Don't Mention "Urban Homesteading"™


Who thinks they can trademark two english words that describe an activity that anyone could engage in, and then legally go after a book published using those words in its title before they filed for that trademark, and then get Facebook to take down mentions of the book with this bogus legal claim?

Why, "urban homesteading"™ pioneers the Dervaeses, of Pasadena, California.

Adam Parfrey, one of the principals behind Process Media, publisher of the book The Urban Homestead, is fighting back with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Details from the Orange County Weekly:

[Parfrey] contacted Facebook about the issue regarding his book; they replied that they were keeping the Process Media links down until the Dervaeses agreed to allow the restoration of the links. On Wednesday, Parfrey sent an email addressed to family patriarch Jules Dervaes, demanding he restore his links and those of others who had suffered their ridiculous trademark war.

"Your Facebook actions against us (and others) are particularly harmful," Parfrey wrote in an email he provided to the Weekly. "We request that you contact 'The Facebook Team'…to inform them that Process Media did not transgress your rights. If you fail to do that, we consider your actions as malicious and without legal basis. If this is not amicably resolved, we'd be forced to engage in a legal battle that could be costly for all parties."

The legal battle begins Monday–Boing Boing reported yesterday that the Electronic Frontier Foundation will represent Parfrey in a yet-undisclosed legal strategy….

Although Parfrey is specifically fighting for his property, he's also more than happy to take up the battle for the others affected by the Dervaeses' actions. "How any malicious person anywhere can go and distrupt hundreds and thousands of people at once by saying their rights have been transgressed by some post is disturbing," Parfrey says.

I interviewed Parfrey for Reason magazine back in its November 2002 issue. The Dervaes family complains that their attempts to defend their trademark™ are being unfairly traduced in the media–particularly by "bloggers."™ Jesse Walker from Reason magazine in March 2000 on the culture-crushing use of intellectual property law in general.