Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Hey, everybody! Let's boycott the Doyle Estate!"

One of the lovely things about journaling on a blog is that you're recording your thoughts at a given moment in time. You can actually go back and edit those thoughts at a later date, but I don't, unless somebody calls my attention to a particularly egregious typo. Of course, the thing about capturing those thought-moments and publishing them on the interwebs is that occasionally some picker of nits comes along and wants to try to argue with that past moment when you're well past it.

But I'm particularly bored this evening, so when Scott Monty decided to toss a comment on a blog from back in April, I figured I might as well write about it. Scott's point? I supported a Kickstarter project in May of 2012 that was licensed by the Doyle Estate. Then in April of 2013, I expressed dismay that a vintner was using Doyle Estate licensing in its promo.

Well, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, and we do love pointing our hypocrisy in our pundits, so let me offer a minor bit of explanation for those who care to actually pay attention to the words that I am writing, and not toss me into their pre-formed mental contructs. Here's the reason I might have reacted differently on two different occasions, as people often do.

In May of 2012, Doyle Estate licensing seemed like one of those bureaucratic nuisances that we were just going to be seeing everywhere, and the promotional blurbs for Steampunk Sherlock were pretty exciting. You had to scroll through a full dozen screens of intriguing stuff before getting to the Doyle Estate logo, and by that point the nuisance was probably made much less annoying by all that came before. These days, I'm all for the possibilities of truly new ventures in Sherlock. (And I mean actually new, not copying some other new thing that came before . . . oh, wait I guess it's all copying Sherlock Holmes . . . never mind.) So the Kickstarter page sold me.

 By April of 2013, the Klinger challenge to Doyle Estate dominance was out there, and guess what? There's this light at the end of the tunnel. The nuisance of Doyle Estate licensing was finally being brought into question by someone who actually dealt in that arena. So when the little card promoting a new Sherlock Holmes wine came into my hands, I used my reaction as blog-fodder, and a tempered reaction at that. (We all know what subject I save my best outrage for by now, don't we?)

Did I go, "Hey, everybody! Let's boycott the Doyle Estate!"?

No. I hear that there's talk of such a boycott out there, but I sure didn't start it. I have my own opinions of that little enterprise, and you can have yours. The worlds of the courts and business will sort it out, and we'll deal with the outcome in whatever fashion we have to. And copyrights and license fees are really pretty dull stuff, not nearly as much fun as  . . . well, I'm taking the summer off of that topic.

The whole business just makes me feel a bit Moriarty-ish anyway, and as ol' Mr. Sexy used to say: "Sorry boys! I'm soooo changeable! It is a weakness with me. But to be fair to myself, it is my only weakness . . . I would try to convince you. Everything I have to say has already crossed your mind."

You have to be a little bit crazy to put yourself out here on the interwebs, so maybe Jim Moriarty and I have something in common.


  1. For a few more days you can read the entirety of Mr. O'Leary's blog on the Sherlock Holmes Social Network, in which he analyzes your blog and our comments on it, nearly day to day. I believe Scott Monty is closing up the Network on July 15, though, as I pointed out to Mr. O'Leary, the internet is forever.

  2. "...so when Scott Monty decided to toss a comment on a blog from back in April, I figured I might as well write about it. Scott's point? I supported a Kickstarter project in May of 2012 that was licensed by the Doyle Estate."
    Brad, Scott didn't make that comment. It was mentioned by someone else in the comments on O'Leary's blog post on The Baker Street Blog.

    1. Actually, he did, which is why it came up. I haven't read the comments on the Baker Street Blog. And I've been staying away from the Sherlock Holmes Social Network since I first heard somebody was getting a bit fixated there.

      Scott's comment on this particular bit wound up back on that original page, so I'll quote it all here: "Oh, I absolutely don't think you're trying to start a boycott. I was just wondering about which logoed programs were fair game and which weren't. There do seem to be more instances of "approved" projects with every stone one turns over, some of which are questionable. "

  3. I might have mentioned "boycott" back then, but neither I nor anyone I know is actually boycotting anything related to the Estate. In fact, the Baker Street Blog post from July 4 seems to be trying to make a point on a non-issue that was from a few throwaway comments made months ago.

    Moving on now...

  4. Brad, I want to thank you for that post on the vintner back in April. By a somewhat circuitous route, it led to an email introduction to Nicholas Utechin, who has now edited my book! You're the best!