Just to clarify…

So. There has been a lot of drama and rumours regarding my decision to quit my role as an Officer at the FC and as Professor at the Absolute Dance Academy.

I just thought I would clarify a few things for those of you who may be interested (quite frankly – I’m finding all the gossip and mud slinging a little boring, myself).

First. Let’s get it into perspective. All I did was quit my jobs.  This is nothing sensational is it? People quit jobs every day in RL and in SL.

My FC Officer’s Job. I was employed by Becky to fulfil this role at the FC – which I did by attending meetings, generating ideas for the successful running of the club, being present in the club, interviewing dancers, dealing with issues, working on events and working on promotional ideas (for example taking pictures of the Dancer of the Month).

The only thing I was contracted to be paid for out of all of these elements of the contributions I made, was the time that I was physically at the FC and logged on to the staff board. Everything else – I happily contributed for free – my time spent doing tasks behind the scenes, my skills which made these tasks possible  and the end products. So – for example – the photographs for the Dancer of the Month – I wasn’t paid for the 2 hour photo session or for the end product – the actual photographs.   This was just part of the deal. I did it because I can and wanted to. However – as such – because the photographs were not bought from me by the FC – they remain my Intellectual Property (and I am allowed to choose who I give them to and allow to use them).

My job as Professor at the ADA. I again was employed by Becky- The Headmistress to fulfil this role – which I did by delivering 2 courses that ran over a period of weeks, for which I was paid by the session. This payment was funded by the owner of the ADA/FC.

Now- as some of you know, I am a professional trainer in RL.  Sometimes in RL – I am employed by companies to write bespoke resources for training and teaching. When I negotiate a contract and payment for the writing and production of these resources (which usually include lesson plans and teaching materials),  I will estimate how much time I will spend developing these resources and then work out an over all cost for the production of these resources dependent on my hourly rate.  The company employs me  and pays me to produce these bespoke resources and then I give them the resources to use as they wish.  Although I still retain Intellectual Property rights over the resources (meaning that they cannot be copied or sold) – the company is allowed to use them and technically owns them – although not the copyright to them.

Sometimes, in RL, I am employed by a company to deliver training. This usually involves using resources from courses that I have already developed which I adapt as necessary to suit my client’s needs. In this case – I am paid for physically delivering the training course- for which I negotiate a cost that the company pays me. This again is usually based on my hourly training rate. In these circumstances – the company is not paying me for the production of the training resources that I use (unless they decide to do so afterwards). They are paying for my time and skill in delivering the training. That is the product that they buy.

Okay – so there has been some debate between myself and the owner of the ADA/FC since I left the ADA.  The owner has requested that I hand over all of the resources that I  used to deliver the ADA Dancer Training – (the lesson plans and presentation materials that I had used and adapted to suit the ADA’s needs).

Having checked my Job Description as Professor with the ADA – it clearly states that I was being paid to ‘present and deliver’ the training –  at least 1 hour per week – for which I would be paid per session (the grand sum of 1000L$ per session). I did this, using my own training resources (lesson plans and presentations) and I was duly paid 1000L$ for each session I delivered. Becky also agrees that this is the case.

Whilst employed as a professor at the ADA, I delivered approximately 15 sessions where the average attendance over the entire course was 7 dancers per session. Half of these sessions involved me delivering a session at 1am in the morning in order to compensate for the international time zone differences. The feedback for this training – from the Dancers (including the Gemz), from the ADA Headmistress – Becky and from the owner of the FC/ADA – was extremely positive and 86% of the attendees said that they would recommend the training to other SL dancers.

What is also clear – is there was nothing in my Job Description about payment for the writing and production of the resources for the ADA . No payment was made to me by the owner of the ADA/FC for the writing and production of the resources that I used to deliver the course. As I said – I was paid for my time that I spent presenting and delivering the training sessions- as I am quite often contracted to do in RL.

So – let’s just be quite clear on this. I was not paid to write resources for the ADA to use as the owner of the ADA/FC sees fit. As in the RL example above – had that been what I was employed to do, I would have negotiated a cost for the bespoke production of these resources – based on an hourly rate. In RL terms – this would equate to £8,250.oo  based on my hourly rate. In SL terms, at the time of negotiating a contract for the writing and production of the resources for the ADA – I would probably have charged 192,000 L$ (approximately £538.00) based on my hourly rate and how long it had taken me to write and produce these resources to a professional standard. Then – I would have handed them over to the owner of the FC/ADA to use for the FC/ADA as he saw fit. If he had then also wanted me to present and deliver the training – I would have charged my hourly rate of 1000 L$ on top of that.

Okay. So – as I said – there have been a lot of rumours and gossip surrounding me (and Becky) leaving the employment of the FC and the ADA. Part of the allegations being made by the owner is that we have stolen from him – namely – stolen the resources that I used to deliver the ADA training (that I was not paid to write and develop- as that was not part of the job description as Professor at the ADA).

Furthermore, the FC/ADA owner also made allegations that I have stolen his soul. I am not quite sure how I did this.  I have checked my inventory and it is definitely not in there.

This has then further developed into what I consider to be personal harassment via email and IM from the owner of the FC/ADA and defamatory remarks and allegations in the form of a notecard which was sent to me by one of the members of his staff and also circulated to some of my friends in SL. Needless to say – the relevant blocking and muting procedures have been put in to place.

The owner of the FC/ADA has also stated to me that he will be going to Linden Labs to register a complaint which alleges fraud and theft.  Quite strong allegations.

In criminal law, fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual.

Now. The question is, did I do this?

I think not. I delivered on my Job Description and at the time – the person who was employing me was extremely satisfied that I had done so – and paid me accordingly. There was no intention to deceive anyone  for my own personal gain or to damage the owner of the FC/ADA. In fact what would be that personal gain? And what damage has been caused to the owner of the FC/ADA? He may be a little annoyed that Becky and I left his employment – but then apparently we were doing such a rubbish job (which he has only expressed since we left) why on earth would it bother him that we left?

In common usage, theft is the taking of another person’s property without that person’s permission or consent with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of it.

Now. Did I do this? I think not. How can I be guilty of stealing something that I created and own in the first place? I have not taken any property from the FC/ADA. I will not be using the ADA or FC logos in any future ventures in SL.

All I did was decide that I no longer wanted to spend my SL time working for at the ADA/FC and to do something different.

So – my question to you, dear reader is: Is that a crime?