Noosa building designer Chris Clout threatened legal action when he found another company was claiming his design as their own.
Noosa building designer Chris Clout threatened legal action when he found another company was claiming his design as their own. Geoff Potter

Stoush over home design

CELEBRATED Noosa-based building designer Chris Clout has accepted a Gold Coast builder's explanation for using his national award-winning home to publicise its business without his permission.

Mr Clout, who collected the overall 2009 National Design Excellence Award in April for the Japanese-inspired home, said that iwantthathome.com.au was using the design and represented it as its own in its company brochure.

He said family-run iwantthathome.com.au, part of the Yarker Corporation, was in breach of the Fair Trading Act 1989.

He said he had sent a letter to the company telling it to pull the picture from the brochure or face legal action.

He has since received a response from the company stating the pictures were purchased from Us-based company, iStockphoto.com.

“It's misleading. People will think, 'That looks like a cutting-edge design, let's go see these guys and get that,'” Mr Clout said.

“What are they going to say, 'We didn't actually do that - it's a national design award winner'.”

Mr Clout, 26, won the Best New Home (350-450sq m) at the national awards with the Japan House before collecting the overall award.

He doubted the company would be able to reproduce the home, if that was its intention.

“Everything we did in that house is custom designed by myself,” he said.

Lisa Yarker, creative director of iwantthathome.com.au, denied the company intentionally set out to misrepresent itself by using Mr Clout's design and had since removed the photograph from its website.

She said she bought the photo, along with many others.

“It's definitely an issue with iStock. They say they're royalty-free photos,” Ms Yarker said.

The US firm iStock could not be reached for comment.



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