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Conan2 Sculpture - Is this a Copyright issue? Contract violation?


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Aug 29 2003 - 11:10:41 PDT

(FYI - Patrick this is just to add to your collection of emails. This is
just the kind of stuff I do.... I find lessons in every day life...and I go
with it. Now you folks at NBC are in for a doosey. You found me because I am
a TEACHER.....Show these people you value the time of a TEACHER. Curiosity
got the best of me- I had to look-
You found me because of MY LESSON PLAN that I put out there for teachers to
use. No wonder my page came up on first page Google search. Now you are
really in for a lesson. I not only expect - but I DEMAND respect for my
lesson plans and all of these list members know that - all around the
world...Ken Rohrer - It wasn't Incredible Art Department after all. It was
my HEROES lesson plan that used aluminum foil for an armature. Well....
Patrick boy oh boy have you met Judith now - I gave you a chance to be
honest with me. I think a call to NBC is in order).

Dear Friends in Art Education,

Let me start off by saying I have great Respect for the Today Show - it is
the only program I watch in the morning.

Some of you have already been introduced to the never ending tale of Conan2
--I still have kept my end of the agreement - I have not told any artist or
art teacher the terms -I did just tell a couple of my friends so we could
share a few laughs -I am sure NBC Today Show Producer and staff are having
theirs, too. I agreed on their terms providing we not tell any artist or art
teacher the terms in order to save some embarrassment for me. I would hate
for all of you to think I don't value my time. Believe me - I sure did have
fun doing this - and I had a place of honor planned for my sculpture when he
did not meet their they do owe me. I sent him anyway after
they called and begged me to so so. I'm a teacher you know - they selected
me because I am a teacher - not an artist - so I was forgiving. I had to
prove to them I was an artist by sending samples of my work (I was "juried"
in so to speak).

My Conan2 is Copyrighted now... I just deemed him that honor. Now.... NBC
Today show must get permission to use my work in the production. At this
point, they do not have that permission. Patrick Hu called me just in the
nick of time last night to stop me from contacting UPS to bring Conan2 home
and hold him for "ransom". Patty, I did listen to you - I'd like to make
them scramble. You are my friend. This morning, I checked and found out he
was already in New York. we have to discuss their right to use
him. My Conan will be in their possession. What are their rights to use
him? What are my rights as an artist? Now that I know what their plans
really are, they already do not have my permission to use my name. My name
will not be used to make a mockery of art education. NBC Today Show asked me
to violate the terms of our agreement and that did tick me off a bit (to say
it mildly) - and they chose Patrick to do it. They made Patrick go back on
his word. (OK somehow I am going to make Patrick come out the"hero" in all
of this - He was fun to talk to this summer - and all of this is not his
fault...although he should try harder to live his name).

Here are some of the options I see for NBC Today Show Research Dept::
1. Respectful way: Pay Judith Decker for the value plus shipping (Patrick
knows the value UPS has - and that is a big bargain in my book).
2. Honorable way: Return Conan2 to the Decker home where he will be
appreciated and honored - as per your agreement if he is not used on the
3. Art teachers - What are some of your suggestions here? What are some of
the options that our society has set up? I am interested in your feed back
on and off list.
4. Use it anyway or just dump it because that is the "american way" - Take
from the Indians! I am a darned proud Shawnee Indian. And even the football
coaches valued my art and that was in 1971. They paid me $10.00 and hour for
my time. My art (ceramic sculpture) was an award. What does that translate
to in today's economy? Well....Now Americans do value the art of the
Indians....We just heard all about that from Woody....So that doesn't seem
to be a very good option for them either.

OK...This is what they saw:
I had to send them this to prove I could make art:
This is what they got:
but what they really want is toilet paper and more.
You folks be the judge.

They will find out I not only have big ears (on my portrait vessel) ...but I
have a very big mouth, too.

You all have made my day so wonderful. I was going to show how they graded
my work using John's Rubric -- but I think I have shared enough right now.
I am glad Getty was down for those first two emails I sent seeking your help
for NBC Today Show. Well... I will never be "famous" either, Ken
Rohrer...but I will always be Richer...Once a Richer always a Richer. I do
owe you Ken for these lessons I was able to teach to the folks at NBC.
Honesty is an important lesson. Respect is an important lesson.
Trust is an important lesson....and Yes VALUING art is an important lesson.
I just have a different view of aesthetics than the folks in research at NBC
Today Show.
They learned these lesson because Ken Rohrer chose me to be Web master for
Incredible Art Department - and welcomed my site as an addition to the site.
I made Conan2 because my son wanted me to.

Judith Decker - Ohio
Incredible Art Department