In a bizarre, corporate-like power grab, the Dervaes family of Pasadena, California have taken the outrageous step to trademark the terms “urban homestead” and “urban homesteading”.
You read that right.
The same folks who originally began documenting their “little farmstead in the city” on their website ‘Path to Freedom’ and later became nationally famous on the film circuit in Homegrown Revolution have now seemingly veered right off the tracks onto the ‘Path of Corporate Slave Mentality’. They have actually gone to the trouble of “informing” non-profit organizations, bloggers, authors, radio shows, and even community colleges that “urban homesteading” is “their” trademark and other words should be used instead. Facebook pages using the term have been shut down without warning. EXCUSE ME!!??
Longtime urban homesteaders and the blogosphere are now rightly abuzz with news of the Dervaes family’s power-grab to control words that are hardly an original idea. Facebook pages such as The New Institute of Urban Home-steading(s) and Take Back Urban Home-steading(s) are quickly building support from urban susties & supporters, and even a national day of action on Monday has been proposed by the bloggers over at urbanhomesteaddiaries.blogspot.com
For the dirt on the whole fiasco, here are a few news links of interest:
Dervaes Family Trademarks “Urban Homestead” Term: Legal Battle Follows
Oakland Homesteading School Caught in Trademark Tussle
Pasadena’s Dervaes Family Trademarks the Terms ‘Urban Homestead’ and ‘Urban Homesteading,’ Now Cracking Down on Bloggers
The Green Movement Trademarking Controversy and the Dervaes Family
Legal dirt of Pasadena’s farming Dervaes family
With all the ill will that the Dervaes family has generated in stirring up this homesteading hornet’s nest, the first step they should take is to fire the lawyer that gave them such awful advice. The second step they must take — if they ever hope to get any semblance of credibility back — is to put “their” urban homestead/ing trademarks into the public domain for the benefit of the larger homesteading community.
Some folks just need to understand that the sustainability movement will NOT be co-opted and controlled. Homesteading, both urban and rural, is an OPEN SOURCE movement.