Six of One are not exclusively "Official".
*As of February 2016, The Prisoner is copyright ITV Studios Ltd (Granada Ventures after the Carlton/Granada merger). For the purposes of this article, however, the Copyright holders may also be referred to as Carlton.*
For many years, Six of One advertised themselves as "The Official Prisoner Appreciation Society", thinking that potential members would be impressed by this, and would be fooled into thinking that Six of One are the only official channel for Prisoner appreciation. In February 2016 this practice continues.
Potential member Stephen Cameron (who has since proved to be a most abusive individual) had certainly got this impression and so posted to the alt.tv.prisoner newsgroup to ask why so many people were disappointed with the Society:
"How come its alright for you lot to like the official book (I've got that book) but you hate the official magazine??? There both official from Carlton no?"
Posting from scameron2, alt.tv.prisoner
No. Carlton are not connected to Six of One. Being the copyright holders for The Prisoner, permission must be sought from Carlton before images from the series can be used. They have, of course, granted Six of One permission to use images and so forth (but only in their membership-only magazine, not in items sold to the general public), and are therefore an officially recognised organisation, but not exclusively. Any individual or organisation can approach Carlton for permission (PM2005, and all other Unmutual Website events for example, were officially sanctioned by Carlton/Granada to screen items from their archive (something which Six of One failed to achieve for their poorly attended Conventions which do NOT receive official status)), and the Deagostini magazine was officially recognised by Carlton, as were Rob Fairclough's script books, Leslie Glen's quiz book, and many others) to hold an event or publish something, and of course the company NETWORK, the official licensors of The Prisoner, who for many years bhave been producing official DVDs, CDs, and more.
When one talks of Six Of One's "official" status, it would be reasonable to say that "official" normally means that a licence has been paid to the copyright owners for use of the material. When others have approached Carlton to gain permission for various projects, Carlton have always said that they are not prepared to officially licence anything re The Prisoner but that individual requests will be considered on their merit. Thus ANYONE can be official.
In early 2004
for example, as a response to this website, the release of a new (ignored by
Six of One) magazine by De Agostini (click HERE
for details), and Carlton's increasing distancing of themselves from the Society,
their promotional material and websites were changed and the Society now refers
to itself as "The Prisoner Official Appreciation Society" (thus meaning
that whilst they have been officially recognised (as anyone could), they are
not *the* official Prisoner Society exclusively). Of course, they have
done this in their usual obtuse manner in the hope that members will not notice
the downgrading of their status.
Despite this, the following statements can still be found on a Six of One website:
"Members should not assume that any official-looking material on the Internet or from other non-Six of One sources is official. Any declaration that an item or activity has been produced or arranged with the endorsement of Six of One should not be relied upon unless society subscription material has made this clear. Any description of products, activities or websites given within the mailings is to be regarded as being for the information of members only and it should not be inferred that Six of One endorses these things...... "
""These [Six of One websites] are clearly interlinked on each website and are the only ones which can be classed as "official"."
"If members are in doubt about the validity of any statement or activity they should please check with Box 66 before taking any steps or paying money."
"Any production of items or activity which includes the use of images or material from The Prisoner or other copyright matter must be covered by written permission obtained in advance. The society has an address at Box 66, Ipswich, IP2 9TZ"
Six of One have no remit to authorise any activity. Being the copyright holders, it is up to Carlton which events/websites/activities are authorised. Why should members be expected to check with Six of One whether or not they should purchase, for example, Deagostini's official magazine? Six of One have a history of attempting to sabotage fully sanctioned events and websites, and of ignoring Carlton approved merchandise. In October 2005 they even resorted to attacking a Granada-sanctioned charity fundraising event!
Fanderson (the Gerry Anderson Society) recently added an admirably honest paragraph to their website - it is a great shame Six of One do not feel as though they should display similar honesty to their members to clarify the situation:
"Carlton does not officially endorse any fan clubs or appreciation societies: Fanderson's status as the "Official Gerry Anderson Appreciation Society" is provided by Anderson Entertainment and Gerry Anderson himself."
It seems that Six of One may be beginning to pay the price for their behaviour in this regard - for the first time ever, their 2005 Prisoner convention did not include the showing of any Prisoner episodes, whereas PM2005 and later non-Society events did .
Six of One's arrogance in this regard extends further than mere titles for themselves. Roger Langley, for some time, refused to release "The Alternative Arrival" (now commercially available on DVD from the PrizBiz website and from Network DVD) to Carlton (who, of course, owned the material) before finally surrendering the item to them. Click HERE to read the full story. The Society has also recently released a bootleg DVD (click HERE or more) and Langley in 2013-2016 is producing and selling books for which he has no copyright permission whatsoever, and one wonders how long he will get away with doing so (click HERE).
Click HERE to return to the main page, where details of many other dirty deeds can be found.
This page updated 6/2/16