I blogged earlier about the knitting pattern based on the cute adipose characters in the first episode of the latest Doctor Who series. At the time, I was surprised that the pattern author was not considering this to be copyright infringement. Sure, the pattern was free and there does not appear to be any advertising on the site that would have resulted in a profit from this pattern, but it still meant that the BBC could have lost profits if they ever decided to a) sell an adipose doll, or b) offer a knitting pattern of their own. Well, it turns out that just like their name implies, the knitted adiposes are getting under the BBC’s skin. The BBC has requested that the pattern author take down the free pattern.
I think they are completely within their rights to make this request. They came up with it, so they have the right to profit from it. These things are marketing gold, so I can imagine they will sell an adipose doll at some point. Even if they don’t start making them right away, it would make sense to nip it in the bud early so they don’t have to deal with it later. All of us are still allowed to knit whatever we want. We just have to come up with our own pattern.
One possible reason the BBC might have freaked out is that this pattern was being used to sell copies on eBay. If I were the BBC, I would think it was within my rights to get to the source as well as shutting down the eBay sellers. I think the reason the crafting community is getting angry is because of an Us vs. Them mentality. If someone was offering a pattern ripping off these cute little guys, would you still side with the pattern author?
And now I will climb down from my soap box for just long enough to send you to a sewing pattern. Speaking of making our own adipose, here’s a place where you can sew one!