Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Urban Homestead Making A Sustainable Village



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.



Many of you know in addition to loving Tiny Houses, I have an interest in sustainable food systems, I see these things as very interconnected.  Now Path To Freedom’s Urban Homestead is looking to start a sustainable village, where, dare I say, Tiny Houses just might find a home.  Check out this video.

  1. Are you kidding me? People could be ice skating in hell before I’d ever think of joining up with these people. It disappoints me so much that this blog would be shedding any sort of semi positive light on the Path To Freedom.

    • Mog,

      I wasn’t aware of the controversy, I wish you would have sought out my true stance on the subject, I hope you can understand that I don’t support them and it was simply poor timing, not a show of support.

  2. Path to Freedom ROCKS!!!!!! I LOVE THEM! They are the SMARTEST people I know!…and I have a Master’s Degree, so that’s saying a LOT!

  3. I’m truly disappointed you’ve taken this stance.

    • Kenda,

      We have emailed now and you understand I never knew of thins. I never knew and don’t support their actions.

  4. Please add me to those disappointed that you would choose to give the Dervaeses positive attention at a time when they have launched an attack on urban homesteaders everywhere. Thousands of people have reacted negatively to Jules Dervaes’ attempt to claim ownership of terms that he did not create. You deserve better allies.

    • Stacy,

      Thanks for your comment and the email. I agree I need better allies, the Drevaes family has never been one. I wasn’t aware of the controversy. I support open, fair and free concepts. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Count me out. I will no longer visit your blog as it supports a family who are the exact OPPOSITE of the spirit of urban homesteading. They did NOT invent urban homesteading, and to claim they did is pure falsehood. They have trademarked PUBLIC TERMS that belong to us all, under false pretense that they should own them. Greedy selfish liars have no place in my heart and anyone who praises them is guilty by association. Urban homesteading was widely talked about and the terms were used long before these people were doing it. I hope you can understand what has been done and discontinue supporting this family which is trying to destroy innocent people for the sake of greed and profit. Goodbye!

    • MamaTurtle,

      I agree it was totally greedy and against what homesteading stands for. I wasn’t aware of the issues surrounding the drevaes family, I hope you continue to read our blog.

  6. How disappointing that you’re supporting people who enjoy taking other people’s freedoms away. I’m not ready to dump your blog just yet (I think that’s a little hasty, considering that you might not understand how serious and how wrong what they’re doing is). But I’d appreciate it if you took a good, hard look at what they’ve done, what they’re doing, and how the Path To Freedom has become the Path To Nowhere.

    Nobody here has spoken any untruths about the Dervaes. An update, or a comment here on your stance would be much appreciated after you feel that you have all the information you need. I’d just like to know whether or not to continue following Tiny Life, or if I would be better off dropping you from the list along with the Dervaes and all their incarnations (if you’re not already an incarnation of the P2F folks).

    • Tiffany,

      I agree there hasn’t been mistruths spoken. Except that folks have stated I support this and did so intentionally, this is not the case. I had no prior knowledge and now that I do know, I am firmly opposed to it!

      • Oh and also, I hope you continue to read the blog, we are glad to have you. You should rest assure that we align with the ideals of open, fair and free.

      • Ryan, I’m pleasantly surprised at just how patient with us you were after the intense response to your post yesterday.

        I’m not sure I would have been as graceful, or as humble about it. You’re a class act, sir, and I fully intend to support you in the future.

  7. It would be a shame if Mr Dervaes was using the profits he hoped to make from this disgusting action to build his little village where you plan to build your tiny houses. Problem is, he basically put himself out of business with his dishonesty, and slimy, Big corporate-like actions. Now for the bad news… word of your support is traveling through the blogosphere like wildfire, your loyalty to this person has probably cost you more than you ever hoped to make. And rightfully so if you ask me and about 4500 others.

    • Shell,

      Thanks for posting. I agree that his actions do way more harm that good. I wish you would have gotten my position on the topic, because I wasn’t aware and don’t support it. Thanks for your comment.

  8. From the first seconds of this clip, Mr. Dervaes’s ego is on display when he proudly announces that he is the founder of the urban homestead movement. Which would be fascinating except that there are many of us who were doing this long before the Dervaes family tried to crowd out others in the urban homesteading movement. Before you get too excited, Tiny, try looking through the part of the Dervaes website called ‘Proof’. Tell me that Jules Dervaes is not a scary misogynistic control freak!

  9. Honestly, I love the concept of your blog and way of life…but I cannot support you if you join up with Jules Dervae. I hope you do your research before the support you receive from the homestead community is yanked. Choose your bedfellows wisely.

    • Najia,

      I wish you had asked me to clarify where I stood on the issue, because I wasn’t aware of it. I don’t support it. I align with open source, grass roots, community based projects. Homesteading is an integral part to my approach for Tiny Living. Thanks!

  10. It seems to me you would be singing a different tune if someone else building small prefabs on wheels trademarked the word “house”, and then told you you couldn’t use it anymore, unless you credited them. Having a Master’s Degree, by the way, doesn’t make you capable of recognizing intelligence; any more than owning a bicycle makes you know inherently how to ride it.

    • Elisabeth,

      I wasn’t aware of this issue. In fact there are people who have done exactly what you described, it is very frustrating and I don’t support them in those ventures either. Thanks!

  11. If you are off to start a village with Jules, I hope you know what you are getting into:


    It’s a fascinating read and I highly recommend it.

  12. Are you aware that he wants to start this village in South America? And if I remember the amount correctly, he’s looking for people to put in $40,000 to live there.

    I haven’t seen anything yet if one would then have to also follow the religious beliefs of the Dervaeses, but one would not be surprised if they expected you to worship at their “church” which they practice at their home.

    It’s really a bit scary once you know a bit more about these people. You might want to do a little more research before promoting them.

    • Mana,

      Thanks for sharing, I wasn’t aware of the controversy. I frequent many of the blogs that covered this story, but I missed the coverage. I hope you all will understand that this post was simply poor timing on a topic I wasn’t fully briefed on.

      • Thank you Ryan for responding. I live in a small apartment and am interested in how people live in small places. I will start following your blog on my reader.

  13. People. You are attacking a person for giving credit to an idea not a polotical view or the people behind it. This is not to claim SUPPORT THIS CAUSE, but rather look at the good that is being done. I’m reading all these comments from this 1 (okey 2)videos and I feel like I’m in junior high again.

    Are you all telling me that you are to shallow you can’t see any any good in this video???? Yes they are wanting to claim this and that. Yes they are not playing with a full deck. And Yes it does look like there was (and is) a good deal of inbreeding going on. But a good idea is still a good itea no matter where it comes from.

    Don’t bash a person because they simply say “Hey there’s something that could work. In other words look at the idea he is pointing at not the source.

  14. Ronin – that’s the point. It’s not Dervaes’ idea. It’s just a video of a megalomaniac. Dervaes has set himself up as the owner of the idea, and it isn’t true. If ‘The Tiny Life’ wants to hitch their wagon to an idea, they should undestand that this isn’t the guy with the idea. If ‘The Tiny Life’ is looking to help found the new Jonestown, well then, yes, they did find the right guy.

    • Elizabeth,

      I was previsouly unaware of the drevaes activities, I do not align with them. I wish I had been asked where I stood on this because I don’t support it.

  15. Ronin, no one is bashing Jules for anything less than the fact that he Hijacked 2 terms he isn’t entitled to and then proceeded to have others using the terms SHUT DOWN. His actions have effected peoples LIVELY HOODS and Business… me thinks you need to know your facts before you defend your hero.

    So long is there is breath in MY body, I will continue to make sure that EVERYONE affiliated with the urban homesteading community as well as those coming in, know all of the FACTS about Jules Dervaes. The good thing is.. there are THOUSANDS of others who are doing hte same thing, right next to me.

    • ShellW,

      I wasn’t aware of the ridiculous copyright filing the drevaes family made. I don’t support them. It is very counter to what I subscribe to. I find this issue of copyrighting homesteading deplorable. Thanks for commenting.

    • You misunderstand me. I am defending Thetinylife. I am in no way shape or form defending or supporting the Dervaes. As this is a civil area, I shall not give my point of view on them, their family, their looks, their politics, actions or egos.

  16. I came here because I couldn’t believe you would have promoted these people on the Urban Homesteaders Day of Action *against the Dervaes* for what they are doing to us.

    I had always been impressed with your work, but I am another who can no longer support you.

    • Viggie,

      I had no idea about this copyright issue, I don’t support it. I wish folks would have asked my stance first. Since I didn’t know about this, I also didn’t know about the “day of action”

  17. The tiny life doesn’t make tiny houses. This is only a blog about tiny house lifestyle. They were only expressing their hope that the new community to be built will use tiny houses in it.

    What disappointments me about this blog post is that it was made on the one day our community set aside to post about our own Urban Homesteads to send the D’s a message that they cannot own the term. You can not own a movement!
    It feels like an attempted slap in the face and that makes me loose respect for this blog.

    I would love if you gave some sort of response to all this to clarify your intention.

    • Thanks Kendra, I had no idea this controversy was going on. If I had known, I would not have posted, and on the day of people rallying!

  18. Capulet,

    I don’t align with them, I had no idea all these issues were associated with this family. I don’t support their actions.

    I fully support open access, grass roots and basically the opposite of what these actions by the drevaes family stand for. I wish people had taken a moment to ask where I stood on this. I run this blog for the betterment of the Tiny House community and to promote the cause of sustainability, community and stronger food systems. Thanks for your understanding!

    • Thanks for being a stand-up guy, Ryan. I do appreciate all of your follow-up and follow-through. Thanks for all your hard work for the tiny house movement, and for supporting open access, grassroots work !

  19. Et,

    I wish you had asked for my stance before your comment, I emailed you so you now know I wasn’t aware of the controversy and don’t support it. Welcome back to the blog!

  20. Karen,

    To clarify, I didn’t know and don’t support them. You all made me aware of the issues just yesterday after I made the post. Now I know and am informed on the issue. I support open, fair and free.

  21. Wow Ryan, you sure stumbled into the WRONG HENHOUSE on the wrong day! So glad you have joined us in uniting against trademarking the term urban homesteading. Glad you left this up- could you maybe do something to make the comments link more visible? Live Small, but carry a big ax (in self defense of course). Thanks!

  22. Wow, what a great manner you’ve taken in your responses! I am hoping this will give your blog more exposure, and introduce the tiny life to many more. I am a supporter!

  23. I hereby coin the terms Openstead, opensteading, opensteaded, and any other conjugations you can think of.

    Openstead: A sustainable living establishment, gleaned from the knowledge accumulated by everyone else and freely available on the internet, books, and word of mouth. 😉

  24. Ryan- I’m so sorry you got caught in the crossfire. Sometime we can be too quick to assume that everyone is in on our favorite controversies. You handled it in the civil way we should all be aspiring to. Makes me glad that I’m a regular reader of your blog.


  25. Trademark true facts and law at http://dervaestrademark.wordpress.com/

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