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.