just monkeying around…

by Leo on 2007-03-22

Alright… I’ve been asked this question several times already.

First off – let’s give? proper credit where it belongs. I DID NOT create that owl. It was professionally doodled (and I don’t mean? this in a derogatory way)? by Keri Smith? – an accomplished artist with her own philosophy.

Here’s the the thing…

I’m a web developer. And a domain collector. I get cranky at times. And I’m driven by an impulse. When I first stumbled into Ad-Free Blog, I was torn by mixed feelings. Keri’s “saying no to corporate advertising” crusade against ads on blogs is a noble concept. Hopelessly idealistic,? sort of like Don Quixote’s windmill fighting,? but nevertheless. On the other hand – the whole site is nothing but an ad aimed to promote… Keri Smith. Moreover, Keri’s strong beliefs fail to stop her from working for huge corporations like Ford Motors. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging.

I don’t want to say “hypocrisy”, it’s too strong of a word. It’s more like biting the hand that feeds you.? Let’s face it – something is fundamentally wrong with that picture.? I had to quickly whip together the Ad: Free Blog – an exaggerated spoof of Keri’s site. Inverted inside out and turned 180 degrees. Overloaded with ads about ads and requests for more ads.

The very next day I received a very official “cease and desist notice” in my email from none other, but Keri herself:

Dear Sir,
While I have no problem with the fact that you disagree with my beliefs on the subject of corporate advertising, I do have an issue with is your using my illustration and content in an illegal manner.

All editorial content, illustration, graphics, and other copyrighted material on Adfreeblog (collectively, “materials”) are protected by copyright law, and are owned by Keri Smith. Reproduction of the Site, in whole or in part, or in any form or medium, without the prior express written permission of Keri Smith is prohibited. Any online re-use of the Site’s materials is strictly prohibited.

I am writing to request that you remove my illustration from your site within 48 hours. Failure to do so will result in legal action being taken. sincerely,
Keri Smith

Yes, I confess… I pulled the innocent owl from his cozy little site and turned him into his evil twin brother. Look at him… He’ll sell his soul if a right offer comes along. Plagiarism? I don’t think so. Copyright infringement? No, seriously?

Hey, Keri… would you mind sending me a hard-copy of that letter? And, oh… while you’re at it – sign the letter and doodle something up. At least I will end up having an original autographed piece! I’ll post it here and hang it framed on the wall. I promise not to sell it on eBay. Unless the right offer comes along, of course.

So… To Guerilla Artist from Guerilla Webmaster – I love you, Keri. Loosen up. How about a hug?

March 22nd, 2007 at 9:30 pm