Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Copy This ! : Designer's Anger at Newspaper

Strong words have been appeared on Facebook with professional Australian designers expressing their disgust at an advertisement that appeared in the Fairfax newspaper The Sun Herald on the weekend.
Heidi Dokulil, former editor of Monument Magazine and co-founder of the respected Australian Design Unit posted:
 "SMH you should be ashamed of yourself! Yesterday's advertorial for copycat furniture placed opposite the work of an absolute design legend is disgusting. The headline 'make a classic choice' rubs salt in the wound and shows just how low some major newspapers are going to make advertising $$. Design rip-offs hurt the industry and the thousands of hardworking local designers. What next SMH, a feature on Coco Chanel flanked by fakes? I'd like to see how that goes down"Ouch !.
 Other designers have condemned the positioning of the advert for 'replica' Eames furniture and were busy arranging an email campaign to the Sun Herald. Some have forwarded a complaint to Media Watch
An Eames original can sell for around $5400 while the Taiwanese copy, sold out of a showroom in inner Sydney goes for just $1800. In 2011 the US Henry Miller company which distributes furniture designed by the legendary Americans Charles and Ray Eames reached a settlement with the distributor but they are still trading on the valuable Eames name.

left : a genuine Eames chair and right : the "replica"
The Double Bay newspaper Latte Life found recently when it discovered a local shop flogging handbags that looked identical to well known brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, that the law is difficult to get enforced and authorities can be apathetic much to the annoyance of other shopkeepers in the Bay selling genuine goods. 
China is famous for producing 'replicas' (today's speak for rip-off) of just about anything including a Rolls Royce Phantom, Mini Cooper and the humble Toyota Corolla. While the Rolls copy, labelled a Geely GE sells for just $30,000  a genuine Rolls Phantom can cost up to $1M.
 Australia is not new to rip off designs. In the days before the Internet one fashion store chain owner turned property developer was known for having models and friends regularly bring back a suitcase of the latest London and Paris designs which were whipped up into copies in local factories and on sale within days of their appearance on the international catwalks  
As the election campaign revs into high gear, a 'replica' front page newspaper war has also broken out on Facebook after the Daily Telegraph published it's front page attack upon prime Minster Kevin Rudd.
Those firmly in the Labor camp were furious and a replica was soon on-line replacing KRudd with Tony Abbott. By the end of the day Rupert Murdoch's face had replaced Abbott's. By midnight News Ltd journalists were in the firing line.
And this is just Day One !