Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm an Urban Homesteader (well, kind'a)

If you are a visitor to any type of homesteading, gardening or small-scale farming type of blog, I’m sure you’ve heard of the family that is trying to obtain a Copyright on the word “Urban Homesteading”.  I won’t go into much detail here as you can just do an online search and look up the word “Urban Homesteading” or go to Facebook and look up the same and you will be bombarded by articles, blogs, tweets, etc. on the subject.
I haven’t read that much on the newly controversial word, and I’ve never personally been on the family website that “started” this all, but what information & opinions I have gleaned from the web is that a family is trying to make people stop using the word “Urban Homesteading”  as they claimed to have given birth to the word and movement.  Kind of like a certain Vice-President claiming to have invented the internet if you asked me. 
Now, I understand that there are reasons to have Copyright laws.  But for a family to claim ownership of such a common word, something that was probably used by many, many others before and to send threatening lawyer-speak letters to bloggers is just plain, well, rude.   Not to mention arrogant. 
I think one of their reasons was that they didn’t want “Big Business” to get a copyright on it first.  There may be some logic to that;  Look what the FDA did to the word “Organic”…….that federally sanctioned label means absolutely nothing to me now. 
I guess that my idea of a Homesteader, Urban or Rural, is someone who wouldn’t use lawyers or threats to stop others from using such a common word.  A word that should be uniting people in their quest for a better quality of life shouldn’t be at the center of a Copyright controversy. 

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