Web 2.0 Controversy – Tim O'Reilly Responds

In case you missed it, the Blogosphere was abuzz last week about the apparent trademarking of “Web 2.0” and subsequent cease-and-desist sent to IT@Cork (a non-profit networking organisation) who’d organized a recent conference.
As a recap (clipped from)

[The] upcoming Web 2.0 half-day conference is the target of a cease and desist letter from the legal team of O’Reilly publishers. Basically O’Reilly are claiming to have applied for a trademark for the term “Web 2.0” and therefore IT@Cork can’t use the term for its conference. Apparantly use of the term “Web 2.0” is a “flagrant violation” of their trademark rights!

284 comments later and the controversy exploded onto the scene. Meanwhile, mister O’Reilly himself was away on vacation. He returned Monday and responded with a lengthy post later this week.

I don’t want to spoil the ending by giving too much away, but Tim’s detailed response to the issue puts it all to rest. Firstly, it was CMP Media who sent the cease-and-desist not O’Reilly himself, second, the trademark was specific to conferences that reference “Web 2.0” in their name, third, cease-and-desist is not equivalent to “suing” someone and fourth, many bloggers who posted didn’t even bother to do enough homework to qualify their own opinions.

A fascinating read if you’ve got the time and definitely one of those things that will end up going down in “Best of” 2006 history.

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