Fighting for freerecyling

Phenomenal growth of The Freecycle Network

There is an interesting spin regarding the way TFN goes on with its trademarking fiasco regarding the growth of freecycling across the globe. Please correct me if I am wrong, but the whole argument in favour of trademarking is that somehow it “protects” the movement.

I simply ask, WHAT! Is this movement in need of protection?

My guess is that Deron is fearful, and probably cannot sleep at nights in case some big corporate such as say WMI or Microsoft, or even Yahoo, or whoever comes in and grabs the word freecycle and thereby takes over the world of freecycling.

Let us just study this for an instant. Firstly if there is one thing we can all agree on is that Deron knows how to send out and email. He did, for example send one out in 2003, was it March or May or something like that. It advertised a bed he no longer wanted. Almost overnight 500 members were responding that they wanted his bed. Oops, sorry, I mean to say that 500 people were offering similar beds. Nope, even that is wrong, now what was it…

Oh, yes, freecycling was somehow born.

Now perhaps someone can enlighten me as to when exactly Deron got it into his head that trademarking was the way to go, but my guess out of the four year history of TFN it was probably just over two years ago. So let’s just say that trademarking and cease and desist letters have been going around for just over two years. Now think, if you will dear reader what this has meant to the phenomenal growth of TFN that its powers that be laud on about so much.

  • The first two years… Well it is certainly true that before trademarking was ever started TFN had phenomenal growth. Surely that is why Deron got it into his head to start trademarking, that because of phenomenal growth that trademarking was somehow “worthwhile”.
  • The second two years… It is also true that since divisive trademarking started TFN has had phenomenal growth. Surely that is why Deron got it into his head to continue trademarking, that because of trademarking phenomenal growth was somehow going to be a reality.

(Actually in the latter paragraph the phenomenal growth has been stilted a little since there have been a surge of groups that have either been ejected or otherwise left the fold. In reality this has never impacted on TFN’s statistics on number of groups, since always TFN creates one or more AstroTurf groups to “replace” them. But that is a digression.)

The point here is that there is absolutely no common sense argument in favour of TFN’s trademarking war. There never was, and there never will be. All trademarking has done for the freecycling world is to create its own cesspool where personal emotions and egos fly high in a battle, sometimes actually fought over in a court of law.

I mean what did all the time, resources (including Deron’s time) and money (much of it virtual) spent in the US courts have to do with removing items from landfill, or building freecycling communities?

Sadly trademarking is all to do with someone’s ego, Q.E.D.


September 28, 2007 - Posted by | freecycle | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Imagine if all that energy had been used for good instead of stupid.

    Comment by Paul Hurteau | September 28, 2007 | Reply

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