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Webmasters defy litigious Smurfs

Blue meanies

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Webmasters are standing defiant against an attack of litigious little blue cartoon characters, taking the fight deep into enemy territory. Which we believe is Belgium.

Earlier this week we reported how webmasters had been receiving cease and desist notices from Studio Peyo, which owns the rights to the Smurfs trademark. Studio Peyo objected to a nine year old page on a site hosted by a Californian ISP, a page which translates English into Smurf Language. But the bullying missive was sent in error, the webmaster Robin Bandy pointed out.

Bandy knows his domain name rights and wrongs inside out, having stood for a seat on ICANN's board via the At Large Elections in 2000, and started the alternative root domain system OpenNIC. Another site hosted on the University of Michigan's servers has fallen silent in response to a similar threat.

But confident that his subdomain is safe, Robin has restored the language translator. You can find the URL, and read the latest on the saga here.

We've already found Websmurfer invaluable.

We've been struggling to make sense of Tim O'Reilly's description of this Web 2.0 thing, and helpful readers have been offering their own interpretations.

So we ran Transcendental Tim's revised "pithy definition" through the Smurf-fish:

And this is what it came back with:

I said I'm not fond of definitions, but I woke up this morning with the start of one in my smurfy head:

'Web 2.0 is smurfily the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are smurfily those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more smurfs use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an "architecture of participation," and going beyond the smurf metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich smurfy user experiences.'

Ah, now all is clear. ®

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