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Path to Freedom furore

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    hope this doesn’t end up as one of those locked threads so please keep that in mind but…

    big furore about the Path to Freedom people (the Dervaes family in the US)

    they’ve trademarked a couple of common terms we all probably use and followed that up with letters of cease and desist to bloggers and websites and even had facebook accounts shut down.

    they claim on their website they have been wrongly accused, but people are publishing copies of the letters they’ve received from them

    very interesting watching it all unfold and the rapid social media backlash

    damn shame if all their efforts to promote urban food production (is that ok?) over many many years are about to implode with just one act

    this will no doubt greatly affect their livelihood and it seems lots of other’s livelihoods who use that term to describe what they do

    good post here about it

    seems the humanure has well and truly hit the solar powered fan



    It seems a pity that in trying to promote a healthier & better lifestyle for many the Dervaes are facing a challenge from the very people they are trying to help. However, and somewhat ironically, the Dervaes attempt at controlling intellectual property previously used by many & available for free has very similar tones to Monsantos ownership of food genes which I am sure the Dervaes are fighting hard to stop. Frankly its a typical American story which sadly will probably find its way to our shores.


    Ive gone from being one of their fans to disgusted with their behaviour. They claim that they are trying to protect themselves against commercial use of their ideas however the people they went after were bloggers and facebook groups and the authors of a book published many years ago. I dont think anyone of the above could be considered in direct financial conflict with them. They are trying to justify their actions by referring to other big corporations. I would have thought that was the opposite ideal.

    In the end i dont think trying to copyright a term like ‘urban homestead’ will do anything to help them. I got a laugh out of one of the facebook pages that said we should all start calling ourselves lawn ranchers.


    It will be interesting to see if there is anything behind their actions… Maybe they are writing a book or setting up retail (bigger then what they are doing now) and want “urban Homesteader” as their trademark. But I think all they’ve done is shoot themselves in the left foot.

    I stopped following them a long time ago as they don’t really give any “how to dos” any more it’s all about the pretty pictues of walking the goats etc… There are many more amazing sites that do this. Plus one of the girls is spooky the way she never smiles and looks down right angry most of the time in the photos.

    It’s a pity they didn’t think about their actions a bit more as the public backlash will take a long time to recover from. I wonder how many donations they are getting atm.


    Just a little aside:

    It’s interesting that ALL the blogs I visit regularly that used to link to the “path to freedom” site have taken the link down. Only a couple have actually come out and given their opinion on the situation.

    One Australian site that was up for a blogging award with Path to freedom and was activley asking for votes for both sites at the top of her site each time you visited has mysteriouly taken it down without comment or thanks to the people who voted.


    It sounds like they’re infected with the ‘American Disease’ – the desire to privatise anything that might make a profit. (I wonder if that expression’s been copyrighted?) ­čśŤ ­čśë :laugh:


    I’d forgotten about the award they’re up for – this whole thing has highlighted to me how clever Bill Mollison was with the use of the word permaculture and how that is thriving in the community and never went down this path (is path trademarked too?)


    Meh, I still call ugg boots ugg boots too. I’m astounded they can trademark commonly used words that were used before they used them too. They didn’t coin the phrase. The trademark laws, like many others, are seriously & ridiculously flawed. The Dervaes just seem greedy. There are oodles of other websites, blogs, etc out there. I think the hits on their site will go up for a week or two & then diminish drastically. Fair cop.


    frustrating isnt it ,


    I do a bit of writing as a sideline, and received an email from this crowd in California that said:

    We have now secured registered trademarks for certain unique names. We realize that your use of Dervaes published words and/or trademarks may have been inadvertent. We are generally able to resolve any such uses without involving our legal counsel. In addition, Dervaes Institute owns numerous trademarks which should be properly acknowledged if used. These protected names and images include the following registered trademarks:








    Also, THE TEN ELEMENTS OF URBAN HOMSTEADING copyright has been filed with the Library of Congress.

    1.Grow your own FOOD on your city lot.

    2.Use alternative ENERGY sources.

    3.Use alternative FUELS & TRANSPORTATION.

    4.Keep farm ANIMALS for manure and food.

    5.Practice WASTE REDUCTION.

    6.Reclaim GREYWATER and collect RAINWATER.

    7.Live SIMPLY.

    8.Do the work YOURSELF.

    9.Work at HOME.

    10.Be a good NEIGHBOR.

    10 Elements of an Urban Homestead Copyright Dervaes Institute. Please do not reprint without permission or proper acknowledgement

    .I would dispute that most of these terms come under the category of “unique names”. They have been used long before the Dervaes came on the scene. However, if it was intended to scare me, it sure has.


    Looks like they have blown their own number 10 element.

    Being a good neighbour………………. Looks like they are far from it.

    BTW Luckily here in Australia we call ourselves ALSers instead.


    I’m sure they will deserve everything they get in the future. :whistle:

    They sell duck eggs for $8 a dozen. :blink:


    I have removed their link from “under the choko tree”. Hey, maybe I should trademark the terms, “Choko”; “under the choko tree” and “Its chokolicious!”…..



    there is an international day of action tomorrow through a facebook page set up called ‘taking back urban homesteading’ where bloggers around the world are going to publish posts with those trademarked words in them.


    The Taking back Urban Homesteading facebook page

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