``The Net'' has become a common and generic phrase among Canada's online community. It is often used in reference to the Internet, cyberspace, University campus networks, or computer communication networks and messaging systems generally.

During the last two weeks of September 1995, Electronic Frontier Canada compiled a list of occurrences of this phrase, ``The Net'', in popular media to illustrate just how widespread and longstanding this usage has become. If you know know of any example uses of ``The Net'' that should be added to this list, just drop us a line at efc-web@efc.ca.


Electronic Frontier Canada compiled this list as part of its efforts to oppose Bell Canada's application to register a trademark on the phrase, ``The Net'', in relation to computer communications and messaging services, on behalf of its subsidiary WorldLinx Telecommunications. According to section 38 of the Trade-mark Act, anyone can oppose an application to register a trademark by filing the appropriate forms and paying a fee of $250.

Electronic Frontier Canada filed its formal opposition with the Registrar of Trade-marks on September 29th, 1995.

Bell Canada notified the Registrar of Trade-marks that it wished to abandon their application to trademark ``The Net'' on October 6, 1995.

It's over. We won.


When did ``The Net'' enter the lexicon?


This list is just a small sampling, ...

1981

Usenet News -- Subject: Net Names, NET.news.0087, wolfvax.53, net.news, wolfvax!jcz, Mon Nov 2 21:47:32 1981, In Real Life: Carl Zeigler, NCSU, Raleigh.
``The net represents a wide spectrum of interest (everything from the latest kill-the-millions-hardware to the latest sci-fi movies). . . .
The participants of the net include major (and not so major) universities, corporations, think tanks, research centers, and the like. . . .
I am told that a lot of traffic on the net is not discussion, but real honest-to-goodness work. (Code, applications, ideas, and such.)''

1982

Usenet News -- Subject: Trivia on the Net, NET.misc.0081, dadlaA.98, net.misc, dadlaA!steve, Mon Mar 15 21:56:49 1982, (Textronix employee)
``I am beginning to wonder about USENET. I thought it was supposed to represent electronic mail and bulletins among a group of professionals with a common interest, thus representing fast communications about important technical topics. Instead it appeared to be mutating into electronic graffiti.''

1988

ISLANDS IN THE NET, Bruce Sterling, Arbor House, 1988.

1990

Computer Underground Digest, 1.00, Mike Godwin, March 28, 1990
`` If you're a Usenet site, you may receive megabytes of new data every day, but you have no common-carrier protection in the event that someone puts illegal information onto the Net and thence into your system.''

Computer Underground Digest, 1.22, Mike Godwin, July 14, 1990
``Law enforcement access to the Net -- Mr. A is also correct to note that relatively few law-enforcement officials have Net access, and fewer still understand the relevant electronic subculture.''

Computer Underground Digest, 1.22, John Perry Barlow, July 22, 1990
``The Net may be instantaneous, but people are as slow as ever.''

A Not Terribly Brief History of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, by John Perry Barlow, November 8, 1990.
``In late April of 1990, I got a call from Special Agent Richard Baxter of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.''

``I wrote a piece about these events called Crime & Puzzlement. Although I did so at the request of the Whole Earth Review -- it made its first print appearance in the Fall 1990 issue -- I "published" it on the Net in June and was astonished by the response. It was like planting a fence-post and discovering that the "ground" into which you've driven it is actually the back of a giant animal which quivers and heaves at the irritation.''

``Working with Jerry Berman of the ACLU, Mitch and the EFF intend to create an " information consumers communications policy forum" to bring together the Baby Bells, AT&T, other telcos, the FCC, newspaper publishers, online information services, and other stakeholders to discuss how their vision of the future of the Net serves the public interest.''

Electronically amplified, Mitch and I were able to personally conduct much of EFF's business in the first few months of operations. But gradually we had to confront the fact that while the Net is very broad, it is also quite shallow. Without even a sense of their physical location, we have been unable to marshal the hundreds of people who have e-mailed us with their volunteered services.''

1991

Programming Perl, by Larry Wall and Randal Schwartz, O'Reilly & Associates, January, 1991, p.270
``Scripts that are published on The Net* often begin with a #! (a sharp-bang, or shebang) line, which says the interpreter to use.
* - If anyone ever trademarks this term, we're all in trouble.''

1992

Zen and the Art of the Internet, Brendan P. Kehoe, version 1.0, January, 1992.
`` Acknowledgements -- I welcome you, the new user, to The Net. -- brendan@cs.widener.edu Chester, PA''

`` Glossary -- This glossary is only a tiny subset of all of the various terms and other things that people regularly use on The Net.''

`` Usenet News -- ... the network consisted of ... two sites ... and was described at the January 1980 Usenix conference in Boulder. ... As The Net grew, the news software was expanded and modified. . . .
Every once in a while, someone says that a celebrity is accessible through "The Net"; or, even more entertaining, an article is forged to appear to be coming from that celebrity.''

Mondo 2000's Guide to the New Edge, RU Sirius, Queen Mu, Eds., HarperCollins 1992
``The Net'', chapter starting on p.188

The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier, by Bruce Sterling, Bantam Books, 1992, ISBN 0-553-08058-X
``[Mitch] Kapor is determined to tackle the technicalities of the Internet in the service of the public interest. `The problem with being a node on the Net today is that you've got to have a captive technical specialist. . . . I can see a future in which any person can have a Node on the Net. Any person can be a publisher. . . .
Before people start coming in, who are new, who want to make suggestions, and criticize the Net as 'all screwed up' . . . [t]hey should at least take the time to understand the culture on its own terms.' ''

Digital Media, Denise Caruso, February 17, 1992, vol.1 no.9, p.3
``Electronic publishing on 'The Net': changing copyright law may help spur the market. (how Project Gutenberg seeks to expand the boundaries of electronic publishing)''

The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette, Arlene Rinaldi, Computer Users Services, Florida Atlantic University, July 1992 (has recently been updated).
``The "Internet" or "The Net", is not a single network; rather, it is a group of thousands of individual networks which have chosen to allow traffic to pass among them.''

LAN Technology, Mark Hall, October 1992, vol.8 no.10, p.18
``Uncle Sam hinders network technology. (The Net Report)

Communications of the ACM, Larry Press, December 1992, vol.35 no.12, p.21
``The Net: progress and opportunity. (the Internet and the global network to which it is connected)''

1993

Wired, 1.03, July/August 1993, p.53
``Where is the digital highway really heading? -- Bringing the Net to everyone is too important a matter to be left to the private market, the argument continues, so the government therefore must either take control of the process, or, in the extreme view, build the Net itself.

Wired, 1.03, July/August 1993, p.108
``Field Guides to the Net -- There's this Net our there somewhere in cyberspace. Nobody knows how big the Net is, or how to keep from getting lost once you're in it.''

Wired, 1.03, July/August 1993, p.100
``Internet Vending Machines -- ... So he hacked up a network connection to the vending contraption. ... This spawned other Coke machines hidden here and there on the Net.''

The History of the Net, Henry Edward Hardy, Master's Thesis, University of Michigan, September 28, 1993.
``Why write a history of the Net?
The Net is a unique creation of human intelligence.
The Net is the first intelligent artificial organism.
The Net represents the growth of a new society within the old.
The Net represents a new model of governance.
The Net represents a threat to civil liberties.
The Net is the greatest free marketplace of ideas that has ever existed.
The Net is in imminent danger of extinction.
The Net is immortal.''

Ethical issues in Computer Networking: Academic Freedom, Usenet, Censorship, and Freedom of Speech, Leslie Regan Shade, November 23, 1993.
``The equivalent to Miss Manners on the net are informal guidelines called "netiquette", slang for network etiquette. . . .
Janet Dixon, ... characterized sexual content on the net as "sexual terrorism", and questioned whether public funds should be utilized to support the "negative behavior" of some of the Usenet newsgroups, such as alt.sex and alt.sex.bondage. . . .
Mommy! Daddy! Look what I found on the net! -- the concern of K-12 access to offensive newsgroups. . . .
The net as we know it now is the antithesis of political correctness and family values and the apotheosis of free and protected speech. ''

RELease 1.0, December 31, 1993, vol.93 no.12, p.1
``Daily life on the net: net vignettes. (the emerging global web of computer networks)''

1994

Internet World, March/April 1994, p.14
``WordPerfect on the Net -- WordPerfect is offering service, support, and anonymous ftp via the Internet, including e-mail: support@wordperfect.com, and BBS: ftp.word.perfect.com.''

San Francisco Examiner, Howard Rheingold, April 6, 1994
``Yes, we have to think about ways of protecting our children and our society from the easy availability of every kind of abhorrent information imaginable. But the "censor the Net" approach is not just morally misguided. It's becoming technically impossible. As Net pioneer John Gilmore is often quoted: "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."

The Net's technological foundation was built to withstand nuclear attack. The RAND Corporation designed the network to be a thoroughly decentralized command-and-control-and communications system, one that would be less vulnerable to intercontinental missiles than a system commanded by a centralized headquarters.

Internet World, March/April 1994, p.57
``The Law of the Net''

PC World, Joe Abernathy, May 1994, vol.12 no.5, p.56
``Highway robbery: selling the net. (cable and telephone companies working to tap into the so-called information highway)''

Electronic Learning, Al Rogers, May/June 1994, vol.13 no.8, p.28
``Information of all types circulates on the Net. NASA scientists, aviation professionals and hobbyists, biologists mapping the human genome, Middle Eastern scholars studying the Dead Sea Scrolls, musicians, and dissident Chinese refugees can all be found online. The implications for schools are enormous.''

TIME, Philip Elmer-Dewitt, July 25, 1994
`` Battle for the Soul of the Internet -- According to the Reston, Virginia-based Internet Society, a private group that tracks the growth of the Net, it reaches nearly 25 million computer users ... and is doubling every year. . . .
On the Net, anyone with a computer and a modem can be his own reporter, editor and publisher -- spreading news and views to millions of readers around the world. . . .
The magic of the Net is that it thrusts people together in a strange new world, one in which they get to rub virtual shoulders with characters they might otherwise never meet.''

Industries in Transition, August 1994, vol.22, no.4
``How many users are on the Net?''

Symposium on Free Speech and Privacy in the Information Age, Parker Barrs Donham, November 26, 1994
`` An Unshackled Internet -- As everyone knows the signal-to-noise ratio on the Internet tends to be dreadfully low, and the quality of information it contains is often suspect. But one area that the net documents capably and comprehensively is the net itself. The Internet is surely one of the most self-absorbed and self-referential institutions in recent human history. . . .
The net has no centre. It is a web of interconnected nodes. . . .
This suggests to me that there exists a considerable hunger for information about sex, for discussion of sex, and even for the kinds of experimental, cyber-erotic experiences that the net offers. It suggests that the net is fulfilling an unmet need.''

1995

New York Times, Peter F. Harper, March 29, 1995
`` Don't tread on me: Accountability and Self-Regulation in CyberSpace -- ... the electronic communities that comprise the Net are in most cases stable and self-regulating as their citizens hold each other and their system administrator accountable for their online content and conduct. . . .
... legislation like Senator Exon's will most likely result in ... dividing the medium on jurisdictional boundaries -- dividing lines wholly inconsistent and incompatible with the meaning and working mechanism of the fluid and global medium that is the Net. . . .
... the Net is a global phenomenon. Attempts to control information here will simply mean that such information will be stored elsewhere and accessible remotely from the U.S.. The interconnected nature of the Net permits users to route around barriers and get to the information they want.''

Vancouver Sun, April 11, 1995, p.A11
``. . . have made it clear that they won't tolerate anarchy on the 'Net' and that they are prepared to go to court.''

Vancouver Sun, April 29, 1995, p.D8
``Using the Net, he might find something on the French revolution he borrowed from the library a couple of weeks ago.''

Maclean's, Warren Carragata, Joe Chidley, May 22, 1995
``The dark side of the Net has prompted calls for laws to regulate and censor what moves across its wires -- and Ottawa is considering doing that.'' p.1

`` Crime in Cybercity -- `We don't want to stifle communication. We don't want to shut down the Net.' . . .
No one owns the Net, so no one controls it. . . .
The Net providers say they cannot hope to control what floods over their networks and trust that they will eventually be considered common carriers, as the telephone companies are, freed from liability for what people say and do over the phone.''

`` Reality Check -- `The Internet needs content. It's a medium in desperate need of something to say. In the next 10 years, somebody will figure out how to charge for information over the Net, so you won't get things necessarily for free. -- Clifford Stoll''

TIME, Spring 1995
``In the years since, there have been other names given to the shadowy space where our computer data reside: the Net, the Web, the Cloud, the Matrix, the Metaverse, the Datasphere, the Electronic Frontier, the information superhighway.

Vancouver Province, June 18, 1995, p.A31
``The Net, created in the late 1960s by the U.S. defence department as a communications tool in the event of a nuclear war, . . .''

Canadian Business, Peter MacDonald, June 1995, p.155
``Living the global village: students who use the Net have begun to see their place in the world differently.''

Wired, 3.08, August, 1995
``Maybe the Net is, in fact, the telephone system. The real analogy is the time of trying to establish its rules between 1880 and 1930. And the conclusion was you could say almost anything.'' -- Newt Gingrich

Globe & Mail, September 15, 1995, p.A6
``The private side of publishing on the Net''

IEEE Spectrum, September 1995, p.28
``Given all the recent commercial interest in the Net, security has become paramount.''

National Geographic, October 1995, p.21
``The outgrowth of a U.S. Defense Department project, the Net has exploded into the civilian world.''

Best Of The Net
``showcase of Netscape customers who have built Net sites''

The Netizens and the Wonderful World of the Net: An Anthology
``With the rapid increase of network traffic, problems were discovered with the reliability of the subnet and corrections had to be worked on. In mid 1973, Norway and England were added to the Net by a low speed line, adding to the problems to be solved. By September 1973, there were 40 nodes and 45 hosts on the network.

Web Direct advertisement
``Your customers are on The Net / Your competition is on The Net / Where are you?

Copyright © 1995 by Electronic Frontier Canada, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
efc-web@efc.ca