“Firefly” fans have long been easily identified by their handmade Jayne hats, but it will soon become harder to find the iconic item. In recent weeks, Browncoats with knitting skills who turned to websites like Etsy to sell their versions of the hat started receiving cease-and-desist notices because the product is owned by FOX, thus angering the “Firefly” fan community.
FOX’s sudden interest in the selling of the unlicensed Jayne hats seem to stem from the fact that ThinkGeek, a popular online retailer of nerdy products, started selling its own officially licensed Jayne hat made by the company Ripple Junction. Both ThinkGeek and Ripple deny any involvement in the sudden onslaught of cease-and-desist notices. Because FOX owns the license to all “Firefly” material — including the Jayne hat — it seems as though sellers of DIY versions of the accessory are out of luck for the time being.
ThinkGeek wrote a blog post about the incident and explained their stance on the situation. The site also announced that 100 percent of profits from their Jayne hat sales will go to the Can’t Stop the Serenity charity.
The Jayne hat only appears in the twelfth episode of “Firefly,” “The Message,” which ironically is one of three episodes of the show that FOX never aired. Jayne receives the hat from his mother and wears it proudly because he thinks it’s “pretty cunning.”