WHY THE ADA?
AUTHENTIC DESIGN ALLIANCE 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, Ke-zu, Living Edge and Stylecraft - the campaign focussed on copies of famous designs, and garnered industry support for original design.
Design theft continued to escalate, and local designers discovered their 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.
THE PROBLEM WITH REPLICA DESIGNS
Copies of iconic furniture design pieces began appearing around 2000.
Knock-offs of famous furniture pieces even legally use 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 non-executive board representing a range of industry voices - will be announced in March2018. Bi-annual meetings 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:
Sharing the problems surrounding design knock-offs and promoting awareness around 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 align with UK and European laws.
3. CAMPAIGN TO OUTLAW REPLICA DESIGNS
‘Replica’ designs have no connection to the original design. Replicas of original designs are unautorised, and must be made illegal in Australia as this misleading word is 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.