Now that Kate Spain has shared her identity as “The Designer” in my previous posts, I wanted to connect a few dots for folks who are confused about apparent discrepancies between what I posted and what Kate’s saying now. I still can’t share details of my correspondence due to confidentiality requirements in a settlement drafted by Ms. Spain’s attorneys (which I want to honor, even if she may, ironically, be violating it herself), but I feel safe saying that the route from A to B is a little more complicated than one might assume if one only knows the “A” and “B”. The below is merely a clarification of what I’ve already posted.
- As Kate said, she *did not* file a lawsuit — this is true. Instead, as I’d said, her lawyers formally and repeatedly threatened a lawsuit if several specific conditions were not immediately met, including payment of large sums of money and other conditions.
- Kate implied that the primary target of her lawyers’ threats was C&T Publishing. This is half true: both C&T and myself were explicitly and individually named.
- And regardless of the tote bag issue, Ms. Spain did indeed go after the book. Kate said that the subject was not my book, but the totes used in marketing my book (which I referred to as “the trigger” in my previous post, in order to help maintain Kate’s anonymity while the tote was removed from sale). This tote featured a photograph from the book (which included a fabric printed with her licensed designs, as well as my name and the name of the book in large letters). Although she may have personally considered this the core issue, her attorneys targetted both the tote *and the book* in their demands. Moreover, C&T had contacted Kate to deal with the tote once they’d heard she was unhappy with it and before the lawyers were ever involved. As I said in my original post, even after they had removed the tote from sale and agreed to several other demands with regard to the tote, Kate’s lawyers continued to press the issue of the book and refused to withdraw the threat of a lawsuit — until C&T got their own lawyers involved.
Edited to add:
Many people have asked why I chose to bring the topic into the public eye. I posted it on my blog, which is just that — my blog. It’s about my small business and my life, and that’s what was going on. I did not point fingers and went out of my way to be as vague as possible regarding the trigger, which book it was in and even the gender of the designer.
The main reason for bringing it into the public eye, though, was the potential ramifications to the quilting community and every published book, pattern and magazine. If the demands I had received were to be applied consistently across the community, they would have changed what had been considered Fair Use within the industry to something full of licensing agreements and a lot of money.
Some are claiming this issue has nothing to do with the book. To the contrary, I never would have made it public had it not been for the claims against the book. If you’d like to have a more definitive view rather than “he said she said”, though — ask Ms. Spain to post the correspondence her lawyer sent me. Kate, you have my permission to do so.
Monday, March 26, 2012 — edited again to add:
Todd Hensley, CEO of C&T Publishing makes a statement.