A while ago my husband bought me a great book - "The Urban Homestead" by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen. When I heard someone had copyrighted the term "Urban Homestead" I assumed it was the authors of this awesome book.
Numerous facebook pages containing the term Urban Homestead in their name have been taking down and a school in Oakland is being asked to change their name.
Turns out - it's not even the author of this book who trademarked the term!
It's a family with a sustainable farm in Pasadena, the Devreas, http://urbanhomestead.org/. They managed to trademark the term making it illegal to use in titles of blogs and writings without the tm sign. What's funny, search for Urban Homestead on Amazon and you're not going to find anything about or by the Devreas. The whole story is here. I love this little bit of information, "The term "urban homestead" has been documented in newspaper reports since at least the 1980s."
This has outraged the homesteading community - and there's been amazing backlash from bloggers, news agencies and even spawned a Facebook page, "Take Back Urban Home-Steading(s)," after three days it reached 3,000 likes. The page was started by a friend of mine, a wonderful homesteader and housewife in Eureka, Ca.
Also, this news broke today - the publishers of the book, The Urban Homestead" are being sued by the Devreas and being represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Also there's a legal group forming and organizing all the people who got their sites pulled and cease and desist letters to bring a case against the Devreas.
I even got an e-mail from someone in Denver who got his site, DenverHomesteader.com pulled. He's a lawyer and needed some information about the Devreas institute from the California Secretary of State. So he e-mailed me some forms and I ran down to the secretary's office and retrieved the information! It's so fun to feel like I'm apart of a greater movement.
I'm also helping my friend out updating the Facebook page - so go like it. We're organizing a big media/blog push for Monday - so everyone with a blog write about your latest urban homesteading project, use the term in the title and let's show them you can't make the internet angry! We will fight back.