Announcement Let's Talk About Clones

Necere

SFF Guru
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
1,380
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Personally I don't see it as being unreasonable to call people out for plagiarism. I can see how it could derail a thread if it incites a heated debate, but if someone presents a design that invites that kind of criticism, then they're probably asking for it. Really, if someone is engaging in unethical behavior, they should be called out for it. If one is found guilty in the court of public opinion, then more than likely they have only themselves to blame.

As far as deferring to the legal system for judgment, for most small scale creators this simply isn't realistic. Filing design patents, and then defending them, in multiple jurisdictions isn't something the average person has the resources for. Consumers sharing information and voicing their opinions are really the first, last, and best line of defense in these cases. To silence their voices does a disservice not only to the creators whose work was used without permission, but to everyone in the long run, as innovators aren't rewarded and will be discouraged from creating/have less ability to create new innovations in the future.
 

Choidebu

SFF Guru
Aug 16, 2017
1,045
1,007
While I agree with all good points in favour of censoring plagiarism in this forum, let's also consider the repercussion of doing so and how to minimize that. How about adding a 'clone' badge? This is more public shaming but people might not get it at first... or maybe also requiring such derivative work to cite attribution and link back to the original? This could be just a warning post by the mods triggered by community report or an issue raised in dedicated thread like this one. The latter one is preferable, since it allows both pro and contra opinions to voice up.

But as far as plagiarism go, very sad to say this - even if you get banned here for plagiarism if you want to copy you'll still do it anyway, one way or another.

And mind you, this is a public forum. Most contents here is indexed by google and require no login.

Sharing your design publicly risk it being copied. Period. I'm sorry I can't say it less bluntly.
 

K888D

SFF Guru
Lazer3D
Feb 23, 2016
1,389
2,800
www.lazer3d.com
Your not going to stop people copying designs and I don't think it should be the responsibility of the forum staff to police which designs can and can't be posted on here, I agree with their stance on this subject.

It is up to the community to back up and support the innovation, I don't believe that this voice of the community should be censored. As others have said, if someone is plagiarising then they should be called out for it and discouraged to do so, as long as it's done in a constructive and civil manner. The cream will rise to the top and gain adoption from the community naturally.

My take on this has alway been that if you want create a product that is "inspired" by another, then you should put some effort into the aesthetics and functionality, differentiate your product so that it brings something new to the table.

If you don't, then accept the criticism.

I don't agree that there is only so many ways you can make something look.
 

jØrd

SCSI for life
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Jul 19, 2015
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@Josh | NFC @Necere

I would like to propose a different way of thinking about this. First Im making the assumption that as long as you are selling product you are exposed to the clone market to some extent. This is an issue that is as old as manufacturing itself. I would make the case that discussion around clones is going to happen and that forcing that discussion off SFFn is actually counter productive to the goals of running a business selling product. My current understanding is fundimentally that here at SFFn the stance is essentially to allow open conversation about clones provided its not shit posting, thread jacking or flame warring. This is a forum where you guys carry significant influence and have a strong base of supporters. It is a place where you can be a part of that conversation, have insight into how your audience (and customers) think about this issue, contribute to and shape the conversation. There is no question that the product you guys produce is fantastic, second to none. Be a part of the conversation, have the confidence in what you do & how you do it and help shape and educate the community. Forcing the conversation off SFFn doesnt make the problem go away, it just moves it to somewhere else, somewhere where you dont have any visibility into, somewhere where you dont have the opportunity to present to people why you think the topic matters, somewhere where you dont get to shape how people think about the topic. Whilst it may seem counter intuitive i propose that having an open and honest discorse w/ your customers about this is far better for business than just shutting down the conversation and driving people away who, at the end of the day, may very well not have an understanding of the issue at hand. We've all seen the YouTube comments on indie case maker videos about how this product or that product would be perfect if it were $60 cheaper, 50mm wider and supported this new radiator that just came out. Ive seen you guys and other indie case makers work hard to do user education around the costs of lower quantity manufacturing, the challenges facing indie makers and why design decisions are made the way they are and the considerations that influence them. The indie case makers who are active on SFFn have done much to shape the way the community thinks about the challenges you guys face and by extension the people you have influenced go on to influence others, shape other conversations and make more informed buying choices as a result. I implore you and anyone else who sees discussion around clones as an existential threat to perhaps look at is an another opportunity to shape and influence how your customers and the community understand, think about and deal w/ this topic.

Lastly I want to make it 100% clear, in no uncertain terms, that this is very much my own personal view. Everything I have said is my own and in no way reflects the opinions or positions of SFFn, its staff or other moderators.
 

Bangle

Cable-Tie Ninja
Apr 12, 2018
147
112
Your not going to stop people copying designs and I don't think it should be the responsibility of the forum staff to police which designs can and can't be posted on here, I agree with their stance on this subject.

It is up to the community to back up and support the innovation, I don't believe that this voice of the community should be censored. As others have said, if someone is plagiarising then they should be called out for it and discouraged to do so, as long as it's done in a constructive and civil manner. The cream will rise to the top and gain adoption from the community naturally.

My take on this has alway been that if you want create a product that is "inspired" by another, then you should put some effort into the aesthetics and functionality, differentiate your product so that it brings something new to the table.

If you don't, then accept the criticism.

I don't agree that there is only so many ways you can make something look.
Well said.

The whole [insert case name] vs Louqe case design reminds me of the whole Land Wind thing a few years back :D
https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/guangzhou-motor-show/range-rover-evoque-versus-landwind-x7-copycat-which-better

Two things that strikes me are.

1. It appears to me that the 'creators' of the [insert case name] intention was/ is to create a case so much like that original design, that it really didn't matter what constructive feedback was/ is given by the SFF Forum community; as it was simply ignored. In terms of functionality, I think generally community members where fine with the case. My response was like 'Well ok, copying the functionality, no problem. Whats the case going to look like? Wait what....its going to be a Louqe...'

Community member expressed concern that the case took the p*ss when it came to aesthetics - Nil response from the 'creator'. Community members offered credible suggestions to aesthetic design - Nill response from the 'creator'. Genuine design alternatives not even considered or critiqued, or shown to the community.

So ultimately, the 'creator' wasn't/ isn't looking for genuine design advice, but simply to promote their 'idea'. Even going as far as using a lot of the imagery from Louqe. This attitude ultimately defeats the point of a forum. Forums should not only be a place to promote ideas, but to also offer and take ideas.

End result is that you are going to get a lot p*ssed off people.

So frustrating that there is (in my view) such a simple design solution to make the case different from the original. I suggested a Luna-Design Prime style front, top and side panels. This wouldn't have cost much to implement. Link to my suggestion:
https://luna-design.org/prime#design

This would probably look rather cool too.

2. The sometimes over zealous feedback from admins. One minute its ok to say something, the next its not ok. Calling something a clone because it soooooooooooo similar to the original should not have your comment deleted. My clone comment was part of a wider discussions about shipping delays on the louqe. There needs to be a more joined up approach. I appreciate that its difficult to please everyone but there needs to be more consistency.
 

jØrd

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2. The sometimes over zealous feedback from admins. One minute its ok to say something, the next its not ok. Calling something a clone because it soooooooooooo similar to the original should not have your comment deleted. My clone comment was part of a wider discussions about shipping delays on the louqe. There needs to be a more joined up approach. I appreciate that its difficult to please everyone but there needs to be more consistency.
Sometimes how you say something is just as important as what it is that you are trying to say. Shit posting, thread jacking and flame warring are not how this conversation is had. SFFn is a place where an open and honest discourse around this topic can happen but it has to happen in a way that isnt hostile and demeaning. No one is going to be convinced that way, all it does is drive people off the forum. When I say this I dont just mean the people who you may feel are in breach but also new members & existing members. People w/ new ideas to share, new projects to showcase and new perspectives to discuss will simply take their conversation elsewhere when they see other threads that have devolved into the digital equivalent of a witch hunt, regardless of why its happened. The internet is forever & we, as a community, need to stand above the hostility and aggression that plagues some other areas of the internet. I'll admit, I am just as guilty as next man when it comes to dragging down the quality of the conversation around a topic I am passionate about. I regret these instances immensely and try to learn from them. At the end of the day I convinced no one. All i did was make myself look like a dick waving moron and trash an otherwise valuable conversation. We need to do better and be better than that if we stand any chance of actually changing how people perceive and think about the problems this space faces.

If we, as a community want to convince anyone to look at the situation w/ cloning differently then we, as a community, need to be better at dealing w/ and discussing it. All of us.

Lastly I want to make it 100% clear, in no uncertain terms, that this is very much my own personal view. Everything I have said is my own and in no way reflects the opinions or positions of SFFn, its staff or other moderators.
 

loader963

Master of Cramming
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
581
516
Where is all this talk of silencing critics coming from? I’ve criticized a few designs myself, and easily can find many, many others that have done so as well. No one wants to silence a voice. What they expect, and rightfully so, is decent behavior while expressing an opinion, which is not hard to do.

@Bangle i have read a dozen posts on how you feel about that guy’s case design, which I do agree with you. This does not seem like censorship at all to me.

I also have seen you in almost every one of those post, repeatedly calling out the site staff, almost daring them to do something about you. I’ve been modded a few times as well on the internet, and it stings to get modded, doubly so when you don’t agree with the call. But constantly calling out staff does not help your case, or really accomplish anything productive at all. In truth, it shows to me how tolerant and patient the staff here are.
 
Last edited:

Choidebu

SFF Guru
Aug 16, 2017
1,045
1,007
I'd like to remind what this thread is about, instead of dragging the conversation towards 'that one case'. This should be the place where we can give input on what to do not just on 'that case' but future stance as well.

Please don't get sidetracked.

I love reading how a design come along and the wonderful world of indie cases, I do agree a public forum such as this should foster innovation not copycat, but I also agree on the mods' stance on this that it's not their place to judge (albeit reading all sides now made me veer towards wanting _a little_ harsher action from them)

Calling out outright clones is fine, doing so with ill intent to incite is not. This is what's most important in a community imo, values. And wanting to support original creators and inventors, take part in the discussion is one value that this community has succeeded so far in fostering.

If it were up to me, I'll just ignore their thread. No news is good news - it'll go up in smoke in no time. Wish I can be more passionate towards plagiarism as some of you clearly are.
 

Windfall

Shrink Way Wielder
Nov 14, 2017
1,858
1,377
Let's all let nature run Its course. At first, they may gain traction due to being cheaper, but in the end, quality wins. Ignoring it will help.
 

Josh | NFC

Not From Concentrate
NFC Systems
Silver Supporter
Jun 12, 2015
1,859
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@jØrd

Pardon me if I misunderstood you--but it seems you are making the assumption I stopped participating in design discussions here because I am worried about clones. I'm not a smart guy--I'm the first to admit it. But even I can see that clones are going to happen, and I also welcome fair, unregulated competition in an uncensored marketplace.

My problem is that the majority of people on this forum do not care about the value of ideas.

"There are only so many ways to do X."

"It's not the layout that is valuable, it is the look."

"It's not the design that is valuable, its the metal."

"As long as they change how the vents look then it's different."

"You can't claim vents as your own look."

"If it uses different materials, then it is a different design."

"You can't own ideas--your ideas belong to everyone."

I don't think ideas should be selfishly hoarded, but is someone really going to make that claim against me? I upload 3D of my projects and cases. I make videos showing alternatives to my products and even provide lists of different vendors. I spend hundreds of hours helping other SFF parts providers grow and increase their product lineup for everyone. I spend a dozen hours each week teaching and helping people build SFF computers. I've created a plug and play template for the business of several members on this forum, complete with the products, accessories, and customer base.

Ideas are part of my identity. If you discard that connection. You discard me. It's painful when it happens to me, and its painful when I see it happen to other people here.

I'll end this by reinforcing that I think the people on this forum are wonderful. I think the mods are good people--great people. I enjoy using this website to help new builders out and answer questions. But this is a platform where innovation is not respected, only the end product, and frankly, the SFF PC on your desk is not special because it is made out of metal. It's special because of the ideas that formed it.

Peace
 

Josh | NFC

Not From Concentrate
NFC Systems
Silver Supporter
Jun 12, 2015
1,859
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jØrd's avatar reminded me of a relevant and beautiful piece of design history. The inside of every original Macintosh has the signatures of the team molded in it. The Macintosh is culturally significant not because of the plastic and metal it was made out of, but the ideas that formed it, and in return, the countless ideas it would generate.

 

GuilleAcoustic

Chief Procrastination Officer
Moderator
LOSIAS
Jun 29, 2015
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jØrd's avatar reminded me of a relevant and beautiful piece of design history. The inside of every original Macintosh has the signatures of the team molded in it. The Macintosh is culturally significant not because of the plastic and metal it was made out of, but the ideas that formed it, and in return, the countless ideas it would generate.

Thanks for that information about the signatures, didn't know it. Now I need a Machintosh.
 
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Windfall

Shrink Way Wielder
Nov 14, 2017
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@jØrd

Pardon me if I misunderstood you--but it seems you are making the assumption I stopped participating in design discussions here because I am worried about clones. I'm not a smart guy--I'm the first to admit it. But even I can see that clones are going to happen, and I also welcome fair, unregulated competition in an uncensored marketplace.

My problem is that the majority of people on this forum do not care about the value of ideas.

"There are only so many ways to do X."

"It's not the layout that is valuable, it is the look."

"It's not the design that is valuable, its the metal."

"As long as they change how the vents look then it's different."

"You can't claim vents as your own look."

"If it uses different materials, then it is a different design."

"You can't own ideas--your ideas belong to everyone."

I don't think ideas should be selfishly hoarded, but is someone really going to make that claim against me? I upload 3D of my projects and cases. I make videos showing alternatives to my products and even provide lists of different vendors. I spend hundreds of hours helping other SFF parts providers grow and increase their product lineup for everyone. I spend a dozen hours each week teaching and helping people build SFF computers. I've created a plug and play template for the business of several members on this forum, complete with the products, accessories, and customer base.

Ideas are part of my identity. If you discard that connection. You discard me. It's painful when it happens to me, and its painful when I see it happen to other people here.

I'll end this by reinforcing that I think the people on this forum are wonderful. I think the mods are good people--great people. I enjoy using this website to help new builders out and answer questions. But this is a platform where innovation is not respected, only the end product, and frankly, the SFF PC on your desk is not special because it is made out of metal. It's special because of the ideas that formed it.

Peace
Without true innovation, we go nowhere, as Josh stated. I think that discouraging clones is good, as it encourages innovation. If every car manufacturer used the first gas engine, we would all be getting terrible gas mileage (and no power).

I want to go forward, not sit at a standstill.
Ignore those who ignore innovation with their clones.

You all can stay at this moment if you want. I'm going FORWARD.
And I'm not looking back.
 

jØrd

SCSI for life
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Pardon me if I misunderstood you--but it seems you are making the assumption I stopped participating in design discussions here because I am worried about clones. I'm not a smart guy--I'm the first to admit it. But even I can see that clones are going to happen, and I also welcome fair, unregulated competition in an uncensored marketplace.
I dont pretend to know what your motivations are but i do want you to be a part of the discussion. You posted in a thread about clones that you were no longer motivated to post on the forum w/ out any more context than that, i made some basic assumptions that were evidently incorrect. you have my apologies on that.

I don't think ideas should be selfishly hoarded, but is someone really going to make that claim against me? I upload 3D of my projects and cases. I make videos showing alternatives to my products and even provide lists of different vendors. I spend hundreds of hours helping other SFF parts providers grow and increase their product lineup for everyone. I spend a dozen hours each week teaching and helping people build SFF computers. I've created a plug and play template for the business of several members on this forum, complete with the products, accessories, and customer base.
I certainly wouldn't make that case. I would hope my post went some way towards making quite the opposite impression.

I'll end this by reinforcing that I think the people on this forum are wonderful. I think the mods are good people--great people. I enjoy using this website to help new builders out and answer questions. But this is a platform where innovation is not respected, only the end product, and frankly, the SFF PC on your desk is not special because it is made out of metal. It's special because of the ideas that formed it.
It may seem that way but i would propose that its not entirely the case. There are certainly people on this forum who dont value innovation, in many cases it comes from a lack of understanding. I would say there are many more who do, they may be the silent majority though. No one ever makes noise because they agree or because a product works as advertised. Shunning these people who dont appear to value it, forcing them away doesnt solve that though. For sure there will be people who can never be convinced but there are people who can. James's stx160.0 project comes to mind as an example. An incredible quantity of people got thoroughly schooled in that thread. It served to educate and enlighten huge swathes of the community who otherwise would have never had any clue what actually goes into designing and building a custom case. it was a stepping stone for many more who wanted to get their ideas out of CAD and into metal. If we just accept that no one here cares about innovation then we will create a space where that is defiantly true because no one will be sharing what they feel is innovative because they think no one respects it or cares, in turn people who do care will look elsewhere for that content. I believe the term is "self fulfilling prophecy". As a community we need to rise above the chaos. Ignore the haters, educate those who wish to learn. We shouldn't be scared off from sharing new ideas, discussing new ways of doing things and trying new concepts because a bunch of haters make alot of noise. I implore you and anyone else here who has ideas they want to share to bring them to the front, stand tall above the haters, be the difference you want to see. W/out you people on the forum it would be less, w/out you people on the forum the community as a whole is less. SFFn will not take sides but it will stand by you when you speak your mind, it will provide a place to engage and share and it will always try to be fair and even. We are stronger together, we may not always see eye to eye but when we stand shoulder to shoulder we can move mountains.
 

Nanook

King of Cable Management
May 23, 2016
797
780
I work in product design and development, and IP is everything. As a designer, it pains me when my ideas are ripped off. I am big supporter of all the design work that folks have put in to their designs. Literally have multiples of the various SFFLAB product sitting in my home office.

Having said that, this is a forum, and we are here to freely discuss SFF in a civil manner.
 
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Necere

SFF Guru
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
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@Josh | NFC @Necere

I would like to propose a different way of thinking about this. First Im making the assumption that as long as you are selling product you are exposed to the clone market to some extent. This is an issue that is as old as manufacturing itself. I would make the case that discussion around clones is going to happen and that forcing that discussion off SFFn is actually counter productive to the goals of running a business selling product. My current understanding is fundimentally that here at SFFn the stance is essentially to allow open conversation about clones provided its not shit posting, thread jacking or flame warring. This is a forum where you guys carry significant influence and have a strong base of supporters. It is a place where you can be a part of that conversation, have insight into how your audience (and customers) think about this issue, contribute to and shape the conversation. There is no question that the product you guys produce is fantastic, second to none. Be a part of the conversation, have the confidence in what you do & how you do it and help shape and educate the community. Forcing the conversation off SFFn doesnt make the problem go away, it just moves it to somewhere else, somewhere where you dont have any visibility into, somewhere where you dont have the opportunity to present to people why you think the topic matters, somewhere where you dont get to shape how people think about the topic. Whilst it may seem counter intuitive i propose that having an open and honest discorse w/ your customers about this is far better for business than just shutting down the conversation and driving people away who, at the end of the day, may very well not have an understanding of the issue at hand. We've all seen the YouTube comments on indie case maker videos about how this product or that product would be perfect if it were $60 cheaper, 50mm wider and supported this new radiator that just came out. Ive seen you guys and other indie case makers work hard to do user education around the costs of lower quantity manufacturing, the challenges facing indie makers and why design decisions are made the way they are and the considerations that influence them. The indie case makers who are active on SFFn have done much to shape the way the community thinks about the challenges you guys face and by extension the people you have influenced go on to influence others, shape other conversations and make more informed buying choices as a result. I implore you and anyone else who sees discussion around clones as an existential threat to perhaps look at is an another opportunity to shape and influence how your customers and the community understand, think about and deal w/ this topic.

Lastly I want to make it 100% clear, in no uncertain terms, that this is very much my own personal view. Everything I have said is my own and in no way reflects the opinions or positions of SFFn, its staff or other moderators.
Well, you addressed this to me in addition to Josh, but I'm not sure how this is a response to what I wrote. If I didn't make myself clear, I apologize, and I guess I'll try again. Perhaps it was my usage of the phrase "call out?" I guess this is a chiefly American colloquialism, and IIRC you and several of the other mods are from the UK, Aus, NZ etc. It just means to criticize or draw attention to someone for doing something objectionable. See #3 and #4 at this definition.

To make it perfectly clear: I don't advocate forcing anyone off SFFn for discussing clones, creating clones, making armies of clones to destroy the rebellion, etc. But I also don't think anyone should be censored for criticizing them for doing it. So if that's the position of the mods, I guess I wonder why this thread was even made, or the thread split of from the Steck thread. If it was purely about "shitposting, threadjacking, or flame warring" then shouldn't offenders have just been warned and/or moderated, and that be it? Admittedly, I didn't follow the Steck thread that closely, and maybe I missed some posts that were deleted, but IMO posts criticizing a project for being a clone in and of themselves don't constitute shitposting or threadjacking. They're directly relevant to the project, after all.
 

loader963

Master of Cramming
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Jan 21, 2017
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^ No one was censored though. There was one guy who did have a moderation and temporary ban. He has been very vocal about it in this thread. But there are plenty of voices calling out the copycat that have not been censored.

No one on the staff has said or even indicated that people should “keep quiet” ,“do nothing”, or said “we support ip theft”. They have also NOT SAID that people cant state their opinions. All the staff said was that they were not gonna judge individual cases themselves and asked for members to please be civil in threads.