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United Kingdom Sci-Fi Your Rights Online

Tardis Wars: The BBC Strikes Back 72

New submitter Elixon writes: Czech trademark monitoring service IP Defender reported that The British Broadcasting Corporation applied for a figurative trademark on the "POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX" for wide range of goods and services like cinematographic and photographic films, printed publications, key chains, textile goods, toys, telecommunications and more. The Metropolitan Police was defeated by the BBC in the past while trying to monopolize the London police box; now it's the BBC's turn.
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Tardis Wars: The BBC Strikes Back

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  • is it just me (Score:5, Informative)

    by thaylin ( 555395 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @09:34AM (#50612407)

    or did this post confuse other people?

    • It's not just you.

    • Re:is it just me (Score:5, Informative)

      by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @10:00AM (#50612593)

      The Metropolitan Police was defeated by the BBC in the past while trying to monopolize the London police box; now its the BBC's turn.

      I think it's supposed to mean that it's BBC's turn to try monopolizing the London police box and be defeated later on.

    • Re:is it just me (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <> on Monday September 28, 2015 @10:02AM (#50612601) Homepage

      What it means to say is that the Metropolitan Police tried to claim a trademark on the blue police box and block the BBC from using it in merchandising (they are dicks like that). This was back in 2002, before the "new" series even started. Anyway, 13 years later the BBC is now applying for a trademark on "POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX".

      The headline is utter bullshit, there appears to be no link between the Met's asshattery and the current BBC asshattery, other than that they both involve a blue box. The 13 years between these two actions suggests that one is not a reaction to the other, and there is no "strike back" as the Met was decisively slapped down and stopped pursuing its claim more than a decade ago.

      Anyway, shall we use this click-bait article to discuss the new series? I thought that the opening two-parter was pretty good. A bit too much desu-ex as usual, but Davros was portrayed well.

      • Re:is it just me (Score:5, Interesting)

        by weszz ( 710261 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @10:19AM (#50612705)

        Thanks, was trying to figure out just what was being said...

        I am not a big fan of the sonic sunglasses deal... Maybe it's just me. Other than that have been liking it. I thought this was going to be the end of Clara and she would stay as a Dalek until she crashed on the ship for an older episode and didn't know she was one till the end... but I may be mistaken but I thought she could say her name at that point. not a huge deal, but I found that sequence to be pretty funny.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Yeah, I'm not sure about the sunglasses either. Let's see I guess. For me they are somewhat symptomatic of the show's biggest weakness - an over-reliance on deus-ex machina. It happened multiple times in those episodes, like when the Daleks shot at the Doctor and Clara but the Tardis protected them while it was invisible for some reason. There is no real danger or suspense, and you aren't trying to guess how it will be resolved because the answer is invariably "the Doctor pulls something out of his arse".


          • I'm probably overthinking it but it instantly bothered me that somehow we've gone from a Doctor who won't eradicate the Daleks to a Doctor who attempts to kill off Davros as a child - even if he did change his mind later, it seemed out-of-character that he had to go back and take a second shot at it. But I'm probably expecting consistency from something that was never that consistent - rather like Kirk, who's a good guy who occasionally threatens to lay waste to planets...

            • When he went back, it was to save him. It's just the cliffhanger from the season premiere which made it look like he went back to kill him.

              • He did attempt to kill him in the first case. Not directly but by letting Davros stay in the hand mine field where he had no chance of getting out alive without help. That's out of character with what we've seen from the Doctor since the child Davros had done nothing wrong at that point.
              • I guess what felt weird to me was that he had to learn a lesson and then back - that he didn't do the "right" (or at least consistent with not destroying the Daleks either) thing straight off. But the Doctor who didn't destroy the Daleks was hundreds of years younger, maybe this one just needed that nudge in the right direction!

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              Tom Baker's Doctor got as far as holding the means to eradicate the Daleks in his hands before deciding not to do it. He's been there before.

    • by adric22 ( 413850 )

      I read the whole summary 3 times and still didn't fully understand it.

      • Re:is it just me (Score:5, Informative)

        by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @10:34AM (#50612841) Homepage

        The summary is confusing, the second from last article is easier:

        In the 50's, there used to be police call boxes. Also in the 50's, the TARDIS was a police call box. The police have since stopped using those boxes.

        At one point the Met tried to assert trademark on the police call boxes. They got told that since other police departments used them, it wasn't a trademark of the Met, but more of a general thing.

        Now, the BBC is saying that the police public call box is now inextricably linked to the TARDIS and wish to have it declared as their trademark.

        And, since nobody else has been using the police call box for anything except as the TARDIS -- depending on who you ask, it is now an image uniquely associated with Dr. Who, and could therefore be a valid trademark.

        • by TWX ( 665546 )
          Biggest problem I see is that they created the idea of the TARDIS specifically as a derivative work (ie, back before Gallifrey, before they were called Timelords, there was a madman in a junkyard that built a time machine inside of an old MET Police Box), so I don't see them having a lot of room to prevent people from attempting to create their own MET Police Boxes.

          Only thing that I can see them having a handle on is the specifics of the design as they deviated from the original, mostly in the form of th
          • by Anonymous Coward

            You are talking in terms of copyright. The article is talking about trademark. Those are almost entirely unrelated things.

            • by TWX ( 665546 )
              Trouble is, they're wanting to trademark it so that they can prevent people from making toys. Having actually built a Police Box to 85% scale with full detail including light-up signs and a strobing light as a shed around my upright air compressor, I can tell you that even if there is demand for Police Boxes, the difficulty in building them properly where they'd be worth buying/selling is so high and the material costs are so high that manufacturers would have to charge five figures to make it profitable i
        • >In the 50's, there used to be police call boxes. Also in the 50's, the TARDIS was a police call box. The police have since stopped using those boxes.

          I remember seeing actual police call boxes in the 70s. Maybe it just took them over 20 years to remove them.

          • Well, I've only ever seen them on TV ... don't take my summary to be a rigorous history of the use of police call boxes in the UK, just a summary of the article which described it in context of trademark.

            The Met got told they don't have trademark. BBC is trying to say they now have the trademark because nobody uses that image for pretty much anything else.

            Which then makes the prospect of an actual historical piece running afoul of trademark by saying you can't depict real things any more ... and that would

            • The one I remember in particular was in Coed Rhedyn, so it's probably still there. Taking over 60 years to clear an eyesore is nothing the the local council.

          • There's one outside Earls Court tube station in London: [] You can go inside too.
        • Re:is it just me (Score:4, Interesting)

          by richy freeway ( 623503 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @04:15PM (#50615411)

          There's one not far from me, recently installed.


        • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

          The problem with that is there are blue police boxes all over the United Kingdom. Her for example is one in Glasgow which is several hundred miles/km from London and nothing to do with the Met.


          Basically the BBC are being dicks.

    • Trust me, it's not just you. I think this post gave me brain cancer.

  • It seem like this would have been worked out years ago.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It seem like this would have been worked out years ago.

      They still can't find one that's bigger on the inside!

  • The BBC applied for a trademark. The BBC defeated the police in the past. Now it's BBC's turn. Me thinks the article description needs a sonic screwdriver.

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @09:55AM (#50612547) Journal

    Pretty Young Thing #137: Why does the TARDIS look like that?

    The Doctor: It has a chameleon circuit to blend into the local environment, but mine got stuck on a trademarked image from the year 2015-ish.

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @10:06AM (#50612631)

    "Is that a toilet plunger in that logo, mister?"

    "Yeah, we're a plumbing company"

    "Sorry, but that makes it look too much like a Dalek"

    "A what?"


    • by Anonymous Coward

      What about exterminators? Won't someone think of the exterminators???

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @10:25AM (#50612767)

    fix the chameleon circuit and turn it into a Port-a-Loo

    It would be less conspicuous on Earth at least.

  • Laughing my ass off! Nope, just finding it impossible to login through my news aggregate app. So I pasted the link into chrome and logged in. Yes, still crap journalism.

The less time planning, the more time programming.