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Happy New Year! Under the advice of several colleagues and readers, I decided to pick up a copy of The Omnivore's Dilemma. Fascinating read to say the least, and one thing that cropped up was the term 'organic' and how the word has become perverted and practically raped by the agricultural industry. Not surprising when you consider it's now a $15 billion a year business. That's a lot of money…which means power…which means corruption.
Our super lawyer, Corynne McSherry, Intellectual Property Director of the EFF, has a blog post up on the EFF site: Riding the Fences of the “Urban Homestead”: Trademark Complaints and Misinformation Lead to Improper Takedowns summarizing the situation and the important issues at hand–issues that affect all of us. That post also has links to a letter she sent to the Dervaes Institute on our behalf. This has been such a big flap I suspect most of our readers know this by now, but for those of you who haven’t heard the news, the Dervaes Institute (the operators of the popular website, Path to Freedom) have trademarked the terms urban homestead and urban homesteading , and in the last week or so, have started to enforce their trademarks. Follow this link to Boing Boing for a concise summary of what’s been going on. (ETA 2/23: This t wo part article at Agrariana seems currently to be the most complete summary available.