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SLasshole trademarks SLart. Soon SLex and SLove forbidden too? | VintFalken.com
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VintFalken.com

SLasshole trademarks SLart. Soon SLex and SLove forbidden too?

January 18, 2008 10:37 pm

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slart! SLart! SLART!

freedom by anya kivertSee, I’ve said it too! May I add to that that both Richard Minsky as well as ArtWorld Market - Mr. Minsky’s avatar - are SLassholes? Yeah sure, this is my blog, I may say so. Just as I may say ‘SLart!’, no mather how much Richard Minsky is threatening humans and avatars all over the internet and in Second Life that are using SLart in their profile picks, on their blogs, textures and the like.

Why would he do so, you wonder? SLart is not that an ugly, offensive or idiotic word. On the contrary, Richard Minsky liked the terminology ‘SLart’ that much that he trademarked it. He found it to be such a pretty word, that nobody but him may use it, unless they pay him a ‘reasonable fee’, of course.

If you - just like me - find that trademarking ‘SLart’ does not make sense, look at the end at this post for tips on how to boycott Minsky.

Why SLart can and may not be trademarked

SLart

!!! Update: Benjamin Duranske found me this. Which is very bad news. Yet, I still think, he has no right to ‘trademark SLart’. The trademark request was filed on the 26th of March 2007, and as from how it looks, approved. He also gave me this overview of the trademark law. *goes to read*!!!

Why I refuse to remove any SLart mentioning, and will refuse to pay any fee for letting me use the SLart-world, if asked: I do not reckon Minsky’s claimed claim on SLart makes sense:

  1. Although Richard Minsky claims he trademarked SLart, up to now, I have seen no proof of Minsky’s SLart trademark claim. I dislike false threats.
  2. No real cease and desist letters where send out. Really, those normally come in a way that you have to prove you got them by putting your paw on them. I don’t think Instant Message conversation theaths count.
  3. SLart is to generic a term to trademark. We have SLove, SLaw, SLex, SLinivation, SLavery, SLetiquette, SLasshole, … . All these are the abbreviation for Second Life (SL) + the real live word. If the real life word starts with a vowel, the SL is put in front. If it starts with an L, an S before that one is added, if it starts with an S, the L is added after the S. I am sure you can think of numerous other examples.
  4. If we do some investigation, I’m am sure we can find proof that the word ‘SLart’ - or slart, or Slart, and even slART - was widely used before Minsky and ArtWorld Market sought to make a gain out of it. It probably was even common Second Life jargon before ArtWorld Market even rezzed. If it’s still allowed to trademark words that frequently used, by hell, I’m going to trademark ’sex’ for sure. For christ’s sake, he does not even own SLart.com.

Richard Minsky’s SLartistic threats

SLart at the Cannery: InvitationI first heard of this on the 7th of January, when Shoshana forwarded me an e-mail by the SLasshole Richard Minsky. Concerning the SLart at the Cannery exhibition, and the need to change it’s title, internet locations, … . The best pieces from this e-mail:

One thing I must remind you of, however, is that you agreed to remove all of Rezzable’s instances of the use of the term SLart, which is a trademark that I own. As of today none of the uses that infringe the SLART™ trademark have been removed. Please attend to this before the end of this month, or purchase a license to use SLART™ by the end of this month.

Please be aware that SLART™ is a Standard Character Mark, meaning that its status as a Trademark/Service Mark is independent of font or style (Upper/lower case, bold/italic, etc.). SLART, SLart SLArt appear in different places on your sites, and all are infringements.

If Rezzable does not purchase a license for each use or cease and desist from the above and all other uses of SLART, whether in electronic, paper, or other media, by December 31st I will have to take further action. Please understand that I would like to remain on friendly, cooperative, terms with you personally and with Rezzable, but ownership of the trademark requires me to enforce it, which includes sending you this notice of failure to comply in a timely manner.

Enforcement may include contacting the providers of all services and products wherever infringing uses are discovered and taking action to close the offending uses. Additionally there may be punitive and compensatory judgements sought.

If you would like to discuss the benefits and costs of a SLART™ trademark license, please let me know by return e-mail. If you have not seen the real world edition of SLART™, there are pix and info at *you don’t think i’m going to link to this SLasshole, now do you?*.

Best regards,

Richard Minsky / ArtWorld Market

People Richard Minsky has threatened

Richard Minsky also talked in this greedy, egoistic and arrogant way to a friend of mine, Ganymedes Costagravas and made a row over a few ‘SLart’ mentionings in his profile. But kindly said SL art and sl-art are allowed. This conversation you can find at ‘art of making money of SLart‘. Also Cyanide Seelowe got a ‘cease and desist’ IM conversation or e-mail on the SLart wiki. That is right, Minsky thinks also open-source non profit initiatives should die because he likes to make money of the SLart word that much. Sadly enough, Miss Seelowe has given in to Minsky’s threats.

Anybody else was contacted on the ‘SLart’ subject by kind Richard? And was kindly suggested to pay up?

Own the SLart (and Richard Minsky): POA

There are a few things we can do to make sure SLart stays (or becomes again) public domain:

  1. Use the ‘SLart’ word as much as possible. Put it in URLS, headings, titles, profiles, whatever. It consers SLart, no? Although now he does seem to have a trademark, do think twice. ;)
  2. As you’re busy doing that, you might as well mention that Richard Minsky and ArtWorld Market both are SLassholes. Somebody might stumble over this Googling their names and discover that truth. They will also find that not all agree with Minsky’s claim and that there is no reason to give in to this.
  3. Tag ALL your SLartsy photographs on flickr with ‘SLart’. Think of also using ‘SLart’ in their title’s. ( Organize > Select All > (drag to window) > Add Tags > “SLArt” ) Although now he does seem to have a trademark, do think twice. ;)
  4. Send a nice little IM to ArtWorld Market to tell him the human Minsky is a SLasshole. Repeat that every 15 minutes. Do consider asking him why he trademarked something that belongs to the Second Life SLart community.
  5. Whatever you do, don’t give in to Richard Minsky threats and do not remove SLart, slart or SLART from your blogs, profiles, photographs, … . It’s not much use claiming it’s ‘overall present’ when everybody takes it down. Although now he does seem to have a trademark, do think twice. ;)
  6. Get organised and seek expert advice on this.
  7. - suggestion more than welcome -

In the mean while, I’d really love to hear Benjamin Duranske’s opinion on this. It might not be his speciality (?), but he’s the only SLawyer I know (well, in SL that is). :d

Mind if I finish of by saying ‘Free slart, free SLart, free SLART!’? ;)

68 Responses to “SLasshole trademarks SLart. Soon SLex and SLove forbidden too?”

GM Nikolaidis wrote a comment on January 18, 2008
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Tagging all my SLart photos on flickr now.

Ana Boogiewoogie wrote a comment on January 18, 2008
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This is almost like Paris Hilton trying to copyright “That’s hot.”

… just really.. really.. dumb.

Chloe Streeter wrote a comment on January 18, 2008
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What does he plan to use “SLart” for? Don’t you have to have a trademark tied to a particular product and prove that you plan to generate a business around that product? And how would it be feasible for him to go after blogs and profiles? Lawyers do in fact cost money, and he’s going after (generally) non-revenue-generating sources. And shutting down the accounts would require the assistance of LL, Wordpress, Blogger, etc., and I don’t know how cooperative they would be.

Of course, I’m mostly ignorant when it comes to legal issues, but this sounds rather ridiculous to me.

GM Nikolaidis wrote a comment on January 18, 2008
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from http://www.chillingeffects.org/trademark/faq.cgi#QID216

Question: What about common words that are used for many purposes?

Answer: Common words and alphabetical letters can be protectable trademarks if they are used in arbitrary or unusual ways. One cannot trademark DIESEL to sell that generic type of fuel, otherwise no other diesel fuel dealer could use the word to identify the product. However, one could trademark DIESEL as a brand of ice cream. The owner of the ice cream mark can’t use its rights to prevent fuel dealers from using the word on their station pumps nor can it prevent anyone else from using the word for non-trademark purposes, such as a website listing diesel fuel dealers.

In general, the more a mark describes the good or service that it labels, the less strong the trademark protection it gets and the more freedom others have to use the same word for other purposes.

Vint Falken wrote a comment on January 18, 2008
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So, as SLart is that broad - sculptures, design, fashion, photographs, textures and even ballet - he does not have a legal paw to stand upon?

Vint Falken wrote a comment on January 18, 2008
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!!! Update: Benjamin Duranske found me this. Which is very bad news. Yet, I still think, he has no right to ‘trademark this’. The trademark request was filed on the 26th of March 2007, and as from how it looks, approved. !!!

Vint Falken wrote a comment on January 18, 2008
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Chloe, he has ’slartmagazine.com’

Benjamin Duranske wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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This is one of those that is likely to take a fair bit of head-scratching and some research on my part, so I’ll probably not weigh in for a little whole (I’ve done a bit of trademark work, but it wasn’t my focus). I’ll bounce it off a few TM attorneys I know and see what I come up with though.

Benjamin Duranske wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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“whole”=while. Cursed fingers.

Smiley Barry wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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Now tagging. He wants war? Why not trademark ‘Minsky’ as well? Or maybe, why not ‘Art World’? The space will certainly cause a legal collision :-P.

Now going to tag my photos, and Richard, SLucks to be you! (NOT “Lucks to be you”, “Sucks to be you”!) Heck, while i’m at it, i’ll trademark “Smiley” as well. We’ll see who wins this battle! I’ll try and promote this on the teen grid as well. Maybe advertisements saying:

“Save the art!
Mention SLart as much as you can,
and save creeps from
trademarking commonly used
names!

WE FIGHT FOR SLART!”

Now off to my blog to post a bulk post as well. C-Y-A!

We fight for SLart! | Smiley’s Blog sent a pingback on January 19, 2008
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[…] As previously mention on Vint Falken’s blog, a jerk named “Richard Minsky” has trademarked the term “SLart” as his own. He has sent “cease-and-desist” letters to all currently who keep a website stating the term “SLart”, including but not limited to, the SLart Wiki, Rezzable’s SLart website, etc. […]

Uccello Poultry wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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What about “prior art” … if it was in common use before the copyright request, can it still be copyrighted?

Vint Falken wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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Uccello, I honestely don’t know. I’m still trying to grasp all the legal speak. This is a timeframe for the SLart at the Cannery exhibition:

August 25, 2007 4:01 am - my blogpost on the opening of the SLart at the Cannery show on the 29th. All SLart at the Cannery material included. Also slart.rezzable.com launched that day.

2007-08-29 - Notice of publication (of the SLart trademark)

On the same day our SLart at the Cannery show went live in-world, although previews were already given to a few avatars.

2007-09-18 - Published for opposition (which we did not know about, of course, else we would have ‘oppositioned’) I’m sure a lot of others would have done so too.

2007-12-11 - Notice of allowance - mailed

Januari 2008: I hear of the trademark, and the request to take - amongst others - slart.rezzable.com down.

I don’t know since when the wiki existed. I can search my blog for my first mentioning of ‘SLart’ and that is on the July 20th, with a call out for the photographs for the Cannery show, that was tagged ‘SLart’. Pfff. :(

Vint Falken wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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Ok, as far as I can see it, he has no right on the trademark. I quote from the Harvard site:

A descriptive mark is a mark that directly describes, rather than suggests, a characteristic or quality of the underlying product (e.g. its color, odor, function, dimensions, or ingredients). For example, “Holiday Inn,” “All Bran,” and “Vision Center” all describe some aspect of the underlying product or service (respectively, hotel rooms, breakfast cereal, optical services). They tell us something about the product. Unlike arbitrary or suggestive marks, descriptive marks are not inherently distinctive and are protected only if they have acquired “secondary meaning.” Descriptive marks must clear this additional hurdle because they are terms that are useful for describing the underlying product, and giving a particular manufacturer the exclusive right to use the term could confer an unfair advantage.

A descriptive mark acquires secondary meaning when the consuming public primarily associates that mark with a particular producer, rather than the underlying product. Thus, for example, the term “Holiday Inn” has acquired secondary meaning because the consuming public associates that term with a particular provider of hotel services, and not with hotel services in general. The public need not be able to identify the specific producer; only that the product or service comes from a single producer. When trying to determine whether a given term has acquired secondary meaning, courts will often look to the following factors: (1) the amount and manner of advertising; (2) the volume of sales; (3) the length and manner of the term’s use; (4) results of consumer surveys. Zatarain’s, Inc. v. Oak Grove Smokehouse, Inc., 698 F.2d 786 (5th Cir. 1983).

Finally, a generic mark is a mark that describes the general category to which the underlying product belongs. For example, the term “Computer” is a generic term for computer equipment. Generic marks are entitled to no protection under trademark law. Thus, a manufacturer selling “Computer” brand computers (or “Apple” brand apples, etc.) would have no exclusive right to use that term with respect to that product. Generic terms are not protected by trademark law because they are simply too useful for identifying a particular product. Giving a single manufacturer control over use of the term would give that manufacturer too great a competitive advantage. Under some circumstances, terms that are not originally generic can become generic over time (a process called “genericity”), and thus become unprotected.

SLart is widely sold on Second Life. As Ganymedes said, Second Life Art for sale is advertised that way. Etc?

Aaargh!

CodeBastard Redgrave wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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that is fucking sickening. Vint we need to trademark: SLex, SLut, SLutster, SLitizen, SLacker, SLeazy (thats for Mr Minsky), SLovenia and every possible combo. then license them all as CC.

okay im being sarcastic but this is dirt low disgusting. will tag too.

Vint Falken wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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Ok, as I see it now, before I’m going to bed and tomorrow screwing the bolts - we can get our SLart back, as he has no right to it (i stick to that one).

But we might want to get some decent legal council and organise. Breaking my mind over that at the moment. The difference between how many people are willing to say ‘he can’t do this’ and how many people are willing to actually pay a few bucks for getting SLart available for use by all again.

*lays her head down and hopes she does not dream of mean evil men that try to say she can’t say SLart*

CodeBastard Redgrave wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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sleep well Vint. don’t mind me if i post about that too. *no passaran!*

JeanRicard Broek wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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First I think I should now trademark “Slut” and start immediately sending notices like:

“If you do not purchase a license for each use or cease and desist from the above and all other uses of Slut, SLUT, slut, slUt, & sluT whether in electronic, paper, or other media, by December 31st I will have to take further action.”

But i may have have a problem considering first commercial use

So i Google(tm)d SLut for first commercial use but damn:
Results 1 - 10 of about 74,000,000 for slut

OK maybe that is out so

Google(tm)s SLart looking for first use:
Results 1 - 10 of about 41,900

and find the third result was:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Slart

1. slart A fart that escapes during sleep, sometimes waking the slarter him(her)self.

2. Slart: Other word for slut.

Yo slart, get yo fat ass over here.
Why not go fuck that slart.
Dude, your girlfriend is a dirty slart.
What a fucken slart.

3: Slart: A fart emitted by a slut, or a slut that smells like farts.

OK nuf said - He can have the word, we can define it.

JRB - Admin Flickr(tm) group: Second Life - Best of The Best

Flugel Flasheart wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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For the record, the SLart Flickr group has been running since 9.1.07

Syd Loon wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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Thats ridiculous, I think that because its actually S.L-Art and not slart he cant do anything, because SL is an official public entity, and art is a noun. If it becomes to much of an issue you can always just add periods to the SL part because that is an abreviation. Who is he, where does he get off? Does he have legal backing. or better things to do even? And who gave him the asshole pass?..good luck..thats bullshit..and i don’t think that is a French word sadly..=]

Dalien Talbot wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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Hmm… Using SL@rt would help the f@r7 ?

disclaimer: ‘@’ is a commercial “at” sign, and the “7″ represents the digit “seven”. Any resemblances to any other characters and typefaces are purely coincidental.
In case of doubts, the readers are invited to consult with the ASCII character table at http://www.ascii.ws/ascii-chart.html or any other publicly available ASCII table for the assistance with disambiguation.

:-)

Milena Lorenz wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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Oh how much I love this … people trying to make a business out of NOTHING but a combination of letters, and disturbing and threatening others people’s businesses and activities. How low can a human being sink?? This is no better than pickpocketing or robbing on the street … it is just the same.

Caterin Semyorka wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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SLasshole

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[…] MAKE: Blog wrote an interesting post today on Vint Falken: SLasshole trademarks SLart. Soon SLex and SLoveHere’s a quick excerptYeah sure, this is my blog, I may say so. Just as I may say ‘SLart!’, no … world, if asked: I do not reckon Minsky’s claimed claim on […]

Bettina Tizzy wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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@jeanricard… hahahaha… 10 points!

Adec Alexandria wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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The USPTO will not grant registration to the following categories of trademarks:

1. Generic terms

Generic words are common words that describe an entire class of goods or services. Examples include the terms “Pizza Restaurant” for a pizza restaurant and “Tennis Racquets” for tennis racquets.

..umm SLArt was a generic word for art created in Second Life well before he decided to try trademarking it ?. I doubt his lawyer Ms Lorenzo would have known anything about that though as he omits the term ‘Second Life’ in his usage description completly.

even though the period of opposition is over (i assume that is a bad thing), it may still be worth sending an email to usptoinfo@uspto.gov FAO Ms Kathleen Lorenzo and pointing out the SL angle. She’d probably want to know how long it has been used as a general term though - the SLArt flickr group started on 9 Jan 07 … interesting that on his application the ‘first use date’ is 9 Dec 06 .. exactly 1 month before.

finding the use of the word prior to that date through Google is taking a while …

i cant help wondering as well ..if they had known it was for Second Life Art .. would they have allowed SLArt to be TM’d in the first place when ‘Second Life’ is already a TM in its own right ?

Mylena Aquitaine wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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Oh my oh my…. trying to make a buck the lazy way. How refreshing in this day and age ;-)

I guess one could argue the genericity angle on this; that SLart is and has been used commercially for SLart in SL before the SLasshole’s first commercial use date of December 2006… Considering the pace at which SL evolves, it’s a tall order that’s for sure. And I for one, would love to see conclusive proof of said first use.

Even considering said word actually pre-existed SL and is present in some dictionary, unless it’s specifically defined as “art made in SL”, then this angle is of no use. Case in point Apple is trademarked… and the word most certainly existed before the computer was even born.

Vint, as for suggestion on how to fight this, over and above trying to discredit the “first commercial use” date…. am I the only one who noticed the SLasshole’s full RL name, address and phone number is listed as contact in the trademark license document?

Not that I’d advocate harrassing the poor (sic) man, but for the modest investment of a sheet of paper, an envelop and a stamp (remember those folks?) one could let him know how the SLartist community feels….

Flux Woyseck wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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Some people have no sense of decency, further proving the apocalypse is coming. I for one have been using the term “slart” in casual conversation in SL since 2005 (and I am pretty sure I can prove it) when I first joined. In most cases it was used in describing Starax’s beautiful sculptures.

So I seriously think we should chalk this up as “genericity” and move on. He can trademark his publication, but he can not trademark the style of art. Just like AT&T or Microsoft or whoever can’t trademark “i” (as in iPod & iPhone, both of those words are trademarked), because its become a form of “genericity”, such as iHome, iJustine, iCarly..etc You get my point.

Smiley Barry wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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Hah! Take this Richard! (created by me, don’t be confused by the IP of the creator. Forgot to create an account first :-S)

Smiley Barry wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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((Argh, there seems to be an error. Lemme fix that entry…))

Smiley Barry wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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((Ouch, just a second after I posted it a moderator deleted it due to protologism. Move along…))

Daman Tenk wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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As far as I know, private use of the word even in public, can’t be sued. At least not here.

I mean, if my grandfather who doesn’t know shit about electronics writes in his blog that I got an iPod, while it’s actually a Sansa MP3 Player - he’s not going to get sued.

If I post on my Flemish blog that I bought a new Kodak, even though it’s an Olympus - noone is going to sue me.

On and on. So no reason to stop using the word SLArt. He can’t sue you.

And Smiley: Try Urban Dictionary instead of Wiktionary. They allow protologisms, slang, etc.

Smiley Barry wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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((Posted it on Urban Dictionary and waiting for approval. Thanks Daman! :-) ))

P.S.: ((Text)) = Out-of-Character/Out-of-Context text. (OoC)

Mylena Aquitaine wrote a comment on January 19, 2008
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You’re right Daman in as much one does not infringe any trademark as long as there is no similar commercial use of the trademarked term.

As long as I’m not talking about a commercial venture covered by the terms of the trademark, I can say and write the word “slart” as much as my little heart desires.

I can blog about SLart (art in SL) all I want if I’m not peddling said art for sale and it’s quite clear I’m using the term in a generic fashion.

Or I can, for example, use SLart and indeed, even trademark it, as the kennel name to my business of dog breeding (only an example folks). Since “my” line of business (breeding dogs) is unlikely to be confused with “art in SL”, my use of it is not a trademark infrigement.

It’s only my layman’s interpretation of course, but it cuts the legalese.

Patrick wrote a comment on January 20, 2008
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Someone notices a word becoming popular, suddenly trademarks it, then takes credit for having the foresight to get it trademarked!…with the assumption that he slso came up with the word to begin with!…then tries to extract $ from people who use it causually and legimately…people who don’t see everything as a ‘commodity’ like he does…
Minsky sounds like a true bloodsucker.

Adec Alexandria wrote a comment on January 20, 2008
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i had a look at the Second Life trademark link and it was vague as to whether they had actually TM’d ‘SL’ as well as ‘Second Life’ as he uses it so blatently in his logo by changing the color of the first 2 letters….

loki wrote a comment on January 20, 2008
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I just updated my own blogpost on the matter. If you want a free T-shirt just ask and make sure you hand them around! I would love to see Flickr plastered with pics of people wearing it :-)

Vint Falken wrote a comment on January 20, 2008
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I’m still getting good advices and some less good ones. The problem is, with every advice, it becomes more complicated. I’ll try to gather them all in a somewhat structured post later today/tonight/tomorrow.

In the meanwhile, do send me a tshirt. :=d

photozz wrote a comment on January 20, 2008
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I submitted a brief write up of the issue to The Consumerist website. Hoping they publish it.

Cyanide Seelowe wrote a comment on January 21, 2008
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Hey there Vint– I didn’t realize the severity of the situation, otherwise I would have fought harder for my domain name (it actually still belongs to me, as a redirect). In any case, I posted a response to the whole situation here: http://cyanideseelowe.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/a-word-on-slart/. Reading this blog post has been enlightening

Also, I imagine you’ll lol when you read this: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Slart.

Hrmm… “lol”… sounds sellable…

Melvin Starbrook wrote a comment on January 21, 2008
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go SLVint go!

Vint wrote a comment on January 21, 2008
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Same here, Cyanide. I did not mind it that much when I found him protesting about the SLart at the Cannery shows, I could still understand that, although he then should have said something before the name was chosen and before a second show was prepared, it’s a bit mean to first let something start up under a certain name, knowing you will trademark it, and then only when it is ’set’ force them change their name.

But when he started demanding SLart was removed from profiles, and something as not profit oriented as a ‘virtual art’ / slart wiki, I was convinced he really is a SLass. ;)

photozz wrote a comment on January 22, 2008
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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?

Daman Tenk wrote a comment on January 22, 2008
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You don’t need HTLM to edit a Wiki.

I’d edit it, have worked on tons of Wikis. But I simply don’t know anything about the situation except for this article, so I think I’d be biased in posting.

Dal wrote a comment on January 22, 2008
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eh ? photozz, seems no probz there…

SLart me up! | VintFalken.com sent a pingback on January 23, 2008
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[…] those who did not follow the updates on the ‘SLasshole trademarks SLart’ topic, what I deemed impossible, is a - far from virtual - reality after all: Richard Minsky owns - at […]

Stephanie Misfit wrote a comment on January 23, 2008
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There are quite a few avatars with the name “Slart”. What’s next, a DMCA with request that LL permaban them for copyright infringement?

Sugar Seville wrote a comment on January 23, 2008
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I don’t know, SLart SL art - what’s the difference? Actually there is a difference. SLart is practically a kitsch term that is part of a genre that includes SLex, SLaw, SLove..whatever. It’s cute, but not a word that I think will be used by the real art world to describe works created within SL. It’s a cheesey signifier, like Kountry Kamp Ground, or EZ-gas.
Now if Minsky succeeds in co-opting this term for his art publication and gets it out of use as a kitsch signifier, it may well benefit him. In Minsky’s defense, he is providing a service to artists and art venues that is valuable in establishing the culture of art in SL. He is not charging artists or art venues to be published in SLart. I think he has a right to protect what he has put so much work into, and establish his brand. If people insist on hanging onto this cheesey term SLart, it will only add to the amount of cheeseyness that is so prevalent in SL. If Minsky manages to hold onto it, he will possibly establish a meaningful art brand that will continue to serve artists and the art community. If you think people should just work for free, you’re living in a dream world. All art has money behind it in some form, and by making money on SLart, Minsky will be able to continue his activities, which are a valuable contribution to the SL art community. I just hope Minsky doesn’t end up shooting himself in the foot with this. I don’t think there are as many people like him that would do this kind of work as there are whining critics in the world. That’s my opinion. Go Minsky! xoxoxo Sugar : )))

GoSpeed Racer wrote a comment on January 23, 2008
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What about the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy character SLartibartfast? Gee that “SLart” is almost 30 years old! :-P

Daman Tenk wrote a comment on January 23, 2008
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@ Steph: Copyrights and Trademarks are two entirely different beasts. ;)

@Sugar: He can trademark all he want, what pisses me off is:

1) that’s being an ass over it
2) that he tries to enforce his trademark in places where it is not applicable
3) that he tries to extort non-profit organisations.

Though I guess 2 and 3 both fall back into point 1 as well.

Vint wrote a comment on January 23, 2008
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Stephanie, as Daman already pointed out, Copyright law seriously differs from Trademark law.

Sugar, this is not about if it is cute or will ever become catchy in RL. It’s about a justified use of the terminology in-world and on the Second Life related blogs.

In Minsky’s defense, he is providing a service to artists and art venues that is valuable in establishing the culture of art in SL.

That has nothing to do with ‘in defense’. There are lot of people that are doing just the same things as Mr Minsky, and by Linden, do you see them threatening others with cease and desist notions? I think not.

He is not charging artists or art venues to be published in SLart.

Duh²!

I think he has a right to protect what he has put so much work into, and establish his brand.

Yeah, he may establish a brand. But not on the term SLart. It’s like trademarketing ‘jump style’ or ‘classical music’ or ‘new wave’. If he wants a brand, let him search for a real one, and not just copyright a generic Second Life term.

If you think people should just work for free, you’re living in a dream world. All art has money behind it in some form, and by making money on SLart, Minsky will be able to continue his activities, which are a valuable contribution to the SL art community.

Sure, but isn’t it more logically he makes his money by selling his magazine, or whatever he does, in stead of earning it by blackmailing Second Life artists and other people that are doing a valuable contribution to the SL art community - the slartwiki, for instance? - for the use of the ‘SLart’ word? With doing so, he kills other - also valuable - contributions to the Second Life Art community.

I just hope Minsky doesn’t end up shooting himself in the foot with this.

Ah well, if he first aims at others, the bullet is bound to end up in one of his feet eventually. And I wouldn’t mind stepping on his tows on top of that.

I don’t think there are as many people like him that would do this kind of work as there are whining critics in the world.

Hun, search for SLart. Really, all the people you find then, are just trying to make money on Mr. Minsky’s back (and fame? lmao).

We don’t whine, I stated clearly why I think this trademark has no grounds. And thus he had no rights to threat avatars and humans for using ‘SLart’. Since when is defending yourself and others against false threats whining? ;)

Sugar Seville wrote a comment on January 23, 2008
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I should say that I think it’s silly to try to charge people to use a trademark. A trademark is for ones own use, not to be rented out, and I’m not sure if he really has the right to do that. But people could just decide not to pay him for it.
In regards to SLart, if that is in fact a word used for art in SL, I wouldn’t use it. I mean can you imagine someone calling art created for a web browser IEart or NetscapeArt? SL is a technology company, they have little to do with art. I think SLart is fine if you want to homogenize all art in SL. I see SL as an emerging technology that will in the near future very likely be just a part of a larger picture that involves different virtual worlds that are networked together. I think it’s great what Linden is doing, but I wouldn’t rally behind a term that is essentially tied to their trademark!
I mean you might as well call it McArt cause its basically a cheezburger that your holding on to! I can has Cheezburger? lol

Vint Falken wrote a comment on January 23, 2008
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I should say that I think it’s silly to try to charge people to use a trademark. A trademark is for ones own use, not to be rented out, and I’m not sure if he really has the right to do that. But people could just decide not to pay him for it.

Yes, he has the right to do that. If one pays up, one gets a license to use the SLart word. And that’s exactly what he has been proposing to everyone, even to the - SLart community - wiki. Now do you see why I get people to agree he’s an ass? ;)

But people could just decide not to pay him for it. Exactly! I’m saying ‘SLart’ for free, and I love it. =d

In regards to SLart, if that is in fact a word used for art in SL, I wouldn’t use it. I mean can you imagine someone calling art created for a web browser IEart or NetscapeArt?

Easily. Although I do admit, that’s mostly called website design. I do challenge you to come up with a terminology that’s more specific for Second Life Art than ‘Virtual Art’, because that also includes - imho - Bryce landscapes, Poser creations, animation movies, … . Or even ‘Virtual Worlds Art’.

As you should also know that is is - because of Linden choices - not easy to export Second Life Art - build in Second Life - to other Virtual Worlds, or that a lot of the SLart is based on Second Life, I still do think that Second Life Art, short ‘SLart’ is the best term. Or should we just go with ‘even-more-modern-art’? ;)

Sugar Seville wrote a comment on January 23, 2008
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“Easily. Although I do admit, that’s mostly called website design. ”
Actually Vin, it’s not called web design, that’s something that has nothing to do with art either. If you really knew anything about art, you’d know that there is a history or artists using the internet dating back to the first implementations of html. The most widely used term is “net art”. If you want to see some of the current real art being made for networked environments you can start with sites like rhizome.org or turbulence.org . Your myopic view on this topic is starting to irritate me, so I won’t be posting any more comments here. I think this issue of language and propriety is an important one, and I’m glad you brought it up. Maybe it will be taken up on a more enlightened forum.

filthy fluno wrote a comment on January 23, 2008
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As a full time artist in Second Life since May 2006, I never used or even heard the term SLart(tm) until Minsky started using it.

Vint Falken wrote a comment on January 23, 2008
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Sugar, my myoptic view is much appreciate hered, as this is my blog. I don’t force you to comment, nor to read. As for the more enlightened forum, feel free to start one. If you know of any, feel free to export the discussion there. Sad, though, that non of those enlightened persons felt the urge to bring this one up.

Filthy, as said before, Richard Minsky never told anyone why he thought he deserved property over the SLart word, except for ‘I registered it - first’. Even so, I would still plead that it’s generic by now. Having heard a lot on SLart but barely something on SLARTmagazine since my first rezzday.

GM Nikolaidis wrote a comment on January 23, 2008
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Lots of SLangst(tm) up in here. Let’s all go have a coffee.

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[…] has registered the trademark “SLART” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (See Vint Falken and Massively, among […]

oblomova wrote a comment on February 16, 2008
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i just saw the slasshole give a pathetic speech at the newschool auditorium. i went to check it out without knowing who he is i thought he sucked. i wish i had known about this before i went to the lecture i would have called him on it. he was horrible and this whole thing was sponsored by aperture foundation which also sucks. oh well.

Vint Falken wrote a comment on February 16, 2008
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Oblomova, what was the speech about? How to screw over those who also try to make the best out of a virtual world? ;)

And indeed a pity, I would have been very curious to his answers. But ‘I’m doing this for the good of the SLartist community’ is getting a bit boring. =)

Ganymedes1985 wrote a comment on February 18, 2008
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A pic I made to show my disapproval, without infringing the trademark (I’m trying to play it safe)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ganymedes1985/2269235721/

Vint Falken wrote a comment on February 20, 2008
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Yeey! How’s the hat coming along, or waiting for the SLart texture? :/ (If so, let me know, I’ll de-prioritize smth else then. ;))

Ganymedes1985 wrote a comment on February 20, 2008
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I’m kinda waiting till I have a bit more time to customize it more properly, you suggested a flower?
And yes, a texture made by you would look a lot better then the simple one I made

Vint Falken wrote a comment on February 21, 2008
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Yes, a flower, most certainly! Poppies would be nice… ;)

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[…] readers will recall that Minsky’s application for the “SLART” trademark caused significant controversy in the SL artist community when it was approved earlier this year.  In an […]

Minsky sueing over SLart? | VintFalken.com sent a pingback on September 3, 2008
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[…] vintfalken.com - and other SL blogosphere readers - probably recall that Richard Minsky a while ago threatened to sue whomever was using the ‘SLart’ trademark on the web, on print and in-w… (inSL, that is). Apparently - and according to Virtually Blind’s Benjamin Duranske and a lot […]

Cannery and Dump: a Memorial | VintFalken.com sent a pingback on November 5, 2008
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[…] life’. It also grew my fondness for ‘Second Life photography’ and ‘SLart‘ […]

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