Dervaes Family Sends Out Ridiculous Press Release Claiming They're Not Trying to Shut Up Urban Homesteaders

Say what you will about the dingbat Dervaeses of Pasadena, the family that stirred a national controversy when they decided to trademark the terms "urban homestead" and "urban homesteading," but at least they remain consistent. They've maintained their innocence from the start, blaming a conspiracy of rivals for the truth: that they've sent letters to organizations, libraries and others asking them to stop using their trademarked terms--or else. Hell, they posted said letter on their web sites, in words loud and clear.

Yet, in their deluded minds, they're innocent babes! Earlier this morning, they sent out a press release blaming bloggers for their current travails. Ha!

"In the attempt to maintain the reputation and integrity of the trademarks, Dervaes Institute has privately informed, to date, a total of 16 organizations, publishers and businesses about the proper usage of the registered terms," the press release reads (their underlining, not ours). "No threat was made against anyone's first amendment rights; yet, there has been a heated argument in the media against what should have been the Dervaeses' normal rights to protect their trademarks."

"No threat"? That's why Facebook groups with the terms were taken down? That's why KCRW-FM 89.9--a station that knows a bit or two about First Amendment rights--took down a story advertising a urban homestead lecture at the Santa Monica Library? Dingbats.

What's even more ludicrous, however, is how the Dervaeses then lash out at "bloggers."

"Blogging is often confused with reporting; and there are now cases where people have engaged in a negative blogging campaign aimed at discrediting the Dervaes family," the press release states. "Whereas professional reporters substantiate their news before publishing stories and are careful not to make slanderous statements, bloggers have no editors and often demonstrate little or no interest in supporting their claims with fact. As a result, irresponsible or malicious blogging can cause harm to people and businesses."

Blogging not reporting? That's so 2000. And gracias to the Dervaeses' loud mouths--all people have had to do is quote from their own writings to show what Thought Police this clan of crypto-capitalists are.

More--much more--on this issue in the coming days.


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24 comments
Angela
Angela

I believe the bloggers and other media outlets are responsible for not correctly reporting the story and not investigating the facts.This has perpetuated a distortion of what actually happened and what the Dervaes actually did.

The Dervaes Letter sent out was to notify those who were using the terms for business or commercial purposes that the terms were now trademarked. Therefore, the Dervaes Institute was instructing on the proper use of the mark in a business or commercial sense. To say this letter took away the rights of the general public and was forbidding them to use the term without the Dervaes permission is unfair and unfounded..

Rancherdaddy
Rancherdaddy

Its a shame the way these folks are protesting about this couples take over of a couple of words, could they not put more energy into the fight against Monsanto and GMOs that are taking over the legal right of the very creation we need to survive!

Nicholas
Nicholas

Great job on this, Gustavo--keep being persistent. I found out about the story (and was linked here) through BoingBoing, so word about this is definitely spreading. Don't let them off the hook, compa.

Ww
Ww

What about all those pictures on their blog they use that are not theirs? Old canning posters and pictures, pictures of Little House on the Prairie, and many others. That's copyright issues there. I hope the true owners of those pictures find them on their site without the proper credit, acknowledgment, or permission to use them on their blog.

guest
guest

When they said "blogging is not reporting," they probably meant "blogging is not journalism," as Journalism (which this column clearly isn't) would imply an effort to investigate both sides. Have you called them for comment? Have you made any attempt to be even fair? For example, explain to me where the "or else" statement is in their letters, as you claim. I think a fair argument (or more than fair argument) could be made that the terms "urban homestead" and "urban homesteading" shouldn't have been granted a trademark/service mark. But it was. And as they have pointed out, "edible landscaping" and "victory garden" and other similar terms have been granted trademarks. Where's your rant about that as well? At least play fair.

MrBrownThumb
MrBrownThumb

I wonder how much of their martyr complex is a result of their religious background? Those religious websites of theirs they took down make the dad seem a little off. I mean, who makes kids stand outside with signs? I'm the result of an upbringing by hard-core Pentecostals and even they never made me do that. That's bordering on Westboro craziness.

Project Small blog
Project Small blog

Sounds like they should also trademark "cray-cray" because they have a whole lot of that going on!

Eclecticshaman
Eclecticshaman

Angela, are you one of the Derveas trolling? Sounds like.  

Mediageek
Mediageek

Hi, Jules. Since your entire homestead grew out of the news that your favorite restaurant--TACO BELL--used Monsanto-developed crops in its ingredients, it makes sense here that you would mention that fact (and also given your uber-religious bent, the word "creation" to refer to crops in a way I've never seen before). Shame you had to use a pseudonym referring to your failed ranch in New Zealand rather then posting under your own name.

Tomohoc1
Tomohoc1

Monsanto and the Durvaes... what an appropriate comparison... both are trying to steal from the People in the name of intellectual property...

Guest
Guest

I have just Trademarked the phrase, "Urban Journalism." From now on, any reporting, blogging, discussion, or dissemination of any ideas (past, present or future) of any topic that explicitly or implicitly referest to Journalism in an Urban setting - or which may be interpreted as an Urban setting - shall be considered protected by Trademark. Anyone using the mentioned phrase shall give proper credit to the Trademark Holder - ME.

Chip
Chip

Nice try, sockpuppet. The DMCA requests have been published, and sites have been taken down. There is no question as to what the dervaes family has done. They've posted on their blog that they think they own the words, so there's no question as to why they did it. There is no "other side" to the story. They're in the wrong, and deserve every bit of the negative publicity that is now coming their way.

Guest
Guest

Yes, those other terms have been trademarked, however, the owners of those trademarks don't go around harrassing bloggers, writers and others for using the terms.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

APOLOGIST ALERT! APOLOGIST ALERT! Not only have I been fair, I've quoted directly from their many missives on the matter—how's that for their side?

Guest
Guest

The implied "or else" in their letters they sent is the statement "we are usually able to to resolve this issue without involving legal counsel." The Dervaes family has had ample opportunity to explain their side -- on their website, and in the press release they sent out which is referenced in this article.

What about the "sides" of the Facebook pages that the Dervaeses shut down, like Denver Urban Homesteading? DUH is a year-round farmers' market that has absolutely nothing to do with the Dervaes family. The Facebook page had over 2,000 fans, and it was the primary way that the market's owner communicated with his customers. Now the Dervaes family got the page shut down (which has more to do with Facebook's reactionary policies than the validity of their claims). This impacts not only the market's owner, a small businessman, but it also affects the local growers and producers that sell at the market. How is that defensible?

twittyloc
twittyloc

The most telling in this most telling excerpt is Jules' comment at the bottom.Source: http://thehiddenyears.org/1985..."However, I would like to point out at this time that, yes, you, Mrs. Dervaes, do have a problem, but we feel, Mr. Dervaes, it stems from your lack of understanding of the proper role and relationship of a husband in a marriage. In addition to this, a lack of understanding in treating your wife as “the weaker vessel.” “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (I Peter 3:7).It is clear to us that Mrs. Dervaes was wrought up to the point of walking out of the family home and under tremendous pressure. Naturally, we do not want to see this happen and are gravely concerned about the situation.It is our opinion that Mrs. Dervaes is being pushed too much by her husband and needs more “elbow room” in order to be an individual. It is the man’s responsibility to do the business area of a marriage, and its major communications. Apparently, it is the habit of you, Mr. Dervaes, to have your wife do all of the communication in business matters, rather than taking the lead when things get difficult. Then you criticize your wife for not doing things in the manner which you desire. This obviously creates a great deal of tension for her.Next, we understand your preference for teaching your children at home and have no comment on that except to say that such a situation creates a tremendous burden, principally on the one doing the teaching, i.e., Mrs. Dervaes. We wonder whether or not Mrs. Dervaes is strong enough at this time physically and emotionally, to cope with such a situation, having four children under the age of 10. This in addition to having recently moved to Pasadena and living in a home which has much need of repair and renovation.It is also apparent that you, Mrs. Dervaes, are easily influenced and do not make up your own mind on certain things and stick to them. We feel that you misunderstand the biblical injunction of Eph. 5:22, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” There are times when a husband should submit to the will and desires of his mate, as indeed Eph. 5:21 makes clear: “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”I would again like to reiterate that we are not here to force counseling upon you in any way, shape or form, but merely wish to point out that from our many years of experience we conclude that a major problem exists in your marriage and that you need counsel and advice.I would like to encourage you both to follow the admonitions in the book of Proverbs (Prov. 12:15, 15:22, 19:20 and 20:18) that you seek out, listen to, and follow good advice. I would personally like to encourage you to do this. Help is at hand, but it is up to you whether or not you wish to accept it.Sincerely,[Signature on file]Arthur O. Sucklingcc: G. Albrecht; C. Bryant; R. McNair(NOTE: This letter to Mr. and Mrs. Dervaes at the end of their 1985 counseling session is Mr. Suckling’s assessment based on faulty and incomplete knowledge and biased by his prejudice against any Christian who behaved as an adult.)"

Tomohoc1
Tomohoc1

i love when jules gets reminded of the real him... taco bell  eating ignoramus... no one can hide from the truth... a bible thumper should know this...

anne
anne

Dervaes Institute did not shut down those facebook pages. That is a false rumor.

guest
guest

@twittyloc #1 i am shocked that they even dared "copyright' (I assume it's only been a year or two if that? I'm hearing of this just now) a term that has been in use since 1980.  I'd like to see the legal proof that they have legally copyrighted it.  From what i have read about copyrights, you can't copyright concepts and ideas, and how dare they suggest other words...  I hope someone with big bucks comes along and challenges the copyright itself, especially if it can be documented that a published article or book used the term before these people "copyrighted" it.  Or even that the people they've forced to stop, used the term before they copyrighted it...  

#2 I happen to know who the people are, that signed that letter  you posted about offering counseling to them, in 1985.  I know exactly where these people come from, in the religious sense -- and therefore can say, with firsthand knowledge, that these people are NOT typical of people from that religious group -- especially when it comes to being publicly obnoxious.

#3 I think the very best thing we can ALL do is completely ignore them.  ignore their "website", their Facebook page, etc.  They are not the first people who did this "urban homesteading" thing... I had neighbors across the street (and I live in a town not far from Pasadena) who did as much or more than they do with their property, and I know plenty of people who do it -- my point being that they are NOT the only source of information.  So we need to stop feeding the phenomenon -- shun, boycott, ignore, whatever you'd like to call it.... and let them live their little lives in the little isolation chamber they're in the process of creating for themselves.  

Sharoney
Sharoney

Sounds like emotional abuse to me. Just saying.

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