An Interesting Read
3/22/12: In light of recent developments… a statement will be issued shortly.
Original Post: 11/17/11 @ 2:06pm (pacific)
As much as I love designing and sewing quilts, it isn’t all rainbows-and-ferry boats. Some days, it’s hard to justify and remember why I do Carolina Patchworks at all.
Last week I received a letter from a lawyer threatening to sue me for $150,000 (or more) plus legal fees and removal of one of my books and… well, you get the idea.
Let’s back up. You know all those awesome fabrics in my patterns and books? Yup, I love fabric. Well, those fabrics are given to me by the fabric manufacturers who love to see their fabrics in new patterns and books. Makes sense, right? I get to use the fabrics I want; folks see the patterns, then buy the fabrics; the manufacturers end up with advertising, and you get to see (and make) new quilts in the latest fabrics. All the prints are created by designers and over the course of Carolina Patchworks’ existence I’ve become friends with a number of these designers. I am huge fans of what they do, love to see their latest designs, and they love to see them used in my quilts, so we’re all happy.
Well, not all of us, apparently. One designer — one that I’ve been a fan of since their first collection and I’ve come to respect over the years — decided that I’d violated their rights by including photo(s) of a quilt made with their fabric to demonstrate a pattern in one of my books. This particular fabric was sent to me from The Manufacturer — actually, it was their suggestion. Well, The Designer’s lawyers sent a Cease and Desist letter threatening to sue me if I don’t pay tens of thousands of dollars, plus lawyer fees, destroying all copies of the book, etc.
The presumed trigger for the whole kerfuffle has been taken care of by the responsible party. The lawyers responded that that’s not enough, and the lawsuit is still going forward full-steam based on the photos in the book.
I have not named anybody in this post (and please don’t comment or email asking me to), because I have no wish to point fingers. I didn’t go into more details on select matters in hopes of keeping this as anonymous as possible. But as for my week, it’s pretty well already ruined. Here’s hoping it doesn’t destroy Carolina Patchworks altogether.
Anyhow, thought you might want to hear what’s going on at the moment. Next week I promise to try to get back to rainbows-and-ferry boats. On the blog at least.
Update: 11/18/11 @ 9:33am (pacific)
Just to address some comments:
The Publisher was also named and they are vigorously supporting me and handling this on my behalf.
The Manufacturer was contacted and has “elected not to get involved in this legal matter.”
There was an attempt to talk to The Designer and that was referred to The Designer’s Lawyers. As a result of that, I have not attempted as I’m figuring the result would be the same.
Many thanks for the support from everyone. Seriously. I’ve got a lot of emails to get to, a massive amount of information to gather plus a cute little Liam to snuggle with.
I will update again when necessary. Many thanks to everyone for your support.
Clarifications: 11/21/11 @ 12:05pm (pacific)
There have been quite a few comments/tweets wondering if this was a “Seuss-like fabric.” It is not. There are no fabrics in that genre in either book.
There is also some talk wondering how the fabric was used. Like I said — and I can’t really elaborate on it anymore and keep anonymity — there is another issue which I expect was the initial concern which has already been dealt with. The Lawyer/Designer is/are still going after the book which contains a picture of a finished quilt (made from The Designer’s fabric) demonstrating one of the quilt patterns in the book.
Many thanks for the continued support. Sorry I can’t elaborate more right now.