Tim O’Reilly Don’t Be Evil

Big discussion on the blogosphere surrounding O’Reilly’s “web2.0” trademark. Tim O’Reilly prevented a not-for-profit organization using the term “web2.0” in its conference title, alleging trademark infringement. Though the dispute has been settled amicably, the communications from O’Reilly’s PR director has been very poor. In, fact my Communications Director would first flay me alive if I committed such a faux-pas, and then redress the damage to the company image a lot more effectively.
The problem is not so much the substance, but the appearance and perception by others of his trademark complaint. Tim is a champion of the hacking community, where commercial aggression is frowned on, and kudos comes from contribution to the commons and intellectual prowess. Tim is in fact a great champion of the patent abuse issues. He wrote Jeff Bezos an open letter complaining about patent abuse with Amazon’s one-click purchase patent request.
With such a dominant image among the creative commons community, which is his main customer base, Sara Winge, VP of Corporate Communications, should advice and influence Tim more strongly. In fact, I dont envy Tim’s return from holiday. Nevermind the rest of us commenting on his faux-pas; Tim’s biggest problem will be Sara Winge taking a baseball bat to his head.