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View Full Version : Copyright infringement enforced: beware Dr Who knitters!


katknit
05-16-2008, 12:20 PM
The BBC has obtained an injunction against a UK knitter for infringement of copyright:

http://danceswithwool.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/knitting-patterns-and-copyrights/

Alyce
05-16-2008, 01:50 PM
Was she trying to sell her project or just knitting for her own use?:??
I know the music industry is bad about copyright infringement but I never thought about it with knitting. But then I have never tried to sell anything I have made.:wink:
A:heart:

heatherg23
05-16-2008, 02:08 PM
It looks like she was copying patterns of items (a bear) that she sees on a tv show. That's not a good thing, you can't just copy something from TV and sell it saying it's your own design.


Heather

candicane
05-16-2008, 02:39 PM
I did not understand the article the same way...

She was not copying patterns. She was making knitted items (her own patterns) based on licensed characters. Like making your own pattern for a Mickey Mouse doll and selling it.

candice

WildMountainHoney
05-16-2008, 02:43 PM
Blog of the knitter in question (http://www.mazzmatazz.co.uk/index.php?page=knitting)

She was NOT selling. She created patterns to look like some of the "monsters" on Dr Who, and was sharing them for free via the Creative Commons licenses.

This is pretty bothersome to me, mostly because I really like Harry Potter inspired knit patterns offered for free on the net, and those Dr Who scarfs that many have worked so hard to re-create. I'll be interested to see what the outcome is.

WildMountainHoney
05-16-2008, 02:46 PM
Oh.....I missed this at the bottom of the article:
A BBC spokesman said the broadcaster does not like going after fans but had to protect Adipose and Ood because knitted versions were showing up for sale on eBay. (c) UPI

But, unless Mazzmatazz was the ebay seller, I think they're going after the wrong person. She created the patterns, the fact that others made the mistake of selling works created with her free pattern is not her fault.

candicane
05-16-2008, 02:49 PM
I don't know much about the Harry Potter knit patterns, but from what I understand knitting a Griffindor scarf is not the same as knitting a licensed character.

Edited to add: since she was distributing the patterns (even though not selling them), it still constitutes a violation

WildMountainHoney
05-16-2008, 03:03 PM
Hmmm, I still think the issue is that the creator of the pattern was easy to track down, but the wrong target. A quick poke around Ravelry will show a lot of fan-created patterns, many that are "dolls" or likenesses of characters. I don't know that they really want to limit the fans by saying that they cannot share freely, for personal use, creative patterns that celebrate a show. The sticky point is when money trades hands.

Karina
05-16-2008, 03:22 PM
I had a pattern saved on my favourites of a Dr Who robot thing sorry the name escapes me and that page has now been closed. As far as I am aware a person who liked knitting and Dr Who made up her own patterns for her own use and decided to share it on her web page/blog.

I can't personally see anything wrong with that she did not sell (to the best of my knowledge) or steal the pattern. she was being creative and sharing both characteristics I would welcome in my own children.

I have never personally seen commercially available patterns for Dr Who characters, so I think they would have been better off putting her on commission and publish the patterns so everybody could buy it.

katknit
05-16-2008, 03:28 PM
I think the issue is that they own the copyright on the characters, just as Disney owns Mickey Mouse etal.

figaro
05-16-2008, 03:56 PM
I like Dr. Who but could never come up with the patterns for Adipose and the Ood. (I would like to have a couple of the Adipose to sit next to my Tribble!) And I think that the BBC just needs to rethink what they are doing. They are attacking real fans of the show (and there are at least 2 spinoffs too) for making a pattern of some of their characters. Come on! Let's bite the hand that feeds you!


Here is what is going on now though, looks good and the person who did that patterns is real happy over it- http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/who-knits/195664/1-25

Knitting_Guy
05-16-2008, 03:58 PM
While I think the whole thing is a bit silly, she was legally in the wrong. She in no way owns the rights to those characters, while BBC does in fact own the rights to them. Whether she was selling them, the patterns, or distributing the patterns for free, she was violating their legal ownership.

Creative commons simply doesn't apply when you are violating someone else's licensed product.

saracidaltendencies
05-16-2008, 04:06 PM
Wow, that certainly seems petty. I mean don't get me wrong, I understand copyrights and their purpose, but, this just seems ridiculous. She never claimed she created the characters, and, I don't see it as being a threat to Dr. Who.

It just kills me when big companies go after the "little" people...Like the RIAA going after kids downloading music while they totally ignored the complaint I submitted when I worked at a cd store...The company I worked for was burning cd's and SELLING them to people as if they were original copies! My old manager was the one doing it and all the money went right into the companies pocket! Oh, the RIAA listened to me, but, they never did a thing about it, it just got swept under the carpet.

Maybe if this woman was making a business of doing this, that would be one thing, but, to go after a fan who did this for enjoyment is a completely different thing.

katknit
05-16-2008, 04:54 PM
Copyright is a huge issue. According to law, you are not allowed to sell anything that you've made based on someone else's pattern. It's difficult to enforce, and usually isn't, but it is the law. I'm not a designer or a knitting book author, so I think it's much ado about nothing, but maybe I'd think differently if I was.
:shrug:

katknit
05-16-2008, 05:15 PM
I think it's illegal to sell a Mickey Mouse that hasn't been okayed by the Disney Corp.

annomalley
05-16-2008, 05:23 PM
I had a pattern saved on my favourites of a Dr Who robot thing sorry the name escapes me

A Dalek?

I knitted a tote bag with Hello Kitty on it for my niece, which I modified from an existing pattern. I gave it to my niece for her birthday last year. I have it posted on my Ravelry page, and I've been asked by other people for the pattern. I'm very hesitant to post one for this very reason. Hello Kitty isn't mine and I don't want to be held responsible by Sanrio for what someone else does with a pattern I post.

Crycket
05-16-2008, 05:33 PM
I think it is all...bull@#$%, I mean....if you are a fan of something...why can't you come up with stuff? If she wasn't selling it...quite frankly I think she has every right (lord know I knit tonnes of Harry Potter stuff....http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Crycket/thomas)

I don't know...I don't like the idea that someone can go after a fan. Not to say I am right...just to say I don't like it....

Knitting_Guy
05-16-2008, 05:50 PM
I think it is all...bull@#$%, I mean....if you are a fan of something...why can't you come up with stuff? If she wasn't selling it...quite frankly I think she has every right (lord know I knit tonnes of Harry Potter stuff....http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Crycket/thomas)

I don't know...I don't like the idea that someone can go after a fan. Not to say I am right...just to say I don't like it....

I agree, but she ran into trouble by distributing the stuff/patterns.

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
05-16-2008, 05:58 PM
See, the way around it is to follow what the one that published Charmed KNits did... called them "inspired by"

also, with the amount of Dr. Who merchandise now becoming available, the BBC probably plans on making and marketing toys and such of those creatures (I have the 9th doctor action figure courtesy of my stepson)

iza
05-16-2008, 06:00 PM
:shrug: It does seem a bit silly to me too. But I think that once they're aware of a situation like this, they pretty much have to take action. If they let some things go, it can get really hard to draw the line...

If all they asked for is an injunction so that she stops distributing the patterns, it's not too bad, really. I just hope they won't decide to sue her and ask for damage... :shrug:

Karina
05-16-2008, 06:17 PM
Thanks annomalley, yes it was a Dalek. Sorry not a Dr Who fan just thought my son would like it. Anyway from reading the Ravelry post on the subject it looks like she is onto a winner. is in talk with the BBC and Dr Who people and may get to meet up with the who team. so she is probably thinking all this is worth it after all. Good luck to her, hope she will do well.

Knitting_Guy
05-16-2008, 06:26 PM
:shrug: It does seem a bit silly to me too. But I think that once they're aware of a situation like this, they pretty much have to take action. If they let some things go, it can get really hard to draw the line...

Actually under copyright laws if they fail to take action they risk losing the copyright.

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
05-16-2008, 07:18 PM
so their hands are tied just as much as hers are.

GirlChris
05-16-2008, 07:57 PM
Interesting. I recently had to look up some copyright info because I was making Tshirts for my son's team and they wanted a specific character on their shirts who they also named their team after. So I wanted to make sure that wouldn't get me in trouble. Well everything I looked up all only talked about making a profit so I wouldn't have thought of it as an illegal thing had I made patterns for something famous if I were not making a profit from it but now I know better. Not like I am able to actually make my own patterns anyway. LOL

Knitting_Guy
05-16-2008, 08:04 PM
Interesting. I recently had to look up some copyright info because I was making Tshirts for my son's team and they wanted a specific character on their shirts who they also named their team after. So I wanted to make sure that wouldn't get me in trouble. Well everything I looked up all only talked about making a profit so I wouldn't have thought of it as an illegal thing had I made patterns for something famous if I were not making a profit from it but now I know better. Not like I am able to actually make my own patterns anyway. LOL


That is the primary reason behind it, but if you were to use something copyrighted, distribute it to someone else for no profit and they make a profit on it you're as guilty as the one who makes the profit because you enabled them to do so.

kellyh57
05-16-2008, 10:45 PM
You'll see the same thing in the cake decorating world. (HUGE debates!) I am not allowed to make a Mickey Mouse cake for profit. Even if I own a pan shaped like Mickey, copy onto an edible image, freehand it, nothing. Disney owns that copyright. Wilton makes these pans in the shapes of characters and they say right on them- "For private home use only." I can make a cake for my kids out of it, but I can't make it and sell it unless I contact Disney and gain that right. (Yeah right!)

I don't see what the problem understanding copyrights. It's as simple as it sounds. Whoever OWNS the copyright, gets to determine who has the RIGHT to COPY it. Whether it be knitting, cakes, or pottery. If you try to copy something that someone else created, they have the right to be angry with you. Whoever owns those characters (Dr. Who) has the right to say that you can't copy them in any form.

Kelly

cheekyprincess
05-16-2008, 11:25 PM
I am a chapter coord. for Project Linus and we actually have the RIGHT to use the peanut character Linus. Our moto is if you BUY it, you can use it but you CANT REPRODUCE it. We are very careful with it so we do not loose the privelede of using him. Like I have a rubber stamp with him, and I can stamp him on anything I want, but I cant stamp him once and the xerox the image.

Crycket
05-17-2008, 11:38 AM
I agree, but she ran into trouble by distributing the stuff/patterns.

Yeah...ok...distribution....but as long as she wasn't making money....

Ah...such a rule oriented world we live in....but I know they are there for good reason...