On Sat, May 3, 2008 at 3:42 AM, Daniel R. Tobias
"wikipedia" becomes a common term for
reference sources and online
projects of various sorts, like "the wikipedia of baseball
I see that happening in Germany once in a while, too. It started with
other Wiki projects on particular subjects and more and more,
"Wikipedia" can be used as a metaphor on something that contains lots
Even if there are some negative consequences associated with that
development, the positive implications are much larger.
This seems to touch on the
broad issue of genericisation. Owners of
trademarks such as Kleenex, Xerox and many others have been fighting
this rearguard action for many years with little hope of real success.
While there may be a cause of action when someone else uses the name to
promote its product as in using a Canon copier to Xerox one's documents.
nothing can be done to stop an individual from xeroxing on a Canon. The
Canon Company itself knows enough not to fall into that trap, but local
retailers will frequently ignore this.