Special thanks to co-worker and friend Sarah Hollis for bringing this tidbit to my attention…
As I have expressed previously, I have a very long, very heavy knit Doctor Who scarf. I love it, and I deeply admire the craftsmanship that went into it. Not everyone it seems, falls on the same side of that admiration.
A Doctor Who fan with a screen name of Mazzmatazz has a webstie featuring photography and knitting. One of her creations was a knit Adipose, featured in the Fourth Season opener, “Partners In Crime”. The response was overwhelmingly positive, so Mazz posted her patern on line for free, so that others could knit thier own fat baby.
Enter the BBC, and in a strange case of corperate dictatorship, they sent a Cease-and-Desist letter, requiring her to quote, “remove from your site any designs connected with DR WHO.” Now I completely understand wanting to get paid for your work. I have no issue with BBC cracking down on people who are manufacturing illegal copies of the episode DVDs and selling them, but a knit pattern? A FREE knit pattern?
At what point do we turn the corner from fandom to copyright infrengment? Surely an aspiring comic book artist, who draws a portrait of Batman which someone likes enough to offer him money for isnt infrenging on Warner Bros. Dark Knight? Surely someone who constructs a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise bridge and charges $5 to take pictures in the Captain’s chair isnt creating a financial hardship for Paramount? And surely a fan who posted a FREE PATTERN to knit a Doctor Who monster (not even one of the main ones, a mobile ball of fat) is a threat to the profits of the BBC?
Stealing fat? Sounds like something from “Fight Club”.
I am against illegally making money off someone elses work. But I also understand that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. To BBC Worldwide, I say can’t we find some middle ground here for a fan who loves your product?