Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Path To Freedom’s Ridiculous Claim

Wow what a crazy 24 hours it has been!  Yesterday was apparently the take back homesteading day of action.  An event I wasn’t aware of, because I didn’t know about the Dervaes’s family’s ridiculous copyright filing on homestead and homesteading.  Unfortunately I posted a video on the same day which many people took as a sign of support.  To be clear, I don’t support the Drevaes family.  I didn’t even know there was a roaring controversy.  So today, I spent my normal blog time writing emails explaining all of this and responding to comments.

For more info on this I suggest reading the following:

Below is a copy of the email I sent to folks explaining the situation:


I wanted to respond to your comment on the blog personally.  The past few day has rather blindsided me to be honest.  I found out about the ridiculous homesteading copyright yesterday at about 11am, I was informed by you and other readers.  I personally think that the claims the Drevaes family has tried to assert are ridiculous.  I also feel that the copyright will soon be revoked, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has helped several people lawyer up and they have a very good track record.

The point is, I became aware of this after my posts were made, had I known about the controversy, the post would not have been made.  The upshot of it all is that there have been some interesting conversations done in the comments.  To delete the post would be to delete the comments and conversations.

So I invite you to continue reading the blog and would love to hear your thoughts.



  1. This response is an example of the way adults behave, when a difference of opinion, or a perceived slight, is voiced. A measured response, having researched the issue, and an intelligent conclusion. I really appreciate your thoughtful actions, Ryan. Fight the good fight, grow the good garden, and welcome to the (way older than SOME would like you to think) Urban Homestead Family!

  2. I feel so relieved to see this posting. I am not usually one to “troll”, and I felt like my comment yesterday was abrupt and not informative or educational in the least. So, for that, I apologize!

    Now that everything is out in the open, I think the posting yesterday was a blessing. We can now see how the Dervaes’ has influence on so many different lifestyles, and how they have lit their candle at both ends. This was a great way to let the Tiny House community know what’s going on with their neighbors.

  3. It is so good to have the kind of community where we can have conversations like this and like each other more on the other side. Thanks for your immediate and comprehensive response, Ryan.

  4. Thank you for this! My husband loves your site and I was dreading telling him about the post yesterday.

  5. Thank you for the thoughtful post today, Ryan. Going to link to it on the “Take Back Urban Homesteading Page” right now.

  6. Ryan, I think you’ve handled a difficult situation admirably.

    All your detractors in the comments seem to assume that you spend all day every day keeping up with every community on the planet, and you have a fact-checking department the same size as the new york times. hey people — it’s a free blog!! the people that write these things probably have a paying job they have to attend to, a family, and lots of other demands on their time. So don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that they know everything you know. show a little respect and make your comments informational rather than condemning.

    i heard of the path to freedom site probably 5-6 years ago, so i’ve ambled around this community for a little while. i’ve always admired what they’d done on their property. I had no idea until the postings here that there was any controversy. you see, i also have other demands on my time, and can’t read every single blog on the planet. so while i appreciate the new information in the comments, i don’t appreciate the tone of immediate condemnation.

    so now that i know, my opinion of the Dervaes has gone down quite a few notches. but i’ll still be reading ryan’s “the tiny life” blog here. [well, at least up until ryan tries to copyright “tiny life” anyway! 😉 ]


  7. I just read through your answers to the individual comments yesterday. I’m so sorry you had to go through all that, but I admire you for doing it so very well. You came out of a blogger’s worst nightmare with grace.

    And I totally understand why you hadn’t heard about this mess. It’s important, sure, but there’s bigger stuff going on in the world right now.

    p.s. Tiny houses rock!

    • Wow! Kelly Coyne! I heard that you’re in talks with Jack Spirko about coming on The Survival Podcast to talk about urban homesteading. Nice to see you here too!

  8. Ryan,

    First, I apologize for my harsh comments on my last post. I tend to get a little emotionally about this whole thing and really, I should have given you the benefit of the doubt. You’ve handled our intense reaction with so much grace and so professionally. I’m really glad you learned the truth about the situation because you seem like the type of person one really wants to be friends with. Please accept my most heartfelt apologies for pre-judging you. I don’t like when people do it to me and I am sorry I did it to you.

    Your new friend,
    Shell Washam
    Under the Willow Tree

  9. I was a bit confused by yesterday’s post but assumed you just hadn’t heard of the brouhaha around the Dervaes. Not everyone is constantly plugged in to the virtual information network, and thank goodness for that!

    I just scanned through the comments on that post and it’s very disappointing to see that so many readers were quick to reject you outright. The timing wasn’t great, but taking a deep breath and asking questions before reacting would have saved significant grief. Lesson learned: let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt!

    I hope this hasn’t impacted your readership too greatly. Thank you for handling the issue so gracefully.

  10. I’m sorry that I jumped to conclusions about your motives yesterday! The controversy seems so huge, that it never occurred to me that you hadn’t heard the news. I’m just really glad that I was civil, which just goes to show the importance of courtesy, even when riled up. Thanks again for taking the time to send email and to respond so thoughtfully to everyone.

    • I feel the same as Stacy. Very sorry AGAIN for having been so harsh and assuming that you knew what was happening. Love the Tiny houses!

  11. I thank you for your response. All of us are so emotionally wrapped up in this we assumed there was no way anyone could NOT have heard about it.
    I take back my disappointment and am pleased you have publicly shared your point of view on the issue.

  12. Thanks for responding to this!

  13. well, i am new to your blog, and just became a devoted follower. you handled yourself admirably. a good lesson for me of grace under fire, and also a reminder to not be quick to judgement about someone’s words, ideas, or opinions. you rock!

  14. Ryan, my heart goes out to you. I’m a tiny house fan, an architecture geek and a musician. In all honesty I hadn’t been aware of either the term or the movement of urban homesteading. I still really don’t know anything about it other than that I surmise it is to do with generating one’s own food and becoming more self sustaining. I saw a post, I think on boingboing that said something about some jerk trying to co-opt a social movement by twisting copyright and trademarks. And in the daily avalanche of information, as the world erupts in demonstrations for freedom, I promptly dropped it from my mental RAM.

    I pop in here daily and I was floored by the furor in the comments. The anger in the larger sense I understand but the harsh condemnations were a shock to me. I hadn’t looked at the article or the video because I was looking for little house news. I think there are rather a few folks that owe you an apology and I am heartened to see that so many have done so. You’ve handled the uproar with a level of class that we can all learn from. And while I haven’t participated in the outrage, I hope I have learned to temper my emotionality, to confirm suspicions before rushing to judgement and to remain civil unless there is good cause not to be civil.

    I am a loyal reader of this blog and loyal I shall remain. Now I’m going to go and find out what urban homesteading is all about and lend my support to the grass roots.


  15. I’m sorry Ryan that you received so much of the hostility that the urban homesteading community is feeling right now. I commented on your previous post about the Dervaeses religious activities as I had read your post to mean that you would be off to live with them in their village adventure. I felt that anyone who was planing to do such a thing should know about Jules’ previous religious antics.

    I had never heard of the tiny life before, but am now a fan. tiny houses are very cool.

  16. Like Ryan, I was unaware of the Trade Mark issue until very recently. The conflict over common phrases opens up legal and ethical questions but since it’s already been covered on other sites, I won’t broach it again.

    For those who study symbolism and comparative religion, take a close look at the corporate symbol for “Path to Freedom” on their site. The “P” is swirled.

    To the casual observer, it may represent a road. To students of religious symbolism, it’s a swirling ring that represents “energy” or the Eye of Horus. It comes from Theosophy which is re-dressed form of the Mystery Schools in the Ancient Near East.

    Variations of the “eye” are found on corporate symbols from iconic companies like CBS News. It’s usually accompanied with a pyramid like AOL or Spiriva.

    These symbols are a projection of their beliefs and moreover, their alliance with Freemasonry which is a derivative of the Mystery Schools.

  17. I am going to copyright “Dervaes Family”…

Leave a Reply