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16 July 2021

Back in May, a section from the old BBC Doctor Who 'FAQ' page turned up online, with fans concerned at the policy on fan fiction and artwork. The policy read as follows:

Can I create Doctor Who fan fiction?
You are welcome to write Doctor Who fiction for your own enjoyment, but we should remind you that it is not permitted for you to publish this work either in print or online.

Following a growing number of worried tweets from fans wanting to know if this was still current policy, DWO got in touch with the BBC Brand Protection Team for clarification on the matter. Yesterday we received their official reply:

Hi Sebastian,

Thank you for your email.

In answer to your question, while we do not have objections to fans creating and publishing their own Doctor Who inspired fiction, artwork or other content, we request that these do not copy a substantial part of the Doctor Who TV programmes or other official Doctor Who content such as scripts, books, magazines, artwork or photography.

Also, we request to avoid use of official Doctor Who or BBC logos and would appreciate if the fan art is not presented in a way as to suggest or confuse viewers into believing that the fan creations are ‘official’ Doctor Who content, or are endorsed by or associated with the BBC. In this regard, we ask fans to add a clear and visible disclaimer stating that the content is fan-made and un-official. 

As for the old BBC FAQ section you have attached in your correspondence, we confirm this is no longer available.

We trust this is helpful for you.

Kind regards

Content & Brand Protection Team

The response definitely shows a shift in policy, and whilst there are some important requests from the BBC in way of the use of logos and existing text, they appear to be embracing the creativity of fandom more. This is a truly positive step from the BBC, and one that many fans will appreciate.

[Sources: DWO, BBC Content & Brand Protection Team]

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