« Social Software and the Library -- A Survey | Main | Library Stuff »

Library 2.0 -- Like It Or Hate It, It's Public Domain

O’Reilly has taken steps to consolidate use of the term “Web 2.0”, claiming it as a service mark. This has caused several worried library folk to contact me regarding “Library 2.0” and its usage.

I first published the term “Library 2.0” in September of 2005. I have always considered the term “Library 2.0”, used alone or in combinations such as “Library 2.0 Conference”, to be in the public domain, usable by anyone, and not subject to trademark or service mark registration. I would hate to see this changed by anyone attempting to turn the term itself into a commercial venture.




Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Library 2.0 -- Like It Or Hate It, It's Public Domain:

» Library Stuff from LibraryCrunch
Steven M. Cohen, author of Library Stuff, has some very kind words regarding my post on Library 2.0 and the public domain status I believe it deserves.... [Read More]


I've been watching this Web 2.0 thing with amusement and incredulity. It seems to go against the whole ethos of Web 2.0 (whatever happened to sharing? community?)... Way to turn the blogosphere against you, O'Reilly!

We knew YOU wouldn't do something so incredibly lame as what O'Reily is doing. ;) I mean, seriously, is there anything LESS 2.0 than that?!?!?

Just goes toward my original assumption that Library 2.0 is about making libraries better and Web 2.0 is about hype and making money as quick as one can before the bubble bursts.

I, K.G. Schneider, being of sound mind and body, do affirm that to the best of my memory Michael ("Library Crunch") Casey was the first person to utter Library 2.0. (What was CMP thinking? The slugs!)

Thanks, Michael (I suggested this to MC yesterday); I'll post a link to this. What I believe this does is drive a stake in the ground to discourage some fool from claiming that, when used as part of a conference name, Library 2.0 is a servicemark.

Much as I dislike what CMP and O'Reilly are doing, I do wonder if the best way for you to protect the term and ensure that it may continue to be freely used might be to register it. And then state that you won't go after anyone for infringement.

Paul, I'll respectfully disagree. First off, there's no reason Michael Casey should have to spend his money or time to register a term. (I'm guessing he has better things to do--such as work on improving library services.)

Second off, in American law at least, it's still legal to dedicate intellectual property to the public domain. He's now done so. That should serve to undermine any attempt by someone else to claim the term as a service mark.

My understanding is that even if we were to TM or SM the term, we would lose that status because we would not be reasonably diligent in protecting rights to the mark (because we do not want to prevent its use by others). Two prime ways to lose mark status are failure to maintain quality control over the mark and failure to defend the mark.

This would all be counter to what we want anyway, which is free and open use of the term itself.