Well, it must be catching attention if Neil Gaiman would blog about the foolishness that the BBC is up to now. They are going after a knitter who created some Dr. Who patterns and was not selling them. Some fool put them up on Ebay as sales and now the Beeb has gone after the pattern maker. Thanks to whatever dickwad reported the patterns on Ebay, Mazzmatazz has had to remove their works from their site.
Mazz does have a note up on their homepage about this whole thing. Thanks to LJ’er RoblingT I know know about the Who_Knits and Crafty_Tardis LJ communities. At Who_Knits the following bit was posted:
The recent copyright issues
As the maintainer of who_knits, I probably should have spoken up about the Doctor Who/ BBC/ mazzmatazz/ eBay/ knitting pattern fiasco much earlier.
I thought the whole situation was unfortunate and unfair but also a bit silly and assumed it would blow over and we’d have our patterns back up before the kerfuffle got to the point where Neil Gaiman might blog about it.
I don’t think who_knits should have an official policy about the privacy level of pattern posts (but if you are nervous, feel free to friends lock your entries), but I will be adding something to the userinfo/ F.A.Q. regarding profiting from patterns or knit items based on Doctor Who characters or props. That stance being: no profiting allowed.
The reason the BBC’s reaction to the patterns is strange and unfair is that the person punished was not the person asking for money. To maintain our righteous indignation, it’s important that there not be another example of an individual profiting from the sale of a Doctor Who pattern or finished item. I know no one reading this would think of doing such a thing, particularly at this time, but I thought the community’s stance should be stated nonetheless.
I realize this is a confusing issue. People sell Tom Baker scarves on eBay constantly, and I’ve never heard of the maintainer of the (disappeared) doctorwhoscarf.com dealing with issues of copyright. I’m not certain where the BBC draws the line. Is new-Who is off-limits but classic-Who free game?
My bottom line is this: be careful, use your own judgment, if you’re going to try to profit from a Who related knit item, don’t do it in who_knits.
Furthermore, although the BBC is within their rights to complain or request removal of patterns, doing so is not a smart way to encourage their fandom. I think they may need to be reminded of this in a playful, friendly way.
What do you think about who_knits holding an emergency knitalong that results in many knit Adipose being mailed to the appropriate BBC office?
As someone who values folks being able to share information freely, and also a big believer in fans being able to express their joy for a particular show, movie etc this seems to be such a boneheaded move on the part of the BBC. They went after the person who created patterns out of love for the show, not to make a profit. Go after the dipshit who was selling the patterns, without the creators consent after all.
Guess I’d better try and find the patterns now and pdf them before the Beeb gets its claws into other folks who enjoy the show enough to want to show their Dr. Who love.