Tim O'Reilly

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    Update #2: Please see this link for my updated thoughts on this issue as well as my apology for creating a crass and tasteless image of Tim O'Reilly.

    Update: Please read here thomashawk.com/2006/05/more-thoughts-on-todays-oreilly-me... to get my updated thoughts on this situation. I should not have called Tim O'Reilly an asshole and I probably should give him the benefit of the doubt to see how he responds to this Web 2.0 cease and desist fiasco today when he is back from his vacation.

    Original photo by x180 borrowed and derived under the beautiful Creative Commons attribution free to make derivative works license. Thank you James and hah! Good luck suing me now Tim!

    This is unbelievable to me. Some guy named brady over at O'Reilly Media is out this morning actually trying to justify sending a cease and desist letter to someone else for using the term Web 2.0. Well not actually Brady, per se, but he throws some person named Sara Winge under the bus apparently at King Tim O'Reilly's request. What kind of crazy world are we living in?

    I suppose Mike Arrington's probably next on the hit list (Web 2.0 Seattle party? What were you thinking buddy? Doh!) and it looks like I'll need to go scrub my blog to change all the references from Web 2.0 to Web 2.1. In fact, right now I hereby claim all rights to not only Web 2.1 but Web 2.2, Web 2.3, Web 2.4, Web 2.5, Web 3.0, Web 4.0, Web 5.0, and well when I get around to it I'll do some more claiming. Oh and "Hot Donkey" that one too, that one belongs to me. Don't you dare try to put on the "Hot Donkey" Conference or I will come after your ass big time. And any derivation of "Hot Donkey" also is mine. "Hot Ass" "Warm Donkey" don't even think about them, they're all mine.

    Oh by the way, it's not Tim himself who's defending this act of stupidity this morning in the blogosphere it's some guy named Brady. According to Brady's post, Tim's "off the grid" and on "vacation." And before you try and get too smart I wouldn't be using the terms "off the grid" or even "vacation" anymore either unless you want Brady and Tim to sue your ass.

    So until Tim O'Reilly apologizes for this asinine move I'm going to start using the term Web 2.1 whenever I mean Web 2.0. It will be a (wink, wink) code word just between you and me to mean some kind of web services thing that’s all ajaxy like. And not that Thomas Hawk would ever be asked to speak at an O'Reilly conference but it might be kind of nice if when asked in the future the Web 2.1 big wigs declined O'Reilly's request with a reason like, "uh, you know Tim, I'd, uh, really like to participate and all, but, uh, well, uh, I'm afraid you might try to sue me for using my own name after the fact, sorry buddy."

    Hey, nice asshole move by the way O'Reilly going after a non-profit. IT@Cork, my advice to you is to just ignore this piece of stupidity and when O'Reilly's lawyers finally call just answer back into the phone, "what! I can't hear you, talk louder!" Keep saying this over and over again until they hang up.

    You can check out this amazing piece of legal literature on Flickr here.

    Tags: Web 2.0, Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly Media

    BillyWarhol, KeithGaughan, MillyNeT, and 2 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. SaZeOd 108 months ago | reply

      That's a pity ...
      I'm against all that, whatever there are ...
      I'm gonna reserve the right to speak of "computer", now you have to specify "on my computer (™©® SaZeOd)" toc! :-p

    2. Thomas Hawk 108 months ago | reply

      Hi Matt. I do respect this opinion, however, my thinking on this is that it is too late at this point to assert this claim.

      Irrespective of the business stupidity of sending a cease and desist to a non profit (kind of like the RIAA suing grandmothers and then trying to fall back on some kind of legalistic moral defense), O'Reilly knew about this conference in February according to IT@Cork. If they had a problem with it they should have said something then, not two weeks before their conference.

      More significantly though, if they intended to try to capture a license on Web 2.0 Conference then they should have been much more vocal about this from the beginning. They should have done this in 2003 not now some three years later. Instead they allowed many people to embrace the term in a spirit of openess and allowed many of us, you and I included, to popularize the whole concept of the term and then came back later to try and maintain ownership. Web 2.0 has grown to mean something far bigger than a conference and has entered into the lexicon of language as something significant culturally speaking.

      To know try and maintain ownership after the fact is wrong.

      Let's take a company that you and I are both very familiar with, TiVo for example. First off notice how they aren't suing Alex Raino for using the term TiVo in his unoffical TiVo blog. Could they? Of course. But they are smart and realize that doing things like suing grandmothers or small time bloggers or non profits probably doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense.

      But irrespective of this. Lets say that back in 2003 TiVo had built the TiVo PVR. And lets say that they licensed the the term TiVo but not PVR. Let's say that now later they were to come back to you and say, you know what Matt, we've actually just recently filed a service mark on the term PVR and you are going to have to stop using the term on your blog.

      Even if they had used it first too much time has passed. Too much water under the bridge to make this late after the fact assertation.

      That is my primary problem with this.

      O'Reilly should come out apologize, and recognize that his name and brand are associated with the 2.0 concept and that the more Web 2.0 flourishes everywhere the more goodwill will come his way by being associated with it.

      SXSW is a much more narrowly defined title which does not encompas an association with a much larger concept as does Web 2.0. It would be more like SXSW trying to say that they had a license on the phrase "music festival" which would be absurd.

      I course I do respect your opinion and do see how there can be more than one way of looking at this. I'm just not ready to concede my view is wrong yet. It doesn't feel right what O'Reilly's doing to me.

    3. mathowie 108 months ago | reply

      my thinking on this is that it is too late at this point to assert this claim.

      I just got my first trademark cleared and it took a little over a year and a half. I bet ORA/CMP never sought the trademark right away because they didn't think other groups would throw conferences with an identical name, and it's something their lawyers probably instructed them to do recently.

      All I'm saying is "Web 2.0" is a generic phrase coined by Tim and owned by no one. But a specific conference called "Web 2.0 Conference" is something they do and can lay claim to just like I'd expect a call from lawyers if I wanted to throw a conference called SXSW or Emerging Technology Conference.

    4. Thomas Hawk 108 months ago | reply

      Matt, a long time has passed since 2003. If they were formerly ill advised by their attorneys or didn't figure this out I don't have much sympathy. Since 2003 many conferences have used the term Web 2.0 as a major part of describing what their conference is about. Perhaps not in the title but certainly closely enough alligned to be considered infringment. Just last November Construct 2005 marketed itself as the UK's first grassroots Web 2.0 Conference.


      I'm sorry but I think we are going to have to disagree on this one. Irrespective of actual technical trademark, they certainly could have vocally expressed their opinion countless times in the past where the term Web 2.0 has been associated as a marketing term with other conferences, meetings, meetups, shows, parties, etc. etc.

      Instead no claims are made until a conference uses it in a title and then they wait 2 weeks before the conference starts (certainly after materials have been printed, etc.) to try to spring a last minute legal move on a non-profit.

      Tim O'Reilly will get more goodwill at this point from admiting that they made mistake, apologizing for it and changing his mind about ownership of the "Web 2.0 Conference" in a spirit of collaboration and openness with technologists everywhere. He will benefit more at this point from a business perspective from this tact, than trying to insist ownership over this phrase, which can only serve to hurt his business at this point, if for no other reason than stupid PR.

      Nobody is going to confuse this conference with Tim's. Nobody is going to not go to Tim's conference because this other one was named Web 2.0 instead of Web 2.1.

      The value of tightly controlling the "Web 2.0 Conference" service mark will not generate more revenue for O'Reilly than he will lose due to this blunder by insisting.

      I suspect that this is what his advisors are telling him at this very moment though and that hopefully within the next 24 hours or so this will be a moot point. Not that my little opinion counts for much, but in the meantime I'll just go about my day referring to things as Web 2.1.

      Thanks for the comments everyone by the way. This photo certainly has been moving up the charts for Flickr searches under Tim O'Reilly's name for photosearch on Flickr (dare I say a Web 2.0 company?). Flickr now considers this the single most relevent image for the search term "Tim O'Reilly" it even tops a photo of O'Reilly and Beezos.

    5. Thomas Hawk 108 months ago | reply

      I bet ORA/CMP never sought the trademark right away because they didn't think other groups would throw conferences with an identical name, and it's something their lawyers probably instructed them to do recently.

      Or maybe they're just opportunistic and greedy.

    6. Thomas Hawk 108 months ago | reply

      Of course, I guess this means I won't be getting a press pass to blog the Web 2.0 conference this year.


    7. solodad300 108 months ago | reply

      "...I'd expect a call from lawyers if I wanted to throw a conference called SXSW or Emerging Technology Conference."

      Like the Emerging Technolgy Conference at MIT?

    8. BillyWarhol 108 months ago | reply

      i thought i was courting controversy with my www.BillionDollarBaloney.blogspot.com response to John Dvorak's Web2.0 Baloney rant!!


      Keep stirrin the Pot Brother!!!!!!!

      Cheers!! Billy ;))

    9. BillyWarhol 108 months ago | reply

      i was accused of using this as a shameless Web2.bOObs plug today!!



    10. Today is a good day 108 months ago | reply

      Thimas - I've read all of the above and I'm 100% with you.
      Tim O'Reilly has gone way down in my estimations.

    11. Stewart 108 months ago | reply

      Gotta say I disagree too. I don't see anything wrong with them wanting to 'own' the right to run conferences called "Web 2.0 Conference". And part of maintaining ownership of a mark is enforcing it - if you don't you lose it. (Having said that, I haven't looked at the C&D or the other conference of its organizers - they don't have to send a C&D: they could just give permission for free and maintain their rights, afiak.)

    12. mathowie 108 months ago | reply

      Since 2003 many conferences have used the term Web 2.0 as a major part of describing what their conference is about. Perhaps not in the title but certainly closely enough alligned to be considered infringment.

      I'm merely arguing that putting the exact title "Web 2.0" and "Conference" in your conference title is confusing with the already existing O'Reilly/CMP conference. That's all I'm saying they have legit claim to and now that a couple conferences want to be known as Web 2.0 Conference, I think O'Reilly/CMP are totally in the right by saying they can't do that and I don't think it has anything to do with greed or ulterior motives.

    13. Tom Raftery 108 months ago | reply

      Mathowie - ours is a half-day conference for our IT@Cork members.

      It is free for our members and there is a nominal charge of €50 for non-members (which considering the line-up is indeed nominal).

      Our membership feed are €110 per annum for small companies up to €400 per annum for large companies.

      When you contrast this with the conference fee of over $3,000 for O'Reilly's Web 2.0 conference.

      Oh, and ours is in Cork, Ireland as opposed to their's being in San Francisco.

      I really don't think there's much chance of confusion.

    14. Tom Raftery 108 months ago | reply

      Stewart - the C&D is not for "Web 2.0 Conference", it is for "Web 2.0" - there's a big difference and that's why people are objecting so vociferously.

    15. solodad300 108 months ago | reply

      If it wasn't about "web 2.0" then Cork could easily call it the "Global Web 2.0 Conference at Cork". I doubt that would pass considering the current kerfuffle.

    16. deborah d. lattimore 108 months ago | reply

      i never understand half of what you're talking about, thomas, way, way over my head, but i love your fiery nature and your activism and your tenacity.

    17. torbakhopper 108 months ago | reply

      the edit version is just as lovely

      as an anarchist by birth and a philosopher by environmental pressure all i can say about all of this is that PEOPLE trying to own words SUCK

      words are magick and take on infinite conjugations and it upsets me that CORPORATE globalism is trying to take over even that for ridiculous things like conferences

      there really are more important problems in the world that are far more pressing

      people will soon rise up over their petty greediness and selfish aspects

    18. PPMedia 108 months ago | reply

      I like(d?) your photos but this is a clear misusage of flickr... Why do you need this kindergarten? it is obviously not about web 2.0 tm, but about the conference that they had created - nothing more and nothing less; I can understand this totally... Or would you like the idea that my comment is unsharp underwritten by thomas hawk because i like the name. I don't believe...

    19. torbakhopper 108 months ago | reply

      shame on you, thomas hawk!!!

      misusing flickr again!!!!!


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