Family Trying To Claim Ownership Of 'Urban Homesteading' Caught Plagiarizing After Moralizing On Plagiarism

from the is-that-a-petard-i-see? dept

We recently mentioned the Dervaes Family, and its quixotic attempt to trademark "urban homesteading" and to get people to stop using the descriptive and generic phrase. The family has been lashing out (somewhat comically) on their blog, including a recent post by Justin Dervaes about plagiarism (which, it should be noted is an entirely different issue than trademark infringement -- though it's not clear the Dervaes understand this).

Either way, you had to know what was coming up next. Cathy Gellis points us to a report claiming that the Dervaes family blog plagiarized a number of items from another garden blogger, who methodically presents a variety of evidence to bolster his claim. He's now asking the family for royalties (including late fees). Of course, I find it pretty silly (and kind of petty) to ask for royalties in such a situation, but you have to admit it looks even worse for the family to be moralizing about plagiarism while doing it themselves.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 12:16pm

    Also, I heard they play Lily Allen songs in their store without paying for a performance license! :D

     

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    David Liu (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

    I don't think he's seriously asking for fees and stuff, but rather just pointing out the evidence that the family should probably pay up if they are to continue with their current course of legal action.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Church's Law

    The more someone complains about plagiarism or copyright infringement, the probability that they are themselves guilty of it approaches 1.

     

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    Doug B (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Heh

    That post is copied verbatim from the link at the bottom which links sends you to this page:

    http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_what_is_plagiarism.html

    Is this considered proper citation?

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    I find it interesting that they use the phrase "urban homestead" on their front page without any sort of trademark (neither (r) or (tm)) plus they use the term as a noun, which is a no-no for trademarks.

     

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    Jackie, Mar 4th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Can't plagarize book titles

    Book titles aren't copyrightable. Phrases short enough to be book titles aren't copyrightable.

    Look up 'Urban Homesteading' by the Urban National Coalition, published in 1974. Earliest use of the phrase in a book that I found by looking at the first page of the retrieval of books on google was 'A treatise on homestead and exemption laws' - 1878.

    So much for the claims of modern plaintiffs.

     

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      Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

      Re: Can't plagarize book titles

      They tried to trademark 'Urban Homesteading', not copyright it. Why are you bringing up copyrights?

       

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        Ima Fish (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 1:50pm

        Re: Re: Can't plagarize book titles

        Why are they bringing up plagiarizing in relation to their trademark argument?

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 2:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: Can't plagarize book titles

          "Why are they bringing up plagiarizing in relation to their trademark argument?"

          Screw this, let's all talk volleyball!

           

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        Richard (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

        Re: Re: Can't plagarize book titles

        Probably because they also appear to be totally confused about the difference between trademark, copyright and plagiarism and are making a claim based on some kind of mashup of all three...

         

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          Gwiz (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Can't plagarize book titles

          Probably because they also appear to be totally confused about the difference between trademark, copyright and plagiarism and are making a claim based on some kind of mashup of all three...

          traderigiarism ?

           

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    Jackie, Mar 4th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Can't trademark common terms...

    They can't trademark it. It's a commonly used term.
    See the "...treatise..." book first published in 1878.

    Just because they may have been issued a trademark doesn't mean it's defensible. Trademarks are not examined before issue and no determination is made as to the validity of the claimant's claim. That comes later.

    The form they probably filed with Facebook is...Notice of Intellectual Property Infringement (Non-Copyright Claim).

    There are several groups using the term and/or title "Urban Homesteading" on Facebook today. I guess it took a short time for the Facebook IP team to weigh in on the subject.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    I was a fan, crap have to find another place to look for victory garden tips.

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 4:15pm

    God bless the Dervaes

    Anyone who shuts down the comments until things return to "civility" is alright in my book. If you don't like what you're hearing, just jam a finger in each ear.

    At least they got their message out first. "We are vindictive, selfish assholes. But we garden. So that probably evens everything out, eh Internet?"

     

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    Jnevill, Mar 5th, 2011 @ 5:05am

    What makes a trademark?

    When reading through the article mentioned above, I started thinking about the term urban homesteading, that they've claimed to trademark.

    This term has been used since the 70's to describe government programs, which seems to me like their trademark would be BS.

    Check out Google's ngram viewer (that search their huge books library for terms):

    http://bit.ly/eQ8YWX

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2011 @ 8:04am

    Of course, I find it pretty silly (and kind of petty) to ask for royalties in such a situation

    I'm willing to embrace the 'live by the sword, die by the sword' aspect along with the schadenfreude aspect.

    Perhaps the parties LIKE going to court, see it as sport and this allows them to satisfy an inner need?

     

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    Irina, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    Urban Homesteading Trademark

    Dervaes harmed people when they ordered to shut down our Facebook pages. Our local farmers market in Denver still suffers because our farmers lost their contacts with 2200 customers. Dervaes claims are completely unlawful and they don't own the phrase "urban homesteading" because they registered only in Supplemental Register. We explain it on our new website that we created to provide public with informtation regarding this trademark issue. Our goal is to cancel this unwanted trademark. Let's do it together - www.denverurbanhomesteading.org

     

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    Magaret, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 5:04pm

    Dervaes trademark

    Your info is wrong. Please see http://dervaestrademark.wordpress.com/

     

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    Irina, Oct 12th, 2012 @ 11:26pm

    Motion for Summary Judgment to cancel trademark URBAN HOMESTEADING is filed October 6, 2012 copy is available on our website http://www.denverurbanhomesteading.org/ or USPTO website.

     

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