BBC to fans: Keep your art to yourselves


I’m one who is of the opinion that fan art—projects created by fans inspired by their favorite artists—generally helps an enterprise. And while some of it, certainly, trespasses on an original artist’s creative property, it’s hard to see the argument behind the BBC’s recent decision to quash knitting patterns posted on the internet by a Doctor Who fan:

A CRAFT enthusiast who posted knitting patterns inspired by Doctor Who characters on the internet has been forced to take them down after a copyright infringement notice from the BBC.

In a statement posted on their website, science fiction and knitting fan Mazzmatazz said they were forced to remove five designs after a notice from the BBC.

“Thanks to the BBC, I am no longer allowed to distribute any Doctor Who patterns, even for free (not that I was charging anyway). I apologise to any fans who are disappointed by this,” they said.

“If you want to see the patterns back up, I suggest you petition the BBC to relent.”

The offending knitting patterns showed how to create small toys resembling Doctor Who monsters such as the Ood and Adipose.

“The patterns I created, inspired by Doctor Who, were never for sale – they were shared under Creative Commons licenses, to prevent resale, so that other fans could enjoy and share the fun too,” Mazzmatazz said.

The infringement notice has angered bloggers who claim the BBC is overreacting to fan art, and that the patterns are not a direct representation of their characters.

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