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FLW Foundation out of control
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Deke



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

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not in regards to copyright. Neither are protected.

Deke
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egads



Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 889
Location: Long Beach CA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knowing what most of us do about Wright's history, I bet he would be continuously involved in lawsuits if working today.
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Mark Hertzberg



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 836

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr. Stewart Macaulay of the University of Wisconsin Law School knows a lot about the SC Johnson Administration Building commission because his father-in-law, Jack Ramsey, suggested that H.F. Johnson Jr. talk to Wright about building their new office building (the company was weeks away from breaking ground on an uninspired design by a Racine architect, and the company leaders were not overjoyed with the design). Macaulay, who teaches contract law, wrote an article for the Wisconsin Law Review about how difficult the commission might have been to execute, because of cost overruns and construction delays, had there been a written contract which might have pushed the parties into court.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9582

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

S C Johnson is damned lucky they went ahead with that overpriced building. The publicity advantage they got out of it, according to Hib Johnson himself, was worth a lot more than the cost of the building.
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Deke



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

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnson Wax still uses images of the building in their advertisements. I am surprised they don't capitalize on it more in terms of the tours which are surprisingly free of profiteering...no gift shop, no trinkets to buy.

Wright tried to sell this 'PR Value' to Price when the cost of his tower starting going through the roof. Price would have none of it, noting they were an oil industry services firm with no need to market to the public at large.

Deke
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Unbrook



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 706
Location: Lakewood, Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:40 pm    Post subject: Foundation out of Control Reply with quote

I may be missing something, but when I look at the pictures of the Second World virtual museum, the presentation of the Mr. Wright's buildings seems not quite right. (i.e. the bridge in front of Fallingwater on the west side of the building below the waterfall rather than on the eastern approach above the waterfall). The Frank Lloyd Wright cafe with the clear skylights seems to destroy any sense of shelter which Mr. Wright would have designed.

Could the Foundation be objecting to this misrepresentation of Wright rather than the infringement of any copyright issues?
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hypnoraygun



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 561
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Foundation out of Control Reply with quote

Unbrook wrote:
Could the Foundation be objecting to this misrepresentation of Wright rather than the infringement of any copyright issues?


See quote below from this website: http://iggyo.blogspot.com/2010/12/reply-from-frank-lloyd-wright.html

Quote:
The Foundation terminated the license agreement with VMI for numerous reasons, including the fact that several of the buildings as constructed in Second Life and displayed by VMI did not accurately reflect the buildings as actually designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Foundation further offered a new and revised license agreement to VMIís new board and management but it was declined. The Foundation was disappointed that they could not obtain agreement with VMI as to the license agreement terms, but the Foundation and the real world Frank Lloyd Wright building site owners have a duty to protect the intellectual property and works of Wright.
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Ethos Erlanger



Joined: 24 Dec 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: FLW Foundation Out of Control Reply with quote

Hello,

I joined this Forum to allow you all to hear some answers directly from one of the builders who contributed to the former Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum (FLWVM.)

In Second Life, I am Ethos Erlanger. I contributed to the construction of the Fallingwater that was shown at the Museum. Some of the detailed history of that build may be found here: (link omitted because this is my first post)

Here is the simple version of the closing of the Museum: We had a license with the foundation. They terminated the license. At the termination of a license of this kind, they customarily issue a Cease and Desist Order.

Now that is pretty simple. But it is not. Motivations are often disguised by words.

Third parties can often misinterpret what is driving all of this. Even I may misinterpret things I heard and saw when I visited Taliesin West in person to discuss the situation with the Foundation.

I really think it boils down to this: A license will only have value when it is working to generate revenue for the owner. If it cannot produce that revenue, then it becomes an expense. Only the greatest of visionaries are able to project value onto intangible things. I was unable to instill in the Foundation the greater value of good will within the virtual community.

I failed.

My building of Fallingwater was among the best of its time. There were several of them in Second Life. Even Linden Lab gave away two different versions of this house named: September 2003 House in a Box: Wright House and a later nearly identical one named: september 2004 Wright House. Both were by Ryan Linden an employee of Linden Lab. Maybe they are exempt from the Cease & Desist Order because it was such a bad copy or because it was given away / not sold. I am puzzled over why the Foundation did not identify and send Linden Lab their own Cease & Desist Order for distributing those copies and a design that can be clearly identified as that of Frank Lloyd Wright.

I can build it better. Until my visit to Taliesin West on September 30, 2010, I had never heard that they were unhappy with its accuracy or completeness. The License we had with them gave them the right to ask us to take it down or improve it. They never did. From Late January 2010 till late September 2010, they did not once utter a word to me that indicated any displeasure with my skills as a builder. I spoke with them by phone and wrote emails to them and then had to travel to Taliesin West to get the first clue that they thought I could do better.


I knew of many of the flaws in my build of Fallingwater. We were constrained by the lack of access to dimensioned drawings when it was first built in 2007. We believed from the reading of the license that we would be allowed access to the archives in order to produce the best possible renderings of the buildings. Clearly, that working relationship never developed. Fallingwater was built in Second Life before some of the more recent advancements in modeling in Second Life became available. This is typical in an emerging technology. The communication and effort on the part of the foundation was not as I expected. We needed input from them and did not receive it. Maybe the License was poorly written by the Foundation from the start.

More perspective may be obtained from this article: (link omitted because this is my first post)

You may ask me anything and I will likely tell you more than the Foundation wants me to say. They repeatedly asked my not to issue any press releases while we had the license. I complied with that request. I no longer feel bound by that promise.

Ethos Erlanger


Last edited by Ethos Erlanger on Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ethos Erlanger



Joined: 24 Dec 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:12 pm    Post subject: Re: FLW Foundation Out of Control Reply with quote

Here are the two Links missing from my first post:

http://slbuilder.wordpress.com/fallingwater-in-second-life/fallingwater-how-it-came-to-be-virtual/

http://primperfectblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/op-ed-final-thoughts-on-the-former-flwvm-closure/

Ethos Erlanger
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KevinW



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 1276

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the risk of sounding bitchy....I think you should refer to what you are doing as modeling, and not building.
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KevinW
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Ethos Erlanger



Joined: 24 Dec 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

myLiebermeisterAGG wrote:
At the risk of sounding bitchy....I think you should refer to what you are doing as modeling, and not building.


Yes, I am a strong believer in the precise use of the English language. Their Cease & Desist called it all sorts of things to be sure that they did not overlook any interpretation of what we had done or could do in the Virtual World of Second Life. I still think that had there been a financial benefit to them that was large enough, this might be a different topic and whether we called it modeling or building would be moot.

And to be very specific, in the virtual world of Second Life and almost all others like Second Life, it actually is called building and it is what we had a license from the foundation to do. We were also allowed to show what we had built to the entire world. What is relevant here is not that we had built anything, but that the License was terminated. Calling it modeling rather than building would not have influenced them to allow us to keep the License. That was their decision.
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KevinW



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 1276

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I missing something here? Perhaps the foundation ended the relationship because they realized how insignificant the endeavor actually is. I have seen some of the models, fair at best. What possibly could a website showing some mediocre models of Wright buildings be of benefit to the foundation. Or anyone else for that matter other than entertainment, perhaps. I'm not getting the importance of this whole thing.
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Ethos Erlanger



Joined: 24 Dec 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:14 pm    Post subject: Re: FLW Foundation out of control Reply with quote

Paul Ringstrom wrote:


..... 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.....


Paul,

How much support does SaveWright provide to the FLLWF? If it is a substantial amount then they may be pleased to let you use Mr. Wright's name in your organizations name. Do you have a License Agreement with them? Are you simply sending them a check with no expectation of anything in return?

Do they accept your donations or are you bound by an agreement? Do they provide you any services for those donations.

All of these thing change the equation.

Ethos Erlanger
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18260
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Questions from a neophyte:


1 Can Second Life be visited by the non-participating public ?

2 Are expenses such as land rents paid in real dollars ? To whom do such funds ultimately accrue ?

3 What is the difference between a "scale build" and a "tribute build" ?


S D R
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Ethos Erlanger



Joined: 24 Dec 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

myLiebermeisterAGG wrote:
Am I missing something here? ...
...I have seen some of the models, fair at best. I'm not getting the importance of this whole thing.


It is good to have this dialog. Most of us in Second Life valued the museum as a significant example of what Virtual Worlds can be to the educational community. And more specifically, architectural renderings can be understood much more thoroughly through the use of this medium. The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum achieved something significant to those users. Not all residents of Second Life came to visit. Some have no interest in FLW. Some have no interest in architecture.

Your voice is the first I have heard of any visitor who expressed your view in the way you have here. What can be achieved in a rendering or build within a virtual world is not achievable in other graphic mediums and we proved it. Our builds (models as you want them to be called) are decidedly superior to those made with plastic blocks. Those toys have play value. They have educational value. Those made of plastic have entertainment value. And they inspire the architects, designers, and builders of the next generation. But I will argue with anyone if they were to imply that Frank wanted his designs to be rendered in plastic blocks and then imply that we did not do his designs justice as was implied by the public statement of the Foundation regarding our work. (Forgive me if I got their implication wrong, or that my comparison to toys is unjust.) One significant difference is that you may enter the interior of the builds in Second Life. You get very little knowledge of the interior of the Guggenheim by looking through the doorways and windows from the outside looking in to a toy made of plastic. This same learning experience is not possible in a plastic toy. And yet the Foundation issues licenses to these plastic toys products because they generate revenue.

Similarly, it is not possible with models created with Google SketchUp to show the interiors of the buildings, and yet the Foundation has not asked those people to remove their models from the internet, have they.

We did our best to build accurately and had plans to do better. This is a technology in its infancy and it has greater potential in the future. But the Foundation simply did not want it that way.

Some people came to visit the museum because the renderings gave them an orientation to the interior that they could not comprehend from blueprint drawings or even photographs of the actual buildings. You are simply not one of those visitor who benefited from this technology.

Many people were saddened by the closing of the museum. You are simply not among those who was moved in the same way.

Ethos Erlanger
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