Cease and Desist from the Estate Of Maurice Sendak

Where The Wild Things Must Go

WildThings-cover BIGRobin E. Silverman

Golenbock, Eiseman, Assor Bell & Peskoe

437 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10022


Dear Ms Silverman,

I received your letter today regarding the Estate of Maurice Sendak on my blog.  I do understand what you must do and I am inclined to amicably resolve the matter, though it would be with great sadness, if that is what must be done.

Can I please ask you this first:

Is there any way that I could receive permission from the Estate to use the artwork? If it is something that would be of great legal wrangling or monetary payment, then it would not be possible on my end as I am but a little underdog in a big fight against a corrupt enterprise and do not have the resources. However, if that was at all possible, it would mean so very much as I only incorporated the work of the Estate as means of the highest honor.

I adore Maurice Sendak and “Where the Wild Things Are“. It was my favorite book as a child and I had aspirations of being a children’s book author while at SVA in NYC so very long ago. However, when I became pregnant and denied myself my art as punishment, I named my son Max. The two things I left with my 2 day old child when he went to his adoptive parents home was an inscribed copy of “Where the Wild Things Are” and a “Max” doll.  The mention of his given name, and the mention of “Where the Wild Things Are” were clues that lead me to find him again. I don’t know if you have had the opportunity to read this; http://www.adoptionbirthmothers.com/where-my-wild-things-are/ but it’s huge in my life and not because I think it’s pretty or am trying to steal someone’s artwork as my own.

That is why I have chosen to use the images and have always credited him as thus.

I cried at my office desk when we lost Maurice. I honor his birthday every year. And whenever there is anything related to him or the book, someone always makes sure I see it.

OK that is my sob story which will probably not be able to affect anything even as I have tears running down my face right now thinking that I must somehow disassociate with the images;  I know this is a legal matter.

So, a few more questions, assuming the artwork must go;

I have been writing and online since 2005; and I would, of course, do my best to remove all use, but if  I do miss some and they are found, can I please be alerted so I can take care of that as opposed to the assumption that I did not comply? Likewise, there will be images  that have made their way through social media where I no longer have control as others have posted etc.,  I am hoping that I am not penalized for that.

Also, may I still write about the influence of Maurice on my blog, or is that also denied? For instance, the post I mentioned above using the name to a degree in the URL.

I have purchased the rights to use the font LD Kracken which is based off of the title lettering. I am assuming since that was purchased from a 3rd party company available for public consumption, I still may employ that?

I don’t think I have any more questions, just hoping for a small miracle now. Please let me know at your earliest convenience what my options are.

Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy

So as notified, that was my reply that went out this with today’s mail after receive my FedEx cease and desist letter today. I had to reply within 5 days and I have done so: now I wait for a response. Not much else I can do. I have used these images for 8 years now, from the very beginning of this blog. There was never a question of what my adoption “looked like”.

I had feared that one day this might happen. I don’t really care how or why. I understand copyright law. I understand I was ignoring it.  It doesn’t matter really to me if it was just a matter of the estate doing their job or if someone told on me, which I wasn’t going to think about at all because I don’t bother with crap like that; however, I was told that the Save Veronica Rose camp was apparently talking about “telling on me” about a month ago.

However, IF it was the SVR camp that “told” in revenge for, oh I don’t know,  pushing the truth and outranking their lousy website of lies, then you know what? I’m OK. In fact, THAT would actually make me happy. If they did this to upset me or hurt me in some way, then they have failed. Yeah, I cried, but it just means I change.

The end result is still going to be the same. I’m probably going to have to re-theme this entire thing and yes, I will have a whole new look.  I have no idea what that might be.

Like NONE. Total creative loss. To me; adoption equal Max equals Wild Things.

So, crossing my fingers. Perhaps legal permission won’t be too much money? I mentally decided that it would be worth a few hundred dollars to me for the emotional connection, but I cannot rationalize any more than that even if the thought of not having MY Max on my blog makes  a bit weepy. It’s definitely an adoption trigger. It’s definitely a loss. It’s definitely more than just an image to me. But it might have been worth it if it was a lame act of revenge from the pathetic Saving Veronica Rose folks.

So as I wait; I am trying to rethink my identity here. I had been thinking for a while now that MOTL is more than just MY soapbox, but OUR platform. Perhaps this change is needed to take it to the next level, even if it is forced.

Did I mention I have NO idea now what this site should look like?? Did I mention that I will NOT back down?

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine, Adopt-a-tude.com, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

3 Comments on "Cease and Desist from the Estate Of Maurice Sendak"

  1. This truly bites. Here’s hoping that the Sendak Estate has a heart.

  2. Oh, you know that crowd never cares about making a natural parent cry. I hope you did piss them off that much. Also that the Sendak estate treats you like a human being in this whole process.

  3. I got the same type of letter from a certain toymaker back when my blog’s name sounded similar to those thingies that wobbled but didn’t fall down.

    You are handling it much more courageously than I did.

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