Acid’s burning desire to see retailers signing its code of conduct

Copyright action group Anti Copying in Design is piling the pressure on retailers to sign up to its voluntary code of conduct, after Selfridges signed up last week.

Acid chief executive Dids Macdonald is contacting previously reluctant retailers in an attempt to encourage them to adhere to its code of conduct. She is hoping Vittorio Radice’s move from Selfridges to M&S (DW 12 December) will help persuade M&S to reconsider its position and sign up.

Selfridges followed the John Lewis Partnership, the first big-name retailer to sign Acid’s code of conduct in September.

The code is a non-legally binding, morally driven protocol aiming to provide a framework for buying departments to source new products without infringing the original designer’s rights.

‘It’s a way for retailers to demonstrate their policies on intellectual property. It gives a simple set of rules to which they can work,’ Macdonald says. ‘Designers can feel better protected and motivated.’

The pressure group is also continuing to lobby MPs on its draft law of unlawful imitation, which aims to plug a loophole in the law whereby retailers ‘pass off’ a design that has been slightly changed as original. If passed, the law, which already has the backing of Lord McNally, will offer better protection for designers.

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