Thursday, May 08, 2008

Dr Who fan gets C&D on knitting patterns

According to Andres Guadamuz, a Dr Who fan has been hearing from m'learned friends acting on behalf of the BBC. The victim has been creating and posting knitting patterns of Dr Who characters on the web; and it seems that the good folks at the BBC don't approve.

Andres's post is worth reading in full as it constitutes an interesting and accesible analysis of the legalities. He concludes:

"I strongly believe that BBC Worldwide's claims are over-reaching. While there could be infringement, I submit the hypothesis that Mazz has done enough transformation to the Adipose character to claim copyright over their design...

Concluding, the BBC may not have a straightforward case if they decide to sue, and they could very well lose. I also believe that they are misplacing their energies pursuing a fan who has done nothing more than to display their love to the show by making a highly original design. While commercial use is not relevant to the infringement case, it should be noted that Mazz was not selling the design, and had actually licensed it under a Creative Commons licence."

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