Posts Tagged ‘inarra saarinen’

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Alright, alright…

July 5, 2008

It is time to move on. But first, allow me to make a couple of announcements in regards to the ballet:

email and chat logs make very clear that you did the work for the ballet in a cooperative and open fashion, just as we all do our work for the ballet. at the time, the work was done for the ballet and for the use of the ballet, with no conditions.

then, many months later, you get a hair up your butt and start to assert copyright, send flaky email, etc. such things are best ignored, why feed a troll.

but, what you say in your blog is libel. if i were you, i would think about that a bit, and get off your high horse before it throws you.

by espresso saarinen July 1, 2008 at 11:50 pm edit comment

Espresso has always been a big man, you see, very quick to make mountains out of molehills and issue threats where they’re not needed. But I digress– his brash remarks, ill-informed as they may be (I don’t think he took the time to look up the definition of libel before writing that comment) made me reconsider my stance on the whole ordeal.

There’s no need to take any of them to court for a number of reasons. The time, the hassle, the money– Inarra simply is not worth the trouble. I never wanted money of any from them in the first place (it was not mentioned anywhere in the agreement I asked Inarra to sign) so taking them to court would be moot.

So, to drive home my point, and to dismount from my “high horse”, pull the “hair out of my butt” and stop being a “troll”, I have decided to release the images that I created for the Second Life Ballet into Creative Commons so that they (and anyone else in the art community) can use them as much as they want for non-profit purposes. It’s exactly like the agreement I offered SLB, except now they don’t have exclusive usage of my artworks.

You can find the works with the CC licenses at my DeviantART gallery.

I think that solves things nicely. On to bigger things!

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One last chance…

July 1, 2008

After a long hiatus, I regret to inform my readers of more legal troubles with the Second Life Ballet, now operating under the company title of Ballet Pixelle.

Upon visiting the SL5B ground and wandering around for a bit, I stumbled across the Ballet Pixelle display, featuring a couple of my copyrighted works without my permission:

In response, I sent this to Inarra Saarinen, the ballet’s founder and director, in a notecard:

Inarra,

Upon visiting the SL5B fairgrounds this evening, I saw your theater display and saw a few of my copyrighted pieces on display without my permission.

Please remove the following items from your display by no later than July 6th, 2008:

*The Second Life Ballet logo
*The “Windows” Production poster image

You can find the copyrights to these pieces at the following links:

http://cyanidebutterfly.deviantart.com/art/Second-Life-Ballet-Logo-55885634

http://cyanidebutterfly.deviantart.com/art/quot-Windows-quot-Poster-v-1-0-56441425

On February 28th, 2008, I sent you an email offering an agreement stating that you and your company may continue using my works as long as they were not used to gain profit. Upon recieving no response, I resent the email on March 1st, 2008 in case you hadn’t recieved it due to faulty email transmission, and still I recieved no response. Signing the agreement is still an option, because I do not want to deny you the ability to use my copyrighted works if you so desire. However, if you refuse or if I recieve no response by July 6th, 2008, I’m afraid I will have to take legal action against you and/or Ballet Pixelle.

Thank you for your attention,

Cyanide Seelowe/Jackie Steffen
cyanide.seelowe@yahoo.com

I’m at my wit’s end. For someone who supports the arts in Second Life, she doesn’t seem terribly concerned with helping her peers protect their intellectual property. I sincerely hope this doesn’t end in a messy legal battle… there’s no need for it to, as I think the agreement I offered was pretty generous.

Here’s to hoping.

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Troubles with the Ballet

March 8, 2008

This might not be common knowledge to a lot of people, but until recently, I served as the Second Life Ballet’s resident artist– that is, I designed some sets for them, made art for their playbills, designed their performance posters and, most importantly, I designed their logo.

Upon resignation of my position with the Second Life Ballet, I decided to draw up an agreement for the director, Inarra Saarinen, to look at and sign to insure that the ballet would use the art that I created exclusively for non-profit endeavors (which, as I understand, would not be a problem, since the SLB is a non-profit company to begin with).

This is the first email I sent on February 28th, 2008 at 9:25 PM:

Hey there Inarra:

The following is a quick and painless agreement in regards to using the posters, playbill images and the logo that I’ve created for the Second Life Ballet. Please read and send a return email indicating that you agree along with your RL name and contact information. Thank you!

The Second Life Ballet hereby agrees to use all materials created by Cyanide Seelowe (posters, playbill images, the Second Life Ballet logo, etc.) for non-profit purposes only. If any for-profit endeavors wish to be made in the future, royalties must be paid which will be agreed upon if the need ever arises for it.

The Second Life Ballet’s CafePress site (link redacted) must therefore cease the sale of its merchandise containing any content created by Cyanide Seelowe by March 31st, 2008.

Copyrights to the posters and logo can be found at the following web addresses:

~”Les Fleurs Rose” poster: http://cyanidebutterfly.deviantart.com/art/Les-Fleurs-Rose-poster-75811469
~”The Nut” poster: http://cyanidebutterfly.deviantart.com/art/quot-The-Nut-quot-Poster-71859393
~”Windows” poster: http://cyanidebutterfly.deviantart.com/art/quot-Windows-quot-Poster-v-1-0-56441425
~Second Life Ballet logo: http://cyanidebutterfly.deviantart.com/art/Second-Life-Ballet-Logo-55885634

Sincerely,

Cyanide Seelowe/Jackie Steffen
(RL contact information redacted)

A little more than half an hour later, at 10:07 PM, I received this notice in my email:

[20:06] Inarra Saarinen: You have been ejected from ‘SLB Productions’ by Inarra Saarinen.

48 hours later, I had not yet received a response from Inarra, so I sent a follow-up email:

Hey there Inarra:

If you would be so kind as to sign this agreement (by “sign” I mean just sending a return email stating that you agree with your RL name and contact info) by sometime on Monday, March 3rd, that would be fantastic. If you have any questions or concerns in regards to the agreement, I’d be happy to clarify. Thanks!

~Cyanide Seelowe
Founder, Virtual Artist Alliance
Admin, VirtualArtpedia (http://virtualartpedia.wikisite.com)

Several days later, without a response, I sent Inarra a Second Life IM (she was offline at the time, unfortunately) requesting that she respond to my emails:

[2008/03/05 14:35] Cyanide Seelowe: Hey Inarra: I need you to sign that agreement that I sent you in email. If you didn’t recieve it, I’d be more than happy to resend it, or if you have any questions or concerns about it, I’d be more than happy to discuss them. Either way, you need to respond to me. Thank you.
[2008/03/05 14:35] Second Life: User not online – message will be stored and delivered later.

I understand that offline Ims are not the most efficient way of getting a hold of someone in Second Life… but I was left with no choice at the point, since I only have one email address with which to get a hold of Inarra.

As of this point, I still have not received any communication or response to these mails from Inarra or acknowledgment of my rights to the work.

This whole situation is making me regret not drawing up the agreement when I first started working with them. The lack of attention, the ignorance of an obviously important issue for any artist– it’s one of the reasons I left in the first place. There was no apparent appreciation for the volunteer efforts, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that I will have to take legal action just to ensure that a simple agreement that is beneficial to BOTH parties gets signed.

Tonight I will be crafting emails and sending take-down notices to Linden Labs, Cafe Press and the hosting service for the Second Life Ballet website asking for the removal of my copyrighted materials.

Now, I realize that there may appear to be a dichotomy between my situation and my previous comments on Richard Minsky’s trademark of the term “slart”– the difference, as I see it, is that the Second Life Ballet logo and all other materials that I created are unique creations. The term “slart” was and continues to be a commonly used term within the Second Life art community that predates Minsky’s attempt to trademark it for his own purposes.

The lesson here? Whether you are a volunteer or an employee, always-ALWAYS- draw up an agreement to protect yourself and your art.