Thursday, May 25, 2006

Get O'Real... O'Reilly Not to Blame for CMP Misstep

Update: As it turns out, I'm dead wrong. O'Reilly IS to blame for this blunder. (Rick Segal offers a pithy analysis.) I couldn't imagine they could be this foolish. May I suggest you not attend the O'Reilly Web 2.0 conference this year. I won't.

An Irish non-profit has received a cease-and-desist from CMP Media, claiming to own a service mark on the term 'Web 2.0'.

Uh-oh, I hope there isn't a mass migration to 'Web 2.5' if CMP sticks to its (rather low-caliber) guns. That term has been coined, folks!

Tim O'Reilly, a fellow with probably the best public image in all of tech, is taking heat (lots) for a legal move by another company. The blogosphere has taken the original post on the story at face value, and not bothered to read the text of the C&D letter, an image of which is included in the post. Yet another example of how bloggers are not journalists.

Update: Intriguingly, there has been a fight going on at the Wikipedia Web 2.0 page about whether to mention the fact that CMP has claimed a trademark on the term. So far, the editorial consensus is to exclude this detail.

Apologies for the off-topic post, readers. We will return to the decidedly less hype-driven Web 2.5 story shortly.


At Thursday, May 25, 2006 3:29:00 PM, Anonymous Rick Segal said...

I don't agree. I did read the letter and it clearly states the O'Reilly is working in cooperation with CMP. There is little doubt in my mind that CMP may not have spoken to O'Reilly about it but clearly he/they have the power to immediately stop it. I think it is fair for O'Reilly to take the heat but I will modify the post a bit to make that part clearer.

So, another example of Blogging being a bit better then traditional reporters because of these types of healthy debates.

Thanks for coming by.


At Thursday, May 25, 2006 3:49:00 PM, Blogger Liam said...

Working together on the conferences, not on the inept defense of CMP's pending service mark.

At Friday, May 26, 2006 7:36:00 AM, Blogger Mark Dowling said...

IANAL, but O'Reilly/CMP have yet to show how the US trademark app applies in the European Union. Despite the frequent hysterics of lefties in Ireland, it is not yet a United State.

At Wednesday, May 31, 2006 4:27:00 PM, Blogger David said...

CMP did speak to O'Reilly about it. O'Reilly himself says,

CMP let us know recently that they were worried about potential dilution of the conference brand by other companies putting on Web 2.0 related conferences using the same name, and I agreed with them that it was an issue that we needed to deal with

- how do you think O'Reilly imagined CMP might deal with it?

Also, the trademark application hadn't been publicised (why not) and is innacurately represented on the site (the TM is adjacent to the word 'Conference' which isn't part of the trademark application).

Also, CMP deliberately went for small fry rather than the Mesh Web 2.0 Conference in Canada or the Web 2.0 Conference in Brighton that Doctorow spoke at.

I reckon O'Reilly garners this fawning admiration because he calls himself 'Tim' and that's kinda cute. Can't see any other reason, given this sort of outrageous behaviour.

At Friday, June 30, 2006 6:47:00 AM, Blogger Valstrahn said...

I realise its a bit late, but I have just been delving into this in more detail at my MindSpace Art Blog/Podcst.

In addition to sharing my two cents worth, I mention how it is actually quite dammaging for this issue to remain largely unresolved (even though O'Reilly has backed down) and I propose a similar solution to yours above:

So I propose an interesting solution to this issue. I think from now on, everyone should refuse to refer to the term "Web 2.0" and instead use the term "Web 2.1". Not only does this give O'Reilly no leg to stand on, it also sends a clear message that the social web will not stand for corporate intimidation. So in this way, it is describing a new version of the web, which justifies an incremental version increase. And with an almost self prophetic irony, it is creating a new version of the web that the term itself ushers in. Web 2.0 has been around long enough for it to look significantly different now compared to when it first emerged, so I think it is high time to evolve to Web 2.1. Web 2.1 can also represent the related fights for Internet Neutrality ( and and Free Culture ( and

To pre-empt any future issues, I'll state that not only Web 2.1, but Web X.X can now be considered a generic term, so no one can own trademark control over it in the future.

Of course, the only way for the term Web 2.1 to become completely generic and for people to be free of unacceptable corporate restrictions and intimidation is for this idea to be spread and used. Ideally, it should not be used blindly, but should be used with knowledge of what it represents and why it became necessary.

I've now dug a little deeper, and found that there are quite a few of us proposed that incrementing Web 2.0 is a good idea, which is great - it might just catch on yet. I have listed quite a number of them in my post.

At Monday, November 16, 2009 5:25:00 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Thanks for great tips!
Good web design

At Thursday, March 24, 2011 11:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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