Well, it's official now. After a major twitter/weblog/forum/email uproar Autodesk issued a statement saying this whole thing all was a tiny little mixup. You can find the formal notice here.
Which off course is awesome!
And with this blog we would, again, express our deepest gratitude to all the wonderful responses we got in the last 24 hours. Some numbers:
The hashtag #legallyrevit literally got hundreds of supporting tweets,
the thread where we explained the situation has been viewed 6400 times in the last 24 hours and received 140 responses,
the previous blog where we made our cry for help was viewed over 600 times (that usually takes a few weeks)...
Off course I don't know how many people responded on our call to email the Autodesk customer support, but I'm guessing those numbers too will be overwhelming.
All in all your support was heartwarming!
But I still wonder: before we were targetted, some other sites were too. Websites with the same signature as hours, like www.openrevitstandards.com. They were just unfortunate not to have 17.500 people supporting them and raising their voices.
Make no mistake: even as we speak of this great success, others have not received their notice relinguishing them of the threat of a lawsuit.
What happens to those websites?
Are we satisfied with this one victory? Or do we want a lasting change in the way Autodesk perceives their customers right to help each other out?
Call off the pursuit of others just like us. And give back the domains people already "voluntarily" handed over. Pretty please? It shouldn't matter that we have the power of the masses and they don't. What should matter is whether a community is helping each other out, without any form of commercial interest.
I suggest you have your lawyers use two drafts for infringement notices. Reserve the one we got for commercial sites. Draft a new one, which can be very short, for those like us. Something like this maybe:
Been looking at your website. Love what you did with the place. It's people like you that feed our thousands of employees by spreading the word of our great software solutions. For that we want to express our heartfelt gratitude! You make us realise that in fact we are all part of one big happy family.
However, there is one tiny little thing: would you be kind enough to put some Trademark disclaimers up here? Just to satisfy our legal department, it's a formality we ask of all people who devote their free time to help us making our products better...
Thanks for all the efforts and keep up the good work!
It's just a thought really. I'm sure if we got this kind of letter, the disclaimers would be up there faster then you can say "initial interest confusion".
One last thing:
Just to be certain, let's all keep an eye #legallyrevit hashtag. Just to be sure...