Design industry welcomes change in UK copyright law

New UK legislation and a change in copyright law now helps to protect the design industry by outlawing replicas. The change in law, which came into effect 28th July 2016 brings Britain more in line with stricter European laws and means that dealers are no longer able to sell ‘rip-off’ furniture and lighting designs.

Whilst there is some ambiguity regarding items that are ‘inspired by’ classic designs, especially with those that claim subtle differences from the originals, it should mean that there will be a reduction in the number of dealers replicating on mass and help put a stop to companies like discount supermarket chain Aldi from selling copies for 10% of the retail price.
(Read more about Aldi’s replica Eames DSW chair here) 

The new law helps to protect the creators’ product for 70 years after their death rather than 25 years after the item was first marketed which was how the law was previously enforced. This means that the Eames DSW chair is now protected until 2058, 70 years after Ray’s death as oppose 1976 previously.

Following its introduction on 28th July 2016 a six-month transitional period has been in place which ends on Saturday 28th January 2017. Failure to abide by the new law can inflict serious punishment, with fines up to £50,000 and jail terms of up to 10 years.

#djKX partner Dezeen share 10 popular furniture replicas that are now outlawed by UK copyright:

• Eames DSW chair, 1950
• Arne Jacobsen Egg chair, 1958
• Hans Wegner Wishbone chair, 1950
• Barcelona chair, 1929
• Tolix chair, 1934
• Jean Prouvé Standard chair, 1950
• E1027 side table, 1927
• Isamu Noguchi coffee table, 1944
• LC2 sofa, 1965
• PH Artichoke lamp, 1958

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