It was a week or so ago that I read (using Weave of course) that Seles Games, the developer behind the best news reader (IMHO) for Windows Phone and Windows 8, was being challenged by a French site, who chose to secure a community trademark for the “verb” Weave back in 2012. This French site does have an RSS feed, as do millions of other sites around the world, but they are not a news aggregator. Actually I don’t know what the hell they do cause their site is all French. And being a French site, you can be sure as shit, there won’t be any option to translate to the “new” world language, English. I think the French are still having a hard time with that. When I read the story, realizing that this was nothing more than trolling, I expected a quick resolution, along with my continued immersion into Weave each morning and evening for all my news.
It’s been a busy couple weeks at work and one of the things that have suffered is my keeping up to date on Twitter. Fast forward to last night and I find that Weave was in fact delisted from the Windows Phone Store as Microsoft had warned on April 17. WTF. A campaign is currently going on at Twitter to encourage; #windowsphone, #joebelifore, #microsoft and whoever else will listen to reconsider #selesgame’s plight. How can an app that has been part of the Windows Phone ecosystem almost since the beginning, continually grown and improved over the past four years, received overwhelming praise from the WP community and expanded to other Windows platforms with seamless syncing, be deslisted because of a frivolous claim by a website that happens to use the same verb for a name. Then again, Microsoft didn’t put up much of a fight for Metro and Sky, so maybe it’s just the way they are thinking these days. Furlough all the lawyers and hire more Cloud developers.
Interestingly, Weave New Reader for Windows 8 has “not” been delisted, yet. Why? Different developer policy? The Frenchmen can’t find the right address to mail another threatening letter from their Attorney? Not sure. But it is a bit curious.
I took a quick look on Bing to see how many other sites will be ready to pound on Weave New Reader, assuming they get past this hurdle.
Looks to me like Weave is a pretty common word, used in a lot of different contexts.
And then there’s this.
Wait. Weave isn’t even their word! I guess they would have tried www.armure.com, but C’est la vie, it’s already taken.
And I am pretty sure the English had it first, or at least before the silly French did anyway.
Would You Rather Fight Than Switch?
In an earlier time I would have been at the front of an all out fight to protect the rights of Seles Games and their fantastic app, Weave. I would have been demanding that Microsoft ignore this bogus claim and support one of their finest developers. But with age comes wisdom. Microsoft has a policy. And right or wrong, they have to apply that policy across the board, no exceptions. It’s called the rule of law. Something our current Administration knows nothing about. Maybe Seles Games should have copyrighted Weave in 2010, assuming it would be a blockbuster hit on a brand new phone platform. I don’t know for sure if it would have helped. But it wouldn’t have hurt.
I for one don’t want to lose access to Weave, or whatever the next iteration will be called. Other apps in the Windows Phone Store have changed their name and survived. Package Tracker was originally Parcel Tracker for example. A simple update and Weave could become Armure. Or maybe Kutoa (Finnish is a really odd language). Yes, it will definitely impact all the marketing Seles Games has put into their Weave brand these past for years. And some users will be confused at first. But this is an area where Microsoft can, and definitely should, provide assistance. With a name change, TheNewWeave has to be relaunched in the Windows Stores, both Phone and PC. TheNewWeave should be included in any upcoming print and media advertising for Windows Phone 8.1. Sure, Instagram and Pandora are important to some people. But so is TheNewWeave. This is how Microsoft can right a wrong without compromising their policies. And without having to call a few of those attorneys back from furlough. It’s the right thing to do.