Originally Posted by Douglas
I just think it's an interesting discussion, morally, philosophically, aesthetically.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I sometimes wonder about the value of good design. Once upon a time we had nice things that were mostly differentiated by the quality of their craftsmanship, but for some of the most modern designs, made with modern materials and modern manufacturing techniques, the quality delta is not what it once might have been. Still, there is a very high price commanded by some high design. I largely don't "get" it, aesthetically, which is fine. As long as there are people willing to pay for it, hey, more power to you. But protecting that design from a legal standpoint is just an interesting discussion. In first world countries with developed design industries it is easy to see why they would ban copies. But it is equally easy to see why someone with a factory in China would be like "WTF?"
It also strikes me a little funny where we decide to draw the moral lines - many who deride copies on here also are willing to lie about architectural credentials to get a discount. It does cut out a retail margin and not the designer margin but I think you need to recognize the value of the retailer and the others in the supply chain who publicize the design and are part of what create the exclusivity, and thus part of the value behind it.
Anyways, I'm not expressing myself very well here. I think I have something sort of interesting to say but I don't think I'm saying it very well.
Some of that is very wrong.
Production cost 50$
Manufacture sell it at 100$ (mark up 100% or more)
The designer gets 1-10% of the manufactures sales price and the agent (if they have one) gets 10%
Retail mark up 100% total price = 200$
Furniture mark ups are nothing compared to clothing.
Most other industries have a wholesale stop, which adds another 100% between manufacture and retailer, so they end up closer to 400.
These mark ups cover the expenses the firms have and include room for discounts both to multiple item clients and people who know how to negotiate, so the pricing is designed to be negotiated down, people just tend not to and like I said in the other thread 20% is easily obtainable.
Carl Hansen the danish manufacture who makes most of Wegner's designs, almost went bankroupt a couple years back, even though some of their designs had a 12 month lead time, why you ask because they were to slow, only a few of their designs were bread makers and a complete lack of marketing (they didn't have a marketing dept. or a partner until 3-4 years ago).
Most people in the know around here have been arguing that the danish furniture industry, was going to die of due to the complete stagnation in new designs and companies like Fritz Hansen only recently started developing new designs (Nap, Favn, Ro, Minuscule etc.). Which was to save them self from hitting the roof, you can only sell a certain amount of egg chair, at one point everyone who wants one, got one.
China's economy is build on stealing and their government doesn't give a fuck about who owns what (the same goes for Russia to some degree), a good example is BMW had a lawsuit in china couple years back, because a firm a copied the X5 and the chinese court said, no we can't see it.
So telling them that it's stealing and could be dangerous for the people buying it, seems like shooting bears with a bee bee gun with that said I'm sure that at some point it will backlash on them, as the new "mini China's", will do what china does to china and they will start changing their ways, it will most likely happen at the same time, as their house of cards collapses, which can't be more than a couple years away.
Originally Posted by otc
If you look at it from a copyright/patent perspective, a law like that just doesn't make sense.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
If the purpose of those protections is to help foster creativity, then it doesn't make sense. Government grants a short term monopoly on a design giving you exclusive rights as well as a well defined framework for going after infringers. In exchange for the legal protections, your design goes into the public domain after your monopoly on it expires (ignoring for a minute what has happened to modern copyright that has been blown up by corporations).
If that is the case, then offering protections on a barcelona chair or eames lounge doesn't make sense. The protections weren't put in place to ensure herman miller and the eames foundation's future incomes. Granting a continued monopoly on a work that old is not encouraging further innovation but rather having the opposite effect.
Granted, there are other reasons to get the real thing (craftsmanship and design details for one), but I am very much against the idea of legally protecting the designs of long dead people. Thankfully here in the US, we only grant design patents for 14 years (the furniture lobby isn't as strong as the media lobby) with the notable exception of the eames lounge which has trade dress status (like a coke bottle) and is thus protected indefinitely.
I don't get how you think protecting one piece of design, will stop people from creating new ones, that makes no sense at all, it (should) in fact help(s) people to become creative, just to see if they can improve it or makes something that will make an equally big mark on society, just see the "inspired by" industry that all low to mid end shops live of.
Just because one company sells one product with success doesn't restrict you from doing the same or even taking market share from them, it's just a matter of branding, doing something people want and getting the retailers to take a chance on something new, which in the end is the biggest hurdle, as why would they, why would anyone take a new product in and have it take space from the bread makers.