O’Reilly: “Web 2.0” is Ours

IT@Cork is a networking organization for IT professionals. They have an upcoming Web 2.0 half-day conference, which prompted O’Reilly to send a cease and desist letter. O’Reilly is claiming they’ve applied for a trademark for the term “Web 2.0”, attempting to prevent IT@Cork from using “Web 2.0” for its conference.

How fucking stupid is that? O’Reilly is a company that tries to appeal to the open source community, trademarking a term that’s been in wide use on the internet for the last 2-3 years is gonna hurt their reputation. O’Reilly claims to have come up with the term “Web 2.0” in 2003 while at the O’Reilly and CMP Web 2.0 Conference. That’s just fine and dandy, but for O’Reilly to do something like this is pretty out of the ordinary for the company. I really don’t care one way or the other, as I’ve mentioned my thoughts on “Web 2.0” before. It’s a marketing ploy, probably developed by O’Reilly. So I say we let em have their silly “Web 2.0” trademark.

OK, so all that went down yesterday. Today, IT@Cork received a fax from O’Reilly basically asking them to sign a document saying they’ll no longer use “Web 2.0” at future events. The VP of Corporate Communications at O’Reilly, Sara Winge, had a message posted to the O’Reilly Radar blog about the “Web 2.0” trademark controversy. It’s really pretty lame.

Nice job O’Reilly, you’ve upset a lot of people, a number of whom have been loyal customers for years.