Tuesday, June 06, 2006

'Biased and Apologist'

It seems young Mr. Battelle has a convenient double standard when it comes to lifting other companies' names.

As you may recall, dear reader, Battelle didn't feel any moral tug when he named his latest bubble venture "Federated Media" - which happens to be the name of another U.S. media company that has been in constant business for three decades.

You see, Battelle is part of this "Web 2.0" trade-show business with a tech publisher. They put on these events at hotel convention halls to promote "Web 2.0" - generic jargon for the latest Internet revolution that will magically make Battelle even richer.

Like "information superhighway," the phrase "Web 2.0" is just another silly moniker used by countless nerds to describe something that may or may not exist.

(The website Wikipedia has this impossibly vague description: "As there are no set standards for what Web 2.0 actually means, implies, or requires, the term can mean radically different things to different people.")

In brief, some computer geeks in Ireland held a local, nonprofit, apparently casual conference called Web 2.0, and Battelle's vultures over at O'Reilly Media and something called CMP Media took legal action.

Red Herring, another Internet Bubble 1.0 magazine which seems to at least still exist as a website, had this to say:
A trademark dispute over the phrase “Web 2.0” ignited harsh criticism of publisher O’Reilly Media, but it appeared to be amicably resolved Wednesday ...

People who commented on a placeholder explanatory post by O’Reilly VP of Corporate Communications Sara Winge were angry and sarcastic.

“People don’t take well to heavy-handed corporations throwing their legal team on a not-for-profit,” said one comment.

“It is completely anti-Web 2.0 attitude to protect Web 2.0,” said another.

Bloggers were also harsh in their dissections of posts by Boing Boing blogger Cory Doctorow and Federated Media head John Battelle, both work associates of Mr. O’Reilly, calling the two “biased” and “apologist.”

Battelle is a biased apologist?! Shocking, simply shocking.

But is Battelle also a shameless hypocrite who happilly lifts the corporate name from a real media company that has been in business for 30+ years yet justifies his own gang cracking down on a non-profit group of Irish computer geeks for using the generic term Web 2.0?

The answer is Yes 2.0.


Anonymous Chris Edwards said...

Batelle's staunch defence of O'Reilly and CMP's use of trademarks seems to have more self-interest in it than I expected - I just did a search on Federated Media trademarks and found that his company filed for one on that name last October, as well as for the initials FM.

I wonder if a C&D will go out to that radio station at some point (assuming the collapse of this particular bubble does not take the new FM with it).

1:39 AM PDT  

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