I’m pleased to say that after several hundred complaints and a few days of negotiation, an agreement has been reached between myself and Debenhams. Though Debenhams do not consider that they have any legal liability in the matter, after discussion with me, they were willing to donate £5,000 to Chest, Heart, and Stroke Scotland. As I understand it, this is twice the fee that would have been paid for commercial use of a design in this context.

Here is the formal statement we have agreed:

“I am delighted to announce that, although we disagree on the issue of copying, as a gesture of goodwill, Debenhams have agreed to make a donation to my chosen charity, Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland. Both Debenhams and I are glad that such a good cause will benefit from this matter.”

Making the transition from a hospital setting to home is probably one of the most difficult moments in anyone’s post-stroke recovery. In my own case, this situation was made easier due to the support and tremendous expertise of Sheila Forsyth – a local stroke nurse whose work was funded by Chest, Heart and Stroke, Scotland. I am pleased to be able to make something good out of a bad situation, and to have an opportunity to support a charity from whose work I have benefited greatly.

I’d also like to say that Debenhams handling of this matter has been, at all stages, speedy, fair, and very measured. Though we were (and remain) in disagreement, we have managed to deal with each other courteously and with complete respect. The same can, unfortunately, not be said for the level of debate in other public fora, which I have had some cause to find deeply depressing.

Most of all, though, I am immensely grateful to the many knitters who have supported me – indeed, I have found the level of support extremely moving – and am pleased to have found a resolution to a very unpleasant situation that I am totally happy with.

THANKYOU x

168 thoughts on “Thankyou, knitters

  1. Kate.you are a great lady and very inspirational to us,the owl has a another meaning to me as of now.keep up the good works,you have given lots of hope to lots of people.

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  2. Hi Kate. I always love to read your blog and profit from your knowledge and research – thank you for that. I’m glad that you came to a resolution of this issue that suits you. I hope you will focus on the nice people who have supported you, rather than the mean few. There always are people who will try to tear down someone who is successful, but I always think that they must be suffering somewhere inside to need to be so cruel. When I was in my 20s I was a national-level athlete. I made the national team over a short span of time and some women on the team were unhappy with that. I was taunted and ostracized by the women on the team on my first national trip. Something that could have been such a joyous occasion ended up making me feel so lonely and sad. I learned from that. Keep strong and keep up the wonderful designing. You are the one with the talent and work ethic who has come this far. No doubt you will go far yet!!

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  3. What a lovely resolution!. That you don’t agree does not surprise me, but the outcome for all is a good one. I am so pleased for you that this kind of battle has been fought, and come out on the plus side for you. There are a lot of happy knitters to see you settle for something so worthwhile and so quickly.

    Huzzah!

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  4. It’s a credit to you that you negotiated for a settlement that benefits such a great cause. Many, not unjustifiably, would have simply pocketed the settlement for themselves but your generosity is an example to us all. I wish you the best. I have run another law blog post referencing your situation, Bastille Day, and a revolution in independent small businesses. http://wp.me/pAWNE-8X

    We’ll have one more post on Tuesday noting the differences between UK and US intellectual design rights since it seems so many commentors on the original post noted that they weren’t aware of the difference–which seems important given, as this experience shows, how easily infringement can occur.

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    1. And so was guillotined any initiative to pursue on the owl path…
      (sorry, couldn’t resist).
      Joyeux esprit révolutionnaire à tous !

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  5. I am very happy to learn they’ve agreed to make a large donation to a charitable organization that provides such a needed service. However, they could have gone a little further and admitted some degree of wrong-doing and/or have taken their cheap-looking copies off the market.

    To amplify on Cecile’s comment, be proud of yourself, your pattern, and your accomplishment. I’m sure this was stressful, so please try to work off any excess upset then have a wonderful, relaxing and refreshing weekend.

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  6. A very intelligent agreement, on both sides. I am impressed.
    You must now be exhausted, try to relax and have a nice sweet week-end !

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  7. I think the outcome is acceptable. And, I think I’m glad you’ve deleted the other post as I’m happy that I don’t have to see the vile comments of others who say things online they (mostly) wouldn’t utter in person. Such events – whether here or otherwise – leave me down about the future trajectory of this species.

    xoxo

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  8. You are so classy. Fantastic outcome, and wonderful generosity from you. Could you leave the post up, except for the ending about Debenham’s? I found it inspiring.

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  9. Bravo Kate. Firstly for conducting yourself with such poise and dignity throughout this difficult time, and secondly for being so very generous with your settlement.

    Bravo to the knitting community too, for rallying round to support our talent.

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  10. Indeed, echoing what other people have said, well done. And what an excellent charity will benefit, too.

    On the negativity – jealousy and nastiness combined with no ‘real’ contact. Lovely. Much more important is the positive result…

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  11. Well done Kate, you seem to have reached a solution while maintaining your dignity and professionalism, and donating the award to CHS is a lovely generous-hearted gesture. My mum benefitted from them after a heart attack so I know how helpful good post-care can be.
    I have only followed the issue here on Needled so didn’t know it got unpleasant elsewhere on the ‘net, but I am sorry you had that happening as well as all the legal stress. Hope it hasn’t been too enervating for you and you can now spend some recovery time playing with yarn.

    Speaking of playing with yarn, I have sadly never knit the lovely Owls sweater as I felt it would not suit me, so I shall purchase another of your designs instead. Betty Mouat calls…

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  12. Well done Kate. An excellent result I think, and also well done Debenhams, who could have acted rather differently. Although I presume that part of the agreement was that you take down the posting telling the tale of your grievance. Shame. The truth should be known, even if the copying was accidental.

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  13. I’m so pleased that you reached an agreement that helps those who need all the help they can get to adapt and choose to keep on living despite their new limitations. You are an inspiration to those all of the humans who fight, laugh, cry and who struggle to adapt to what life brings us. Keep your heart full of the positive thoughts and energy that came streaming from the Ravelry members and all others who did not dwell on the power, ego and money issues…you are bigger than all that. I appreciate everything I have learned from your blog as far as needlework goes and keep you in my prayers for continued healing from your stroke. Now, all I have to do is wait until your teapot cozy kit is back in stock!!!!! Keep on keeping on. Your photography is also the best!

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  14. What a beautiful resolution, and good for you for pursueing this! Something wonderful came out of it.

    I was a little surprised at the tone of the discussion in some venues, and applaud you for not getting confused about what you set out to do, even if it is almost certainly terrible to read these things. Go You!

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  15. Hurrah for the little guy getting such an acceptable outcome against the big corporation :o)
    It’s a shame one on the downsides of the internet is the presence of trolls, personally I have no idea how they get enough peace in their minds to sleep at night….or maybe they don’t and that is where all the vitriol they spew comes from. I think it’s more than safe to say you are far above their low and seedy place in this world. I’m not sure I would have handled myself with anywhere near as much class and dignity.
    I totally applaud and understand the whole charity donation, whilst also sad that you have no personal monetary compensation. I already purchased (and indeed knitted and have worn) O W L S some time ago, so I shall be purchasing another pattern instead. Not sure yet which one, I will be like a kid in a sweet shop unable to choose. Whilst only a small gesture, multiplied will add up and eventually, hopefully add up to that magic number that you should have been paid in the first place.
    Well done.

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    1. Well said – I agree. Hmm – I have several Kate Davies designs bought and queued, and two knitted (including o w l s) but maybe now is a good time to buy another pattern, in general solidarity. May I also add that I love Text*isles*? I want to knit the Betty Mowat cowl, just to have that bit of history around my neck.

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  16. well done Kate, that red herring jumper is truly awful and anyone with an ounce of fashion sense would not be seen dead wearing one xx

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  17. From such an unhappy event, comes a very nice result for you and your chosen charity! Flourish in the support you have received worldwide and turn to it, any rough day that crosses your path. It will make you smile every time!

    A very hearty congratulations Kate!!!

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  18. A lawyer friend of mine once remarked that a really good settlement was one that all parties could accepting grudgingly. I think you got the best possible resolution from this unpleasant situation. Glad to hear that it sorted itself out swiftly, and didn’t continue to suck away your energy.

    (Do you suppose the amount of the donation relates in any way to the number of o w l sweaters that have been recorded as knit?)

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    1. And now, having just read a bit of the commentary elsewhere, I would like to offer you some anonymous internet kindness. People can be too cruel. I was a fan of your blog prior to your stroke, but my admiration for you grew a hundredfold when you started writing about your life after that event. As a partner of someone living with a relatively recent spinal cord injury, I truly appreciate your strength, candor and wicked humor.

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      1. (This might make you smile: when Robb was first recovering, we got the idea that cycling might be beneficial, and sought out an organization that maintained a lending library of adaptive bikes and trikes. We rented a tandem trike, and went out for a ride. Robb did the steering, and I provided most of the muscle. And what made me happiest? The fact that I could bring my knitting on the trike.)

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  19. All is well that ends well, I really think. Very good that you were assertive, and better still that your action was met with a decent outcome. Good going ! Hopefully you will have even more sales of your O W L pattern from the vast audience which is your loyal followers… that would be nice indeed !

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  20. Hello Kate

    I think the past few days must have been a bit of a roller coaster for you thankfully with a positive outcome at the end. Now you can have a few rest days over the weekend. I am also very happy that Debenhams have treated you with courtesy and expedited the situation so quickly.

    Bruce needs to take you for a walk or two now to blow the cares away!! Off you go…

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  21. Kate, as a supporter, knitter and as a physician, I think this is an outstanding result. It’s speaks highly to your ethics and commitment. I commend you for pursuing this issue. Lea Stern, M.D.

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  22. Sounds like a fantastic resolution – you’ve handled this with such grace and while the outcome isn’t perfect, it does seem like a good place to settle. Your choice to donate to this charity is so generous – I am so glad they have benefited from this…. very symbolic of where you’re at now, within yourself, your experience of the stroke, and the connection between the change in your health and your newfound profession in the world of design. I am so glad I had the chance to support you in this – and pleased to hear that Debenhams treated you with courtesy and respect. Let’s hope they take deeper notice too, and are more careful with commissioning Red Herring designs in future…. As for your work, long may it flourish! xx

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  23. I am glad there was a quick and acceptable solution for you. I believe you continue to have the moral high ground. Your work is wonderful and craft like this is always so incredably undervalued by many who do understand the hours of work and thought that goes into all your wondeful designs! It would have been so much easier for them to credit you earlier in the peice. I think that companies and everyone in general must release that with the availability of the interent copying will always get found out. Best wishes Anne

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  24. Kate, What a brilliant outcome for a nuisance problem. You have done a wonderful think in handling this so professionally and letting a big company know that they should not try to push the little guys around. I also sent a note to Debenhams to let them know that I thought they handled this in a very professional manner. A definite Win/Win, especially for the Foundation.

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  25. I am glad that this matter has been resolved in a way which you satisfies you.

    I think that you are a wonderfully talented designer. The items you design are beautiful and are filling up my rav queue.

    I hope that you can disregard the negative comments and move on from this with your head held high. You have acted with grace and elegance in this matter.

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  26. Yeah on all sides … and especially those knitters who spoke up on your behalf. I’d have been moved as well. The knit/crochet community is generally made up of some amazing (and vocal!) people.

    Now, onto other great designs. :)

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  27. I am pleased a positive outcome has been achieved and that such a deserving charity has benefitted. Well done Kate.

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  28. Delighted to hear that this has been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, you handled it so well and in such a dignified way. Congratulations to you on having such a good result, although it would have been fab if this hadn’t happened in the first place of course! Hats off to Debenahms for dealing with this so quickly and professionally – even though they don’t feel that there was an issue in the first place, they listened to your concerns and were happy to respond in such a good way.

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  29. What a great resolution. And how gracious you and Debenhams have both been – a lesson in how to agree to disagree and how to respect anothers point of view. ………and 5grand for C H and S, what a result!!

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  30. Oh, good job and well done Kate!! Interesting they would donate twice the fee and still deny any legal responsibility hmmmmmm… I applaud your choice of charity and as a nurse was very pleased you mentioned Sheila Forsyth who helped you.
    Carry on woman!

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  31. That’s wonderful Kate – I’m so glad the money is being donated to such a good organization and that you have felt respected throughout the process with Debenhams.

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  32. Go Kate, great you stood up for indie designers and even better to learn that a good cause has benefited from your defence of your design.

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  33. Well done for sticking to your guns on this. Sorry you had to fall victims to the trolls. I came off most fora a while back because it began to depress me to these how some people get their kicks from being so vile.

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  34. I’m glad that you defended your beautiful design, and glad that some good came of the whole thing! Please keep up your wonderful design work. “Sheep Carousel” alone has made the world a better place, I think. So clever!

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  35. Well done for reaching a positive solution which will support an admirable charity. Your patterns, especially the o w l one, are far superior to mass produced, department store ones.

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  36. fantastic! and bravo for turning an unpleasant situation into a donation to a worthy cause. I don’t often do it, but in this case I wrote in and forwarded to as many crafty friends as possible to also write in. I’m glad it worked out well.

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  37. Pleased that a resolution to the matter has been agreed albeit you had to compromise on points, I agree it’s good to walk away feeling you’ve made your point, you’ve got a donation that is generous for the charity close to your heart and I hope you benefit from additional purchases of your lovely pattern that might not otherwise have been placed. I shall look at both your owl themed patterns, adult and child with renewed interest. Sue xx

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  38. You have style girl!!
    You stood up for yourself … got good resolution… AND … you gave the money to something great … I’m full of admiration.
    Be the light you wish to see in the world!

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  39. Just curious, but where were these nasty comments posted. I thought I read all that is here (and there were a few that disagreed with our position & Kate’s), but I didn’t see any really bad ones.

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  40. I’m so glad to hear that this matter has been resolved so quickly and with respect and integrity on both sides even if disagreement remains. This pattern did so much for your own recovery and hopefully it will go on to help others recovering from stroke.

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  41. So glad it has been resolved swiftly and to the benefit of a good cause. I haven’t seen any of the bad comments you refer to, but some people just get a kick out of being mean online when they can get away with it.

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  42. Congrats Kate! Good for you for taking action. On another note, did you change your typeface? I find it more difficult for these middle-aged eyes to read.

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  43. Well done, Kate. I’m so happy that a resolution was reached and that you achieved such a wonderful and generous result. :)

    I am, however, very sorry that you were subjected to such horrible comments and behaviour from people on public fora. On the bright side, they tend to be the sort of people who go to knitting events with their forum identities plastered on them, so you’ll know who to avoid! ;)

    My very best wishes to you.

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  44. Great to see you got a solution to this. It happened to me once and I then joined http://www.acid.uk.com/
    They will help you protect your designs and having their logo on your site helps to stop people copying your work. They would be interested to hear your story too as they keep their eyes open for high street shops not behaving properly.

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  45. Pssh, they totally know they copied it, or they wouldn’t give anything. They just don’t want to admit it publicly ;-P BUT I am so glad that they’re making amends and helping out a great cause :-)

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  46. so pleased this has reached an agreement, i have still to make your owl sweater, mainly cause im not sure if my wobbly belly will look good in it but i have had it in my wish list since i found it *hugs*
    Take not notice of bad comments at the end of the day and there just words…as my darling mum used to tell me
    sticks and stones may brake my bones but words will never hurt me *massive hugs*

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  47. glad to hear the outcome, while not perfect, will benefit a good cause.
    i saw the other comments as well, & was horrified & disgusted. by the time i managed to mentally compose a response that wasn’t filled to the brim with filthy swears, the thread had unfortunately been locked!! ;) i have even more admiration for your dignified & measured response to this whole situation – i’m pretty sure i wouldn’t have been nearly as classy! :P

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  48. I am so happy that it has been resolved to your satisfaction. Just ignore the nasty people on the forum and know that we support you. I think you are very generous to have this donation happen instead of you being compensated. Your grace and politeness are a good example to us all. As well, your owl sweater is still the very best and will remain an icon to all of us knitters!

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  49. I feel relieved when I read this:: and also, very very odd that I can care so much for something so far removed from me. ;-) I continue to enjoy and be inspired by your work, as I discover something new and thought-provoking every single time I visit your page and read of your adventures. I admire your strength. (gush, gush. happy summer, cheers from QC Canada –)

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  50. Great news. Very glad to hear you have reached an agreement with them. As for the snitty comments on public fora; ya know some people who have a computer screen between them and the real person on the other side of their comments find it too easy to be nasty. If they met you face to face you can bet your backside they wouldn’t say it to your face.

    Some people have too much time in their hands, and at least one designer has guaranteed a bunch of people will never buy her “designs”

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  51. Well done, Kate. You have dealt with this awful matter in a most dignified way. The charity donation is wonderful.

    Just about to order the wool to make the Betty Mouat small cowl. I looked at your video tutorials last night and can’t waIt to start it! Lovely pattern.

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  52. I’m happy you and Debenhams have reached a mutually satisfactory agreement. And that you’ve got your point across! As to the other less attractive debate ignore it, many people have made complate fools of themselves by failing to grasp the basic fact that all of this was happening in the UK rather than in their own country wherever that was.

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  53. What an excellent (and truly speedy) solution. I think a charitable donation was a brilliant idea, not only because it’s often difficult for us to donate the amount we would like to the organizations that have supported us, but also because it tears the legs out from anyone questioning your motives for your action with Debenhams.

    These cases are, by and large, not about personal gain, but about recognition and respect, and you’ve made that abundantly clear. I’m thrilled to see how this worked out!

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  54. Dear Kate,

    I’m so happy that you were able to come to an agreement that you are very happy with and I think many knitters as well.

    I truly hope you never have to encounter something like this again. And I too was saddend by some of the things I read on public fora. Be sure that there are a lot of people supporting you and your decision by taking action against Debenhams. The internet truly brings out the worse in some people. But I do hope you’ll remember the positive engery of the outcome of this agreement and the knitters who support you!

    xxx

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  55. Kate, I don’t agree with your take on the copying issue (knitting designers’ extreme claims to rights, if upheld, would stifle the processes of inspiration and influence on which all fashion depends), but I have nothing but respect for the way you have discussed this issue and I am truly pleased by the resolution you’ve worked out with Debenhams. It sounds like a very worthy and significant charity will benefit considerably.

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    1. I disagree with this. If you consider that each design element is a word which indeed is, in most cases, something that the designer did not invent, the originality of a design is in the phrasing, that is, in the assembly of said elements. This is what authors established after a long and difficult battle as the basis for copyright and author’s rights in the 18th century. Thus, any individual element of a design can be used in a new one provided it enters a different combination : words can be borrowed as long as the phrase is not repeated identically. Literary and scientific creativity have not been stifled by the assertion of authors’ rights to fight plagiarizing.

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  56. I’m so glad to hear that the issue has been resolved to your satisfaction, Kate, all things considered. As others have said…you took the high road in your handling of the situation and serve as a role model to us in yet another area of life. Hats off as well to Debenhams for their quick and courteous response.
    I know it must be difficult to block out some of the negativity that has surfaced over the past few days, but I’m sure you will choose to focus on the groundswell of immediate support from your fiercely loyal fans. That was solidarity if I ever saw it!!

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  57. What a great outcome to what could have been a horrible, long & drawn-out legal battle. I think Debenhams is to be commended for bowing to the will of the people and “admitting” it was wrong by making such a generous donation to your wonderful charity. Even though all of us who rushed to your defense were angered by this whole situation and called for a boycott of the store, I think it would be a good thing for us to be good winners and acknowledge Debenhams’ handling of the situation. I will be leaving an acknowledgement on their website. As for you, Kate, I’m sure I can say from all of us just how proud we are of how you handled this whole situation.

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  58. I am so glad there has been a speedy and dignified resolution to this, and that a good charity is benefitting. I agree that the knives have been out in some areas, and it has been gratifying to see that the central players (you and Debenhams) have maintained your dignity and have come up with a solution which suits both sides.

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  59. So glad it has all been resolved in such a reasonable way. Your statement is very gracious. Now back to rams and yowes . . .

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  60. A result to take the positives from, and to leave the rest where it/they belong, firmly and distant in your wake.
    I also love that in your statement and actions you not only recognise the work of Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland, but also the individual who supported you at such a challenging time. When Charities work it’s because of the amazing people who work for/with them and the people they support.

    Good on you Kate

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  61. Wow. It’s to bad they don’t see how your design was copied by their designers, but what a wonderful resolution! I’m highly impressed with your negotiation (and I guess with Debenhams too, somehat). This is by far the best agree-to-disagree resolution I’ve heard of between an independent designer and a retail giant. Huzzah to you & your thoughtful nature.

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    1. Mercy! My spelling is atrocious in the above. I should have proofread before hitting “post”. Apparently my academia-ways are truly fading. Hmph.

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  62. Fantastic news Kate, I’m so pleased that you and Debenhams came to an arrangement that you’re happy with and that such a great charity is supported as a consequence. Ignore the bad comments. As Louise Hunt said, people should only say things they’d be willing to say to someone in person, but that’s not how some people behave online. Good luck with continuing to write patterns as fantastic as owls (looking forward to swatching for tortoise and hare tonight), and fingers crossed there’ll be no more legal palaver..

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  63. Adding my congratulations, Kate! I think it is standard practice not to acknowledge wrong-doing, but, yay!! elation abounds!! Rehab is SO vital yet overlooked as… vital – so more yays to you for this contribution instead of personal gain. Actually, I’ve read over and over that many people bought the pattern to support you (as did I) so hope you have ‘gained’ as well :) Now to start Rams and Yowes

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  64. I am pleased for you. The fact that they have done this shows that they know you were right! I will wear my OWL sweater safe in the knowledge that not only is mine (your pattern) the nicer version by far, the designer is such a generous person, and a really worthy cause has benefitted. Well done you! XX

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  65. Hi Kate,

    Glad to hear that you and Debenhams were able to come to a resolution that benefits such a worthwhile charity. Of course it would be better had the issue never arisen in the first place but you have handled it (as you handle so many other things) with grace, courage, and humour, not to mention great tactical nous in the use of social media.

    Hopefully you (and everyone else) can move on from this now.

    Liz xx

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  66. Well done Kate. I’m pleased you’ve resolved the situation and that such a worthy charity has benefited as a result. I do hope that I never hear of anything like this happening again, however I fear that I will……

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  67. I’m so pleased that you were able to reach agreement to disagree – knitwear cases seem to be particularly tricky. I hate that you had to in the first place, but such is life on occasion, I guess. I hope that’s it for IP issues for a good long while now. Cease & desists must be very dull to deal with.

    I can’t wait to see the new Shetland crime drama now… I’ve ordered the book for some holiday reading. J xx

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  68. Well done Kate! It must have been very tempting to let this all slide and save yourself the exhausting effort. Your determination to stand by your convictions is admirable and inspiring. I’m thrilled that a charity close to your heart will benefit as a result.

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  69. A good result for an excellent cause. The nasty sweater and the negative people are still out there but your diplomacy and good grace are an inspiration. You made your point professionally and eloquently to the benefit of an excellent charity. Keep smiling.

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  70. I’m pleased that you’ve got a result that you’re happy with, at that it was sorted out so fast. It’s a shame that is happened at all, but given that it did, it’s a good result and perhaps they’ll be more careful in future.

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  71. What a positive outcome!
    And hooray to Debenhams, because as a company, they were surely not aware that some overworked designer lacking inspiration had presented them with a design that was a bit too closely inspired by your pattern…

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    1. I think so too, especially from how they responded, and so promptly too. I have always liked Debenhams and will continue to shop there.

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  72. Great to hear that this chapter of the debenhams o w l debacle is now closed. It amuses me to think of all those indignant emails from knitters around the world as howlers, arriving Harry Potter style in Debenhams offices trumpeting and howling as they go.

    I hope you are a having a good day today. The sun shine helps, don’t you think? I am sure you will feel better when I tell you that locked in my university office, I am spending the afternoon completing an on-line grant funding application – it’s not a bad thing to do, but I’d rather be knitting.

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  73. As a Medical Speech Pathologist, working with stroke and traumatic brain injury surviors, I applaud this outcome. As a knitter, though, I am still concerned about the issue of designers getting proper compensation. I do my part by only purchasing patterns and kits directly from the designer or reputable dealer who has permission to re-sell. But it is still disturbing that a sweater, an obvious poorly copied reproduction, is being sold at a large retailer. As for those of wee little minds, making thoughtless comments: I stand by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” You, dear Kate, are a very strong woman!

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  74. I’m glad that you will be able to move on from this unsavoury episode. It shows what a stoic and professional character you have. One thousands admire.
    People tend to forget that their armchair commentary is read by someone who has feelings. I find that sad. Debate is fine but if you wouldn’t say it to someone in person then it shouldn’t be said.

    However, you have taken the good out of the bad situation, with every yin there is a yang, and with every Twitt there is a Twoo.

    I have been spinning up some Zwartble fleece in the Tour de Fleece to make my own Owls.

    Please carry on being wonderful and keep all the compliments in your pocket for days that you need them.

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  75. Great news! It’s inspiring to see that when people unite around a good cause, even large corporations come to the table and compromise.

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  76. That seems pretty decent of Debenhams, I’m glad that they resolved the issue quickly, it must have been very stressful for you. The other reaction that you hint of is just pure poison and best forgotten. Here’s looking forward to your next design.

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  77. Glad things have “ended.” And I’m looking forward to many more fabulous designs from you . Thanks, as always, in being so generous — not only in your knitting, but in working through this for such a worthy charity.

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  78. This is good news and I’m really glad to hear that it has been settled peacefully. It’s great that such a good thing (the donation) has come out of an upsetting situation. I’d like to echo the poster above too regarding your generosity of spirit and professionalism.

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  79. So pleased that you have come to a resolution with Debenhams …… and what a fantastic outcome for your chosen charity. I hope that the stress of all this over the last few days has not made you feel too down or given you any serious debilitating side effects. Great to see the positive impacts we knitters can have on such large companies.

    I think anyone that has been following you knows that you would deal with any negotiations in a professional manner and I am not surprised at all that the outcome has resulted in such a positive and selfless gift to your charity …many others would have just been motivated by the chance of a payout for themselves…..’dignity’ is your middle name Kate.

    Hope you enjoy a more relaxed end to the week.
    Fleur xx

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  80. Good on you for being so generous… imitation is not always the sincerest form of flattery, but take heart that the original is always recognised as the best. I wish them Fatty Owls (and bad kippers) in Torquay for their next marketing convention.

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  81. I’m glad this came to a positive resolution, although I’m sure it would have been nice to have your IR rights respected in the first place.

    This also puts me in mind of some of the discussions we’ve had on Ravelry about knitters who are paid on commission to knit things for others. It’s the same issue, only on a much smaller scale. It makes me wonder what the procedure is for getting permission to knit someone else’s pattern for profit, if there’s a sliding scale of compensation based on whether it’s a one-time thing or a massive effort (like Debenhams). It seems like there should be guidance out there somewhere. Anybody know of anything? I’m very curious.

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    1. Some patterns state that they may only be used for non-commercial use.

      If not, I understand it’s ok to knit that pattern on commission, although personally I would pay for the pattern again if it was a downloadable pattern. I charge a lot (although probably not enough) for knitting on commission, so paying for the pattern again is pocket change to my clients.

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      1. That sounds like a very reasonable philosophy for knitting one-time projects for clients. No different than if they had purchased and knitted the pattern for themselves.

        I was just talking to my bf about this. He is telling me that there are two major industries that function without copyright in today’s world: fashion and comedy. I didn’t know this. I suppose this is what allows knockoff chains to make copycat Oscar dresses and such. So I can see why it might be difficult to get protection for a design…if its not the pattern they are copying and selling but the sweater.

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  82. i am glad to hear that though they did not agree that they did wrong, they did well by you. i hope that money goes on to help someone who doesn’t have the amazing talent for knitting and design that you do.

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  83. I am thrilled that this has been resolved so quickly and your chosen charity will make good use of the money I am sure. The way you have handled this situation is also to be highly commended. Being able to maintain a courteous and reasonable dialogue is not always easy to do but you have obviously managed it with aplomb. xx

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  84. Wonderful news, and fantastic that a worthy cause is benefiting from the mess! It’s also nice to hear that the company has been classy and courteous – often rare in these types of dealings. Don’t let the haters get you down, the hate speaks much more of them than of you. I have yarn ordered to (finally) make my own Owl sweater, and will have more joy in knitting it as a result of this escapade than I otherwise would have :)

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  85. Pleased Kate and as for everything else ignore it –you have dealt with the situation in a professional manner and helped a charity .
    It is a lesson for all those who feel they can ‘borrow work and design’

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  86. What a marvelous outcome! Kate, your generosity on all fronts is simply staggering. This put a smile on my face for the whole day.

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  87. That’s excellent news Kate! I’m glad you and Debenhams were able to reach an amicable ‘agree to disagreement’, and that such a good cause will benefit.
    I find it stressful and distasteful following many of the arguments about copyright on the ether, but more so that it impacts on designers intellectual property.

    Congratulations on your outcome :-)

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    1. I can’t imagine that their lawyers would have allowed them to do that.

      I think their donation is a good and appropriate gesture.

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  88. Hooray! I would have liked to have seen Debenhams acknowledge what is a pretty obvious case of copying (even if only in de facto and not de jure), but it sounds as if the end result is a positive one.

    I’ll continue wearing my own o w l (and using the tea towel and potholder I won in your contest years ago!) proudly…

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