lockheed lounge

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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lockheed lounge

Post by chub »

Hi there,
I would like to make a replica of the Lockheed Lounge #10 ( A sculptural chaise lounge) originally designed by Mark Newson circa 1989 or there abouts. It would be very similar but not identical . It would not be stamped "Basecraft Sydney" as per the original or be portrayed as an original . It would not be stamped at all.

1) Is it illegal to reproduce a very similar looking piece and display it in a shop for no financial gain?

2) would it be illegal to sell?

3) There are a number of these that are owned by public art galleries around the world - does that mean that it falls into the "public domain"? and can therefore be reproduced?

I would really appreciate some input
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Re: lockheed lounge

Post by AndyJ »

Hi Chub,

Pieces of sculptural furniture like this are protected by copyright as artistic works. This was clarified in UK law recently by the removal of a section of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 which previously meant that most practical articles which were manufactured in quantity couldn't be subject to copyright. The chair would also have been protected by something known as design right for the first 25 years of its existence, but that has now lapsed.

The copyright in the chair limits you considerably, even if you leave out some significant details, because you would be copying a substantial part of the original. You could probably build one for your own private use, under the exception for private study and research, but you certainly couldn't sell it, and I think that displaying it in a shop (or any public place) would not be covered by the private study exception.

And to answer your final question, no, displaying a copyright work in a museum or art gallery doesn't mean the copyright is diminished or removed. Although the public is allowed access to the item in this way, this doesn't amount to the 'public domain' in the sense that the words are sometimes applied to copyright. In practice this is no different from a book or piece of music being made available to the public.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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