Nobody Owns "Web 2.0" Because It's Yours

There is no dispute that Tim O'Reilly coined the term "Web 2.0", the same way Robert Wachter first used "hospitalist" in his landmark 1996 NEJM article.

Timo O'Reilly also organized the first Web 2.0 conference but does he really own the term "Web 2.0"?

According to IHT:

"On Wednesday, a lawyer from O'Reilly Media sent a cease-and-desist letter to it@cork, a nonprofit industry group in Ireland that is holding its own Web 2.0 conference next month."

The people at it@cork thought that the O'Reilly's request was somewhat unfair since Web 2.0 is in large created by the web users themselves and does not really belong to anybody. They posted the cease-and-desist letter on their website and in no-time the post was the top story on

It looks like the blogosphere backlash soon made O'Reilly media changed their mind.

According to the organizer of it@cork:

"Because of Web 2.0 and blogging, I was able to put up a post and have this large multimedia organization apologize and turn around and say, 'You can use our trademark terms.'

"That's only possible because of the power blogging confers."

I should be OK to use Web 2.0 in my presentations too... :-)

Update 1/19/2007:
The new version of my presentation Web 2.0 in Medicine is available.

Blogging liberates "Web 2.0". IHT.
How to Use Web 2.0 in Medicine?
Image source:, public domain

Further reading:
Collaborative Presentation on Web 2.0. Link via Go2Web2.

Updated: 10/02/2007

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