Teh Interwebs are on fire with the rage of Sci-Fi fans and crafty knitters. Hey, don’t mock the wrath of knitters. They are armed with sharp pointy things and they know how to use them. Sci-fi fans, we’re used to a little mockery… but don’t come between a geek and her toys!
The best coverage of the anti-Browncoat hubbub is at Buzzfeed. It includes photos of the cease and desist letters, some surprising toadying letters by Etsy and some really terrific snaps of fans in hats, including someone who made a full-body costume as the you-guessed-it Jayne Hat.
Because Firefly fans need more reasons to be mad at Fox. After years of satisfied customers, online stores selling hand-knitted replicas of the show’s iconic “Jayne hat” are being forced to shut down… and fans are upset.
The article ends with:
“It needs to be stated that legally, morally, and ethically, Fox has every right to insist upon only licensed versions of its property,” writes one fan. “Really, it has something of a fiduciary obligation to its shareholders to protect anything it owns that could make them money, as that’s a corporation’s job.”
“However, notwithstanding the legal, moral, and ethical ground upon which Fox Legal is standing, culturally speaking the move is almost complete ass. They can be legally, morally, and ethically in the right and still have this stink to high heaven.”
Fox Legal did not respond to BuzzFeed’s request for comment.
From the Blastr article:
We reached out to both Ripple Junction and ThinkGeek to see what, if any, involvement they had in the sending of C&Ds. Both companies denied involvement.
So does this really mean no more handmade Jayne hats? Well, no. People can still make them, they just can’t sell them right now. As to whether you can copyright a simply patterned hat, that argument is ongoing.
So far, Ripple Junction, the new maker of the only official Jayne Hat has also refused to comment. ThinkGeek, who is partially responsible for the whole mess (they bought the hats from now banned crafters and pursued getting an “official hat” made for their resale convenience), has apologized, offers sympathy to Etsy sellers but claim to be powerless to correct the mistake.
I’m not a lawyer and do not play one on TV but as a writer and an artist, I’m continually involved in discussions about corporations abuse of smaller artists and the issue of copyright infringement, trademark, etc.
All cease and desist letter proves is that Fox can afford to hire lawyers. Their lawyer asserting they have the right to put small artists out of business, does not make it so. Only a judge and a jury of reasonable people can decide if the applicable laws apply here. But the fear of the expense of the legal system is enough to intimidate most people into compliance.
I rage-spit at the acceptance of any fan that “Fox is ethically or legally in the right.”
I think the lack of interest in an intellectual property for A DECADE and then to attack individual skilled artisans/hobbyists who are making knit hats (one at a time!) as if they were somehow in competition. SHAME on Etsy for kowtowing to such threats and further trying to shame and intimidate sellers into not discussing it in forums. The only thing they (Fox and their ilk) can control is the use of the name Firefly. They didn’t purchase the color scheme and hat style from a hat stylist. Etsy should allow sellers to simply rename the hats as the unofficial fan hats that they are. To allow this kind of corporate bullying is no different than if we suddenly allowed them to say only Brand X costumes can be worn at comic-con. Eviscerate the gorram bloodsuckers! I want to know what “Ripple Junction” has as their best seller because I’m calling for a boycott on THAT until they apologize and rescind their stupidity! It may also be time to look at all the indie markets and see which protect the rights of their sellers rather than just rip and burn and assume the law is in favor of whoever can afford the biggest lawyers. The reality is that public domain and common interest are real things and copyrights, trademarks etc cannot be “protected” once they are basically free range.
More shiny links:
Ma Cobb’s Hat Shoppe is no longer at Etsy. And although “unofficial” no doubt she can knit you an ugly hat for the cost of yarn and labor.
more coverage of Fox’s asshat move:
Excuse me? Fox, the killer of Firefly (and so many good series), is now complaining that the fanbase who made it a cult is hassling the same fans because those fans made it possible for them to sell the licensing of a niche object of a dead series… which someone would only think of doing or wanting because the etsy knit artists already did it and thus created a market for it? (No exec would say: you know what we should sell from the sci-fi series? Ugly hats.) That is the most gorram unshiny thing I’ve ever heard. No Browncoat or Etsy artist should comply with this stupid, indefensible (legal or otherwise) nonsense. Fox and their bullies can just go 跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se. See translation here.
from original article:
Looks like Fox is continuing to stir up trouble among the Browncoats. For years fans have happily donned their knitted tributes to Joss Whedon’s falled series, the Jayne Hat. It’s possibly the most popular piece of convention-goer flair. But it looks like it’s about to get a lot harder to get a homemade Jayne hat, because Fox is attempting to shut down all rogue hat makers.
According to Whedonesque, Fox has been sending out cease-and-desist letters or just outright demanding Etsy ban any non-sanctioned Jayne hats. This is after almost a decade of not giving a crap about any of this.
Recently, Ripple Junction has licensed the fan apparel and obtained the rights to mass-produce the product. And in return, Fox is shutting down all the mom and pop Jayne hat makers. Which is ridiculous because the very point of a Jayne hat is to own a mangled handmade orange monstrosity that warms your noggin, not something churned out on an assembly line. But now that Fox has sold the licence, they now have to shake down Etsy members who are lovingly knitting their Firefly memorabilia.
This doesn’t mean you can’t make your own Jayne top, but you just can’t sell it online. Blastrreached out to both Ripple Junction and Think Geek (where the licensed hats are sold) and both companies denied involvement in the shuttering of homespun Jayne Hats.
River: Are you serious?
The Doctor: Never knowingly. Never knowingly be serious. Rule 27. You might want to write these down. Oh! It’s a robot. With four hundred and twenty-three life signs inside. A robot worked by tiny people. Love it. But how did you all get in there though? Bigger on the inside? No. Basic miniaturization sustained by a compression field. Oo! Watch what you eat. It’ll get you every time.
You don’t have to own a miniaturization ray to get a super (Eccleston voice: FANTASTIC!) crew for your Lego Teselecta. Fill it (or any bookshelf or other geek altar) with these lovable mini figures. Just one Doctor Who mini figure isn’t enough. They’re like potato chips. Get a full bag: Doctor Who Mini Figure Set of 11 Doctors.
The details on these are amazing. The eyes and eyebrows really give each Doctor their very distinctive Doctor-y look.
You get all 11 incarnations of The Doctor and they are even compatible with LEGO bricks so now you can make your own Doctor Who adventures with LEGO. This set comes in a TARDIS box that has details about each Doctor too.
Doctor Who Mini Figure Set of 11 Doctors
- WARNING: Choking hazard. Small parts. Not for children under 3.
- Recommended ages: 5 – adult
- Mini-figures of all 11 incarnations of The Doctor
- Each figure has a display base so you can line ‘em up on your desk
- Most figures come with an accessory (usually a sonic screwdriver)
- Compatible with LEGO bricks
- TARDIS box has details about each Doctor
- Dimensions: each minifig is about 2″ tall
They all look so good and just like the Doctors. This set is $39.99 from Thinkgeek.
If there is a queen of comicons, it should be Lee Meriwether. Famed for trying to seduce Adam West in Batman the Movie with her kittenish (yet evil) charm, and multiplying herself in Star Trek a deadly (yet sexy) threesome while demanding to “touch” the entire away party, Meriwether firmly cemented herself in the iconography of geekdom wet dreams. Lily Munster? Spy? Icing on the Comicon cheesecake.
Okay, so for me the best part of this clip is George Takai running away from the sexy alien girl, screaming “Don’t let her touch me, Captain!”
Need more catwomen?
I think the Doctor Who nesting dolls should have more than the LOTR/The Hobbit nesters. Afterall, bigger on the inside right? Of course, if it was up to me you’d open the first Doctor Matryoshka and they would spill out like Daleks flying out of a void ship.
Anyone got an etsy link to someone selling these? Would be much appreciated.
The above robot is from Mama’s other day job as a junk artist, rather than a robot blogger and robotophile wrangler. Ostrich not shown.