PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION - THE ADA CAMPAIGN
During 2016-17 the Federal Government held an independent inquiry by the Productivity Commission (PCIP) to explore Australian Intellectual Property and Copyright protection.
The PCIP draft report published in April 2016 invited written submissions by early June, with an open call for advocates to appear at public hearings in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
In what was a steep learning curve, the ADATM invested 8 weeks collating testimonials and case studies representing a range of industry voices speaking out about how design theft and replica furniture crushes the growth of local industry.
Our survey included case studies by industrial designers, independent design studios, furniture designers and brands, importers and distributors, manufacturers and design journalists, supported by industry associations DIA Design Institute Australia and Good Design Australia.
"the design industry should match the music industry model, as well as the model of writing and authorship and other creative industries such as architecture, through free copyright protection"
The ADATM presented 25 written submissions and coordinated 10 appearances at public hearings in Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne. Our message was clear - IP protection is out of step with similar laws in the UK and now New Zealand.
As part of our campaign, representatives from Space Furniture, CULT, Top3 by Design joined designers Adam Goodrum, David Trubridge, Tomek Archer, Nick Rennie, Tom Skeehan and Tom Fereday, along with the DIA and Good Design Australia appearing at public hearings.
Our campaign focused on three core issues:
- Criminalise replica furniture - Australia is now the dumping ground for counterfeit designer products, and the replica market is causing immeasurable damage to the growth of our industry
- The word 'replica' misleads customers - the word is a loophole that endorses design theft
- Design protection in Australia is inadequate - currently, registered designs can be protected for a maximum of 10 years (5+5), with no automatic copyright applied to furniture and lighting; yet in 2016 the UK joined Europe by extending copyright for the life of the designer + 70 years (life + 70), and extending design registrations to 25 years
PCIP PUBLIC HEARINGS - JUNE 2016 // transcript links below
- Sydney // Authentic Design Alliance (Anne-Maree Sargeant), DIA Design Institute of Australia (Bradley Schott), SPACE Furniture (Jon Holland), CULT (Richard Munao), Tomek Archer - pp 226-285
- Canberra // Top3 by Design (Terri Winter), Adam Goodrum. Tom Skeehan, Tom Fereday, David Trubridge, Tomek Archer - pp 373-411
- Melbourne // Nick Rennie - pp 712-719
"Citing a 'lack of empirical evidence' that the Australian furniture industry suffers financial loss to replicas & copies the Commissioners made no recommendations to outlaw replicas"
Anne-Maree Sargeant, AUTHENTIC DESIGN ALLIANCE
THE PCIP REPORT + WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
The Productivity Commission PCIP report was tabled in September 2016, and published by the Federal Government in December 2016, inviting public reply by February 19, 2017.
In short - PCIP report felt that consumers have the right to a cheaper copy of an original design.
OUR RESPONSE TO THE PCIP REPORT
ADATM PCIP CAMPAIGN INCLUDED CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS FROM:
- Tomek Archer / architect, furniture designer
- Nick Rennie / independent designer
- Terri Winter / Top 3 by design retailer
- Mark Swanton / KE-ZU (furniture distributor)
- Kate Stokes / Coco Flip independent design studio
- Christopher Boots / independent lighting brand
- Anne-Maree Sargeant / Authentic Design Alliance
- Jon Holland / Space Furniture (importer)
- Richard Munao / Cult Design (importer, manufacturer)
- Dr. Brandon Gien / Good Design Australia, CEO
- David Trubridge / lighting designer, global brand (NZ)
- Ross Gardam / independent design brand
- ISM Objects / lighting brand
- Thinking Works / Australian commercial furniture
GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO PCIP - NO MENTION OF FURNITURE SECTOR