Back in 1995 when Creating Origami was first published I knew a whole lot less about copyright than I know now. I learned most of what I know a few years later in my career when I wrote a few articles as a part of my day job. When preparing for the re-release of Creating Origami, I discovered that one of the two plates that I'd included on the Kan-no-mado dragonfly, which I'd actually thought was public domain, wasn't, and was under the charge of the BOS.
One of the people who was a big helping in connecting with the right people and sorting it all out was David Lister, who is a brilliant historian in the realm of origami with over 50 articles relating to history which are published on the BOS website.
It turns out that the Dragonfly that had inspired me to create the book in the first place had also inspired many other creators over the years. In his correspondence with Hank Simon (who was also helping me out) David wrote a wonderful accounting of the known history of the model, where it originated and how it was passed down over the years.
Originally I intended to included David's email in my article on synchronicity in art (which also includes two sets of diagrams for a dragonfly by Patricia Crawford, who took inspiration from the Kan no Mado dragonfly), but I felt that it stood better on its own. And so, I've included the original email, mostly in entirety below.
-- JC Nolan, Nov '12
Editor's note: The below included text is a slightly modified version of the email David Lister sent. David Lister went to the effort of adding some further details, which came to his attention through further research after his correspondence with Hank.