Earlier this week, the DIY/Decor-o-sphere was rocked by the news that flat-boxed furniture conglomerate IKEA was attempting to shutdown its largest fansite, the 8-year-old, IKEAHackers.
Full disclosure here, I’m a huge fan of IKEAHackers and long time reader. Have I stained, repainted, and replaced the hardware on a RAST? Of course. Who hasn’t?
According to Jules Yap, the owner and caretaker of this resource-laden tribute to the ingenuity of mankind and IKEA:
Some months ago I received a Cease and Desist (C&D) letter from the agent of Inter IKEA Systems B.V., citing that my site IKEAhackers.net has infringed upon its intellectual property rights. In that letter they asked that I agree to voluntarily transfer the domain name IKEAhackers.net to them, failing which they reserve the right to take any legal action it deems necessary against me.Long story short, after much negotiation between their agent and my lawyer, I am allowed to keep the domain name IKEAhackers.net only on the condition that it is non-commercial, meaning no advertising whatsoever.
IKEAhackers is an extensive archive of user submitted posts from around the world about well…hacking IKEA furniture. Whatever you need in your house, however obscure or bizarre, there is probably someone who has submitted a project that solves your problem. Here is post about using IKEA furniture to build a hanging rat cage, just to make my point.
I am not a lawyer but I do understand the need to protect one’s trademarks. Fortunately, public pressure has led IKEA to rethink it’s original overtures to shut down the site and renegotiate the shutdown of the giant advertisement for the company. (Really, this website is an advertisement for IKEA and it costs the company NO MONEY.) Jules writes:
So, yesterday evening I received an email from Anders of Inter IKEA Systems BV asking me to get in touch. I did and he told me he was having lunch! (So good to talk to a human who eats!) Later he called back to express that IKEA would like to dialogue with me to find a new way forward. What does that mean? I don’t know yet. But I am hopeful, though my guard is still up. From our conversation, I do not have to make any changes to IKEAhackers (including the ads) till we settle on an agreement.
IKEA issued a statement on Yahoo!Homes:
We want to clarify that we deeply regret the situation at hand with IKEAhackers. It has of course never been our ambition to stop their webpage. On the contrary, we very much appreciate the interest in our products and the fact that there are people around the world that love our products as much as we do. We are now evaluating the situation, with the intention to try to find a solution that is good for all involved.
Let’s hope this new gesture leads to the continuation of IKEA Hackers.
I will leave you with the a picture 2013’s winner of the IKEA Hack of the year (the Expedit Bar):