[DWJ] Ansible this week--t-shirts.

Eleanor Joslin eleanor at dreamvine.org.uk
Tue Jul 6 07:00:44 EDT 2010

I sent this to Dave Langford:

 > I started the T-shirt slogan thread on the Diana Wynne Jones mailing
 > list. I really only intended them to be hypothetical T-shirts, to
 > cheer people up after the recent bad news, and I think they did the
 > job.
 > Ever since I joined the list, I've been impressed by the high level
 > of its members' respect and consideration for Diana. This was clearly
 > the source of Farah's concerns about copyright, and I'm sorry to hear
 > that people outside the list have taken it the wrong way. I certainly
 > have no hard feelings.

He replied referring me to his reply to Gili.  I should have read the 
rest of this thread first, because it sounds as if he's heard enough 
about it now, and I know it wasn't his fault anyway.

I feel a bit guilty that my reaction to the Ansible item was to squee 
because something I'd started had been reported there!


On 06/07/10 09:54, Farah.sf wrote:
> Thank you very much Minnow.
> Sent from my iPhone
> On 6 Jul 2010, at 09:42, Minnow <minnow at belfry.org.uk> wrote:
>> Farah Mendlesohn wrote:
>>> Dear All
>>> Many of you will have seen the following comment in Ansible
>>> *Outraged Letters.* <http://news.ansible.co.uk/a276.html#19> *Diana
>>> Wynne
>>> > Jones* loves her fans: 'Meanwhile the DWJ List, having supplied me
>>> most
>>> > generously with a vast bouquet of exotic blooms and a fine picture,
>>> are now
>>> > selecting quotes from my books to put on T shirts. Farah Mendlesohn
>>> has
>>> > pronounced this a breach of copyright, but since I have said I
>>> don't mind in
>>> > the least, I don't think it is. Actually my own favourite quote is a
>>> > sentence from a student thesis I was once sent: "Jones disagrees".
>>> > Understand that this applies to Farah and not the List.'
>>> >
>>> As I have now had two people (one on LJ) suggest that I am "anti-fan"
>>> I have
>>> asked Dave Langford to print the following, and have sent him a
>>> record of
>>> the conversation as proof. (I have asked him not to use any names but
>>> my own
>>> and that of Roger Burton West who also chimed in to explain copyright).
>>> Some of you will think I am over reacting, but Ansible has thousands of
>>> readers, and I am well enough known in fandom and academia that this
>>> could
>>> (and already has) damage my reputation.
>>> The initial conversation began when someone suggested it would be fun to
>>> > choose t-shirt slogans. It was only when someone suggested printing
>>> them in
>>> > bulk and selling them, that I pointed out that this might be a
>>> breach of
>>> > copyright, and I suggested that someone contact Diana for
>>> permission. This
>>> > was corroborated by Roger Burton West. Diana sent a message to the
>>> list
>>> > granting permission. (Farah Mendlesohn)
>> I am absolutely certain that this was not meant to hurt Farah. How
>> beastly that it has. I am sorry this has happened.
>> "Jones disagrees" is a running joke between Diana and her *cat* about
>> the time of supper, and certainly wasn't meant to be against
>> Farah-as-Farah, just continuing the joke. I suspect Diana may have
>> been in contact with Langford at or just before cat-supper-time.
>> I am absolutely certain that neither Langford nor Diana had any idea
>> that this mild joking of theirs might set the hounds on someone whom
>> they both like, and whom neither thought to have behaved wrongly.
>> I am quite certain, because I have anxiously asked her, that Diana was
>> not anti-Farah about this, and you can quote me.
>> I'm also certain that the Langford wasn't, because I asked him too.
>> I think that anyone who would be nasty to Farah about it is behaving
>> in a very anti-fan way him- or herself, and for the record I
>> absolutely agree with Farah that it was polite to ask, and I cannot
>> see how suggesting that someone should ask if Diana minded was in any
>> way a bad thing to do. Nor does it seem to me to be anti-fan to wish
>> to protect the fans from possible litigation or bad feeling.
>> The thing that would be bad would be bulk-manufacture and sale, and
>> that isn't a fan-thing at all, using a much-loved author's words to
>> make a fast buck, so I don't see how saying that would be a bad idea
>> was anti-fan anyhow.
>> Doh, some people...
>> Farah, quote me too if you want. I was the one who asked Diana about
>> it so if you are being accused that is my fault and I am very sorry
>> about it.
>> If it is mentioned to me I shall of course SMITE anyone suggesting you
>> were at fault: you were not, and nor were you in the least anti-fan.
>> There is a difference, after all, between an individuals doing
>> something for a one-off, and someone making it into a business
>> venture. One is fannish, the other would be a breach of copyright and
>> bad behaviour, as you pointed out.
>> Minnow
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