Are Fans in Jeopardy?

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SG Merc
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Are Fans in Jeopardy?

Wed May 14, 2008 9:51 am

There's a legal case currently pending in the UK that all of us should be aware of and watching closely, because it could change the way that fan sites operate.

In fact, it could force many sites (just like SG1Props) to remove all content.

The full BBC News story is here, but in a nutshell here's what it's about:

A fan of the BBC TV series Doctor Who put patterns on her website for fans to print out and make their own puppets of characters from the show. Well the BBC claims that other people downloaded the patterns, and used them to make puppets that they then sold on eBay. So, they made the woman who created the patterns take them down.

If the BBC wins their case then any website that has tutorials, downloads, desktops, avatars, photos, screencaps, fan films (ANY fan created content) could be forced to remove it if the studios (BBC, MGM, Paramount, Sony) believes that somebody else has downloaded them and made a profit in some way.

The case would set a legal precedent which could mean the end of fan created content on the Internet. (A bit extreme I know, but at least some fan sites could be put into danger.)

The bottom line is that it would be an easy case for them to prove that photos from a website are being used for profit, because there are thousands of photos and fan made items made from photos for sale on eBay and other websites.

While this may not spell doom for fan sites, it's something we all should watch closely.

Feel free to post this link on other websites :!:
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Colonel_Carter
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Wed May 14, 2008 10:01 am

Yowch!

I know that there was a big legal battle regarding Stargate fans and MGM and people making/selling things were filed legal papers and threatened with even more.

This doesn't surprise me with the BBC to be honest. This is the broadcaster who still charges its viewers by way of a 'licence' because they won't show advertisements between shows.

It's unfair because the woman herself wasn't profiting from her creations. Just like SG Merc here, the patterns/tutorials were free.

It's a sad state of society where everything comes down to money.

The BBC aren't even commissioning another full series of Doctor Who - that's how tight fisted/uninterested they are in it.
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cosmicgateriderthefirst
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Wed May 14, 2008 6:44 pm

Colonel_Carter wrote:Yowch!

I know that there was a big legal battle regarding Stargate fans and MGM and people making/selling things were filed legal papers and threatened with even more.

This doesn't surprise me with the BBC to be honest. This is the broadcaster who still charges its viewers by way of a 'licence' because they won't show advertisements between shows.

It's unfair because the woman herself wasn't profiting from her creations. Just like SG Merc here, the patterns/tutorials were free.

It's a sad state of society where everything comes down to money.

The BBC aren't even commissioning another full series of Doctor Who - that's how tight fisted/uninterested they are in it.
Quote,Unuote,from the canadians,The [email protected]%#S Sorry guys,Im a Vet,And Sometimes they make my hair curl.(pure capitolistic swine)!
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SG Merc
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Sun May 18, 2008 8:11 pm

Exactly, Carter. There has always been a thin line that fans had to walk if they wanted to make and sell things. Especially for prop builders. But this marks the first time I've seen the studios go after somebody simply for distributing information for free.

I definitely feel your frustration gaterider. It's so completely "not about the fans" that it's unreal.
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Colonel_Carter
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Mon May 19, 2008 8:57 am

There is now a follow up to this issue. It seems that the BBC in their wisdom have seen how popular her product was that they are working with her to 'licence' the product.

It doesn't really get around the 'fan doing something because they love it' issue though.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsi ... 406217.stm

So if you want the pattern now you'll have to pay a high price for it no doubt.

I remember when you had your idea for the Aschen card SG Merc ... no doubt you'd have been pulled up for that too.

The BBC doesn't care about the Dr Who name and franchise (they aren't even renewing for a fifth series) they're just seeing the pounds signs!!

Grr :(
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cosmicgateriderthefirst
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Who?Dr.

Tue May 20, 2008 11:14 pm

Not renewing Dr. Who!! Do we need to go to war with the British again ?Maybe the Canadians need to pick up where"they"plan to leave off! What is this World coming to? :cry: :cry: :? :? :cry: :cry: :? :? :cry: :cry: :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :xWaaa.I Want my Dr. :(
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Colonel_Carter
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Re: Who?Dr.

Wed May 21, 2008 9:55 am

There's going to be 3, one off specials after this series, then the opportunity to pick up more series after that.

Please don't go to war with me ... it's the BBC - and they don't know a good thing when they see it!

Unfortunately the BBC have the rights to the franchise and as we've seen with this 'toy' fiasco, they're not going to give it up to let anyone else produce it :(

I grew up with Dr Who, and loved having it back - it's cruel to take it away again now. It's bad enough that it's not on this week because of programme rescheduling :?
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cosmicgateriderthefirst
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The Doctor! Don't exterminate,don't exterminate!

Wed May 21, 2008 6:12 pm

War?With you?Are you British?Im Scottish.(ohio?student?aaaaa columbus?OSU?) The powers that be,like to play with you and me :!: :evil:
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Colonel_Carter
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Wed May 21, 2008 9:17 pm

Hot off the BBC presses ... you're gonna love it!!!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7411177.stm

I loved 'Girl in the Fireplace' and 'The Empty Child' ... looks like more good Who to come :)
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cosmicgateriderthefirst
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Whovians Unight

Wed May 21, 2008 10:35 pm

Colonel_Carter wrote:Hot off the BBC presses ... you're gonna love it!!!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7411177.stm

I loved 'Girl in the Fireplace' and 'The Empty Child' ... looks like more good Who to come :)
Thanks Col. for that feed.Forwarded to all known Whovians.Got to keep the imagination chrisp. :wink:
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Colonel_Carter
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Wed May 21, 2008 10:38 pm

My pleasure!! I was so pleased when I saw the story, I couldn't wait to pass it on! :D
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SG Merc
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Mon May 26, 2008 12:06 am

Colonel_Carter wrote:There is now a follow up to this issue. It seems that the BBC in their wisdom have seen how popular her product was that they are working with her to 'licence' the product.

I remember when you had your idea for the Aschen card SG Merc ... no doubt you'd have been pulled up for that too.
You gotta wonder if they were planning on releasing the product even before the fan made plans became available, or if that's where they got the idea from.

It's all very sticky (everything we do is actually). The type of services that she (and SG1Props) provides are meant to get people excited about these shows. So by extension it really benefits the studio because it's a grassroots effort that they don't have to pay for. But if they are also going to make money selling a product then they have to stamp out the fans.
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Colonel_Carter
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Mon May 26, 2008 5:22 pm

It doesn't seem the kind of thing that they would put out, but who knows. There's certainly alot of merchandise related to Dr Who though, but they've never done anything 'plush' before.

It does show how thin the line is though between fan adoration and being accused of copyright fraud.

Personally, I think it's a sad state of affairs when a fan can't share their love of a show with other fans without being sued.
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