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Topic: BBC Upset about Knitted Dr. Who  (Read 2232 times)
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BYA
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« on: May 12, 2008 12:44:27 PM »


"While many people are familiar with copyright issues concerning things like music, movies and software online, there's another community that also has been quite active: the knitting community. For a few years now there's been an ongoing battle between hobbyist knitters who have uploaded patterns that others feel are infringing on their copyrights. Now it appears that issue is touching on the tech/sci-fi community as well. Boing Boing points us to the news that a fan of the famed BBC show Dr. Who had created some knitting patterns of his own that would enable anyone to knit various characters from the show. This isn't a case where he was uploading someone else's patterns -- but he had created his own. The BBC, however, flipped out and told him to remove all such knitting patterns as they infringed on the BBC's copyrights and trademarks. This seems like yet another case of overly aggressive enforcement of intellectual property rights because someone can, not because it's a good idea."

http://techdirt.com/articles/20080509/1244161074.shtml
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2008 03:32:40 PM »

If he had been selling the patterns, maybe a slap on the wrist would have been warranted, but giving them away free? ludicrous!
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2008 04:53:00 PM »

A few years ago, I stepped into a Star Trek convention and the vendor right near the door says (without any other start of conversation) 'good thing you weren't here yesterday!'

He went on to tell me that Paramount lawyers and FBI agents shut down the dealers room and everyone in it and took away anything that wasn't a Paramount licensed creation. Including hand-crafted parts of the costumes that people were wearing.

They'd have to behead me before I handed over my pendant.

Sounds like BBC's going down that same road.  Maybe one owns the other?

Either way, they seem to be forgetting that if fans didn't like their shows, especially in the oft rabid way we do, they'd be in a very different place.

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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008 04:57:10 PM »

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hey seem to be forgetting that if fans didn't like their shows, especially in the oft rabid way we do, they'd be in a very different place.

Exactly!

There are so many people I know who bought the Serenity DVD after engaging in conversation with me about my Fruity Oaty octopus and my Jane hat...as well as Futurama fans I created with my knitted brain slug Tongue

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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008 06:27:11 PM »

I was wondering where the knitted Dalek pattern had gone...

I can see a charge of copyright infringement if someone were selling patterns for knitted Daleks or Ood or what-have-you.  I could also see a charge of copyright infringement if BBC were selling patterns or kits, and someone put the pattern up on the Web for free.  But these patterns were original, and distributed free of charge for fans to download and knit up.  How much money, exactly, does the BBC lose if I knit a Dalek??

Maybe the law is different in the UK, but in the US, a lawsuit would last about as long as a snowball in Hawaii.
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aethelberga
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2008 02:51:32 PM »

From what I understand of the Doctor Who thing, someone used the free pattern to create characters which they then sold online, but the BBC went after the creator of the original pattern anyway.
As someone who has knitted numerous Star Trek (and other sci-fi) dolls and sold them through art shows at conventions, I find this trend disturbing. 99% if the stuff at convention art shows (not the dealers room, but the art shows and model displays) infringes on someone's copyright. Tardis tea cozies, knitted Klingons, line drawings and paintings of various ships. Is the doing of it the infringement or is it just the selling of the finished item? My husband belongs to a Dalek builders community online. Are they going to be shut down next? I realise that the law says they have to defend their copyright or lose it, but selling a few knitted dolls seems such small potatoes.
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2008 06:30:35 AM »

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Is the doing of it the infringement or is it just the selling of the finished item?
The selling of the item.

I worked in a shop that did tee shirt quilts in addition to lots of collegiate stuff. My boss had a liscense to do stuff for our university right there in town but not the big one in the big city nearby. People always came in asking if we could do quilts or tees with their logo or letters. She always replied "I'm not liscensed to do X stuff, copyright infringement is a huge fine I can't afford. Now if you want to bring me a tee shirt with their logo on it, I can put any tee shirt on a quilt". Most were pretty satisfied with that solution.

Does that clear it up at all? Fan work falls into the same category most of the time, as long as you are not selling it, you can make & show as much as you want.

I worry that the couple that does those fantastic amigurumis (LotR, Star Wars, etc.) are going to get shut down Sad
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2008 06:45:38 AM »

I realise that the law says they have to defend their copyright or lose it, but selling a few knitted dolls seems such small potatoes.

they could let it go at a few knitted dolls (small potatoes as you say) but then there are many unscrupulous people out there who'll think, 'there isn't a problem with that so why should there be a problem with this' and it'll snowball from there and then it'll take more time, effort and money to fix the problem, not to mention upsetting far more people.  Far easier and more sensible to nip it in the bud, IMO. 
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aethelberga
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2008 07:24:02 PM »

Fine, go after the people who are making money off your copyright. But persecuting a genuine fan, who is just doing it for the love of the genre, is doing your brand a disservice. I go to several cons a year, and I can say a large portion of the merchandise in the dealer's rooms are trampling on someone's copyright, whether it is bootlegged DVDs or someone with an embroidery machine putting logos on hats & bags. So stop them (I read Penlowe's comments above, but I see the same dodgy dealers year after year at the cons I go to). It is akin to the RIAA suing old ladies for downloading a few songs while completely ignoring the bootlegging factories overseas. It's easier to go after the low-hanging fruit.
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2008 01:32:42 AM »

all i'm saying is that they can't go after just one group of people, they need to go after everyone, the people making a couple of bucks on ebay or at a con, or people mass roducing bootlegged dvds, just because you don't see the effects of what is happening higher up the chain doesn't mean it isn't happening
The news often picks up on stories of small groups or individuals because it makes a better story.
all in all, i just don't agree with trampling all over someone elses copyright and making money off their ideas
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