Even though we’re still in alpha phase, yesterday we got contacted by Facebook’s lawyers in regards to the word “book” in our name.
Although our intention was to use it in the sense of an open book, something that is widely or fully known : a thing completely free from mystery or concealment, we had suspected they wouldn’t let this go and had started considering alternatives for a long time already.
A year ago, when I first told Phil Zimmermann about the project, he suggested another name: Openspace. We thought it was great, the name reflected what we wanted to create back then and what we want to create today, an open, honest, transparent and welcoming space on the internet. Given we had press articles coming out every day and our hands tied building up the Kickstarter campaign, we decided back then that it was no longer viable.
Times have changed. We now we find ourselves in a position where changing our name seems to be the way forward. We can’t afford (€) to go on a legal dispute with Facebook over this.
We have all grown familiar with the name Openbook, specially over here at the office. It won’t be easy to see something other instead but with change also comes opportunity, and this could be one to finally break away from the stigma and expectations which were unfortunately indirectly brought up by the word. An opportunity to spark curiosity from the get go, to show that we’re different and want to do different.
Over the upcoming weeks we’ll be slowly transitioning to the new name, website, mobile app, media handles and more.
As we move forward, let’s cherish the past months as the beginning of something special made only possible by 3000+ self-less individuals from more than 50 countries taking it on themselves to solve a pressing issue in our society, and look into the future with optimism over the opportunities this change can bring.
Thank you for being around. ❤️
How do you know this name won’t have any issues as well?
We’ve checked. It’s all good, we’ve also started legal measures to ensure the situation can’t be repeated.
What about the Kickstarter perks?
As we have everything ready to ship, you’ll be now receiving a single run collectors item instead of an ordinary perk you could order on a merch-shop later on.
When does beta start?
We’ve already started on-boarding the first people to sign up for beta and we’ll continue to do so gradually. If you want to skip the waitlist and go straight in with a founder badge, we’ll have our Indiegogo campaign running for a couple weeks more.
Haven’t signed up? Do it while it’s still possible at https://openbook.social.
What are your online channel links now?
They will remain on Openbook for a couple days longer.
Stay tuned in our Twitter account or the official /c/openbook community in Openbook, we’ll announce the new ones there soon.