WHY THE ADA?
ADA was established in 2010 in response to cheaply made counterfeit designs that began to flood the Australian market. Founded by a group of concerned furniture distributors - Cult, Euroluce, Kezu, Living Edge and Stylecraft - the campaign focussed on copies of famous designs, encouraging industry support for original design.
The problem with design theft continued to escalate, and local designers discovered their own work was being ripped off. In 2015 the ADA founders passed the initiative to an independent team in the belief that achieving real change required a dedicated and consistent approach.
Meanwhile, in 2016 Britain criminalised replica products, introducing fines of up to £50,000 and 10 years jail.
At the same time, the Australian Government held a 2-year inquiry into Intellectual Property (IP). No recommendations were made to change Australian laws, and ‘replicas’ or original designs remain legal.
"Australia is now the ‘Wild West’ of fake designer furniture!"
David Trubridge (ABC Radio National)
AUTHENTIC DESIGN ALLIANCE is member-funded education platform created to promote and support original furniture, lighting and object design.
The unscrupulous brands profiting from counterfeit designs even use a designer's name to sell cheap copies of their original work. This not only damages the reputation of the creator but also affects their manufacturers, distributors, and retailers!
ADA advocates for increased Intellectual Property (IP) protection for designers and believes that 'replica' furniture products should be illegal in Australia, in line with the UK and Europe. We also aim to encourage industry best practice and to drive a shift in buyer behaviour to support original design.
Become an ADA member & help stop design theft!
THE PROBLEM WITH REPLICA DESIGNS
Copies of iconic furniture design pieces began appearing around 2000.
Knock-offs of famous furniture pieces used the designer’s name to sell cheaply made versions of instantly recognised designs.
A group of concerned showrooms founded AUTHENTIC DESIGN ALLIANCE in 2010 in response to the ever-growing problem of knock-offs in Australia.
AUSTRALIAN DESIGNERS LOSE
By 2012 local designers discovered that their most successful designs were quickly ripped-off. Badly made, low-quality copies of their work popped up in stores and online as the problem spiraled.
In 2016 Britain criminalised replica products, introducing fines of up to £50,000 and 10 years jail.
Meanwhile - the Australian Government held a 2-year inquiry into Intellectual Property (IP) laws. No recommendations were made to further protect designs. ‘Replica’ designs are legal. It’s also legal to use the designer’s name to sell copies of originals!
In Australia – furniture and lighting can be protected by design registrations. This is expensive and complicated. Design protection lasts 5 + 5 years (10 years).
European and British designs are protected for the lifetime of the designer plus 70 years (*life + 70). Automatic copyright applies to all designs.
In Australia – no automatic copyright applies to furniture and lighting. Film, Music, Art, Photography, Architecture, and Publishing are protected by copyright – but not furniture and lighting.
That's how Australia became the dumping ground for fake design and knock-offs.
We are a small team, supported by a group of independent industry professionals who contribute on a voluntary basis, led by Anne-Maree Sargeant.
By early 2018 we hope funding will enable us to add marketing and editorial staff to help roll out our program and campaigns.
AUTHENTIC DESIGN ALLIANCE pty ltd was established by our legal partners Banki Haddock Fiora in August 2017. The company is structured as a Social Enterprise Potentially for Profit.
Prior to ADA membership relaunch in December 2017 – ADA activity has been funded by our relaunch partners and event sponsors, and by AMS Associated Marketing Services pty ltd.
An independent board representing a range of industry voices - will be announced in January 2018. Bi-monthly board meetings (6 annually) will review ADA outcomes, evaluate key objectives, and advise strategic paths forward.
ADA Platinum members can contribute to meeting agendas, and Premium members(Platinum / Gold) can join ADA think tanks and general meetings ** attendance is subject to venue availability.
"If it’s broken. Chuck it out.
Get another one. Right?”
Many Australians seem to think ‘the cheaper the better' but the culture of ‘disposable decorating’ contributes to a much bigger problem – tonnes of junk furniture ending up as landfill. It's time to be responsible for our purchasing decisions. Chose well, buy once, make it last.
WHAT WE DO:
About the problems surrounding design knock-offs and promote original design, design history, making processes, heritage brands and the importance of #buywellbuyonce.
2. ADVOCATE FOR BETTER IP PROTECTION
Australian furniture and lighting are not protected by automatic copyright. 10-year design registration is not long enough and IP protection should a line with laws in the UK and Europe.
3. CAMPAIGN TO OUTLAW REPLICA DESIGNS
‘Replica’ designs have no connection to the original design. Replicas of original designs must become illegal in Australia, and this misleading word eradicated to stop confusing buyers.
4. SHARE DESIGN WITH EVERYONE
Our program opens ‘design’ to everyone – industry, design-interested consumers, and businesses. Good design does not have to be expensive. And if an item is pricey – there’s a damn good reason for it.
5. WORK WITH OTHER ASSOCIATIONS
Current collaborations include Australian Copyright Council (design copyright book due in 2018); Australian Design Centre (IP workshops); Good Design Australia (public events at VIVID Sydney) - more announced soon!
6. SUPPORT & INFORM INDUSTRY
To support, promote and create opportunities for our members, we host think tanks, talks, workshops and events to strengthen industry connectivity, education, and pro-action, and encourage industry best practice.
WE LISTEN - our program is informed by industry, please join us.
- PARTNERED WITH NATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS // We are supported by Australian Copyright Council, Australian Design Centre; Design Canberra; Craft ACT; Factory Design District; JamFactory, Good Design Australia and Sydney Craft Week. More on ADA AFFILIATES here.
- DESIGN EVENTS + INSTALLATIONS // VIVID Sydney; Women in Design (Design Tasmania), InDesign (Melbourne, Sydney), Design Canberra, and Workshopped are a few events we hosted installations promoting new design. In 2016-17 ADA events were attended by more than 5,000 people.
- TALKS + WORKSHOPS // we presented 30 talks and workshops informing industry and public about design process, the problems with design theft, and information about IP protection, educating about the need for change. Our talks were attended by more than 1,500 industry members and design-interested public.
- DESIGN-MADE. 3 days of design // In partnership with Factory Design District, we launched our new 3-day design event in Sydney in 2017. Register for updates on our future events at design-made.org // Follow @design_made.
- ADA AWARD PARTNERS // ADA Award of Merit is presented in partnership with GOOD DESIGN AWARDS, vivid design competition, Launch Pad, and Workshopped to acknowledge true originality, and encourage genuine design innovation.
- FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION // The ADA dedicated 9 weeks to driving submissions and presentations to the PCIP inquiry into Australian Intellectual Property laws.
- RESEARCH + CASE STUDIES // The Government Productivity Commission report cited a lack of ‘empirical evidence' that Australian designers and business lose out financially to design theft – so we’re collating case studies and joining research groups.
- STATE GOVERNMENT THINK TANKS + RESEARCH BODIES // ADA contributed to a research paper on how design increases manufacturing (delivered to the Victorian State Government); joined CREATE NSW (State Government) creative industries think tank; and Australian Copyright Council policy strategy roundtables.
- ADA NEWSPAPERS // We have published three tabloid newspapers, with a total circulation of 20,000 copies to support our partners and promote awareness around original design.
- EDUCATE MEDIA + DRIVE STRATEGIC PR CAMPAIGNS // It can take up to 2-weeks to educate journalists about the nuances of IP, design laws and the problems with the replica industry. Mainstream media are not design literate, and many business reports promote, support and seek comment from replica brands. We need our own team to continue this education.