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by oobio


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Tuesday, 20 March 2007
Helsinki Times Creative Commons Licence Notice
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Not kidding
Topic: News

To whom it may concern: 

Let me take you back in time with a little bit of history about Helsinki Times.


Over 4 years ago, in 2003, Oobio established the Helsinki Times website and online brand under Creative Commons licence, and is arguably one of the first English Language magazine/blog/online newspaper on the net in the small market of Finland.

Since then, Helsinki Times has had the pleasure of serving over 1 million pageviews to internet users around the globe in an ever increasing amount of internet traffic.

In fact, we pride ourselves on the geographical diversity of our visitors who originate in over 65 countries around the globe. And allthough less than 20 percent of our visitors originate in Finland, we have been referred to by respectable others in many different places. Many have stated that Helsinki Times is great PR for Helsinki and Finland on the international stage.

We also take pride in offering the latest Web 2.0 and browser tools to Helsinki Times users, and allthough we have a long way to go, we are determined to continue to pursue the Helsinki Times dream, a full-fledged daily printed english newspaper in Finland. This is the Helsinki Times mission. Just so you know.

Let it be obvious that it has always been Oobio's greatest wish to be a 'real' (paper) English language newspaper in Finland. Despite cost constraint, Helsinki Times has focused on fact finding, research, research, and product development, while Building The Helsinki Times Brand.

The reason I am telling you this is because the english language news- and blog-scene is heating up, as Phil calls Alexis from 6D a liar on his blog Finland for Thought in a local copyright infringement dispute.

This is an interesting case, in which as an added twist also Ovi Magazine, an online english language magazine established by former Six Degree employees Asa and Thanos seem to play an indirect role.

So it appears that the stakes of serving the english language newsmarket are getting higher, no doubt helped by Finlands 120,000 or so foreigners in Finland, and the relative high fluency in the English language of the general finnish population.

Now regardless of who's side you are on, if any, the current dispute reminded me of a little piece of information that Oobio recieved from the Finnish Trademark registry office that might or might not be relevant either now or in the future:

The company behind, or six degrees, which is an English Language local Newspaper produced by DreamCatcher Productions, has tried to claim the trading name 'Helsinki Times' in November 2006, and has registered

Hereby, RockField Communications is claiming all rights to using 'Helsinki Times' as a trading name based on intellectual property rights under the Creative Commons Licence, and by official Finnish legal intellectual property right protection offices.

This is a callout to all who it may concern that 'DreamCatcher' NOT steal our ideas, brand name, and intellectual property. 

Now it will, in a sense, actually be interesting to see whether anyone tries to use our Helsinki Times Brand, and if our intellectual property holds up in Finnish court under the Creative Commons Licence by which it is protected.

As we can see it states

"No Derivative Works. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work."


"Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes."

Now one of Helsinki Times' staff members has had the pleasure to meet and greet one of the founders of the Creative Commons Licence, Joi Ito, in person, and was wondering if any previous legislature exists in Finland where the CC-Licence was pitched against the local law.


In any case, considering the costs of building the Helsinki Times Brand, whoever tries to use the brandname can look forward to day in court facing a 6-figure claim. Just so you know.

In the meanwhile, in the dispute mentioned above, it seems that Deeplinking is the case at hand where 6D is accusing Finland for Thought of. While deeplinking on Internet is common practice, local laws may vary.

In cases of conflicts it is common usance to ask the site owner to remove content from their site, but in this case the owner of Six Degrees wrote a letter to Google on behalf of leading Finnish Newsagencies, who he said to represent.

In its over 4 years of existance, and publication of over 350 articles, Helsinki Times has not once received a request to remove any content from its site, which makes this case all the more a remarkable one.

Which raises the question: If 6D is so concerned about intellectual property rights, why do try to steal ours?



Made by Oobio at 9:49 AM EEST | Post Comment | View Comments (6) | Permalink
Updated: 9:49 AM EEST

Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - 1:19 PM EEST

Name: oobio
Home Page:

After posting this article I felt it justified to give a call to those involved, to discuss the matter in person, always the best method to solve misunderstandings before emotionally ranting against or for one thing or another on a public blog. 

Let that be an important lesson to everyone, the fact that there are big differences between a blog and a newspaper.

A phone conversation with Dreamcatcher turned out that this might all be the result of multiple (smaller) misunderstandings that together made it a big one.

As far as Helsinki Times is concerned, we will discuss further later this week with Dreamcatcher. They did mention they had no actual need for the name 'Helsinki Times' so perhaps/hopefully we can come to an understanding. We'll keep you posted.

As far as the copyright infringement issue of Finland For Thought is concerned, at least it turns out that no government subsidies were granted to Dreamcatcher or, which I think is an important fact for the FFT crowd to take note of.


Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - 1:44 PM EEST

Name: oobio
Home Page:

"Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied."

Pearl S. Buck

Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - 6:34 PM EEST

Name: "wil gorree"

Interesting indeed....Just a small critique. There is no s in the word "licence.  Take care

Wednesday, 21 March 2007 - 4:00 AM EEST

Name: "Oobio"
Home Page:

"wil gorree" wrote:
Interesting indeed....Just a small critique. There is no s in the word "licence. Take care



Thank you Wil for the tip, the mistake has now been corrected! 

Thursday, 22 March 2007 - 4:55 PM EEST

Name: "Fat Bastard"

"wil gorree" wrote:
Interesting indeed....Just a small critique. There is no s in the word "licence. Take care


Just a small critique. There actually is a s in the word license. Both forms a completely aceeptable and it seems that the original form actually is 'license' deriving from Old Frech and Latin.

From Merriam-Webster: 

" Main Entry: li·cense
Pronunciation: 'lIs-&ns
Function: noun
Etymology: Anglo-French, literally, permission, from Old French, from Latin licentia, from licent- licens, present participle of licEre to be permitted, be for sale

Thursday, 14 June 2007 - 10:42 PM EEST

Name: oobio
Home Page:

This issue has been solved, as Oobio met with Dreamcatcher and solved their differences and got to the conclusion that there were several misunderstandings that have now been completely clarified.

Rockfield Communications, and Alexis, Dreamcatcher Oy, have agreed to work together to further build the Helsinki Times brand to bring quality english news from finland to our combined readership.

 Though I realise this is an unconventional way of resoliving a business dispute, we are dedicated to openess and transparency in a tru and transparent internet way.


In fact, I would here like to compliment Alexis and Dreamcatcher on the professional production of what consitutes a quality newspaper.


With this Alexis is doing a great service to those people who are interested in reading english news from finland.


Therefor, Oobio is continuing and has agreed to working together with Alexis and Dreamcatcher Oy to make its online assests available to the extended Helsinki Times editorial team.


Expect to see big changes coming in the nearby future coming from what now seems to be emerging as a Helsinki Times Media Group, with both a print- as well as an online- division.


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