Throughout setup and the first day of Festival of Quilts (FOQ), the Starry Night clouded my mind. With every sale of the magazine, with each page that was flipped, my heart missed a beat.
Although I try to live in the moment, my mind was whirring on how to clear up this mess. I've always been a believer of actions following a wrongdoing are as important, if not more important, than the initial problem. Own it. Manage it. Handle with care and consideration for those injured. In this case, the injured are Gail Lawther and our readers.
Our magazine is the first quilting magazine which publishes a variety of Irish designer patterns. While copyright infringement is a well known concern among workshops and quilt shows, it is our experience that quilters publishing patterns in Ireland are less experienced in this area. As a precaution, Terri and I query all our designers and their inspirations, with patterns requiring a signed affidavit of authenticity and original drawings whenever possible. Several times we have sought out permission from designers who have inspired our pattern makers and where that inspiration appears in true likeness.
And yet, we find ourselves in such a predicament.
Along with rehearsing a confession, my brain has already begun composing an article on copyright guidelines to lead our next issue's retraction of Starry Night. Again, put it out there and own it. Hopefully readers will come away with more understanding and knowledge. My greatest fear is loss of credibility. Right now, my guess is to stay real and humble. If good comes of a copyright article, then so be it.
Back to Gail. Something told me she didn't need a copyright article to know the score.
The timing of this messup couldn't have been better. I thumbed through my FOQ catalog until I saw her name. Lawther, Gail. For the first time I was glad my email and phone attempts were unsuccessful. Up close and personal is my preference. One can never be 100% sure of the tone of emails and phone calls.
Next, I purchased her Stained Glass Patchwork Projects for Christmas, the real McCoy of Starry Night from a rival magazine's booth, who coincidently shared the same publisher as Gail's book. Ouch! More pain inflicted.
With the real McCoy in one hand and the imitation in the other, I walked the two isles to Gail's booth.