. At least O'Reilly did not hide behind the fact that it was a lawyer that got out of hand; they apologized for THEIR mistake and as such are taking full blame for their mistake.

I think that we should accept O'Reilly's apology, heck they have done a lot for all of us by publishing not only fantastic technical books but also great FREE articles which all of us have benefited from.

Come on all forgive and forget.

  John Smythe [05.30.06 03:33 AM]

Prior Art! Prior Art!

Now Marc, with its remove (cf. "[Added 27 May 2006 by Marc:] I deleted a comment that insinuated Tim is a child molester.") what's the real story on O'Reilly and children?

Just Kidding...

I've just applied for O'Reilly 2.0 and CMP 2.0 as a *service mark* for arranging and conducting live events, namely trade shows, expositions, business conferences and educational conferences in various fields of computers and information technology.

  Jaclyn [05.30.06 07:10 AM]

Let the O'Reilly page views and profits cease to exist! After the boycott, when the second Webolution is renamed, I hope Tim gives his sincerest apologies to the interweb.

  David Burdon [05.30.06 08:26 AM]

Web 2.0 is so old hat. Who'd want to own yesterday's hot property. By the way, I'm staking a claim to Web 2.1. You can keep Web 2.0.5.

  MikeM [05.30.06 08:50 AM]

Bad P.R. move IMO. It should have been viewed as a compliment that the small company wanted to use the term in their conference billing.
You could have asked them to use a disclaimer noting your service mark or asked them to do so in the conference literature. Web2.0 will give way to web3.0 and then what? You are holding the bag on the old term and end up looking very old and corporate which is sooo non-web2.0.

  jorge [05.30.06 11:11 AM]

this sucks
O'Reilly MUST make public his apologies

  George Machado [05.30.06 12:36 PM]

Have read the "O'Reilly perspective" to this case and doesn't convince me...

  Prescott Indigo [05.30.06 02:51 PM]

Given that your customer base is stacked with so many developers and so few lawyers, you must have foreseen how the developer community would react to this, no? You've worked so hard through so many venues to brand Web 2.0 as a technology 'of, by and for the people' that I'm at a loss to see the benefit of suddenly deciding to stake your claim in this way. Half your developers are flaming you and the other half are left worried about litigation over past, present and planned usage of the term 'Web 2.0.' (note to self: change all those tags!)

With 20/20 hindsight, it would have been better to brand the conference with some genuinely unique name -- as R. Mullen posted, we tend to use '2.0' in reference to the Next Big Thing in almost any context -- rather than hoping to snatch words right out of the conversation taking place at the core of the vision you've spent years evangelizing.

BTW - Brett (May 27, 2006 05:50 PM): I can think of a couple of companies which saw the need to sacrifice their customers in the hopes of pleasing their shareholders: Enron and WorldCOM.

  Matt [05.30.06 03:00 PM]

The lawyers at IT@Cork need only print out this blog, and associated comments, to provide arguments for one of skill in the art and industry usage.

Good idea, guys!

  somebritishperson [05.30.06 06:33 PM]

I am amazed at the stupidity of people. Who in the right mind would support a person like Bill O'Reilly.

  Mark [05.30.06 07:13 PM]

I celebrated when the Granny Goose potato chip company went out of business. Why? Because they sued the Granny Goose children's clothing store in Richmond, CA. after they copyrighted the name and sic'ed the lawyers on them. Never mind that the clothing store had been in business for decades and had nothing to do with food. It was a small shop owned by a grandmother that hand made baby clothing and didn't have the resources to go to court. Intel did the same to a small business in New York called Yoga Inside. Intel was a hero to me in the past because when I was in school, and microprocessors were new, they gave every student a complete manual set, which we used for text books. (It was a slick move, because we all used their product when we got out of school) Then they had to go get legal, copyright the Inside word, and attack a dinky little company that posed no threat whatsoever and didn't have the resources to fight back. (I now specify AMD processors for my customers. I hope AMD hasn't been doing evil things also). The point is that this type of corporate misbehaviour, while "legal", has consequences. One can only hope that this will hit O'Reilly in the one place they apparently care about most - the bottom line. They certainly won;t be getting any more money from me.

  Mathias [05.31.06 01:22 AM]

Well, I'd like to see the Creative Commons apply here ... or is the term "Creative Commons" a trademark? Sorry then folks!

  David Russell [05.31.06 01:28 AM]

Here's a Wiktionary definition for you (GFDL licensed of course - not everyone abuses intellectual property law like you do):

1. A layer of impurities that accumulates at the surface of a liquid (especially molten metal or water).
2. (derogatory slang) A person or persons considered to be reprehensible.

Number 2 might apply to your attempts to turn a generic term (dating back to 1999) into your property. By the way - the definition is of the word scum.

  Horst [05.31.06 05:06 AM]

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.[...]"
oh lord...

  Chief Elf [05.31.06 06:08 AM]

I just have one quibble to point out. Your article starts with "The bursting of the dot-com bubble in the fall of 2001 marked a turning point for the web."

Actually, the terrorist attacks on the U.S. by passenger jets was in the Fall of 2001. The burst of the dot-com bubble was in 2000, and the pin-prick that started letting the air out (MicroStrategy stock crash) was in the early months of 2000.

--My 2 cents.

  Klas K. [05.31.06 12:20 PM]

The web 2.0 community has created tremendous publicity to O'Reilly, and the use of web 2.0 as a concept has so far been beneficial to all parties. That is why, I believe, it is a strong concept. Is this the end of it? A really bad move.

"Sara Winge, our VP of Corporate Communications,asked me to post this". Web 2.0? Not.

  Mike Gale [05.31.06 02:40 PM]

I get it.

"Web 2.0" is dumb idea. We regret it. Kill it.

Clever and devious O'Reilly.

  Kelly Lohman [05.31.06 07:32 PM]

That was a total Microsoft move on your part O'Reilly. I hope it was worth the price of admission as this public court of opinion seems to be heavily taxing. Talk about one of the great paradoxes. For your next act, you might consider attempting to trademark the word "Freedom". Welcome to the blacklist, bye bye safaribookshelf and anything with a woodcut on the cover. I'm all for a mass adoption of a new moniker that signifies a continued movement away from companies like O'Reilly who always seem to lose focus after achieving certain levels of success, and for whatever reason start squeezing the life out of everything they can in the name of their own interests. How admirable of you O'Reilly to go ahead and "allow" a nonprofit company to use "your" conference calling card this one time. There ought to be a medal for that, how selfless! Have you patented "Web 3.0" yet? For when web applications fully jump outside the browser leaving the old page metaphor behind? With that in mind you might want to start thinking about coralling "Web 4.0" and so on just to cover all of your bases. Maybe if you can keep it up long enough, someday there will be a generation of people that will actually think you invented the Internet! Wow, at this rate you might actually supplant Microsoft in record time! The world has no place for soulless bloodsuckers like you, take your "Web 2.0" and shove it! For that's the last time that goddamned "service mark" will ever escape either my finger tips or lips. All hail Web 2.1, the beginning of the end of O'Reilly.

  Jaclyn [06.01.06 07:19 AM]

It's my suggestion that we move this comment thread elsewhere to prevent the O'Reilly bunch from retaining readers.

Since this Web 2.0 pending service mark is such a slap, slap back. And please do let me know where the thread continues.

  Buck [06.01.06 08:03 AM]

Hear hear, Mike Gale... someone else is onto it.. it's the only motivation I can see for O'Reilly doing this.

  Jaclyn [06.01.06 06:50 PM]

Please note, I've now posted a prelimary fact-check on O'Reilly Media, CMP and the Web 2.0 service mark.

  jack [06.02.06 11:02 AM]


  David Carter [06.02.06 11:34 AM]

Nice, take a movement that means "distributed web services, and syndicated content allowing each of us to have an equal presence on the Internet" and crush it by trying to own the term.

Hey Oreilly should try to TM the term "peace" and "freedom" too.

  incredulous [06.02.06 08:05 PM]

I have a suggestion that all non Oreilly/CMP conference events use the term "Web 3.0" in protest of Oreilly/CMP's claim on the "Web 2.0" trademark. Surely if given a choice, one would surely choose the "Web 3.0" conference over Oreilly's Web 2.0 one.

  robsv [06.07.06 06:10 PM]

It's happened: O'Reilly has jumped the shark.

  calcitrant [06.11.06 11:21 AM]

Ease up big company. Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

  T. Mueller [06.26.06 02:15 PM]

That's great stuff, folks :)

Well, if I look out the window, I see a book store on the other side of the street. And there are several books with a "Web 2.0" in the title - and they are not o'reilly-published.

Here in Germany, just caused by that fact - and at least if I'd show the results of a google search - any judge would laugh his ass off about the claim of trademark with that phrase, even just in the context of conferences - .

So, I'm getting very enthusiastic about organizing a Web 2.0 Conference in the moment - Just for the fun of the legal battle - and the faces of the lawyers :)

Sry, guys, but this is just ironic, no more

  Andy Chen [06.30.06 08:23 AM]

Let's forget the term "Web2.0" altogether.
There was no clear definition anyway. And with broadband connection so widely spread, emerging service such as Myspace or Youtube may go far beyond Web 2.0 like.

This is a perfect chance to forget the past and find the new term !

  mark [08.01.06 10:30 PM]

What gives people the right to prevent other people from using Web 2.0 in their conference titles? Especially since you didn't coin the term.

  Christopher Mahan [08.22.06 11:07 AM]


You wrote:


To protect the brand we've established with our two Web 2.0 Conferences, we're taking steps to register "Web 2.0" as our service mark, for conferences. It's a pretty standard business practice.


Now that you know how the system administrators, web designers, software developers, and the blogging public at large feel about your "pretty standard business practices", I suggest you come up with a real and tangible way of making it up to the community. Look at the way Real Network and Amazon have had to fight the stigma of "evildoers". Your company is, for the time being, on the Web 2.0's collective shiitake list. Enjoy the ride.

A personal note to Tim o'Reilly: You'd better find your way to a computer and "fix" this asap, vacation or not.

  Dave Cash [08.22.06 11:42 AM]

*sigh*...Tim Berners-Lee should just sue us all for using his web.

  Scott Lehman [08.22.06 03:27 PM]

So, does this mean I can trademark "PC" as it pertains to shows where they sell computer equipment? I'll either be rich in a month, or broken by lawyer's fees all those "cease-and-desist" letters.

There is absolutely no valid comparison between "Web 2.0" and "LinuxWorld". You've taken a phrase that's become a part of the software lingo, and tried to claim it as your own.

I won't vow to boycott O'Reilly products; but, I will take a closer look at competing books the next time I'm shopping. If your bottom line reflects the public ire raised by this deplorable development, maybe the next large company will give pause before doing something similar.

  Manuel [08.24.06 09:24 AM]

What a shame...

  josh [08.30.06 09:37 AM]

this sucks
O'Reilly MUST make public his apologies

  sMs [09.12.06 08:36 AM]

i think it would be good to talk to O'Reilly and get to know him our opinions...

  salvage cars [11.26.06 10:12 AM]

Yeah i kinda see what you mean but you should probably explain in more details

the skeptic
salvage cars

  tool [12.10.06 01:37 PM]

Thanks for the books, O'Reilly.

  johannes voetter [12.11.06 12:27 AM]

I won't buy more o'reilly books.

The books are very good and helpfull.

There is a lot of good publishers there.

  Frauencafe [01.02.07 06:10 AM]

Good article,
I agree it helps improve User experience ..

Nice greetings by

  Sally [04.04.07 02:15 PM]

The best thing is leaving the Web 2.0 and go ahead, towards Web 3.0


  hutch [04.10.07 11:02 AM]

A story in the register says:
"Millionaire tech publisher Tim O'Reilly once vowed to torpedo's 1-Click patent. Against a backdrop of widespread outrage over Amazon's aggressive use of the patent, O'Reilly created a contest to find prior art to undermine the IP claim, and thus invalidate the patent. However, O'Reilly quietly dropped the campaign; saying he would never disclose it because he trusted CEO Bezos not to use it."

The story is about Amazon's current defense of the patent, which they have used both as a club and licensed to others.

I don't see Tim's apology changing the fact: An agressive letter was sent by lawyers to bully the little guy that he now says shouldn't have been sent. But it was sent and it is part of the practice his firm/partners condoned when they thought they could get away with it.

  Tomasz Górski [07.22.07 06:24 PM]

Thanks for really great article! Good read!

  netfreez [08.02.07 04:41 PM]

This is truly disappointing, I am speechless. I think it's time for a long vacation.

  Anonymous [08.10.07 07:26 AM]

what do you think about this graph of weg line?

  mitesh [12.21.07 12:47 AM]

great article but one should now go ahead, towards Web 3.0

The books from O'Reilly are usually very good and helpfull

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