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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

#OpenRevitStandards

So, it's been a while. After ever so smoothly seducing my wife into letting me go to AU I've been freakishly busy (more on that later). Which in turn made me neglect this blog... Sorry people!

I am still busy though. And should definately not be writing this. In fact, what I should be doing is finishing off a few project reports before I leave to AU on saturday. What I am trying to say is:

Autodesk, if you make me miss my deadline with this bullsh#t, I'm holding you accountable!

Every now and then the Twitterverse is likely to catch your eye. Sometimes you go like "ahh, how sweet" (remember that voluntary bus lady that got bullied, which got filmed and went viral and now she's like a gazillionaire from all the donations she received?)
Anyway, point being: most of the time it's just people talking to their smartphone assuming there is somebody out there who gives a flying crap about what they do all day. Some use it work-related, like myself, others just tweet about their difficulties finding matching socks, or why their cereals get all soggy and mushy before they have the chance to eat them.
Drifting away again...

Today was yet another one of those days that Twitter actually meant something. So much, that it is keeping my head from actually focussing on the work at hand. And, being me, that usually means, I'm kind of irritated. Soooo, rant on:

There is this great endeavour over at www.openrevitstandards.com. It's aim is to develop an (as the name so clearly states) open standard for working with Revit. It's run on a voluntary basis (so no, it's not moving forward at the speed of light). But it's a great effort by Revit enthusiasts to bring clarity and standardization to the Revit platform. Which we all know this great tool is severely lacking...

Autodesk killed it. Yup, they did.
Picture a nice, pure, young deer. Big brown round watery eyes... (thinking about Bambi already?) And: BANG! Brain matter splashing all over the place...

Last week the owner of the website got an email from Autodesk telling him to surrender the domain. Because they "had to".... Because otherwise "third parties could claim rights to Autodesk trademarks".

I say: BULLCRAP!
It has been prohibited to use the Revit name in any commercial url or advertisement for as long as I know. And this is enforced too, which is great. Commercially speaking, the name/trademark belongs to Autodesk. Once again, that's fine by me.
But this is not, I repeat NOT, a commercial site. No services or content are being offered. Not one penny is made out of this effort. Heck, they don't even charge members a contribution. The costs for keeping the site in the air are carried by the owner. It's a community website, aimed at helping the Revit user. I find it repulsive they are targetted.

So really Autodesk, you had to? There was no other way? Not a simple note / email stating that you were willing to grant user rights to your precious trademark as long as the site stayed a non-commercial resource for your users?
So what about this website: www.revitforum.org? Revitforum.info? (different forum)? Revitcity.com? Revitusers.nl?

What about User Groups with the Revit name in the website (like the dutch Revit User Group www.revitgg.nl? Or can't we call ourselves REVIT User Groups any more? Are we to be known as "Dutch User Groups For That Particular Autodesk Software-No, Not That One, The 3D One-No, Not That Either, The Other 3D One"
Also conveniently known as DUGFTPAS-NTOT3DO-NTETO3DO.

How about the Revit blogger community? Wanna wrinkle their necks too? From what I hear from WhatRevitWants (woops, sorry Lukey. Guess you're the next target), you already started to harrass them too...

And one more thing: just about any possible website name in The Netherlands with the word Revit in it is claimed by Autodesk resellers. Probably the same for other countries. When will they be getting their notices? Or don't you bite the hand that grabs the money?

FYI Autodesk: you just bit the hand that gives you the money. Put your 250 dollars-an-hour lawyers to work and find another way. And while you at it, claim a discount price. If it wasn't for the internet community spreading the name of your software, they would not have you as a client anyway...

<rant off>

4 comments:

  1. Its less than ideal, but David posted the entire email chain there. Its actually a pretty valid reason. Its unfortunate, and i really dont like it, but it makes sense.

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  2. Not sure I agree. Well, actually I don't agree. I read the entire email chain too. It still comes over as the easy way out. "Our lawyers shout out something and we rush into it without thinking it through".

    And the implications of this course of actions still stand: what about user forums, content sites, user groups, commercial addins, resellers? The list of websites containing the word "Revit" is endless.

    It's either effectively killing the internet community OR being completely arbitrary. There's no pretty solution once you go down this road...

    The arbitrary part has already started: blog domains will not be touched (as I understand from Twitter). So posting the exact same content in a series of blogs, open to write comments on is ok? It's just plain stupid if you ask me.

    I'm no expert, but I always thought Trademarks were in place to keep people from wrongfully getting a COMMERCIAL gain from a protected name/product. The commercial part is essential here. I fully agree to Autodesk's right to protect their COMMERCIAL entitlements. But that's not the case here...

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  3. It will get ugly, especially for www.REVITforum.org, is my guess. Thats the only one im really worried about. From my own interpretation, our blogs are safe because even though i have the word revit in it, "Malleristicrevitation" is technically a SUBdomain of blogspot, which doesnt have Revit in the name.

    If i were you or Munk, though... Id be reaching out to someone at Autodesk, to be proactive. Otherwise, RFO might be needing a new domain soon as well. :-/

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  4. Late, but I just got my letter saying that revittotd.com no longer belongs to me and that I must remove the domain from service. I'll be sending an email to you, Martijn.

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