In the Property Section [page 13] of your edition of 12 March, you advocated the purchasing of fakes. This is simple theft of intellectual property and it is not a victimless crime. The promotion of fakes adversely affects employees in Europe (in this case of Flos, who make the Arco that was illustrated) and, more generally, the industry as a whole, because it creates unsustainable expectations of what something should cost.
For it should be obvious that VAT, marketing, the reseller's margins, plus the cost of shipping a huge lump of marble, are together going to absorb almost all the £200 retail price quoted, leaving precious little for the people making it. Does that worry you?
There is an ontological issue here about whether a copy of a thing is that thing, but there can be no emotional debate: a fake Rolex is not going to give the same pleasure that a real one will. Aesthetically (in lighting, at least), fakes are never as well proportioned or as well made as the original.
But my reason for writing is to ask where you draw the line, and on what bases? You have demonstrated that you regard European makers of lighting as fair game. But where do you stand on, for example, fake watches and perfumes, illegal downloads, fake aircraft components, or plagiarism in books?
We sent this letter to the editor of the Daily Telegraph, and its receipt was acknowledged. However, to date there has been no reply and the letter has not been published. They have, however, removed this section from the on-line version of this article.
Do you think we were right to ask this newspaper where it stands on the two moral issues raised here: the theft of intellectual property, and the exploitation of workers? Do you think that they should clarify their stance?