BBC threatens Dr. Who fans

From the EFF comes this story of extreme copyright holder stupidity, Knitwit BBC Goes After Dr Who Fans.

Like Dr Who’s Ood, fans are happy to serve their favorite franchises when treated well. But if the BBC starts treating them like this, they can all too easily rise up and attack the very brand value the BBC is overzealously seeking to protect.

The BBC is following in the footsteps of the RIAA by threatening Dr. Who fans with legal action over knitting patterns. The BBC legal department must not be fans of the show, why else would they work to eliminate the free publicity from the Dr. Who fans.

May 12th update

Digging a little deeper into this story I found that there is a bit more that either makes the BBC look worse or better depending on which version is true. Over at the mazzmatazz site the knitting section has an entry for April 10th titled “I am furious”.

I have added creative commons licenses to all patterns now, as they are NOT to be used commercially, and the patterns are NOT to be resold.

If I continue to discover that they are being sold, they WILL be removed.

Then on May 5th is an entry about the BBC take down. Over at the TechnoLlama blog the post about this topic has two comments that add substantially to the story. Both comments point out that someone besides the creator of the knitting patterns had started selling knitted characters on eBay. What happened next is different between the two comments. The first comment says that the BBC got eBay to take the stuff down and then told the fan to take the free patterns down. If that’s true then I’d give the Beeb a little slack, they saw a serious infringement and then kept going a bit too far in stopping it.

The second comment states that it was the fan who had eBay take down the characters. Then the BBC went after the fan a few days later. If this is what happened then IMO, the Beeb should have thanked the fan for the help and just let the knitting patterns slide for personal use.

If you want to see pictures of all the characters this very talented fan made check them out at the site.

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