Replica Furniture Outlawed in UK - Is this the end of affordable design?
British furniture manufacturers who sell reproductions of classics like the Eames Lounge Chair have been given nine months to get rid of their entire stock – or face prosecution.
Please see comparison chart below for prices on licensed and unlicensed products
British furniture manufacturers who sell reproduction versions of classics like the Eames Lounge Chair have been given nine months to get rid of their entire stock – or face prosecution.
A new copyright ruling designed to bring the UK in line with the rest of Europe, was expected to give retailers a number of years to sell off their existing stock.
But yesterday they were told they must stop selling by January 28th, 2017, or face prosecution.
Under previous UK copyright law, designs can be freely reproduced 25 years after being created – hence the proliferation of "authentic replica" furniture.
The new ruling changes the period of protection to 70 years after the death of the creator.
Pash Living, who have specialised in replica furniture market, now face the prospect of having to reinvent their entire business model.
Pash Founder, Aaran Hall, said: “The dream of designers like Ray and Charles Eames was to make good design available to everyone. That’s not possible when the license for these products belongs to big business and costs big money. When an original Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair will set you back about £5,000, it's easy to see why the £450 copy has been so popular.
“Our aim is to make great design available to as many people as possible, at an affordable price. We take as much pride in our products as any design house, quality checking every item before it leaves us.
“We are moving into more original lines as a result of the legislation but our mission will always be to offer the best quality designer furniture at the most competitive price.”
These imitation versions were very often manufactured to the highest standards – often indistinguishable from the ‘originals’ and sold at up to a 10th of the price of licensed versions.
Supporters of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill say the companies who pay to license these products should be allowed the exclusive rights to them.
Those against it, claim the bill will stifle creativity and that big businesses are taking these products out of the reach of the very people they were designed to serve.
Example cost comparison chart:
|Original (Conran Shop)||Reproduction (Pash Living)|
Eames Lounge Chair
Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair
|Mies Van Der RoheBarcelona Chair||£4,447
Sent by Manchester PR agency jwc, on behalf of Pash Living
Founded in 2008, Pash Living specialise in reproductions of iconic furniture pieces from designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Mies Van Der Rohe, Florence Knoll, Eero Aarnio and Arne Jacobsen. These pieces are manufactured to the highest specification and sold for a fraction of the cost of the original.