Marc Canter called Cory Doctorow out yesterday. He said:
Cory Doctorow is one of the leading critics of DRMs, DMCA, copyright laws and the status quo – which often pits lawyers vs us. Heâ€™s worked for the EFF for years and helped found the #1 blog – Boing Boing.
But heâ€™s also a close buddy of Tim Oâ€™Reilly and Rael Dornfest and helps create the Etech conference every year – which is the cornerstone of the Oâ€™Reilly Web 2.0 empire.
So Iâ€™ve gone be back and scanned BoingBoing over the last 36 hours – and guess what?
I canâ€™t find a statement from Cory on his good buddy Tim – suing Tom Raftery – who is now MY good buddy, since I did a podcast with him, met him in Dublin at a Web 2.0 event and will be going to Cork – in November to speak.
I take shit like this personally.
So this is a public all out to Cory â€œhey Cory – wassup dude? Which side are you on?â€?
At first glance the article seems even-handed, reasonable even, until you realise that Cory has only linked to two articles in his post: 1) the O’Reilly response and 2) John Battelle’s response (John Battelle has a working relationship both with Cory and O’Reilly).
Then consider Cory’s language, he says that the dispute has been resolved amicably and that O’Reilly’s
has granted the con[ference] permission to use “Web 2.0” in its name
I’m sorry, what? They have granted us permission to use the phrase Web 2.0 in our conference? Wow, that was really generous of them, NOT. Should we also apply to them for permission to use the word “conference” in our conference title?
What if I trademarked the name Cory Doctorow here in Ireland. It wouldn’t be that hard, there can’t be that many Cory Doctorow’s here. Then say I got my legal team to send threatening cease and desist letters to Cory Doctorow saying I had trademarked that name in Ireland and that he had better refrain from using the name in the US. Then say I finally relented, called off the legal dogs, and said “Ok Cory, you can use the name Cory Doctorow – I will give you my permission to use it”. Would Cory feel I had been particularly generous to ‘allow’ him to use the name?
Of course not. Similarly, a trademark issued in the US has no jurisdiction whatsoever in Ireland. O’Reilly’s have no trademark for the term “Web 2.0” in Ireland. O’Reilly’s did not grant us permission to use the term – they had no authority over our use of the term in the first place.
Cory, if you are going to write a biased post that’s fine, everyone is entitled to that but you should really disclose your relationships with the parties you blog about (and link to the relevant posts rather than only linking to your friends).
UPDATE – Robert Hyndman has a fabulous post on the selfishness of trying to trade mark a term as generic as Web 2.0.