My puppet friends

Today I got together with a group of people and we made puppets. People generally brought materials they had around the house. I happened to have a big bag of wiggly eyes that I had bought years ago, mostly because I had been hoping that one day somebody would ask me to help make puppets (really). I also brought various pieces of felt and assorted unmatched socks, which was no problem, because my socks are all cannibals (once they are in my dresser drawer it is clear that they eat only their own kind) so I have lots of unmatched one-offs. And I even brought a glue stick, a portable sewing kit, and a little package of Krazy glue.

Somebody else brought pipe cleaners, and yet another person brought Elmer’s glue, and so forth. Between us we were very well equipped.

Cleverly I had worn a sweatshirt today with a big pocket in the front, so I could stuff everything into that as I rode the subway to the event with dozens of craft items stuffed in my pocket pouch, feeling quite the marsupial.

I was also feeling very generous, handing out extra socks to other puppet-making friends in need. There is something wonderful about knowing that somebody will be bringing to life something that you used to wear on your feet. Well, maybe you had to be there.

Actually one woman there was afraid of socks – some kind of phobia, she explained – so she turned down my gracious offer for a sock upon which to build a puppet. Neither she nor we knew what to call this syndrome. We realized that there may not be an Ancient Greek word for “sock”, as the odds are quite strong that socks were not worn with togas (somebody please correct me if I’m wrong on this score).

Once we were all settled in, we proceeded to build, chatting away and generally having a marvelous time. The next time we get together we will be creating a film starring the puppets. We have not yet worked out the details of the script, but we already agree that a Creation Myth for our group is called for: The heartfelt saga of how a group of people got together to do things like make puppets that can star in movies about how a group of people got together to do things like make puppets…

So now we have all our lovely sock puppets all assembled (as well as one paper plate puppet, from the woman who suffers from sockaphobia). I am feeling quite pleased about the whole thing. I think I’ll go Krazy glue some wiggly eyes onto something.

5 Responses to “My puppet friends”

  1. Troy says:

    sock is derived from the latin Soccus, which was a loose fitting leather sandal. :)

    So, I’d suggest socciphobia, although, I have to admit my powers of latin conjugation have long left me…


  2. Lisa says:

    Ooh, I don’t know about all this puppetry nonsense. Puppets are big trouble!

  3. admin says:

    Well no, actually. From the information available on-line it’s not puppetry but rather the BBC that’s the problem here. They find it more convenient to go after illegal profiteers by pressuring this woman into taking her sewing patterns off-line. But in fact she has done nothing wrong, either legally or ethically. Her patterns do not violate any copyright laws – unless the copyright laws in the U.K. are very different from those in the U.S.

    At least in the U.S., copyright law is quite specific: You do not infringe a copyright by providing a description of a likeness, only for making the likeness itself. For example, the following is excerpted from section 1309 of the U.S. Copyright law:

    (e) Infringing Article Defined.—As used in this section, an “infringing article” is any article the design of which has been copied from a design protected under this chapter, without the consent of the owner of the protected design. An infringing article is not an illustration or picture of a protected design in an advertisement, book, periodical, newspaper, photograph, broadcast, motion picture, or similar medium.

    So in order to infringe, one would have to use the woman’s sewing pattern to construct an actual likeness. That act of construction could indeed be part of an illegal activity if the constructed article were distributed in a way that reduced the commercial value of the BBC’s property. But the woman has not done anything like that.

    The fact that the BBC know they are in the wrong is obvious from the video interview on the web site you’ve provided. The BBC rep emphasized that they are not making any legal representation against the fan.

    The BBC are certainly saving themselves considerable time and expense by going after this innocent party, rather than going after the actual infringers – the people who are selling Dr. Who character dolls on the internet. But that doesn’t make what the BBC are doing to this woman either legally or ethically proper.

  4. sally says:

    my friends did this as a surprise for the group one year. it was hilarious.

  5. Lisa says:

    heh. well, OK, if you want to get all serious about it. 😉

    UK copyright law is practically identical to US copyright law. The BBC are, of course, being quite disingenuous in this. From my brief read though (and I didn’t watch the video), this is BBC Worldwide – their commercial arm – doing this. I have to admit to not having anything near the respect for them that I do for the BBC. I hope that at some point, BBC proper will step in and slap a few Worldwide bottoms.

    What’s a shame is that the woman could and probably would go ahead and defy them if it weren’t for the fact that her hosting company would likely shut her down for doing so.

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