Online sellers should be aware of an imminent change to UK law regarding the selling of designer replica furniture (DRF), in what is commonly dubbed the UK “faux-furniture” industry.
While the date is yet to be confirmed by UK government, it can be expected that as of April 2016, it will become a criminal offence to sell designer replica furniture, and if you fail to comply with this new law, you could be fined up to £50,000, and face a custodial sentence of up to ten years.
The date for this law change was previously expected to be in 2020, but has now been brought forward by four years, affecting thousands of eBay sellers selling mass produced DRF on the UK site, much sooner than originally planned and with little time to adapt.
Previously you were able to reproduce and sell designer replica furniture as long as you didn’t use the brand names to promote such furniture, and providing it had been 25 years since the designer’s death.
This change in law extends the copyright for DRF from 25 to 70 years, and unless a license is obtained from the brand owner, which is highly unlikely to be granted, you will be required to begin depleting any DRF stock by what is expected to be April 28 2016. Please note that these dates have not yet been finalized by UK government.