UPDATED 28th September 2007

Hi everybody! Well, today has been a very interesting day!

It seems Stage 2 actually produced a result - obviously due to my putting a time limit on how long I would wait for a reply and saying I would contact by other means if I didn't hear.

However, initially the reply was pretty galling, as instead of answering my original queries it just reiterated that I had contravened their copyrights again - something I had not disputed - and wanting to know just what it was I wanted 'clarification' of.

However, it also added that if my site had come to the attention of the publishers Ebury and Penguin, who distribute the normal BBC books and the BBC Childrens books respectively, because they pay a hefty fee for a licence to do so I could be looking at legal action from them. How that is possible when I am neither using their material or their characters etcetera was not explained to me, but nevertheless it seemed to be a veiled threat, one which I chose to ignore in my reply.

Anyway, I replied spelling out just what it was I wanted 'clarifying' i.e. asking for permission to quote his e-mail, asking for how and who brought the site to his attention and asking for a postal address that would get to RTD. Considering I sent my original e-mail well over a fortnight before, and his reply to my reminder took a couple of days to arrive, I wasn't expecting anything before next week.


I sent that at 14:22 hrs. At 14:28 hrs I got a reply! Six MINUTES!

Amazing what can happen isn't it?!

This time, I got some answers! Firstly, he gave me permission to quote his original e-mail as asked for, so here everybody is the official BBC reason why I cannot continue:

Dear Martin

I have spoken with my colleagues at BBC Worldwide. They are in agreement that the novelisations on your site are an infringement of copyright. I have noted the text you have written on the site and whilst I appreciate that they were not for commercial gain, this is none the less a copyright infringement. If someone creates a piece of work, it is their intellectual copyright (or belongs to the company which has employed them). It is not for a third party to use, reproduce or manipulate their work, whether for commercial gain or not.

We would therefore ask you to cease from distributing your novelisations immediately and wish to confirm that you are not permitted to reproduce copyright material now, or at any point in the future.

On the subject of unlicensed products being sold on eBay, we do attempt to have them removed as much as our resources allow. Thank you.

Edward Russell
Senior Brand Executive for Doctor Who & Torchwood
Brand Manager for The Sarah Jane Adventures

Secondly, as to who brought the site to his attention, he claims "a friend / colleague alerted me to the website. I have no idea how he became aware of it." Shame there's no way of checking this out, but I'll just have to assume that it *isn't* someone I know that's done it. Frankly, I don't know whether that's good or bad - I still don't know who I can trust.

And lastly, the postal address for RTD. This was always unlikely to get a result, but it was at least addressed in his reply which was:

"If you want me to pass a copy of one of the books to Russell, I'm happy to do this."

Now, I might be doing Mr Russell a disservice here, but I strongly suspect that if I did send a copy to him to forward to RTD then it would actually get filed in the large cylindrical object near the door.
Put it this way - as far as I can tell his office is at least 5 miles away from the Upper Boat production facility at Pontypridd, so it's not a case of him handing it to an on-site messenger to take over. As I say, I might be doing him a disservice, and if he's reading this I apologise, but after being jumped on for doing these books I'm not necessarily inclined to believe that it *would* be passed on. I will continue to search for an address for the Upper Boat facility and indeed am working on information so far gathered by various means towards that.

So - where do we go from here?

Well, not a lot further really. As you can see, the official line from the BBC is I am
not allowed to distribute them now or in the future, and I have to abide by that, regardless of how galling that might be. I can't afford for legal action to be taken against me.

However, I would like to hear from anyone who has any comments on what has happened, especially if you've run afoul of people at the BBC like this yourself, particularly the infamous 'Brand Protection Team'.

What really galls me is being jumped on for providing a free service in my own time that helps advertise the series. Nothing was ever mentioned by Mr Russell in any of his e-mails that suggested that I might be bringing the series into disrepute, which some sites on the net I could argue are doing (under the guise of expressing their 'opinions'), nor was anything said that might suggest the books were below par quality-wise - so nothing for 'Brand Protection' to have a go at I'd've thought.

Still, water under the bridge now. But do feel free to get in touch if you've got any comments, had similar problems or just want to talk about what might have been had this not happened. I'll keep the site updated on any further developments, such as actually getting in touch with RTD or the Production Office.

Best wishes,


Please e-mail at