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Double Sonrisas - Acrylic (detail)

Double Sonrisas – Acrylic (detail)

This past week a friend credited his morning meditation to a feeling of well being.  Meditation is a great way to start the day!

“You’d better watch out,” I warned, “The devil’s always waiting around the corner to sabotage that good mood!’

About eight hours later that devil tweaked his attention to me and spoiled what had been a very positive and productive day!

A “Please moderate” notice arrived for a post that was written months ago, and I was curious to see who had commented about things that can go wrong with legal and real estate negotiations in Latin America.   Surprised that the slow internet loaded the email, I scanned the message in the inbox:

New comment waiting approval on Zeebra Designs & Destinations

Marilyn S. Ruben commented on RED FLAG… “It’ll Never Happen To Me”
Here is my feedback: You are operating a Fraudulent Website with a name which is already protected under U. S. Trademark and U. S. Copyright by ME, as of l2 years ago in 2002 through the present time. We have 500 Artworks in our Collection, 250 by me and 250 by my 30 Artists.
Before setting up your Website, you should have completed a “Search” of other Websites online to see if there was a “Conflict of Interest.”
You are breaking U. S. Copyright Law as well as U. S. Trademark Law!
Please Cease and Desist using your Company name, because it is already being used, and has been for the past l2 years, by me and my company!
I don’t know you or your Company, but I once did meet someone named “Lisa” and I also met someone who calls himself “The Zebra,” because he wore “stripes” in and out of prison for at least 20 years. If this is a description of the two of you, you are breaking U.S. Copyright and U. S. Trademark Law by using our Company name!
Approve Trash | Mark as Spam

(What?!)   I first thought, “Spam,” and I read it again and reconsidered,  “No, this isn’t spam, but this makes no sense!”  How had I violated a copyright or trademark?

I sent the notice to my attorney and several people who deal with copyrights and trademarks, and I replied to the above comment.  I stated that I was unclear as to why she was upset, but I was about to go to her website to start the search.

After looking at her site, I was more baffled.  www.sonrisadesigns.com


“Sonrisa.”  I thought about a painting of mine titled, “Jama Coaque Sonrisai.”

Jama Coaque Sonrisa - Watercolor - from The Mola Series

Inspired by a pre-Columbian relic: Jama Coaque Sonrisa – Watercolor – from The Mola Series

She replied late that night and said if I had not used the words “Sonrisa” and “Smile” on my page, it would not have showed up on the “Search” list. She asked,  “Could you use another word for your subtitle instead to show the same feeling? -Happy? Ecstatic? Peaceful? Content? KIDS? Families? Ecuador families? South American families?”

(Subtitle?  I thought my subtitle was An Artist’s Eyes Never Rests!)  She must be referring to tags – or maybe the titles to the photos.

She said that my photos and art are beautiful, but asked, “Please don’t use our name in your advertising”

(Advertising?  Have I tried selling anything to any of you via this blog?  When I am ready to sell items, they will have their own site!)

A smile is a smile is a smile; a sonrisa is a sonrisa is a sonrisa.  How can one expect me to refrain from using a word that's in my daily vocabulary?

A smile is a smile is a smile; a sonrisa is a sonrisa is a sonrisa. How can one expect me to refrain from using a word that’s in my daily vocabulary?

So inquiring minds want to know;  should the words Sonrisa and Smile be excluded from my site?  If so, shouldn’t the word Designs also be an infringement?   Stop the merry go round!  It’s making me quite dizzy!

P1470333 great sonrisa

Sonrisas!  El Matal, Ecuador

Sonrisas! El Matal, Ecuador

Out of the countless images in Playamart’s 400-plus posts, yes, I use the word ‘sonrisa’ or ‘smile’ from time to time.

Carefree Beauty - Front-door Smiles

Carefree Beauty – Front-door Smiles

I patiently await your feedback! Thanks in advance! Z