They have patented openness.
They have service marked "Web 2.0", a concept that at its core stands for openness, collaboration and an ethic of sharing. In their public
apology rationale today, they said:
"CMP has a pending application for registration of Web 2.0 as a service mark, for arranging and conducting live events, namely trade shows, expositions, business conferences and educational conferences in various fields of computers and information technology." To protect the brand we've established with our two Web 2.0 Conferences, we're taking steps to register "Web 2.0" as our service mark, for conferences. It's a pretty standard business practice.
Meanwhile, in the right column of the O'Reilly Radar blog they promote their creative commons license.
The silver lining
Now we all know what Web 2.0 actually means. It means whatever the guys who own it say it means.
This is another example of how even well-meaning companies with great track records (As Paul Kedrosky points out) like O'Reilly can make logical business decisions that are wholly negative for the community they serve.
Update: I'm glad to see that this has really brought out some of the best sarcasm in the tech blogging world I've ever seen. This error is truly eye-popping on O'Reilly's part and the only real rational response is truly to just make merciless fun of them for it. Granted some is a bit crude, but what do you expect when the act causing the satire is so foolish?
Photo: Mathew Hull