Doctor Who Faces Legal Threat From Son of Tardis Creator

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I am not a Doctor Who fan... I have tried so hard but just can't do it.
I remember a long time ago really enjoying Sylvester McCoys Doctor and since the revival I tried to get back into it but the wonderment was lost and nothing has brought it back yet.

I say this only to point out how far removed from being a Doctor Who fan I am so I can make the following statement clear of bias and/or fandom.

And here it is... Is this guy a complete idiot?
His claim will make it nowhere. The usage and rights went uncontested by the creator and subsequently his wife. I do not believe he is entitled to any royalties from prior usage of the TARDIS design.
As for future use, well the TARDIS was created as part of the Doctor Who franchise but there is no claim here over the rights to the franchise itself (presumably because it is clearly defined).
One could argue that whilst he may get the credit for the original design he has already been paid for his work through his payment for the original script and any money originating from that.

I still don't enjoy the series. But then I can't be right about everything and I would never let it get in the way of anyone elses enjoyment.

Someone needs to explain Wheatons Law to this guy.

And this is why after an author dies copyright should stop existing. There is of course an exception for untimely deaths seeing as it would leave small children without means, but I have the suspicious feeling that this is a grown ass man who was tired of working for his money and instead consulted a lawyer about how much bank he could make on a prop his dad designed.

Though I enjoy the fact copyright is biting the very people that advocate it in the ass now.

Psychobabble:
Not to take the piss, well actually yeah I am, but since the Tardis looks exactly like a blue Police box, shouldn't whomever designed the actual real life blue Police boxes be suing the BBC and this twonks father's estate for ripping off HIS ideas? After all Tony Coburn didn't invent the police box, he just stole the visual design and made it into this "magical" time traveling whatsit.

Interesting bit of trivia: when the police stopped using those blue police boxes and the BBC kept using it for the TARDIS, eventually the BBC filed for a trademark on it. The british police tried to contest it, claiming it was their's, but the courts held that since they hadn't been using it and the BBC had continued to use it for several DECADES after the police had stopped, the BBC could have their trademark. Yup. The BBC now owns the conceptual design of blue police boxes.

What a world.

Also, I love how apparently either Coburn or this article's writer don't know how it's spelled. TARDIS, not Tardis. Tardis is from the Cushing Dr. Who movies. Yes, I'm a dork.

Normally, I'd posit that this guy is a greedy fucking asshole, but I see that that belief has been more than covered.

Thus, I am going to say it anyway.

*AHEM*

"This guy is a greedy fucking asshole"

Broken Blade:

Psychobabble:
Not to take the piss, well actually yeah I am, but since the Tardis looks exactly like a blue Police box, shouldn't whomever designed the actual real life blue Police boxes be suing the BBC and this twonks father's estate for ripping off HIS ideas? After all Tony Coburn didn't invent the police box, he just stole the visual design and made it into this "magical" time traveling whatsit.

Interesting bit of trivia: when the police stopped using those blue police boxes and the BBC kept using it for the TARDIS, eventually the BBC filed for a trademark on it. The british police tried to contest it, claiming it was their's, but the courts held that since they hadn't been using it and the BBC had continued to use it for several DECADES after the police had stopped, the BBC could have their trademark. Yup. The BBC now owns the conceptual design of blue police boxes.

What a world.

Also, I love how apparently either Coburn or this article's writer don't know how it's spelled. TARDIS, not Tardis. Tardis is from the Cushing Dr. Who movies. Yes, I'm a dork.

Well that's just bloody hilarious. Way to stick it to the Filth, BBC.

Peter Cushing Dr. Who movies!!?? *sticks fingers in ears* THEY DO NOT EXIST!!! Lalalalalala I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!!!

In the Land of Chips (North of Alcoholics-Nationomynous and east of Bjork-topia) lawsuits have to be solid to even be considered. We're not like Gunland (America, as some of you call it) and the can't sue someone for parking infront of your house, or so I have heard.

I doubt he's ever watched it. And DW is probably not for kids: Mutilitaiton, disturbing imagery, constant death and violence, technobabble that would rot the average Chippy-child's brains, ect.

"I wanted to sue you, but I didn't have the copyright" And now you do? Oh wait... you don't? So what's changed? Is there possibley a chance that.. you know... there's some money issues?

Zachary Amaranth:

JoJo:

Couldn't resist slipping in that little jibe eh?

Is it a jibe? I thought Doctor Who was aimed largely at kids. Is this like when wrestling fans get offended their show is called fake?

A few episodes have been officially rated as "unsuitable for children under the age of 12" by our classifications board, and while most of it is vaguely kid-friendly, it's still aimed heavily at the older crowd.

Broken Blade:

Psychobabble:
Not to take the piss, well actually yeah I am, but since the Tardis looks exactly like a blue Police box, shouldn't whomever designed the actual real life blue Police boxes be suing the BBC and this twonks father's estate for ripping off HIS ideas? After all Tony Coburn didn't invent the police box, he just stole the visual design and made it into this "magical" time traveling whatsit.

Interesting bit of trivia: when the police stopped using those blue police boxes and the BBC kept using it for the TARDIS, eventually the BBC filed for a trademark on it. The british police tried to contest it, claiming it was their's, but the courts held that since they hadn't been using it and the BBC had continued to use it for several DECADES after the police had stopped, the BBC could have their trademark. Yup. The BBC now owns the conceptual design of blue police boxes.

What a world.

Also, I love how apparently either Coburn or this article's writer don't know how it's spelled. TARDIS, not Tardis. Tardis is from the Cushing Dr. Who movies. Yes, I'm a dork.

Sir, I'd offer you a jellybaby, but I have not perfected the E-Fist program just yet. That was hilarious.

This guys claim is completely stupid. It's a police box, he has no more right to claim copyright on its design than I do if I drew a picture of a type of bus that exists in reality and that particular type of bus became a thing people gave a crap about.

Another greedy idiot abusing copyright and not understanding what it exists for. Certainly not for something like this god.

I just want to point out that the copyright could include more than just the external appearance of TARDIS (i.e. the blue police box) but goes as far as the name and the shape-shifting time traveling device what goes 'whoosh whoosh.'

1337mokro:
And this is why after an author dies copyright should stop existing. There is of course an exception for untimely deaths seeing as it would leave small children without means, but I have the suspicious feeling that this is a grown ass man who was tired of working for his money and instead consulted a lawyer about how much bank he could make on a prop his dad designed.

Though I enjoy the fact copyright is biting the very people that advocate it in the ass now.

Kind of? I'm of the opinion that it shouldn't be on author death but rather once you stop using it.

To give an example: Terry Pratchett is my absolute favorite author ever, but he's not in the best of health. His daughter, Rhianna Pratchett, is also an author (She was actually a writer on the Tomb Raider reboot so you may have heard her name) and might keep writing Discworld books when her father passes away.

In that case, I would have no problems with the Discworld copyrights remaining with the Pratchett family even after the original author is dead.

Honestly, I think it's as important that the copyright here is a small part of a greater work created by a large team rather than a single book or series written by a single person in addition to being long past due on contesting it.

To be honest, I would be pissed if my dad invented something someone else used and they never mentioned him too. Considering the TARDIS is such a huge part of the universe you would think they could at least mention the guy who invented it.

1337mokro:
And this is why after an author dies copyright should stop existing. There is of course an exception for untimely deaths seeing as it would leave small children without means, but I have the suspicious feeling that this is a grown ass man who was tired of working for his money and instead consulted a lawyer about how much bank he could make on a prop his dad designed.

Though I enjoy the fact copyright is biting the very people that advocate it in the ass now.

No, because it's their intellectual property and they should be allowed to pass it to their children no matter what.

The only people who would benefit by that are the vultures who don't have an original bone in their body and will wait until someone's dead so they can steal their work.

Now for this guy, he's not gonna win any court case, not only is BBC much bigger than him, they also have a trademark on the TARDIS and blue police boxes.

I am the ancestor of the guy who invented the wheel. Money, please.

Hypothetical scenario: this guy wins, BBC doesn't want to pay him...

-Doctor- "So, we've crashed into this spaceship and quantum nanite repair droids have fixed the TARDIS, so it doesn't look like a police box."
-Companion- "Oh, cool. So we can look like anything now?"
-Doctor- "Yeah, but let's just change it to a red phonebox or something and never mention this again..."

i hope he wins and gets the money. its not like the BBC cant afford it anyway. they should just buy him out... or get rid of the silly kids show.. I am sick of the scarf wearing pansy being on my tv

Rawbeard:
I am the ancestor of the guy who invented the wheel. Money, please.

Oh yeah? I'm the cousin many times removed of Sir Isaac Newton.

Pay me for his efforts or I'll take gravity away.

Mick Beard:
i hope he wins and gets the money. its not like the BBC cant afford it anyway. they should just buy him out... or get rid of the silly kids show.. I am sick of the scarf wearing pansy being on my tv

Why, hello there Stef Coburn, how nice of you to join us here at The Escapist. How are things on Twitter?

Neta:

Mick Beard:
i hope he wins and gets the money. its not like the BBC cant afford it anyway. they should just buy him out... or get rid of the silly kids show.. I am sick of the scarf wearing pansy being on my tv

Why, hello there Stef Coburn, how nice of you to join us here at The Escapist. How are things on Twitter?

nar I aint that dude

just an aussie that thinks that a pommy show about a dude with a broken lightsabre who live in an old phone box is lame.

he is like a poor mans danger mouse

anyone else pondering how funny it is that the son of the guy who invented the tardis cant go back and tell his father to apply for copyright?

1337mokro:
And this is why after an author dies copyright should stop existing. There is of course an exception for untimely deaths seeing as it would leave small children without means, but I have the suspicious feeling that this is a grown ass man who was tired of working for his money and instead consulted a lawyer about how much bank he could make on a prop his dad designed.

Though I enjoy the fact copyright is biting the very people that advocate it in the ass now.

It should just be a time limit, copyright should extend for say 50 years from date of creation or whatever and then expire (at the moment it's 70, it was 50, because the US bent over for Disney who were going to loose Micky Mouse).

Did he create Tardis? No, his dad did. Therefore he deserves nothing. Just more broken copyright laws.

The Lunatic:
Pretty reasonable to pay a guy for being part of the creation of such a memorable and profitable icon.

Dunno if he's in the right legally, but, morally, he's due something.

No hes not. Hes a patent troll and a stupid one at that. Not to mention that its been 35 years, no copyright should even last 35 years to begin with.

RicoADF:

It should just be a time limit, copyright should extend for say 50 years from date of creation or whatever and then expire (at the moment it's 70, it was 50, because the US bent over for Disney who were going to loose Micky Mouse).

Correction: they bent over for Disney involuntary homosexual sex to reach life+95 years, which basically means that copyright holds for 95 years after the original author died, making it one of the longest copyright laws in the world (funnily enough, 50 years is short in comparison, most of the world uses 50 or 95, very few countries - 30, ALL of them - TOO DAMN LONG)

Gary Thompson:

No, because it's their intellectual property and they should be allowed to pass it to their children no matter what.

The only people who would benefit by that are the vultures who don't have an original bone in their body and will wait until someone's dead so they can steal their work.

Now for this guy, he's not gonna win any court case, not only is BBC much bigger than him, they also have a trademark on the TARDIS and blue police boxes.

No they should not. The only people who woul benefit from that are vultures who dont have an original bone in their body and instead steal the work of their fathers.
Copyright is needed so the author could make profit on its work. Considering how production of intellectual property work in real life, 25 years is being way too generous with the timeframe. Most publishers stop and abandon the production less than 10 years afterwards making it abandonware stuck in copyright hell.
Copyright laws the way they are now is midday robbery of our culture.

Psychobabble:
Not to take the piss, well actually yeah I am, but since the Tardis looks exactly like a blue Police box, shouldn't whomever designed the actual real life blue Police boxes be suing the BBC and this twonks father's estate for ripping off HIS ideas? After all Tony Coburn didn't invent the police box, he just stole the visual design and made it into this "magical" time traveling whatsit.

Actually, the BBC got the copyright for blue police boxes from the Crown Court years after those boxes fell out of use. So they've had it all along. Since the 70's, I'm pretty sure. What this guy is laying a (still erroneous) claim to would be the name and function of the TARDIS. But he wrote it for an episode script and was paid for that, so all I.P. within that script is the BBC's anyway.

If your dad made it for the BBC then no, you shouldn't get squat. We don't pay the families of architects every year for the way it looks. I don't think this guy quite understand how copy right work. The BBC already have copyrighted the tardis layout when the police stopped using public police call boxes. If anyone deserve to be pissed it's the son of who ever designed it for the police.

In conclusion, this guy's a money grabbing leach

He sounds like a bad Doctor Who villain who is trying to steal the TARDIS and sell it. Although if the writers decided to make fun of him he'd probably try and sue them for it. Is he American by any chance?

Okay, for all the people talking about how this is an example of why copyright laws are screwed-up: well, yes, copyright law needs some improvement, but this case pretty much has no legal basis. The headline might as well be "Crazy Guy Wants Money."

It would take an oversight of epic proportions for a major TV network to buy a script from someone without a contract signing over the rights, since, you know, otherwise they wouldn't legally be able to film or air even the episode he wrote.

It definitely seems sketchy considering the TARDIS is basically just a police-box anyway. So his father patented the idea of using a Policebox? It might be a little different if it was the guy who designed the Enterprise or something creative like that.

ClockworkUniverse:
Okay, for all the people talking about how this is an example of why copyright laws are screwed-up: well, yes, copyright law needs some improvement, but this case pretty much has no legal basis. The headline might as well be "Crazy Guy Wants Money."

It would take an oversight of epic proportions for a major TV network to buy a script from someone without a contract signing over the rights, since, you know, otherwise they wouldn't legally be able to film or air even the episode he wrote.

Yeah, this is what struck me too while reading the comments here. This isn't an example of broken copyright laws since he doesn't have any kind of legal basis. I can't be sure if he's really concerned about his father's legacy or if he just wants money, regardless of that I don't think he'll have a chance of winning.

Bethesda having to sue Mojang over Scrolls and the final 3 books in The Wheel of Time series not being translated since the author died are examples of broken copyright laws. This is an example of someone who wants money (or recognition) while not being involved in the process in any way.

Lets see, considering:

1) The original creator and his widow didn't contest the BBC's usage for decades pretty much kills his claim right off the bat.

2) Police Boxes were real things with the BBC successfully defending its use of the iconic design against the Metropolitan Police back in 2002.

3) This isn't the sue-happy US.

This case is going to nowhere.

So no move was made on the family's part to preserve the copyright...
The BBC sorted out their own over thirty years ago...
I guess you could say the guy wasn't *puts on sunglasses* in TIME!

Neta:
So this guy's basically a patent troll?

Because he's patently trolling.

ooh, ICWUDT. Noice.

""It is by no means my wish to deprive legions of Doctor Who fans (of whom I was never one) of any aspect of their favorite children's program," Coburn said. "The only ends I wish to accomplish, by whatever lawful means present themselves, involve bringing about the public recognition that should by rights always have been his due, of my father James Anthony Coburn's seminal contribution to Doctor Who, and proper lawful recompense to his surviving estate.""

MY ASS! He saw an opportunity to make some $$ and went for it, this is not about recognition, its about how much money he can screw out of the BBC. If the widow didn't see the need to do this, why should he. It was his FATHERS thing, why should he get the money, he has no more right to it than I do to Daleks(even though my late father built them for the original series).

JoJo:

Colburn:

"It is by no means my wish to deprive legions of Doctor Who fans (of whom I was never one) of any aspect of their favorite children's program,"

Couldn't resist slipping in that little jibe eh? I'm with Fix-the-spade on this, while I'm no expert I'd be very surprised if Tony Colburn (the father) didn't sign away his rights to the work as part of his contract with the BBC, I mean that's how it normally works right?

Psychobabble:
Not to take the piss, well actually yeah I am, but since the Tardis looks exactly like a blue Police box, shouldn't whomever designed the actual real life blue Police boxes be suing the BBC and this twonks father's estate for ripping off HIS ideas? After all Tony Coburn didn't invent the police box, he just stole the visual design and made it into this "magical" time traveling whatsit.

Its not that clear cut. Terry Nation, the creator of the daleks, owned the name Dalek but not what they looked like. Another writer owns the Sontaran name but not the image. So, it is possible that Coburn may own the name Tardis but not what it looks like. I think they big problem is that BBC registered the trademark in the 80s and the then supposed rights holder did not contest it. That fact that Stef Coburn wasn't the putative owner then is irrelevant.

Mick Beard:

nar I aint that dude

just an aussie that thinks that a pommy show about a dude with a broken lightsabre who live in an old phone box is lame.

he is like a poor mans danger mouse

I preferred BananaMan. But anyway, no dissing the scarf. Or the bowtie. Or the fez, although you may shoot the fez. Point is, your mileage will decidedly vary but you don't get to get irritable about it.

FoxKitsune:
So no move was made on the family's part to preserve the copyright...
The BBC sorted out their own over thirty years ago...
I guess you could say the guy wasn't *puts on sunglasses* in TIME!

YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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