If you haven't heard, trouble has arrived for a number of unsuspecting sellers on Etsy. The reason for this trouble has beginnings that span a decade into the past, when a crappy network decided to cancel one of the best shows on television after less than half the length of a normal season and after airing the few episodes they did air in the wrong gorram order.
Despite the network's lack of decency, the fans of this show, self-proclaimed as Browncoats, kept the series alive, fought for it so long and so hard that it lived on to become the only canceled series ever to be turned into a movie. And that movie did very very well, which the network took full advantage of, seeing as they still owned the rights to this show that they neglected and cast down without ever giving it a real chance.
That show was Firefly and the network was Fox.
For a decade, Browncoats everywhere have been crafting merchandise inspired by Firefly, because they sure as heck didn't get a lot of merchandise options from the network who abandoned their show. Now, as of last week, Fox has found an entirely new way of sticking it to Firefly fans. You see, Fox has belatedly decided to cash in on the fanbase by selling so-called Jayne hats through Thinkgeek (who are now donating all proceeds to a Browncoat charity that benfits equality because of Fox's misdeeds).
As you well know if you are a fan of the whedonverse and Firefly in particualr, in the episode "The Message" (which was one of the 3 episodes of the show Fox didn't even air before they cancelled it), Jayne Cobb opens a package from his mother in which is a rather loud orange and yellow earflap hat that his mother made for him. He proceeds to wear said hat through the rest of the episode, while various other characters make digs at his ugly headgear. The Jayne hat is much-beloved by fans, especially those of the knitting persuasion (like myself). Many sellers on etsy sell their own versions of the Jayne hat, made by their own hands and have for years without the interference of Fox. Until now.
Now, all of those etsy sellers selling the Jayne hat and any other Firefly-related or inspired merchandise found there stores shut down due to copyright/trademark violation, even if they did not mention Firefly or Jayne in the tags or name of the product, even if they only used a quotation from the movie as the moniker for a self-invented product that otherwise has nothing to do with Fox whatsoever. We are taking single mothers/fathers and little old ladies and self-employed business owners who rely on their Etsy shop as their sole source of income. And Fox and Etsy shut them down without so much as a word of warning or a fair shake.
I will be making a Jayne hat, when I'm not immersed in my brothers giant blanet of doom (aka the Maize and Blue Stained Glass Blanket), in protest and I encourage all my knitting compatriots, whether Browncoat or never-watched-that-show-in-my-life, to do likewise or, better yet, to find one of these closed etsy sellers and purchase a Jayne hat from them. We proles need to stick together when the giant evil corporation comes along and ruins everything. Again.