Under the current Australian intellectual property (IP) laws, unlike for works of ‘fine art’, creators of applied art objects that are produced in quantity are generally not entitled to copyright protection, and are left vulnerable to blatant copying unless they apply for design protection. NAVA has called for changes.
In 2015, the Government’s Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) called for responses to its Options Paper ‘Review of the Designs System’. Then in 2016, the Productivity Commission asked for submissions in response to its ‘Intellectual Property Arrangements Draft Report.
The reports both recognise that there are some flaws in Australia’s IP arrangements but fail to suggest adequate viable alternatives, such as extending the term of protection or creating unregistered design rights.
In its submissions to both of these inquiries, NAVA recommended the changes we believe are required to support a flourishing Australian craft and design sector, in particular to protect craft practitioners and industrial, fashion, furniture and lighting designers.
Australian designers are seeing local and overseas replicas of their work being sold from which they earn nothing. This stymies the building of viable Australian craft and design businesses.