Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heartbroken

Yes, I have been on a blogging hiatus, but after some very disappointing news came to light I cannot remain silent.

http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforkinit/2011/02/pasadena_family_trademarks_the.php

http://www.thecrunchychicken.com/2011/02/urban-homesteaders-cease-and-desist.html

I posted this reply on the FG forums, but I do not know if the post will remain or not so I am posting it here as well. I am well aware it seems to now contain many trademarked terms but whatever....



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I am at a loss for words, while the intentions may have started off... sound ( to avoid the phrase being used too loosly, I understand where you are coming from there) - and I can apprciate that- and you do have every right to protect your own published *original* works such as your magazine articles and documentaries- somehow the concept that calling my yard a urban homestead ( something I called it before I ever heard of you guys) on the public internet is now somehow a trademark issue I *have to* turn around and give *you* credit for- just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

What about old mother earth news articles from way back in the 70's and 80's that talk of urban farms/homesteading? Isnt that what inspired Jules Dervaes in the first place? I loved linking/sharing information from you guys, and its a choice I made because I really liked seeing your yard as an example of what can be done with a regular yard in suburbia can be with hard work and careful planning. As of yet I have not received any such notification of trademark issues ....but I can only imagine how others who did receive that letter might feel- especially if they had never heard of you but do in fact have what is called an urban homestead. I would feel shocked and a bit angry too.

Definitions:

ur·ban (├╗rbn)
adjective
1. Of, relating to, or located in a city.
2. Characteristic of the city or city life
home·stead (hmstd)
noun
1. A house, especially a farmhouse, with adjoining buildings and land.
2. Law Property designated by a householder as the householder's home and protected by law from forced sale to meet debts.
3. Land claimed by a settler or squatter, especially under the Homestead Act.
------>4. The place where one's home is.
v. home·stead·ed, home·stead·ing, home·steads

There are as many types/styles of urban homesteads as there are homesteaders/gardeners. Some organic, some mixed, some not....for some its 5 acres, others its a potted tomato plant on their 3rd story apartment balcony. If they wish to blog or speak of their experiences as urban homesteading it is only loosely affiliated with you in that you are both referring to a choice in lifestyle where you are aquiring substinence from your home....but by the strict dictionary definitions it doesnt even involve gardening...or chickens...or goats...or soil or whatever.

My point is, technically if you have a place in the city you call home, you have an urban homestead, no matter what you do with it, or what you or others call it. Its just too broad a concept to narrowly defein as only being able to be what you trademarked it to be.

I also noticed theres a trademark on FREEDOM GARDENS....while I can see that since this is the name of this website and all, at least it was only trademarked in the plural gardenS sense....since my own hometown and many other already have a Freedom Garden (singular) to refer to a rose garden in rememberance of those who died protecting our country's freedom- but what then of articles that speak collectively of these living, botanical memorials to our loved ones? If they speak of the growing movement of freedom gardens ( as in memorial gardens) do they still have to refer to you as well? Where does it end?

*blinks back tears* PLEASE reconsider your stance on some of these terms you are so wanting to call your own, or the very community you so inspired and supported will no longer feel comfortable supporting you.

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