Thursday, 17 January 2008

The art of making money of "SLArt"

SLART, SLART, SLART

There I said it three times. And maybe I shouldn't have. Aparently someone by the name of Richard Minsky has trademarked everything from Slart over SLArt to slart. How crazy can it get?

This issue was first pointed out to me by my friend Gany after he was approched in world by an av called "ArtWorld Market". He put a few things together and sent out this notcard:

Hi all, this is an IM I woke up with:

================ the IM ==============

[1:09] ArtWorld Market: Hi Gany-- Your profile Picks with the heading SL-Art contains "SLart SLArt ". This infringes the SLART trademark and must be removed. SL-Art and SL Art are ok.

=== I didn't save my own text at this point, since between her 1st and 2nd message I had my moms RL birthday party to celebrate (it was today and my grandparents came of for a BIG lunch), but I said that I didn't use "SLART" as a search entry, and that "SLart" or "slart" should have nothing to do with her "SLART", and that I used it since that was the word people would be using when searching for SL-Art, or people making it. On top of that, I even pointed out to her there's a SL resident named "Slart Flanagan". So... go figure what she would want him to do... anyway, here's her reply to me on what I wrote ===

[10:29] ArtWorld Market: (Saved Mon Jan 14 15:25:35 2008) Thanks for gettting back to me, Gany. SLART is a "Standard Character Mark" which means slart (no caps) or any mixture of caps and lower case letters, or any font or style are covered by the trademark. If people are searching for SLARt, slart, SLart or any other version usiing the SL search feature it is the same. SL Art or SL-art are ok to use. Others have used it and have stopped when it was pointed out they were infringing on a trademark. Here is an examplpe: http://virtualartpedia.a.wiki-site.com/index.php/virtualartpedia:Community_Portal .
[10:37] Ganymedes Costagravas: fine, I changed it to SLArt and SL-Art. Tho I think it's not right to claim a trademark of a word that is a known and practically has become a standerd used term for SecondLife Arts, or something that will be a very often used search entry for SecondLife Arts.

============= Epilogue ===================

Now, I personally didn't know that "SLART" or "slart" or "SLart" or "SLArt" are all falling under that trademark, hell I didn't even know there WAS a trademark in it, and lets face it, wouldn't you use it as a search keyword when you make a topic in your Pics area on the profile, when you want to try to make some money by making SL-Art pictures?



Now I don't even know if this trademark is for real either, but I do know that whoever is behind it is actually trying to make it worth their while. I found at least one blog that was asked to change its name or enter a licensing agreement. The blogger seemed to be ok with this and actually states here: "As an artist in my First Life and a promoter of the arts in my Second, I fully understand and respect that someone who establishes a trademark on something–whatever it is– needs to protect them tooth and nail."

I'm sorry but are Gany and I the only ones who thinks this is ridiculous? SLArt to me is a common term that refers to all sorts of art(sy) work originating from SL or existing in SL. Who has the trademarks for "Rock and Roll", "Pointillisme" or "Baroque"? Same thing no? SLArt, however you write it, is a word, just a word, and if I want to use it I will. No silly money-hungry "entrepreneur" will keep me from doing so!

Anyway, I'm on my way now to trademark all variations of "SLex" & "SLove"... May as well make it worth my while too. Nah ... just kidding .... ;-)

PS: thank you Gany for letting me use your notecard!

UPDATE:

It seems Vint is on a crusade. I'll gladly join in. If you want a full permission copy of the T-shirt I made just ask. Feel free to hand them out to anyone! If you could make them available in world on a permanent basis even better!


I would love to see Flickr plastered with pics of people wearing it :-)

Sue me Richard !

13 comments:

Eidur said...

No Loki,
you're not the only one who thikns this is just ridicoulous.
I think that too.
People are crazy... Guess we have just to cope with this!

Cindy Kesey said...

Whether a commonly-used term (ie vernacular) can be trademarked is quite arbitrary and up to a judge to decide. A judge might decide that SLart is not yet so commonly used that it is ok to trademark it. So perhaps all we must do is unite in the constant use of the term in order for it to become part of the public domain.
My bigger question is what this person has to gain by requesting random regular folks to stop using the word. That reeks of a power trip, and not protection of the sanctity of SLart.

Daman Tenk said...

Would love a copy of that shirt. And I agree with you completely.

And even if I can't make it available permanently; I can hand it out in my freebie group.

Cyanide said...

Hey there Loki-- I was unaware of the severity of the situation, otherwise I would have fought harder for the wiki's name. In any case, I posted a response to this whole situation here: http://cyanideseelowe.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/a-word-on-slart/. Thanks for further informing me of how out-of-hand this whole thing has gotten.

Cyanide said...

Oh, I nearly forgot... you should take a look at the Urban Dictionary for a good laugh: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Slart

Joonie Jatho said...

Pass me a tshirt...I'll hand them out. Amazing, and not in a good way.

Signed: Slart SLart slart Lover

photozz said...

Not content to hijack common language for profit, he's now using the very people he's harassing for his own benefit. Today, I noticed that Mr Minsky has created his own entry in the very wikki he went after for using the term "SLArt".

http://virtualartpedia.a.wiki-site.com/index.php/Slart

As this is a community driven wikki, I feel the article is missing a few vital facts about the issues. I also noted there is no entry for Minsky himself in there. Anyone with some HTML exp care to help out?

Skinkie said...

Could I have a t-shirt too please? I will distribute them to friends, and see what I can do about getting this issue even more widely discussed. Thanks for bringing it to the public's attention.

Ganymedes Costagravas said...

duud, I'm so happy you made a blog topic of it, I just read Vint's on the matter aswell!

Pass me that t-shirt, I'll put it on SLX, OnRez, Apez, HippoVend and whatever I can find. I'll post threads to it on Flickr and Koinup too with pics of the T, cuz that TM truly is an outrage!

I'm happy Vint is "on crusade" cuz she's a well known artist, and I'm happy to join or help where I can.

*hugs*
Gany

photozz said...

Shirt please! I'll hand them out as I can... :) :)

Veronique said...

I hereby officially claim and take copyright on the term "trademark infringement" and all its variations and cap-combinations.
As well as the abreviations and initials TI, IT, SLTI, SLIT and SLUT (SL unashamed trademark squeezing)

Whoever, be it a legal / artificial / juristic / corporate or fictitious person, uses above mentioned terms without my consent will be contacted by my lawyers.

Before going to court, an indemnification settlement will be proposed.

Veronique said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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