Announcement Let's Talk About Clones

K888D

SFF Guru
Lazer3D
Feb 23, 2016
1,391
2,805
www.lazer3d.com
I agree, honest free speech said respectfully and politely.

But that also (in my opinion) contradicts your last point about having the right to do business unhindered. Yes you have that right, but conduct it privately. If you post a copy design publicly, then expect a thread full people expressing their right to free speech.
 

CubanLegend

Steely-Eyed NVFlash Man
Dec 23, 2016
734
901
smallformfactor.net
I agree, honest free speech said respectfully and politely.

But that also (in my opinion) contradicts your last point about having the right to do business unhindered. Yes you have that right, but conduct it privately. If you post a copy design publicly, then expect a thread full people expressing their right to free speech.
Privately? I don't know about that, it kinda goes against being neutral and allowing all a platform (or thread) to reach others and be reached, it's mighty close to discrimination and spits in the face of the community and mods being neutral.

I agree a copy design thread should expect people mention to the OP that the design resembles this or that original... but the thread should stand to allow the copy makers to stand on their own in a public forum, where they'd surely live and die by the interested posts (or disinterest posts) of the community. But it should be civil and most of all, unhindered- by all except by the actions of any original IP holders or IP Lawyers of the original designer, they have the power and intent to stop something if they find they are backed by patents or the law of their client's country of residence. We the community and mods don't really have such authority, we can't speak for someone else, and no one person here should dare speaks for us all.

I know im making assumptions about "us all" as the community (lol) but all i ask is we be civil, honest, and treat each other as we'd like to be treated, as human beings, and with patience, kindness, and respect.
 

K888D

SFF Guru
Lazer3D
Feb 23, 2016
1,391
2,805
www.lazer3d.com
Privately? I don't know about that, it kinda goes against being neutral and allowing all a platform (or thread) to reach others and be reached, it's mighty close to discrimination and spits in the face of the community and mods being neutral.
I think your misunderstanding the point I'm trying to make. If you want to manufacture a copycat design but dont want to receive any criticsism for your copycat design, then go about your business in private and not in a public forum.

Otherwise, expect and accept criticism.

I have always said in each of one of my posts on this topic that this criticism should be done in a civil and respectful way.

Have you considered that plagiarism is one of the most disrespectful and uncivil things that you can do when it comes to product design? We talk about not allowing uncivil and disrespectful behaviour, but this is a form of it.
 

whatanoob

Caliper Novice
Jun 18, 2018
31
40
This thread is pointless. The admins have made their stance clear, and everything they posted now is just dancing around the issue. I didn't think I was that personally involved in this situation, but after reading some of these "answers", I actually felt insulted, it's like we're being talked to as if we're stupid or something.

The stance that we as moderators and staff (I will just use the word 'staff' for us all) have decided on isn't that we support or don't support clones.
How can you honestly say that? That is definitely not the stance you have taken. Taking no action is not the same as not supporting it. You are hosting that project. That is supporting it.

Not only that, you made the creator feel very much welcome here, with him going as far as calling someone a "troll" for giving him flak for his unoriginal design. Seriously... that guy blatantly copies a popular design from this own forum, then he has the hubris, the shamelessness, to call someone else a "troll". That is absolutely ridiculous. At this point, I honestly don't even know whether he's taking the piss, or he just lacks self awareness.

We don't consider us qualified, neutral or homogenuous enough that we should arbitrate what is a clone and what isn't.
Right, because this whole time we were too dumb to understand that design comparisons are ultimately subjective. So yeah, I guess you are right when you say you haven't taken a stance when it comes supporting or not supporting clones, since nothing is objectively a clone. It's certainly irrelevant that almost any reasonable person would consider it a clone.

So what would it take? Would I literally have to use the exact same CAD file as the original to have it be considered a clone? Could I defend my design by claiming I used a different manufacturing process? Or simply that I offer different colours? Or that I submerged all the panels in a herbal infusion that gives the components inside better overclocks?

This stance is all about hiding behind technicalities. It is unproductive, plain and simple.

Hence me claiming that this thread is pointless. The admins are not going to change their stance because they are technically right. The Steck is technically only subjectively a clone of the Ghost. Congratulations.

I do wonder how the admins would act if there was more than the Steck right now... I wonder how they would act if the whole CC&P sub-forum was filled with subjective clones of every popular design out there. I have an inkling that they would suddenly change their stance.

But no matter, I don't it's ever gonna get to that point, neither are the admins (in fact, they are relying on that). After all, I don't think that many more people will have the brass neck to come here and post their project that blatantly copies some popular one. Maybe it'll happen again in a year or two, and some future and present members will end up having this same conversation. Heck, as far as I'm aware, this same situation may very well have happened before. Let the cycle continue.
 

loader963

Master of Cramming
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
589
518
Oh boy....

There was and is a point to the thread. The staff wanted to make their position clear and explain their stance on the way they believe to best run the community. They also allowed the most passionate of us to share our opinions in a thread just to show how hard and divisive of an issue this really is.

Sharing, reporting on, and/or allowing the discussion of anything DOES NOT mean it is or is not supported. NBC covering a kkk rally or a terrorist bombing in a city does not mean they agree with it. There’s no need to try to twist words into other meanings rather than the intent. And while they don’t speak on how they each feel individually, apart from their duties, I would bet they feel disgusted when someone takes advantage of the system to cover their egregious behavior. I know I have in this thread.

It’s not hiding behind “technicalities” when they admit they honestly can’t be sure they are making the right call when cases of ip and a designer’s rights come into issue between members.

I do however, agree letting that “creator” ironically call someone a troll was letting him slide. Even though the accused had displayed that behavior in the past, it isn’t fair to only have made one side treat the other civilly. Of course that whole page of posts in that thread went downhill with both parties til the mods had to intervene... yet again.

I’ve only been around a couple of years, first a lurker and later to a member. I remember seeing a couple of spats, admittedly not to this level of passion or to the degree of anger. And also for having such a strong reason to be. But the community went on, its grown, and yes it has gotten better. I believe it will with this instance as well.
 

dondan

King of Cable Management
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
906
2,871
Wow it looks like i come too late to the party.

Some thoughts:
Real SFF is a niche in a niche. Even all community projects together are nothing against the big case manufacturers. The most community project was done next to the normal daily job of the creators in every free minute they have. Every successful big project stand for itself and was a gain for the community. This only worked in the past because we respect each other and tried to be different. If we now allow competition in form of cloneing each other in this niche - it will be even harder.

I think a clone reporting button would be great. Every thread that got more than 50 cloning votes will be reviewed by the community over the next 3 weeks. All active votings can be shown in the user profile or a higlighted box. Every voting needs a minimum of 200 participant to be valid. If the majority say clone = true the thread will be deleted and the user be banned for min. 1 month.

Alternative: Every project thread has a clone true and false button. If more than 200 members hit the clone true button - the thread will get the tag Product-Clone in the title. If the creator now decides to change the design forum members can hit the clone false button to let the tag disappear.
 

CubanLegend

Steely-Eyed NVFlash Man
Dec 23, 2016
734
901
smallformfactor.net
I think your misunderstanding the point I'm trying to make. If you want to manufacture a copycat design but dont want to receive any criticsism for your copycat design, then go about your business in private and not in a public forum.

Otherwise, expect and accept criticism.

I have always said in each of one of my posts on this topic that this criticism should be done in a civil and respectful way.

Have you considered that plagiarism is one of the most disrespectful and uncivil things that you can do when it comes to product design? We talk about not allowing uncivil and disrespectful behavior, but this is a form of it.
Ahhh i see your point about "in private", i agree with you wholeheartedly then, glad we cleared up that misunderstanding!

And yes, absolutely, plagiarism is disgusting.. but in places like China or other countries where brand names arent so accessible, honest people feed their families doing hard work manufacturing, moding, and selling copycat hardware, so my perspective seems to be a bit biased as it is a perspective that is empathetic of those people as well. Idk guys, I guess i don't only see the SFF Niche/Boutique Original designers as "the little guy" i love to defend, but also the foreign copycats of their work, too.

But i will say i wouldn't support a copycat, i would support the original designer and side with them when it comes to ethical and legal matters, but i guess I'm just too much of the "universal defense force" "everyone deserves a chance" kinda person... :/:\
 

loader963

Master of Cramming
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
589
518
Wow it looks like i come too late to the party.

Some thoughts:
Real SFF is a niche in a niche. Even all community projects together are nothing against the big case manufacturers. The most community project was done next to the normal daily job of the creators in every free minute they have. Every successful big project stand for itself and was a gain for the community. This only worked in the past because we respect each other and tried to be different. If we now allow competition in form of cloneing each other in this niche - it will be even harder.

I think a clone reporting button would be great. Every thread that got more than 50 cloning votes will be reviewed by the community over the next 3 weeks. All active votings can be shown in the user profile or a higlighted box. Every voting needs a minimum of 200 participant to be valid. If the majority say clone = true the thread will be deleted and the user be banned for min. 1 month.

Alternative: Every project thread has a clone true and false button. If more than 200 members hit the clone true button - the thread will get the tag Product-Clone in the title. If the creator now decides to change the design forum members can hit the clone false button to let the tag disappear.
I'm actually excited to see you in here and give a response. Some others have posted a similar system, but not in as much detail. I have a bunch of questions for the first scenario:

1- What happens when one half of the voting community gets upset when their stance loses? Can they immediately start a new vote, or do we have a minimum time before we repeat the cycle?
2- Also, is their an "age" limit or other qualification to vote? What happens when a passionate member, starts creating an army of alts to vote on their stance?
3- You mentioned the user should be banned, but what of the topic discussing the actual product? Should backers or owners, curious members, or anyone else not be allowed to post or discuss anything of the project?

Personally I do like the alternative idea more.
 
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CubanLegend

Steely-Eyed NVFlash Man
Dec 23, 2016
734
901
smallformfactor.net
I didn't think I was that personally involved in this situation, but after reading some of these "answers", I actually felt insulted, it's like we're being talked to as if we're stupid or something.



How can you honestly say that? That is definitely not the stance you have taken. Taking no action is not the same as not supporting it. You are hosting that project. That is supporting it.
This stance is all about hiding behind technicalities. It is unproductive, plain and simple.

Hence me claiming that this thread is pointless. The admins are not going to change their stance because they are technically right. The Steck is technically only subjectively a clone of the Ghost. Congratulations.
.
I hope my posts havent personally insulted you bro, honest, it's not my intent at all, I'm just speaking from the heart and posting my thoughts that I'm "thinking out loud" so to speak, so forgive if they are a bit heavy handed or seem obtuse.

I disagree with your point about neutrality not being a stance. It is a stance, look up conscientious objectors. People have a right to choose to be neutral towards a matter, and on the internet, in a forum like this where ideas flow, i think it's kinda a nice thing to have, a neutral ground so to speak, as we are a forum "without borders" or limits to the jurisdiction we can reach ... we host people of all sorts, and as such cultures mix, and people moderating to take a neutral stand, is honorable - to the whole of us as a collective and international SFF community. And as such for their bravery taking a neutral stance, i sincerely commend the staff.

And i also disagree that it's about technicalities, ideas are a very fluid and subjective concept and for them to flow a neutral ground is best i think. This allows the best, most creative, and innovative ideas in SFF to float to the top, and allows the uninspired and unoriginal ones to drown in the depths of the forum pages. I think both sides must be allowed to germinate, let the ones who get fed the most support, live. And the ones who are exposed for shameless behavior, die.
 

Choidebu

SFF Guru
Aug 16, 2017
1,096
1,070
I think a clone reporting button would be great. Every thread that got more than 50 cloning votes will be reviewed by the community over the next 3 weeks. All active votings can be shown in the user profile or a higlighted box. Every voting needs a minimum of 200 participant to be valid. If the majority say clone = true the thread will be deleted and the user be banned for min. 1 month.
Yes... and..

I heard they shutdown the facilities on Kamino.
We can call it Kamino Tribunal!

2- Also, is their an "age" limit or other qualification to vote? What happens when a passionate member, starts creating an army of alts to vote on their stance?
Didn't we already have some badges lying around? (Who gets to decide that, anyway?) I can think of weighted voting system with certain trusted badges have more say in the tribunal voting.

As wonderful an idea it is, as an (ex) software dev I believe there's really no easy way of implementing this in the forum non manually, like you can in for example stack exchange sites. So we are back to the putting more burden on mods to liaise the whole process....
 
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BaK

Master of Cramming
May 17, 2016
411
411
Why not count on the good will of everyone and have a subforum called 'Inspired from...'?
So that the OP can clearly state what project hers/his is derived from.

Obviously, every designer that is going to propose something very similar to another project knows what (s)he is doing.
If (s)he is not or if (s)he is not honest enough to admit it, then a mod should move the thread to this subforum section. That could be a 'way in the middle' between a ban/remove and doing nothing.

And if the OP doesn't agree with such a move, then it's up to her/his to specify what is different in her/his concept in comparision to the 'orginal' idea.
And that would maybe let the possibility for the people who did the original work to agree or not with these being real changes, and then asking or not the mods to close the thread.

I think that could be a way to allow the cloning behaviour, why still clearly showing to the world that it is a clone project. Users will then be free to do what they want with it, i.e buy the product or not.

Just a thought...
 
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Hifihedgehog

Master of Cramming
May 3, 2016
381
357
@Necere Further to your recent comments - I would like to suggest a couple of points of view… and they are primarily rooted in 'respect'. (I have held back until now because this thread has been very heated - but hopefully cooled down a bit now?)

The SFF Forum is a really powerful and in depth resource - in terms of solutions for small format PC, the creativity and quality of knowledge shared by independent designers and builders of all manner of hardware (not just cases)… plus the community willing to freely share insight and advice. Because it is so successful, well-regarded and referenced - I think it has a reputation to protect and could be (has been) hijacked by an unscrupulous individual. (I would like to make a suggestion to help prevent this happening in future - if possible)

Hijacked
I say this because I think the 'SFF Forum' (and I mean the whole community - not just the Moderators) effectively 'validates' an obvious 'clone' by continuing to comment and offer advice to that clone project, when it is clear the 'cloner' intends to carry on regardless and not heed the advice given to modify design etc. Demonstrating a lack of respect for the designer who has been copied and the SFF Forum.

I think the Moderators (the originators of SFF Forum) are incredibly noble and exhibit a genuine passion for creating this forum (thank you - I really look forward to discovering new ideas, pretty much every day) - and I understand that they do not want to limit the 'output' from the community - but that 'fairness and generosity of spirit' is being taken advantage of (imho - sorry).

The mere presence of this clone on the SFF Forum also, by association, infers an undeserved 'approval' of the design.

The thread documenting the 'design' and development of a clone also provides a powerful marketing tool to generate interest and future sales… hence why this individual has been so 'brass-necked' in his behaviour.

I am not an expert in IP - but it does not have to get to the level of 'legal minutiae' to identify a clone - as a community - there is enough knowledge to spot a clone in a heart beat (certainly within a couple of hours!). If a forum member feels a copy (of anything) appears in a thread - that it is brought to the attention of the moderators (pm) and if they believe there is a reasonable likeness to an existing product - a 'forum poll' is created to decide if the thread should be removed? While this is happening the thread in question is 'suspended'. This can all be done very 'calmly' and without the heat that has been generated to date.

By delegating this process of identifying potential clones to the 'forum/community' - I feel it is democratic and to a great extent self-regulating - as a forum should be? This also helps minimise the time required by the Moderators and Contributors to deal with this sort of concern. An extra paragraph would need to be added to the 'Members Terms of Use' stipulating what will happen to obvious 'clone' threads.


@Necere - you also mentioned Patrik (Louqe) - busy as you can imagine sorting out 1st batch of the Ghost… he was on Slack Q&A this afternoon… he is aware of the Ghost/Steck debate - and I quote: "regarding the Nouvolo Steck... What can I say, imitation is the best sort of flattery. Right?"

So he appears fairly 'cool' about it - but I believe we should be vigilant and protect the reputation (and property) of our 'originators' and the SFF Forum.

Don't all shoot me at once : )
This idea has great merit but there needs to be protection for every user who could inadvertently get caught in a downward swirl of mob rule and vigilantism. This means a few checks and balances should be in place to ensure users are informed and fair and are not voting purely out of emotion in the heat of a conflict. In practice, this means that calling for a forum-wide vote on a case design to be removed on the grounds of it being a copy should never be the first step in the policy.

Instead, to promote mutual understanding, dissuade a popularity contest, and uphold innocence until proven guilty, there would be two phases where the first would entail: (1) one or more threads where there is a review and non-binding vote on each design element in question that are accused of being copied; (2) a formal presentation in each of the thread(s) having the two topmost posts with both sides (the defendant and the plaintiff) providing evidence and elaboration on their positions; and (3) any relevant replies from other users with questions, observations, and conclusions based on their interpretation of the facts. This phase would take approximately two days to one week for each design element, dependent on the complexity of each element, where votes are non-binding.

After each design element accused of copying has been individually reviewed and voted on in the first place, then a final phase thread asking for a general vote can be put forward. This would include a topmost post highlighting the summarized results of each thread from the first phase. To ensure full forum participation in this binding vote, this final phase should take no less than one week to conduct the voting. After this general vote has concluded, if the vote is unanimously against them, then the offending defendent and their case will be permanently banned and disallowed from any further forum activity.

So yes, I totally agree we should vote on these things but not without doing so in an informed and logical manner. But we would do well to make sure all we do is completely fact-based and objective, meaning doing everything possible to filter out all envy, hyperbole, and conjecture before coming to a final decision.
 
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Thehack

Shrink Way Wielder
Creator
Bronze Supporter
Mar 6, 2016
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You see here... According to this radii measurement, he used a 5.5mm radius bend. The supposed original uses 6mm bends!

Objectively, these two are nothing alike. Furthermore, the LED is on the top instead of the bottom, separated by 3mm instead of 3.5. The holes are perforated using a stamping process instead of a laser cut process. The holes are an array of 40x150, not 45x160.

As you can see here that the design are objectively and factually different.

But let's get real here. People generally fall into one of two camps, people who honestly believe and care about their craft and want to make something that they can proudly attach their name to, and the other who is looking to make a quick buck of a popular but highly expensive product by producing a cheap look alike.

Let not perfection be the enemy of good. The likely hood of us mistaking one of those two camps for the others is disastrously small.

I'm fine with clones. I'm not fine with clones here.

But I think we're wasting time here. It's been accepted that clones are okay in our forum.
 

Flyingpepper

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jan 8, 2018
107
191
But I think we're wasting time here. It's been accepted that clones are okay in our forum.
Pretty much the conclusion I came to. It’s clear that nothing is going done despite it being insanely clear how obvious a rip off the Steck is. Hopefully other popular cases don’t see the same fate.
 

el01

King of Cable Management
Jun 4, 2018
774
588
After reading through the ensuing chaos, my original points stand firm.

Also, I might as well jump on the "clones on this forum" bandwagon.
I think they're in a grey area. If they are being promoted (and recommended to others), no (on a case by case [no pun intended {oh God this parenthesis nesting}]). If they are simply being used for a build and then showed off, I would say OK.
From now on, I have made the executive decision to embed proprietary systems within my files and my designs to prevent people from successfully taking the product apart and replicating it by adding weak (on purpose) attachment points that require precision to remove and that will break if they are tampered with. Additionally, I will add compact servo motors to designs to shift parts of the design by a proprietary number between 1 and 1000 millimeters every hour, to completely prevent an accurate measurement of part size. Finally, each design will be embedded with a digital and physical tracking device made custom out of proprietary atoms within the air bonding with a laser cut to produce an electronic system capable of tracing location. If a device is shipped within general vicinity of any minor or major industrial district with manufacturing capabilities, servo motors embedded within the box will destroy the design immediately and effectively. Cameras will also be embedded within the box to check a proprietary set of proprietary micro-coded angles in proprietary units on a proprietary location within the design. If those angles are not complete (due to the inferior capabilities of laser cutters compared to proprietary manufacturing), the design will also disassemble.

Oh, and I will have control of a "panic" button that will make all e-lab designs on the planet fire proprietary lasers at proprietary alternating angles from 90 degrees south and the nearest inhabitable galaxy, encoding a message in proprietary Morse code that reads (encrypted under hexadecimal then proprietary codes) "{insert proprietary message"} (most likely "no u").

You know too much now. I guess I'll have to put you under a proprietary trance.

This is a jab at Apple's new anti-repair system and a joke about preventing copying, by the way.

Cheer up, people XD
 

Solo

Master of Cramming
Nov 18, 2017
588
1,001
I forgot to post something. Just one thing.

I used to frequent the keyboard enthusiast forum, Geekhack. One former user in Vietnam became fed up with the exclusivity and high secondary market prices of popular artisan keycaps made by a legendary Geekhacker known as Click Clack. He then went on to mold his own clone keycaps which he then sold on his own website. This caused a massive outrage within the community, but it didn't affect the market for the authentic keycaps because people will always want the original in the end.
 
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Flyingpepper

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jan 8, 2018
107
191
I forgot to post something. Just one thing.

I used to frequent the keyboard enthusiast forum, Geekhack. One former user in Vietnam became fed up with the exclusivity and high secondary market prices of popular artisan keycaps made by a legendary Geekhacker known as Click Clack. He then went on to mold his own clone keycaps which he then sold on his own website. This caused a massive outrage within the community, but it didn't affect the market for the authentic keycaps because people will always want the original in the end.
Ok so then derivative designers should sling their product elsewhere.

Edited to be less harsh.
 
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