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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Trademarked, legal orders, and generic terms (edited)

Edited for links

I have been quiet on the Church of Urban Homesteading for various reasons. And to be honest I am surprised I haven't received one of the letter telling me to stop using the now trademarked term, as I have articles and blog posts using it. (technically it is not a cease and desist order, but the wording is very very close to it. read it here)

I have been reading blog posts since this all came out, fellow bloggers that are hurt and concerned about this. The Church of UH or the Institute trademarking this term reminds me of when Paris Hilton attempted to trademark "That's Hot". It is very silly.

I had planned on writing out an editorial of what I think about all of this, but I happened to read an article in the telegraph, and feel that 1 paragraph explains why they are doing this,

Jules, who has been listening to his children talk excitedly about the new venture, says he is considering buying 600 acres 'somewhere in South America, somewhere safe but isolated’. The financing of the project, which Jules estimates at several million dollars, will come from the 'villagers’ or future residents, who will each purchase their own individual homestead. The family’s income is currently about $40,000 (from sales of their produce and items on their websites plus donations to the Dervaes Institute, set up in 2006 to support the Dervaeses’ mission), but not nearly enough to finance a utopian vision

Read the entire article here>>>> The Dervaeses of Pasadena: poster family for greener living

So you have been asking why they would do this, it is all about the money. In my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with earning money to live and to make your dreams reality. The problem is that too many people are feeling alienated. The legalees is confusing. It is a generic term coined many many years before this family began their own journey. There are references to it from the 1930's, Mother Earth News used it in the late 70's. If what I read is correct, it sounds like only the usage of the all uppercase lettering is trademarked.

Be sure to check out this Facebook page Take back Urban Home-steading(s). It is from a Denver based group that was shut down because of the trademark issue.

A lawyers view of the situation from EFF Riding the fences. . .

Some interesting thinking in the justification in this article.

How the Dervaes family stole my victory Garden ~Michael Nolan. Interesting article about how the family is being hypocritical.


Wendy said...

Not surprised. It's usually about the money.

The unfortunate part is that the Dervaes had a lot to offer, and they could have gotten the money they obviously covet while retaining their dignity and integrity. Their website was step one, but they needed to take it up a notch. How-to ebooks would have gone a long way toward making their dreams a reality. The work on an ebook would have been no more time-consuming than the work they did on their websites. In fact, I would have loved a picture book of close-ups of the various aspects of their "homestead" to give me some ideas of how they accomplish small-space living and farming, because I'll never see their place in person.

Alas, they chose the low road, which is too bad. Oh, well.

Phelan said...

I have never been a fan of theirs. Something about them was off-putting to me. Their are a couple other very popular homestead bloggers that I just can't stomach.

The term Urban homesteading has been used since the 1930's. They themselves should not be allowed to have intellectual property rights to the term. But they do. And I agree Wendy this was a very low road to take. There are much better ways of earning money for your dreams than isolating your consumer base.

Other trademarks for the Church (yes they are now a church) are,


Wendy said...

My husband never liked them, either. He thought they were flaky. Seems he was right ... shh! Did I day that out loud?

I never called myself an "urban" homesteader. I've always been "suburban."

But I agree with you 100%. No one should be allowed to trademark and hold as their own such a commonplace term. That would be like trademarking "Apple Pie."

SkippyMom said...

I read the article and then went to their website - because the article didn't say anything about them copyrighting the term.

Anyway - on one of their websites there is a note that say that they aren't suing bloggers for the using the term - that it was a mistake that someone had printed.

I don't know - I had never heard of them before.

I wouldn't worry about it. People are weird about what they consider "theirs".

Phelan said...

you are correct Skippy, but they are going after those that have made money from using the term. Publishers, authors, CSA's

Stephanie in AR said...

I unbookmarked them after reading their post about the copyright. How dare they claim something that existed before they were born? It's a consumer/money oriented as the system they claim to be trying to leave. It also kind of bugged me that people would ask for more information or pictures and nothing - not even an acknowledgement of the request. If they were going to publish an e-book that would be understandable but to be "encouraging" people to be more do it yourself and then not answer...bah humbug I'll spend my time reading someone else thank you very much.

SkippyMom said...

Last time I checked you don't live in the city nor do you use the term urban.

They are nuts if they think this is going to work out well for them - especially, as you said, they are alienating their base.

And you have to love the use of "Church" as tho' that makes is so much better somehow. jeesh.

Phelan said...

ok, so it the order is not a cease and desist order, but the wording is close to it

Bob from Athens said...

What was that other guy that wanted to move his "church" to South America? Something Jones, I think.

Phelan said...

Husband asked if thy are moving to the country how can they still use the term truthfully?

I have been doing some more digging, looks like they can only copy right the term in all capitols. It's all still rather confusing.

Lynda said...

I believe they have been a Non-Profit ministry since the 80's...not a "church". I checked them out years ago and they sounded like a cult to me. So I wrote them off.

Phelan said...

I might have misunderstood. I read that they get tax benefits for being a registered church. I tried to find it for sure, but all I could find was A Path to Freedom from Scientology.

Adam said...

They have copyrighted "FREEDOM GARDENS"??? They are pathetic. Probably mixing up "special kool-aid" right now, and preparing for Haley's Comet to return.

Lynda said...

Sorry...I remember Jules Dervaes *end of days* web sites...he was very outspoken against churches...anyway he formed his Institute as a ministry for tax it is a type of church because of the IRS 508(c)(1) status. So you were right and I was wrong. The Deraves Institute is a tax exempt ministry. And yes when I read his web sites (they have been taken down)I thought Jules was more than a bit bizzare and I was shocked to see how many mainstream well respected people jumped on his was pretty obvious they didn't know much about him or his family. He was and is just too slick for me.

Myk said...

Let me just say this is my favorite blog,I am one of them people that after I found you went back and read all of your entries. Today I want to say I am sorry for the behavior of these fools. I was always under the impression that people that homestead, and preppers alike were above this kind of theft. Yes theft, they stole search terms that I myself have used to find places like this. just so their website will be on top of the search list. Shame on these people! After reading the letter they sent you I was so @#$%^& mad I went OCD on the barn! (barn looks good though) I hope karma kicks the Dervaes family so hard his boot smells like mine after 8rs in the barn! Again keep up the great blog. God bless. Myk

Phelan said...

Myk, thank you for reading. The letter wasn't sent to me. Google homesteading and I am still up top :D

Lynda, oh semantics! I didn't rad much of their stuff and nothing on his end times items. I just found them to be to "holier than thou" or maybe a bit my way is the only way, types and that never sits well with me.

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