( Apologies to all who were reading this saga and whom I left hanging…. It was not my intention to have such a long “Dramatic pause” !!!! Sometimes “Life gets in the way when you’re making other plans” 🙂 Thanks for your patience! )
As I began the task of figuring out what I could do, I knew I needed a body of “evidence” before I could approach anyone for any real help. I found an online data-base service that allowed me to build a custom data-base where I could track all details about every illegal item I found on the web. If you ever need to use such a tool, I highly recommend them, they are called Ragic . After nearly 6 weeks of hard slogging I had assembled a list of over 400 entries of individual sellers, shops, online marketplaces, wholesale distributors, some manufacturers and even some shipping companies who were tracking cases of cargo from China destined for US ports with item numbers that matched the products that were using my designs. Every entry in the database showed who were connected to and/or selling my stolen designs, where they were located, contact info etc.
This gathering process was a very emotional ride to be sure. At times I felt like very unlike myself but more like a spy stealthily sneaking into shops and stores looking for contraband. At other times I felt dismayed to see just how many places all over the world my designs appeared to be selling in shops…and then, on the flip side, a part of me had to acknowledge – wow! My designs are selling all over the world – how cool is that? But ultimately gathering all the data helped me to make the necessary shift from feeling victimized to feeling empowered, for which I was grateful.
So now I had a powerful set of FACTS on my side and I knew it was time to consider what to do next….and here is where magic once again led the way. I was driving home from some simple errands and listening to my local Public Radio station VPR , when an underwriting notice came on for a law firm in Vermont that mentioned copyright law as one of their specialties. YEARS ago I had made a custom Fairy House for an attorney at that very firm. What were the odds that he was still there?
As I drove home I reflected on the house that I had made for his daughter and how much fun I had making it. The whole sculpture had been a bit of a breakthrough experience for me as tried many new techniques when I built it. My favorite part was the felted wool roof (which I had never done before) and making the inside as magical as possible since I had made it so the roof could come off.
The house was made nearly a decade ago… I couldn’t wait till I could get home to see if he was still at the firm and if, by some miracle, he/they might be able to help me….
to be continued!!