This all starts with a What's New from 4 March 2003, and has to do with a little stupdity called Hellhound Records. I'm editing out the first part so it only deals with the more relevant bits....

What's New

In other news...I've been trying to figure out a way to explain this without getting into overkill. But I'm not sure that's really an option. So I'll just explain it.

People are beginning to notice that HellhoudRecords.com is offline. There are a few reasons for that, all involving money. The reason the site currently looks the way it does is because the corporate account for holding a two-gigabyte site never got paid. Which is actually the smaller matter. The larger matter is that no one ever got paid. Which goes like this.

Back in November, a friend of a friend connected me to this band. Their website sucked; that wasn't a secret. So they needed a better one. So it came to my attention.

Their photographer was actually the one who pitched the gig to me. He mentioned that they typically gave out percentages instead of paying people up front; but they also knew that not everyone worked that way. So I said I could do the site for my normal fees [$150 an hour], unless it looked advantageous to take stocks in the company instead.

That much worked out, we went off to meet the band and discuss things. Most of which was technical--they wanted a flashsite, but they didn't want the sort they'd already abandoned [I never actually saw that one] because it looked like a HannaBarbara cartoon. Which, to me, suggests that it was all vectored animations in Flash. They wanted a flashsite with actual images. Fine. Huge and slow, but fine.

That much worked out, they officially wanted me to code the site. And this was the first mistake. My fees were clear enough, but we didn't get anything done in writing. Instead, we talked about prototypes and so on--figure out what the site's going to look like, and then do it for real, and everything's cool, and the band take care of the people who help them out. So: my fault, I suppose, for failing to get anything really written down.

Which is not to say that I have no evidence of anything. I've got myriad EMails with questions and concepts and last-minute changes to a flashsite. For those who have never coded a flashsite, realise that it's not a website so much as a programme--compiled to run regardless of webbrowsers; the thing is standalone software. So last-minute changes generally involve scrapping the whole thing and starting over with the intention of including the new stuff. Which is one of two reasons I don't write these What's News in Flash. It's not practical to change things every day.

So. December, January, February. I spent about a hundred and fifty realtime hours coding this site, making these last-minute changes, and so on. I'm not terribly greedy, so I didn't give a lot of thought to the money no one was giving me for three months. Then I started to wonder about it. Particularly once the band finally learned by example [and not just my admonition back in December] that a flashsite is large and slow. Now they want to lose the flashsite and replace it with a basic hypertext site.

Fine. But I can't quite ethically commit to doing anything more when I haven't yet been paid for everything done to date. Which is 150 hours at $150 per hour, which is 150^2, which is $22,500. Industry standard; this shouldn't come as a surprise.

Guess what comes as a surprise.

Partly because we're not dealing with the industry, it appears. The official reason I got for the need for a hypertext site was that all these high-level music industry goons are on dialups. Who knew Dave Geffen had an AOHell account....

This, along with a few other concerns. Assertions that the band have songs and videos in various films, videogames, and ESPN shows. Which I can't personally agree to discuss on a site I own and control without more evidence than 'it's all good'. So I start looking for evidence. Like IMDb.com, who list bands on soundtracks [Corey, for example, is listed as a composer for Resident Evil; and he didn't even know that his song was going to be in the film until he saw it in the cinema], but have no mention of ColdMoon. Which follows, since the films they're reportedly in aren't listed either. This is a concern. And, again, I'm not going to jump into a lawsuit by helping to distribute a rumour on an official website. That's just me.

So. With these various concerns, and the developing theory that no one's ever going to pay anyone for anything, we decide to have a meeting on 1st March. At the last minute, I get a message from Chris [Link to mp3 removed] --the lead singer of ColdMoon--calling it off.

Okay.

The next day, I get an EMail from Barry. Let me explain what I know about this first.

Barry is the manager of ColdMoon. His website is at ExiledAngel.com. All I know about this guy is what he looks like from the night I met him long enough to say Hi, an EMail I got from him asking for passwords to my server [I didn't give those out, of course], and what I've heard from everyone else--that he's a good guy and he puts as much effort into the scene as he can while working ninety hours a week as a MallCop.

Okay.

So then I get this. Aside from the details I just listed, I know about as much about any of this as any of you would.

Dino and Gremlin,

First, let me apologize for our inability to attend a meeting Saturday night, I had to work till about midnight and from the information that I got from Chris after his phone call, it sounds like it would have turned into a bitch session anyways, and neither I nor Chris have the time to spare for that!

I would like to address a couple of points that Chris brought up to me since he said that Dino claimed that you guys have done extensive research on the band.

Some items that need to be gone over and understood:

1: You read under product details at Amazon.com the following entry: Amazon.com Sales Rank: 435,844 and Dino informed Chris that you wanted you cut out of all of this money that the band has made and is holding out on you! Which would average to about $5,230,128.00 income to the band. That's a lot of money. Kind of makes you wonder why the band members and myself all still have day jobs and driving piece of shit cars don't it? Sorry to disappoint, that is the SALES RANK which means that the album is way down at the bottom of the sales listing at Amazon, if it got much further down the line we would be paying them!

2. The song Steel in the Spine was originally slated to be in the movie "Pool Hall Junkies" starring Christopher Walken. This was told to us via our publisher and we were told to announce the fact. This fell through over a year ago and a retraction was published as to that fact.

3. The song Steel in the Spine is going to be in the movie Road To Nowhere. Yes it is, as well as on the soundtrack. Yes the movie came out in 1999, but that was to the Sundance film festival and other indi theaters. The movie has been revived, re-edited and is currently in post production for a release to DVD and VHS as well as a possible syndication deal. Our publisher has set up the deal for the song and you can view the movie poster here: http://www.exiledangel.com/coldmoon/images/poster.gif

4. The songs are on ESPN, negative, we were told by our publisher that there is a deal being worked out with ESPN but nothing final as of the last we have heard, this information was only told to insiders within the band and may have slipped out in a e-mail. The songs are in the Nor-Cal Extreme Fighting Championship video and soundtrack of which we have been told by our publisher but we ourselves have yet to find any info on.

5. There are several other movie, TV show, cartoon and video game deals currently in the workings. This is true as far as we have been told by the publisher.

6. Hell Hound Records and Exiled Angel are not real. They are both listed as service marks and trade marks but are not listed as LLC or higher. They are also listed as DBA's. Until they are bigger and make money, there is no real need to register them as anything else and have to deal with all of the corporate bullshit that goes with it.

7. The logo for Exiled Angel is stolen from a friend of Gremlins? Small world and what a coincidence that I would just happen to steal the logo of someone that I would bump into later, that would make a good argument against theft. I personally hand drew the Exiled Angel logo, then I took that image and created the 3d computer rendering using the drawing as a basis for what I was looking for. I have retained the original artwork as well as the original files of the angel with their time stamps to prove ownership of her and as a matter of fact she has even changed once since the beginning. These transformations can be viewed online at: http://www.exiledangel.com/angel/ feel free to send anyone that feels she is theirs to go and look. This page includes the original drawing before it was completed as well as a bonus picture, the angel as her human alter ego! I will be happy to challenge face to face or in court anyone that claims ownership of the angel or who dares accuse me of theft and personally I am pretty pissed off that someone even brought this up!!! Before someone accuses or even makes the comment that I stole from them they had better damn well be able to back it up.

8. Barry is miss managing the band and the band should be farther along than it is already. Don't speak unless you know the inner workings of the band and it's management. I would assume that this comment comes from the feeling that the band is talented enough to already have a record deal with a big label. I agree, but Chris does not want to sign with a major label. We to date have turned down several record deals from many major and indi labels, some good, some shit. Chris wants to keep everything internal for reasons that we do not need to disclose. I argued the point for a long time with Chris until he got his point across and I now agree with him. As a manager I fought long and hard to convince him that it would be best for him and the band to sign a deal but after many conversations on this subject Chris won out. P.S. a band manager is not a booking agent, he protects the band from shady deals, damage and leeches. Also the management contract is between myself, Chris, and the band and is in no means anyone else's business.

9.We could be sued by ESPN, Poolhall Junkies etc... Ummmmm Nope.

In review, Gremlin, Dino brought you into the inner circle of Cold Moon under the impression that you could make us a killer web page, at first I was against this and expressed my concerns to the band, ie, if you bring in a web master you had better make sure that he understands that none of us, including the band are getting paid and that we will not pay for his services as well. He had better understand that we are all in this for the future pay off and when and if things start to go well and we are bringing in the money we will then set up payment for him and of course he will remain our webmaster for as long as he wishes. Also he needs to know that he is only the webmaster and will have to abide by and follow whatever wishes and needs myself and the band had for the web page. I found it hard to believe that some great web wizard was willing to do this for free and expressed this opinion loudly at all meetings on this subject before you were brought in and I on several occasions brought up the fact that I felt that you may be working under a separate agenda of your own. But after many times having been told no, you were in this like the rest of us and was willing to put in your time and talent for the better good of the band and was only hoping for a future pay off I agreed to allow this with the final comment of I had better not hit the time when I have to say I told you so. "I told you so!" No one needs to be making demands of this band or myself, either you are in or out, it is that simple! We are all in this together and have put much time and effort and money to get as far as we are at this time and those of us that have been in this for years are looking forward to the pay off, soon we hope.

I do not condone or understand where the web master and photographer feels the need to dig into the inner workings of the band, Hell Hound or Exiled Angel. These are not areas that have anything to do with anyone other than myself or the band. If we succeed, we all succeed, if we fail, we all fail, but this is a chance that those of us involved are willing to take and have been since the beginning. If you are not willing to take this chance then simply leave, no hard feelings, but we will not stand up to ridiculous demands that sound closer to extortion than anything else! No one made any promises that went through me and any promises made by outside parties will not be upheld. I shouldn't even be sitting here explaining myself or the band to you two anyways and I don't have to, but have simply because of the relationship that we thought that we had with Dino. Dino, you came into the circle with the understanding that you would be the bands official photographer and that in the long run it would pay off and your name would become well known in the music biz and that you would be paid well for your efforts. Where did you feel that things had changed? When did you decide that you deserved more than the band itself? Folks, you need to understand that the band is the product here and they haven't even received a penny yet and I will be damned if I will allow anyone to try to gold dig this band and try to get paid before the band itself has made it's money, that includes me, that's right, I haven't made a dollar off of this venture, nor has the band, nor has Stretch and several other people, but we are all still here because we have faith in the music that Cold Moon puts out and know that it will happen.

In closing, if you are willing to take the chance then so be it, Gremlin, make web pages, that's what a web master does, Dino, take pictures, that's what a photographer does! Neither of you were allowed in to manage the band or run the businesses. If you don't like it or you don't share the same vision as the rest of us then back out, take down the website, don't take anymore pictures and we will remove any of either of your works from our pages and information and we will go our separate ways. I don't want to hear where's my share, I work so hard at this and deserve it, it will happen in the long run and we have no intention of screwing anyone over that has been involved and hopes to stay involved after we reach our goal, we will all reap the rewards from this. I have been in management for over 20 years and yes, I have gone to school for it as well so don't question my methods. I am also a computer and internet technician and was instrumental in the design of many of the early ISP's such as Compuserve, WoW, AOL, Qwest DSL and GTE Internetworking and as a matter of fact, I trained the tech support group for GTE and wrote the tech manual that MSN and Qwest now use for their tech support for DSL, so don't try to tell me about the inner workings of a web site or the cost of designing it and how big of a crew it takes for how many hours when the web page was most likely designed using Macromedia Studio MX. I do not bring this up to brag, I am not bragging, I am simply stating that I have at least a little bit of knowledge about what I talk about and will not sit here and listen to bullshit nor will I stand for extortion on Cold Moon. Perhaps the word extortion sounds harsh and that it is not your intension, but sit back and look at what you are saying objectively and you will see why we have this impression. Also, I don't want to hear all of the great things that could be done with Slipknot. I haven't to date heard from the band or their management so apparently that isn't in the running or the works at this time. I am not doubting any connection to them, but unless I see results from that association then it does Cold Moon no good and is not a tool that we need or can use. Dino, you are a good photographer and we like your work, but there are other photographers out there that would be happy to do the pictures for us, several of which have been bothering me for a long time to do it and I have explained to them that we do not need an official photographer, we already have one, you! If you are no longer happy doing this then let me know, we will work out a deal to continue using your current work and pay you for it when we achieve our goals later or we will cease using your work, your decision.

Gremlin, as you know, you are not the only webmaster out there by far. You were brought in because Dino bragged you up and we were told that you would be happy to do this under the same conditions that everyone else is working under. Either you were lied to by some one or you yourself have decided to change the rules, I don't know, but you need to decide if you are in or out.

No hard feelings, if either of you decide you don't want to do this then it's fine by us. If you decide that you wish to continue, then do so and we will start fresh and forget all of this with no reservations.

Let me know via e-mail or phone, I am open for either.

P.S. Damn it Dino, I know that you are sensitive about the spelling of your name and the middle initial F. I am slowly changing that wherever I find the mistake as I find them but it is not a priority. I am doing it, deep breaths man!

Barry McDonald

Manager - Cold Moon

Cell: XXX-XXX-XXXX [number removed at Barry's request because 'the number is a matter of national security and poses a potential terrorist threat' (paraphrased)]

http://www.exiledangel.com/coldmoon

http://www.HellhoundRecords.com/coldmoon

"Live the nightmare, never sleep again"!

B.C. Rich Guitars

Deevel /Attackin' Tunes

Cherry Lane

Exiled Angel Productions

The Orchard

Ridiculous demands. Yeah: who ever heard of anyone getting paid to write a corporate website....

Anyway: that pretty well cinched it. Evidently, I shouldn't expect to get paid for anything. Which is probably true. I suppose I've got enough evidence to push the issue; but any lawyer worth talking to will tell you that there's more to a lawsuit than evidence. You have to factor that suing someone for, say, twenty-odd thousand bucks and winning the case is of no use to you if they haven't got the money to pay you. So: no one's getting paid.

On that information--that he couldn't even expect to be paid the server rent on a business site for the last three months, the SysAdmin replaced HellhoundRecords.com with the Closed for NonPayment splash you see now.

As for the future of Hellhound Records: that's up in the air at the moment. I still own the domain name. Maybe I'll develop it into something more practical someday. I've got too much stuff I apparently shouldn't expected to get paid for to do before I get into something like that.

And, since I astonishingly do get paid by most people for doing these things, I should probably get back to doing them, instead of just talking about them here.

Also, Hunter wanted to mention a few things she discovered after doing a little research, based on Barry's EMail....

--Gremlin

A Deconstruction in an Undetermined Number of Parts: Part One -- Barry's Claims to the Exiled Angel Logo by Hunter

The logo for Exiled Angel is stolen from a friend of Gremlins? Small world and what a coincidence that I would just happen to steal the logo of someone that I would bump into later, that would make a good argument against theft. I personally hand drew the Exiled Angel logo, then I took that image and created the 3d computer rendering using the drawing as a basis for what I was looking for. I have retained the original artwork as well as the original files of the angel with their time stamps to prove ownership of her and as a matter of fact she has even changed once since the beginning. These transformations can be viewed online at: http://www.exiledangel.com/angel feel free to send anyone that feels she is theirs to go and look. This page includes the original drawing before it was completed as well as a bonus picture, the angel as her human alter ego! I will be happy to challenge face to face or in court anyone that claims ownership of the angel or who dares accuse me of theft and personally I am pretty pissed off that someone even brought this up!!! Before someone accuses or even makes the comment that I stole from them they had better damn well be able to back it up.

I'll try not to dwell on the grammatical structure faults in this portion of the overly-long rant, and get straight to the meaning behind the words. "I didn't steal it and you can't prove that I did."

First off: nobody accused Barry of 'stealing the logo'. I have never heard it stated in any way resembling 'Barry stole the logo'.

What was stated before reality got telephoned on down the line to this little reality and back -- and let's set the record completely and utterly straight here -- was that Gremlin knew where you got the files -- the meshes, the image maps, and so on -- to construct this figure, and that, to the best of his knowledge, they were free for NON COMMERCIAL USE ONLY.

And yes, you bombastic fuck, I'm 'damn well able to back it up'.

First, let's have a look at the images.

I will be referring to these images by their filenames. Starting from the top left, they are 2, 3, [bottom left, now] 4, and 5.

At least, I'll be referring to them as that for now....

Now, Barry asserts that, "I personally hand drew the Exiled Angel logo, then I took that image and created the 3d computer rendering using the drawing as a basis for what I was looking for. I have retained the original artwork as well as the original files of the angel with their time stamps to prove ownership of her and as a matter of fact she has even changed once since the beginning."

At this time, I cannot challenge the assertion that he 'hand drew' the original image of the 'exiled angel'. I can, however, counter the rest of the assertion that 'she' is 100%, pixel by pixel, his creation.

The base model that he used is a standard Poser4 Female model.

The wings, most clearly seen in 4 and 5, were created by DarkWorld. They can be downloaded from their site. I have yet to determine whether or not they have a usage agreement that restricts things to noncommercal use only.

There are also textures available from Renderosity.com. These textures are listed as NonCommercial Use Only.

Moving on, I'll continue working my way 'upward', starting with 4 and 5. The focus now will be the clothing.

Again, this is addressing the original statement that it it not a wholly original work, and the parts are intended for NonCommercial Use Only.

The Boots, Gloves, Panty/Thong, and Bra are all chain mesh, and they look to be exactly similar to the ones created by the people at Nerd3D.com.

Here's a couple of screenshots from renderosity.com:

Notice the 'For NonCommercial Use Only' stipulation under each image. These specific objects can be found under the 'free' section of Renderosity's site. You'll need to get an account to view them and run a search. If you feel the need, however, you'll want to search for 'impractical'.

And then there's the more interesting specifics.

Like the notice at the bottom of Nerd3D.com:

All models and content of this site is 1999-2002 Taylor Technologies. Additional Copyrights may apply. Poser is a trademark of Curious Labs. Other restrictions may apply. Read the text files included with each download for details. Copying or redistribution of any image or model on this site is restricted to personal use. Commercial use requires written permission. All 3D models are copyright Taylor Technologies. Any distribution is forbidden with out written permission. Web "harvesting" or mass downloading software is forbidden on this site. Any person or robot harvesting email addresses, collection demographics, or collecting information for solicitations are forbidden on this site. Violators will be pursued to the fullest length of the law. Any unauthorized commercial use of any image displayed on this site will be billed a minimum of $10,000 (USD) per incident. Unauthorized use of images or any content taken from this site for advertising email will be billed a minimum of $100,000 (USD) per incident. By clicking the link above or using content from this site you have agreed to these terms.

Emphasis, obviously, added. And while I realise that none of the images displayed above, and being claimed as original creations by Barry are images used specifically on Nerd3D.com, they are [until demonstrated otherwise] likely created with files created by the people at Nerd3D.com. Which is to say that the component files used in Poser are all Copyright 1999 [or 1999-2001 in the case of the ChainBoot]. All the copyright notices can be found within the files you get when you download these objects.

Interestingly enough, the little 'readmes' also contain credits to other people. Phil Hokusai, for creating the original boots and allowing them to be manipulated, and for creating the gloves; Paul Hafeli is credited with making the chain bra, and someone else is mentioned for asking to have it converted to a conforming clothing figure.

Each readme file also contains the phrase 'Private use is free. Commercial use requires permission.

To the best of my knowledge, the definition of 'commercial use' is 'anything that promotes the sale of goods or services'.

Also to the best of my knowledge, using something as a logo would be, legally, 'commercial use'.

Now, to address images 1 and 2....

Recognise her?

Taarna, from Heavy Metal.

And yet "I personally hand drew...then I took that image and created the 3d computer rendering using the drawing...."

So why is your image motherfuckin' Taarna?

Oh yeah, and the PoserFile for Taarna is also technically property of Nerd3D.com. Look:

Wait, even better:

Spooky....

So, your logo is absolutely original, except for the fact that it's Poser4's Female wearing Nerd3D's Impractical Chain Armour/Taarna's outfit, and is fitted with DarkWorld Archangel wings.

And I should probably clarify something I mentioned up there: Taarna was a character in the animated film "Heavy Metal", which is listed at imdb.com as having come out in 1981. Why do I get the feeling that none of these 'original files' have a creation date of prior to 1981?

In the end, it looks suspiciously like your defense to the strawmanned 'you accused me of stealing it' argument fails. The argument was never that you 'stole' [although your quick jump to that word raises questions of a strictly psychological nature] these images; it was simply that you could potentially get in trouble for the commercial use of a 'logo' generated by using meshes specificially restricted to 'non commercial use only'. That you've gotten yourself in potentially deeper trouble by attempting to claim that the winged NadaTaarna is 'yours' completely and utterly isn't my problem. I'm not a lawyer; I don't have to represent you if charges ever get brought against you.

I can, of course, be wrong about all this. It's entirely possible that he created the ExiledAngel in the form it exists in today well before Taarna was ever conceptualised and put into print; he could have created uncannily exact copies of the Impractical Mesh Armour from Nerd3D.com without ever knowing about them. But the odds against that are not something I'm capable of calculating....

It's possible; I just don't think it's likely. Of course, that's technically just my opinion, backed up by facts, and leading to reasonable doubt....

~Hunter

Those two things [mostly, if I remember correctly, my segment on his 'logo'] caused some stuff on the messageboard. I'll put the links here, for no good reason....