The proprietary world vs. Worldlabel: interview with Russel Ossendryver

The proprietary world vs. Worldlabel: interview with Russel Ossendryver


I was talking to Russel Ossendryver recently, WorldLabel's owner. After exchanging a few words, and being a little shocked by what I heard, I told him "Russel,would you like me to actually interview you formally?" He was a little hesitant at first. However, in the end we decided that current events needed as much exposure as possible. So, this is a friendly private conversation that turned into an interview.

Here it is!

TM: What is Worldlabel?

Worldlabel is a manufacturer of laser and inkjet printer labels with a focus on factory direct sales online. We manufacture over 50sizes including CD, address, mailing labels and more on a variety of different materials. Our competition is the dominant player in themarket, the Avery Denisson Corp. Recently we see some competition from Staples, Office Max and Office Depot, all huge nationwide office supply store chains starting to package their own generic laser and inkjet label referencing same sizes as Avery.

TM: This wording, "same size as Avery", seems to create problems... have people had problems with it...

There have been some issues and delisting recently using the term"Avery labels" as a sponsored keyword for advertising in the main search engines. This was apparently due to a complaint. Avery sizes are the de facto standard in the industry. They are the default templates in MS Word, OpenOffice.org and every label printing program including those for Linux. Folks refer and identify our products by using the term Avery Labels and their product numbers. People should have a choice and know that there are generic versions available.

TM: Do you know who complained? Do you think it was Avery?

I do not know who complained, I can only make assumptions because the Avery/Microsoft alliance is extremely strong. It seems like the pressure is on because we are being attacked by Microsoft also.

TM: What kind of pressure?

We received a Cease & Desist letter from the lawyers of Microsoft regarding a Logo of Microsoft which they claim is being misused on Worldlabel requesting the removal. The C&D has been uploaded toChillingEffects.org. I am not sure when it will be posted there. The Logo Link was on a page with free label template resources in Word and PDF and linked to a similar type page on MS offering free resources. As far as we are concerned there was no misuse of the Logo as it is not part of the Worldlabel.com website and only referred viewers to products and services of MS by a digital display: We have removed the logo links and have been wanting to for some time in any case.

A screenshot of the web siteA screenshot of the web site

TM: It feels to me that whenever someone puts their money where their mouth is, Microsoft tends to listen and strike.Am I just being paranoid? What are your thoughts about this?

It is obvious that Microsoft will find a way to attack anyone who does something they don't like, no matter how big or small and even petty. Worldlabel.com is not as big as the smallest division in Microsoft. We sponsored the 2006 OpenOffice.org templates contest because we support the Open Document Format and we are members of the ODFalliance.org which must have raised the attention of Microsoft. My instinct told me that we might be sticking our neck out. I was right.I don't think you are being paranoid, the Logo links have been online for about 7 years, so why now?

TM: What are you doing to prevent problems like this in the future?

We have removed all MS Logos from our site. There is really nothing else to do. We will continue doing business as normal. Worldlabel.com is dedicated to FOSS and Open Standards and will continue to push them everywhere. And, probably more aggressively now than ever before.

TM: Thank you for answering our questions, Russel!

Category: 

Author information

Tony Mobily's picture

Biography

Tony is the founder and the Editor In Chief of Free Software Magazine