Elle Decoration’s “Fight the Fakes” Campaign – Championing Equal Rights for Designers

Image of launch of Elle Deco campaign

L-R Philip Johnson IP Advisor Ministry of Foreign Affairs Denmark Michelle Ogundehin – Editor in Chief of Elle Decoration Sir Terence Conran – Conran Dids Macdonald – CEO of ACID

New Media Supporter of Anti Copying in Design (ACID)

With the support, over many years, from all of ACID’s trade media publications, ACID congratulates the first consumer publication – Elle Decoration, which has put its full weight behind the fight for equal rights for designers with its FIGHT THE FAKES campaign. At the moment in the UK and Europe designers cannot rely on the same laws as copyright owners. So, for example, if you infringe on an artists’ work it is a crime but if you steal the designs of, say a furniture designer, only civil redress is available. Also, an artist or songwriter can enjoy over 50 years’ protection, whereas under unregistered design rights a designer is lucky enough if they have 5 years before a reasonable licence must be granted.

ACID has been lobbying Government for equal rights for designers for over a decade and has enjoyed the support of many trade magazines. Now, Elle Decoration has put its full weight behind designers with their campaign FIGHT THE FAKES championing Equal Rights for Designers, which is great news because the lobbying focus has reached a crescendo with impact assessments having been completed, and, hopefully now a recommendation a full Government consultation.

Dids Macdonald said, “The first ray of light for equal rights for designers was after Professor Hargreaves’ IP recommendations to Government recognised ACID’s many SME case studies highlighting the copying plight of the UK’s designers, the majority of whom are micro and small businesses. Elle Decoration’s very public voice and compelling visual displays of iconic knock-offs currently being shown in the Conran Shop in Marylebone High Street, is a clear message that the knock off culture has to stop. Congratulations to Michelle Ogundehin for championing this cause, this is good news for Design UK! I hope this will help influence Government to recognise the importance of dealing with this anomaly for designers. The UK spend on Design amounts to £33 billion pounds a year, 2.4% of the UK’s GDP. It is about time designers were supported by the same rights as song writers, film makers and artists and to change the culture that it is OK to steal and free-ride on another’s design and creativity”. View the ACID LOBBY timeline history here

ELLE Decoration UK Editor-in-Chief Michelle Ogundehin said. “Just because it’s not illegal here in the UK, doesn’t make this sort of copying right. The ELLE Decoration UK Equal Rights for Design campaign is about protecting all creativity and ultimately Brand UK and we’re delighted to have the support of Sir Terence Conran. Our lax intellectual property laws with respect to design mean the UK has become a safe harbour for these copyists – and the idea of Britain as the home of the knock-off doesn’t exactly fill me with national pride.”

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