Plea for help from Horowhenua Library Trust


(by Liz Rea on behalf of the community):
There has been a lot of news in the last 24 hours – much of it has been collected in this Zotero group. Coverage of the story includes three radio stories, one TV clip, blog posts, tweets, Facebook and G+ updates. We are overwhelmed by the support we are getting from around the world – thank you so much for your time, money, tweets, and attention to our plight.

We learned a few hours ago of a press release and statement from a LibLime/PTFS staff member that states their intention to transfer the TM to the Horowhenua Library Trust. However, as of this writing there has been no official communication between LibLime/PTFS and HLT that I am aware of. We will update this post again when we have more information, and thank you again (and again) for your support.

Original Post

Horowhenua Library Trust is the birth place of Koha and the longest serving member of the Koha community. Back in 1999 when we were working on Koha, the idea that 12 years later we would be having to write an email like this never crossed our minds. It is with tremendous sadness that we must write this plea for help to you, the other members of the Koha community.

The situation we find ourselves in, is that after over a year of battling against it, PTFS/Liblime have managed to have their application for a Trademark on Koha in New Zealand accepted. We now have 3 months to object, but to do so involves lawyers and money. We are a small semi rural Library in New Zealand and have no cash spare in our operational budget to afford this, but we do feel it is something we must fight.

For the library that invented Koha to now have to have a legal battle to prevent a US company trademarking the word in NZ seems bizarre, but it is at this point that we find ourselves.

So, we ask you, the users and developers of Koha, from the birth place of Koha, please if you can help in anyway, let us know.

Help the cause – contribute to our legal challenge fund:

Contribute using PayPal

NZ cheques can be made out to Horowhenua Library Trust and posted to:

Levin Library, 10 Bath Street, Levin 5510

Bank deposits can be made to this account:

Te Horowhenua Trust, Westpac, Levin, NZ. 030667-0299274-00  REF: Trademark

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69 comments on “Plea for help from Horowhenua Library Trust
  1. Hugh McGuire says:

    ach. do you have any contact information? email address?

  2. Bruce Ferrell says:

    Do you have any other way to donate. I will not do any business with paypal.

  3. denise says:

    this is disgraceful, liblime the company stealing the software has on its parent website a list of clients – send them the article, tell them the software is free they do not have to pay liblime. start a facebook page let the world know, write on these company facebook pages.

  4. Andrew Bryan says:

    Hi Guys – you should speak to lecturers at the varios university law schools in Auckland and Wellington. I am sure that they will take on this cause free of charge.

  5. Mary says:

    Can you publish a bank number and I’ll happily make a donation

  6. James says:

    So – to be clear about this: Koha is released under the GPL, so the software itself will remain free and open-source. However, LibLime is seeking to Trademark the term ‘Koha’ in New Zealand – is that correct? If so, for what specific purpose?

    There is something missing from this story that we’re not getting. I’m all for supporting you guys against this sort of legal bullying, but the relationship between the trademark battle and the software licence needs to be made clear.

  7. Jonathan Brumley says:

    To think that some stupid corporation can trademark a word special to one of the unique and important cultures of New Zealand and the world, is revolting. Will happily make a donation on the friday. Other than donating, what else can we do?

  8. Ju says:

    This article provide quite an informative background to the PTFS/LibLime issue, as of May 2010:

    So it seems that the trademark matter is the latest (possibly the most outrageous) in a long series of disputes.

  9. Rangi says:

    What needs to be done is some research on Liblime’s client base, find out who the clients are & send them letters outlining what they have been up to. Target the big clients & work down. This would be cheaper than any legal action.

  10. Helena says:

    I’d also like to contribute if there’s way other than paypal.