- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.6XeXEVt9.dpuf The Curiosity Project: Elle Decor's Equal Rights for Design Campaign

27 July 2012

Elle Decor's Equal Rights for Design Campaign



On my way home from a shoot last week I stopped off to purchase my copy of Elle Decoration as a little treat for the train journey home. Settling into my (rather uncomfortable) seat I came across the 'Equal Rights for Design' campaign, championed by the Elle Decor team to petition to protect designer's copyright. I was shocked to discover what the current laws state:

"“ELLE Decoration UK petitions the government to afford the discipline of design the same UK copyright protection as is currently granted to works of literature, drama, music, film and art: ie 70 years after the death of the originating author/s. This is in stark contrast to design, where registered works are currently covered for only 25 years from date of issue. We ask, why is design seemingly deemed less worthy of protection? Additionally, the hypocrisy of our copyright laws promotes the UK as a default “safe harbour” for copyists, manufacturers producing cut-price fakes of classic designs. We believe this amounts to UK-endorsed intellectual property theft." Elle Decor


A subject that was recently brought to the forefront of public attention through the Tatty Devine v. Claire's Accessories debacle, it really hadn't occurred to me that such copyright restrictions weren't already in place to protect our designers. From a personal viewpoint, I have seen several friends and colleagues from the design world experience this infringement first hand and not only does it diminish the creative process but it devalues their brand and reputation never mind the personal affect it has on their lives. As a throw-away nation of "I can get that cheaper elsewhere" we have forgotten what it is to see the value in a product, to invest in quality and with that as a country we are only now beginning to understand the affect this has had on British industry. That's another discussion however. 


The GOOD news is that thanks to their online petition and with the support of their readers and the design community, Elle Decor has persuaded Business Secretary Vince Cable to address government and update the current Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and extend to the full 70 years as with music, literature, film and art.  Perhaps this will force our high streets to rethink their product lines in future?


I would fully recommend reading the full story here, particularly if you as a designer have been affected in the past and to continue to support the campaign by adding your name to the petition here because we're not past the finish line yet. 


I salute you Elle Decor. A triumph for British designers and credit where credit's due. 

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