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Preview: Comments on TechnoLlama: Doctor Who: Partners in Copyright Crime

Comments on TechnoLlama: Doctor Who: Partners in Copyright Crime





Updated: 2017-06-29T12:44:27.078+01:00

 



can you go to my website its www.doctorwho-alex.bl...

2008-06-19T11:08:00.000+01:00

can you go to my website its www.doctorwho-alex.blogspot.com



While Mr. Gardner's point about unsafe goods is we...

2008-06-12T16:18:00.000+01:00

While Mr. Gardner's point about unsafe goods is well-taken in the abstract, I regret to inform him that despite their fearsome appearance, none of the knitted monsters are ACTUALLY capable of firing deadly laser beams, conspiring to destroy humanity, nor wandering off with their owners' body fat.



Whilst I think that the BBC's initial response cou...

2008-05-18T09:51:00.000+01:00

Whilst I think that the BBC's initial response could have been more tactfully done, they really did not have any choice. Speaking as head of the UK branch of the licensing industry's trade association, LIMA, there are both commercial and quality concerns about this activity. Commercially, the BBC may have granted rights to third parties which these products infringe upon: not taking action could leave the BBC itself open to legal claims. There is also the well-justified desire to stop on line sales of unauthorised goods made using these patterns. However, the copyright/trademark issue is , I believe, secondary to that of quality and safety considerations. Licensing is often naively reported in the press as being responsible for 'tacky merchandise'. It is, in fact, the very process of permission/approval that is at the heart of licensing that prevents poor quality goods from going on sale. If goods are allowed to be made and sold without the BBC's inspection and approval, we could, indeed, see the public parting with hard-earned money for poor quality and even unsafe items.

Now that this is in the hands of the BBC's licensing department, I'm sure that a sensible conclusion will be reached.



I assume the BBC will no longer feature segments o...

2008-05-14T20:32:00.000+01:00

I assume the BBC will no longer feature segments on programmes like Blue Peter where they show viewers how to make things featured in TV programmes (e.g. the Tracey Island from Thunderbirds that they famously made)



My wife promised our boys knitted Adipose, but the...

2008-05-14T18:00:00.000+01:00

My wife promised our boys knitted Adipose, but the pattern had been stomped on before I could download it for her.

Somebody, somewhere must have a copy of the pattern - can anybody please help my wife keep her promise to our sons?



An excellent post. Thanks for putting together suc...

2008-05-14T17:40:00.000+01:00

An excellent post. Thanks for putting together such a thoughtful contemplation of copyrights and wrongs.

Cheers!
Felix



Intellectual property if theft. No way to reasonab...

2008-05-14T08:00:00.000+01:00

Intellectual property if theft. No way to reasonably claim that banning a knitting pattern encourages creativity. I imagine what will happen is that the BBC will buy the patterns itself and then licence their use to anyone who wants to knit.



I'm curious if anyone has advice on who to contact...

2008-05-13T17:30:00.000+01:00

I'm curious if anyone has advice on who to contact to complain to at the BBC? I'm thinking if they get 1000 knitted mini Daleks in the mail from knitters around the world, they might take notice.

As a knitter, it's disheartening to see the BBC taking the hard line on this matter. There's a whole community of knitters and other crafters who creatively interpret and expand on shows like Dr Who. For the most part, these are dedicated fans sharing ideas for free with other dedicated fans. It's not just pattern designers who were selling on ebay who are affected, people who were giving patterns away for free are also feeling intimidated and taking their patterns down.

In the end, I don't see how this benefits BBC. It's not like I would even consider buying an Adipose stuffed plush or a Dr Who scarf - they're both things I could make myself. The only thing they've earned in the knitting community is a lot of bad press.



Bah the BBC are funded by us the public. And all t...

2008-05-12T15:51:00.000+01:00

Bah the BBC are funded by us the public. And all this copyright talk is just sad. I've told the bbc so, not that I expect any answer. And if they do I'm sure it's the polite copyright talk. If you want to complain to:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/make_complaint_step1.shtml

Good luck



The person selling the patterns on EBay was not th...

2008-05-09T17:58:00.000+01:00

The person selling the patterns on EBay was not the designer. In fact, the designer got the EBay auction shut down. (And a few days later, the BBC discovered she had posted patterns online. Huh.)



at a glance, l see no infringement in the knitting...

2008-05-09T13:27:00.000+01:00

at a glance, l see no infringement in the knitting patterns: they are different enough from the trademark image.



Hmmm.... the plot thickens! I noticed that some of...

2008-05-09T11:33:00.000+01:00

Hmmm.... the plot thickens!

I noticed that some of the patterns were being sold on eBay, but to me that is irrelevant to the question. The interesting legal bit for me is whether the actual designs are infringing, and I am not so certain.



But originality is only a defense in copyright not...

2008-05-09T09:51:00.000+01:00

But originality is only a defense in copyright not trade mark. I think. (We need to get Simon to research this properly!)

Btw as someone originally invoved in this story (I told them to ask you :) , I think you're being a bit hard on the Beeb. They only got involved because someone who was given a knitting pattern for free (under the CC license) then tried to sell it on eBay. Apparently someon else on eBay disliked said party and notified the Beeb. (And before that apparently other fans had criticised the selling of what was meant to be a non-commercial artifact.) They are not therefore I think as it is now getting prsented through the blogosphere, aggressively defending their brand in Paramount style. POssibly if no commercial exploitation is involved in future they won't lift a finger - though who can say.

In fact, I think if the BBC hadn't responded they might have been found to have acquiesced in the use of their TM leading to its loss - that doctrine aplies to TM in the UK does it not, though not in copyright? But I Am Not A Trademark Lawyer.

My pesonal query is whjat if the knitting pattern had been of a baby sized David Tennant - and not dressed as Dr Who - rather than an Adipose? Can there be a TM in someone's face used on unofficial mechandise? My recollection is yes/no/maybe :)



Hello Rob. I don't think I claimed that Koons appl...

2008-05-09T07:34:00.000+01:00

Hello Rob.

I don't think I claimed that Koons applies in the UK, but that it is indication of the wealth of case law on the subject.

This case to me is a matter of originality. The threshold of originality is higher in the States, so the comparison with American law also breaks down there.

Every single use of a trade mark is not an infringement. For example, I am using the Doctor Who trade mark in my title. But as I say, I know next to nothing about trade mark law.



Much as I love Koons the American case law doesn't...

2008-05-08T13:34:00.000+01:00

Much as I love Koons the American case law doesn't apply here. In particular we can't claim Fair Use on the basis of transformation so I think the bar would be set much higher; the work would have to be nothing like the original.

I wasn't aware of the Popeye case in the UK so thanks for that. Any more examples gratefully received. :-)

Trademarks don't have to be registered, they just have to be declared and defended (although not as rabidly as some lawyers want to charge for), so absence of registration doesn't prove that the Adipose aren't a trademark. But I don't know much about character trademarks so how strong the BBC's claim is I couldn't say. They may be overreaching, they may be a product of the media's collective haullucination about rights, or they may be correct.

The website did say "Doctor Who" (check Google's cache...), so that might be the trademark.

Interestingly they seem to have tried using an NC CC licence at some point to assert that the designs weren't to be used commercially (again see the cache).

We really, really, really need transformative use in the UK...



The trouble then could be that the BBC might claim...

2008-05-08T11:25:00.000+01:00

The trouble then could be that the BBC might claim that Arsenal v Reed applied, if "Dr Who" was used as a 'badge of allegiance'. Even disclaimers about the origin might not help; Mr Reed made it very clear that his football scarves etc were not official Arsenal products, but he was still found to have infringed Arsenal's trade marks.

The law on this aspect of trade marks is a thicket of judgments that, if not actually contradictory, do not always sit well alongside one another.



Thanks Simon, that is a good point. I wonder if th...

2008-05-07T13:02:00.000+01:00

Thanks Simon, that is a good point. I wonder if they are claiming the use of the Doctor Who brand on the website.

Would there be a difference for trade mark law if the site was called something along the lines of "Unofficial Doctor Who Knitting"?



Even if the BBC had registered 'Adipose' as a trad...

2008-05-07T12:21:00.000+01:00

Even if the BBC had registered 'Adipose' as a trade mark, there would be the defence from R v Johnstone that its use to identify the knitting pattern was not use in the 'trade mark sense', i.e. as a badge of origin, and so was not infringing.