Serendip LLC - Erasing All Traces of Wendy Carlos, Insanity
A couple of days ago I ran across some bizarre stuff that's going on that
may mean people have to be very careful with what they do on the net in
relation to Wendy Carlos. There is a company called Serendip LLC, which
claims it owns all of Wendy Carlos' music, and I guess the website, since
the name appears there too. Serendip LLC has been engaging in some very
petty behavior and some that's so insane you won't believe it. I've also
proposed some solutions.
First, they are having any Youtube videos that have even just a few seconds
of Carlos' music in them, yanked for copyright violation. While they have
the perfect right to do so, they could use a more tactful manner of just
emailing the posters themselves as a 1st step. Exposing new people to
Carlos' work would normally be something you'd think they would benefit from
as it can generate addition sales. But they'll have none of that. Much of
this was related to Clockwork Orange videos, of which Serendip LLC claims
they own the soundtrack. Odd, since my CD of it says Warner Brothers. But
this is nothing.
These bottom feeders have been getting ebay to pull down people's auctions
that contain Carlos recordings. Apparently Serendip is under the impression
that copyrighting music doesn't just mean the aural part of it, but also the
visual. Since music is invisible, then they go after photographs of the
medium that the recording is located on. Never in my life have I heard that
a person can't photograph their own belongings to display for sale, until
now. Don't ever post a picture you took of a W. Carlos CD, record, tape,
video, DVD, brochure, insert, pamplet, interview, or magazine article.
You'll have the Serendip bullies on your ass. But it gets more insane.
These low lifes at Serendip LLC are also under the impression they own the
copyright to the names "Wendy" and "Carlos", or maybe only in a complete
unit such as "Wendy Carlos". One youtuber got a video yanked down by
Serendip by just mentioning the name "Wendy Carlos" in the comments section.
That means in Serendip's view this very post to AH is in violation of their
copyright, and all such posts mentioning the name "Wendy Carlos" in the AH
archives are too. This is going to cause problems for othe people on the
planet named Wendy Carlos, and probably also Walter Carlos. This particular
part concerned me since I had just posted videos of my Carlos-style A6
recordings to youtube. I went back and changed any references to "W.
Carlos" instead of "Walter/Wendy Carlos".
Serendip LLC went after a site called Intuitivemusic with a letter that
starts off with a sentence so strange, you have to wonder what psycho is
behind it. It reads "Apart from that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs.
Lincoln?". Intuitivemusic didn't know what the hell that meant. Who would?
Serendip goes on stating "Your pages on Wendy Carlos are disrespectful,
insensitive, inaccurate and, in at least one reference, probably libelous.".
The Carlos bio page is now gone, but judging by the pages on other
synthesists, I can't believe any of these claims are true. This Serendip
text comes from somebody named A. Franklin, if that's he/her real name.
A google search shows Serendip is in a lawsuit with Virgin Records and at
least one other lawsuit. Adding to the nonsense is there is another company
also called Serendip LLC and has a website named www.serendipllc.com. So
Serendip LLC either stole the name of another company, themselves being in
copyright violation, or another company is using Serendip LLC's name, so why
is Serendip not going after them?
Serendip LLC obviously doesn't want anybody hearing, seeing or talking about
Wendy Carlos. When a couple of people tried to contact Serendip LLC to find
out about getting permission to use W. Carlos pictures of music, they got no
Serendip LLC also doesn't seem to be very internet savvy. Within minutes I
was able to find sites all over the net with Carlos related photos, and many
youtube videos with Carlos' music in them. The most flagrant of all of them
is this blip.tv video which mentions Wendy's name, displays a number of her
album covers in slideshow-like fashion, all with the complete last movement
of the 3rd Brandenburg playing in stereo in the foreground:
A couple of solutions: Use the name W. Carlos. That's better anyway, since
it can mean Walter, Wendy, William or just about anything. And I've noticed
that when Wendy doesn't have the right to use a picture, such as some of her
older Moog albums where the artwork is probably owned by Columbia/Sony, she
runs a Photoshop paint type filter over them. If that's good enough for
her, then the same should be good enough for anybody else. One wonders if
running music through a filter can also avoid copyright infridgement. Just
add some noise, or maybe re-EQ it. Now it's different.
> >If only somebody who worked directly with Wendy were on this list, he
> >might be able to shed some light on this mess...
> I'm pretty sure Matthew Davidson was tight with her....
> At the bottom of her website homepage (http://www.wendycarlos.com/) it
> says Serendip LLC.
> serendipllc.com is registered to a John Gillespie
> wendycarlos.com is registed to John Romkey
> Curiouser and curiouser. If it is indeed Wendy, she can do what ever she
> wants with her stuff.
> On Jan 14, 2008 9:13 PM, BrightBoy <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >If only somebody who worked directly with Wendy were on this list, he
> > >might be able to shed some light on this mess...
> > I'm pretty sure Matthew Davidson was tight with her....
> > Cheers,
> > Jeff
Re: Serendip LLC - Erasing All Traces of Wendy Carlos, Insanity
On Jan 15, 2008, at 1:16 AM, Peter Tripodi wrote:
> And in that I mean she owns the her own work (I would hope) and has
> right to protect it.
'Wendy Carlos' is indeed trademarked like 'Moog Music'. This was a
defensive measure put in place shortly after a well-intentioned
artist invoked Wendy's name in a work of less than questionable
taste. Does a trademark mean you can't mention Moog Music on a mail
list? Of course not, it is a legal tool to be deployed under abusive
John Romkey owns the server that wendycarlos.com is running on. He's
a very interesting person if you care to google his name. Possibly
the nicest person I've ever known, and I'd go so far to say he had a
prominent role in shaping the person I am today. He's credited as the
first person to get a TCP stack running on a personal computer...you
know, to connect to that internet-thingamabob. He's also credited in
the liner notes of recent Wendy Carlos releases.
Serendip owns all of Wendy's work, including A Clockwork Orange,
which they recently wrestled from Warner. This also includes all the
current cover images, which were created by Wendy herself. As Wendy
is a prominent solar eclipse photographer, Serendip is used to
chasing down unauthorized use of her images, as well as her music. I
don't think they pick and choose what they want to defend.
Serendip is indeed hyper-sensitive of unauthorized use of Wendy's
work. I don't personally agree with how aggressive they are about
defending her work, but they're within their rights. It doesn't
matter if you feel they should be honored you're exposing new people
to Wendy's music, that isn't for you to decide. It is only for the
copyright holder to decide, and they've made their position quite clear.
I understand how this angers people. A fair response would be to
create your own version of Purcell's "Music for the Funeral of Queen
Mary" and release it via the creative commons license for others to
use - or some Bach, or whatever. If people are truly upset about
copyright law and use, then I suggest a positive response. Instead of
complaining about how unfair it all is, START CONTRIBUTING. http://
I hope that clears some things up. If you have any follow up
questions, please contact me DIRECTLY as this mail list is not the
place to discuss intellectual property law, or complain about
Serendip's behavior. If you want to talk about Wendy's music, how she
uses analog synths, etc... that is on topic. Serendip's copyright
defense - not on topic.