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FLW Foundation out of control
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 4169
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject: FLW Foundation out of control Reply with quote

Unfortunately here is another example that shows how out-of-touch the FLW Foundation is.

Are they living in an alternate universe? Just how does the non-profit FLWVM hurt the FLW Foundation?

These people DO NOT deserve our financial support. There are a lot of FLW organizations who are doing positive things that need our contributions. Please support them instead.

READ THIS ARTICLE:
http://www.secondtense.com/2010/12/frank-lloyd-wright-foundation-lawyers-c.html

More information on this topic from Second Life:

Frank Lloyd Wright Museum to close

I was surprised to receive the following message, sent to the SLED (Second Life Educator's List)

*****************

I am saddened to announce the closure of FLWVM by request of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. We had been negotiating for next year's licensing agreement when they abruptly terminated discussions Monday, November 29, and immediately served FLWVM with a Cease & Desist Order. We are no longer able to present any images or works of Mr. Wright. As content providers to the SL community, that leaves us with nothing to provide.

We particularly regret this unhappy ending in that we considered ourselves an exemplary example of SL/RL interaction in working with the foundation devoted to preserving Mr. Wright's reputation, as we were, and doing so in an honorable fashion. We all know of the assumptions that can be made in SL when people build without regard for IP legalities in RL. That's not what the FLWVM board and staff are about.

We are an active, interested group of people, seriously devoted to bringing interesting material to the SL community. We have non-profit status with the US Government, and don't want to see that going to waste. Once the removal is completed December 10, 2010, we will regroup and discuss future possibilities.

Speaking of legalities, if you know of anyone building, selling, representing anything Wrightian in SL, I would strongly advise them to proceed with great caution - they can expect to hear from the foundation's attorney soon. Please feel free to contact me for any further information.

For those who would like to join us, you are cordially invited to a Good-bye to All That dance at the FLWVM site Friday, December 3, 2010. From 6:00-7:00 pm SLT we will have a live performer and from 7:00-9:00 pm SLT there will be a DJ spinning tunes and taking requests. If you can stay until the end, you will find a hauntingly appropriate song being played.

Rosalie Oldrich
Co-Executive Director
Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum

source: http://music-island.blogspot.com/2010/12/frank-lloyd-wright-museum-to-close.html
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 6999
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The knuckleheads at the Foundation seem to have no idea (or not care) just how much the word of Wright spreads thought things such as this. And as an end result just how much more interest in him and his works grows over time, with one of the primary beneficiaries ending up being the Foundation itself - as well as it's coffers.

They continually shoot themselves in the foot - all in the the name of "Protecting the Legacy" to the nth degree. They will end up driving the legacy into the ground.


David
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Jeff Myers



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 1805
Location: Tulsa

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Building off of what TnGuy said: To protect the Legacy, would one think that if you are protecting the Legacy you would not do such things as this? To me it seems they are trying to back away from Wright's word about spreading his ways in Architecture and teaching. This is a huge setback and fear that they might continue to other things to break the Legacy.
First it was the Legacy Program, now this. I would not of thought I would see a day they would start to pull out of helping to motivate people to go into Architecture, what is next?
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Deke



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 692
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What was the Foundation's objection? It seems to me the virtual museum just featured digital 3d buildings. The Foundation has no right over such digital constructions of FLW designs. They only control copyrighted work like the drawings and writings, and trademarked items like the FLW signature and red block logo.

Does anyone have the text of the C&D letter?

Deke
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9346

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This action is consistent with what they have been doing since FLW died in 1959. This is the legacy of Olga.
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outside in



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1212

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I've seen in the past, the Foundation wants to control the manner in which FLW is presented. I too, think this is a little over the top, but they (supposedly) want to control the presentation. The most most peculiar instance was the FLW marionette - remember that? Their attorneys stopped the nasty individual from making puppets! What would pinocchio say?
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Deke



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 692
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's perfectly understandable they want to control his persona, and it's their right and responsibility to do so to the extent that they control commercial use of his likeness and have trademarked his signature and so forth. The only infringing aspect of the virtual museum that I can see it the title "Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum" The use of his name could make people think this is an effort authorized and overseen by the Foundation. The sit should simple change it's name to something generic like "ArchiWorld" .

Deke
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KevinW



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 1273

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I mentioned before about last year about when Earl Nisbet (1951-1953) tried to sell some of his original abstraction paintings on ebay. He simply mentioned in the description that he was a former apprentice of Wright....the foundations lawyers pagers went off, and made him remove the item. Even though ALL the proceeds were going to Taliesin Preservation.
Their paranoia went in overdrive after the book about the fellowship came out. They gave some slick talking writers unusual access to records and archives....and it turned out to burn them.

I think their time and resources could be used in much better ways. They have had a few decent idea people there, but they dont seem to stick around very long, do they.
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Last edited by KevinW on Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DamiensGreve



Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. The first person who told me about the FLW Foundation and Second Life was someone from the Foundation, as the relationship was first being set up. This person was very positive about the whole idea. So it makes me think that something happened in the relationship, and we don't really understand what that was.
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 4169
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone on this Chat Board knows any of these people maybe you could contact them and find out what is really going on. Do they have lawyers who are out of control or is this board directed activity.

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Board of Trustees

Officers
Daniel Marquardt, Chairman of the Board
Jeff Grip, Vice Chair
Fred Stratton, Treasurer
Arnold Roy, Secretary

Executive Committee
Daniel Marquardt, Chair
Arnold Roy
Fred Stratton
David Mohney*
Don Fairweather*
Jeff Grip

Trustees
John Cummerford
Cliff Curry
Donald Fairweather
Gerald Lee Morosco
Frank Owings
Sandra Shane-DuBow*
Steve Zylstra
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Deke



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 692
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who is the legal counsel? They might be able to explain the Foundation policy on the subject.

Deke
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 4169
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum in Second Life, a non-commercial, education-oriented installation which operated under a licensing agreement from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (established by the great builder himself), is disappearing from the metaverse this Sunday. Why? Because according to Rowan Derryth, a Board member of Virtual Museums Inc. (which runs the site), the Foundation let the agreement expire, then sent a cease-and-desist to the group. This happened even after another VMI member made an in-person trip to Arizona, to plead the Second Life installation's case with the Foundation. One interesting (and disappointing) reason for refusing that entreaty is reportedly this: The Foundation blamed VMI for commercial infringement of Wright's intellectual property sold on Second Life's commerce site -- when other content creators were actually to blame for doing that:

[T]he most surprising complaint the Foundation aimed at us was the erroneous assumption that items on the SL Marketplace which were being sold under the name Frank Lloyd Wright (and of course not approved by the Foundation) were somehow the responsibility of the FLWVM/VMI.
And indeed, searching for "Frank LLoyd Wright" in the Second Life Marketplace brings up a number of items with his name in the marketing. So ironically, the rights-respecting, non-commercial group seems to be the one being punished in this case."
source: http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2010/12/frank-lloyd-wright-cease-and-desist-second-life.html
----------------------------
"Over the past several months, the Board of Directors of Virtual Museums, Inc., the RL company that has operated the museum have been in discussions with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in Arizona working towards the renewal of our licensing agreement that has been in place since January of this year. Our representative, Ethos Erlanger, undertook the journey to Taliesin West in September and met in person with their representatives, discussed the museum, our goals and their goals for future development and growth and gave them an online tour of the museum campus while at their facility. The possibility of a new licensing agreement that would better fit the scope of a virtual world was also broached in the event that the current agreement could not be renegotiated…

We have waited patiently while the Foundation discussed and deliberated the museum, what it could be used for, the time by Foundation staff that would be necessary to devote to this project and ultimately, its potential for royalty revenues for the Foundation. On November 29th, we received a communication from the Director of Licensing informing us in amiable terms that they had reached the conclusion not to continue with the program or license agreement.

We were later notified by their legal counsel that our license agreement, which would have expired at the end of 2010, had been terminated. The termination of the licensing agreement removes all rights we may have had to use the name of Wright, trademarked materials, protected designs such as buildings, furnishings and so forth-in essence, everything that made the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum what it was and is.

Without the assistance of the Wright Foundation and the authorization of their licensing department to operate our museum under their guidance, without access to materials that allow for the most realistic builds possible and without a positive and productive working relationship in the future, the Board of Directors of Virtual Museums, Inc. feel that it is no longer possible to continue operation of the museum at the present time." --With best wishes to you
Ethan Westland, Chairman
Virtual Musuems, Inc

full letter here: http://www.primperfect.net/flwvm_closure.html
---------------------
This pretty much summarizes my feelings on the matter:
"This sounds like a short-sighted punative action by the Foundation that will rob potentially hundreds of thousands of people learning about the work and legacy of this ground-breaking architect. Frankly this seems to go against the very mission of the Foundation, which is to: 'preserve Wright’s legacy; provide opportunities for the public to learn about the principle ideas embodied in his work; increase public awareness of the importance of architecture to society and the individual; and stimulate a demand for excellence in architecture and design'."
from: http://www.betterverse.org/2010/12/frank-lloyd-wright-foundation-forces-closure-of-virtual-museum-on-december-10.html
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 4169
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

another viewpoint:

http://is.gd/iaXIq
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 6999
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul Ringstrom wrote:
another viewpoint:

http://is.gd/iaXIq



The link isn't working.


David
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Deke



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 692
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't' know the specifics of our a virtual game site works, but if I were putting up a website about FLW designs...then I'd just put it up and never bother asking for Foundation permission. I would not call it the "Frank LLoyd Wright Web Museum" as that could imply an official sanction. Perhaps these virtual gaming worlds operate under some quasi-commercial status. I'm not sure what that business model is about. If it is a virtual world in which any participant can upload 3D environments, then it seems odd this virtual museum went to the trouble of becoming a 503c and seeking a license from the Foundation.

Deke
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