StreetJelly News: we’ve updated our Smileys to bigger and better fun!
There’s a bit of a story behind this. We originally used smileys, emoticons in our chat windows, that were borrowed from another instant messaging system. We had these in place during our beta phase and applied for the proper permission and licensing to use on the site. The paperwork took a while, but we finally heard back from this large national company. For whatever reason they declined our application to license their artwork. They didn’t even offer a chance to pay a licensing fee. Oh well, that’s the way it goes in this business.
We moved ahead with Plan B. We found a new supplier of artwork that was happy to take our money. I know, right! Originally, we didn’t choose this company because their smileys were so large and didn’t quite fit into the chat window. But StreetJelly evolves. Turns out, bigger IS better for the site. While performing, the musicians are often further back from the screen and have a harder time viewing and reading the chat messages. The larger smileys are much easier to see. And, we increased the font size and thumbnail pics while we were updating the code.
There is a lesson here, too. It’s about copyrights, ownership of artwork, licensing, and all that legal mumbo-jumbo that follows. Everything that applies to smiley graphic files also applies to songs and songwriters. We believe strongly in the rights of any artist, their art work, and fair compensation for use of their work. At StreetJelly, we do our best to make sure everyone is credited or compensated properly. We hold web licenses through songwriter associations, like BMI, ASCAP, SECAS, for the cover music performed by our musicians. These fees come out of our budget, not musicians’ tokens. We do this not because we’re supposed to, but because it’s the right thing to do. Check out our friends at FarePlay.org and all the great work they are doing to curtail illegal downloading of music. We support them, you should too.
Remember, if you didn’t create something, make sure you are giving credit or paying the person who did. It’s that simple.
Hope everyone enjoys the new smileys!