If you go to OSCON this summer, say hi to Tim O’Reilly. And (assuming this article is accurate) give him a good smack upside the head for trademarking ‘Web 2.0’ and cease-and-desisting people over it. Yup. To quote the article linked:
In his own damn blog (which, it must be pointed out, is published under a Creative Commons license), O’Reilly writes even today that “the best way to make yourself Web 2.0 is actually to expose your data in ways that let other people re-use it.” A concept is not data, to be sure, but a cease-and-desist letter is not commonly thought of as a document that encourages other people to make use of something.
Update: I’ve been informed by Liam Breck that in fact the article was not accurate, and the blame for this lies with CMP Media, the folks who actually run the Web 2.0 conferences, and not O’Reilly. Still, a great data point for how tools of legal control (like trademark) can very easily have unintended consequences. Remember, if you can do it, license your IP, and do it with a license that explicitly embodies your values and codifies how you’d like your ideas to be used. Don’t leave it to chance if you can avoid it.