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Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Hollowway, Feb 12, 2018.
I'm simply differentiating between making a copy and a forgery. Or do I need to get out the crayons?
My big issue personally is the frauds that are copies down to the logo. I had a friend who traded a "mayones" with someone and was confused why it played like garbage. He had never played one before and just thought the previous owner messed it up.
I took one look at it and realized it was an Ali-express fraud. The cheap hardware being the dead give away. The guy he traded it with claimed he didn't know any better and luckily he got his old guitar back.
I understand the frustration with exact copies, even without the logos though. I get why people would want them if they knew they could never obtain or afford the real thing and didn't care if it was a shit box guitar. To them its the closest they'll ever get.
Not saying I'm for it or would ever buy one but I get the motivation. Where it really crosses a line is when they get resold as the real deal.
Before you start chewing those crayons: draw two circles with the classes of "copied" and "forged" guitars. Question: Do they overlap or not? (10 points for correct answer)
A Don Grosh isn't a forgery, but it is a copy. Same as some of those making LP copies of particular vintages.
Maybe there's a language barrier, but those aren't the same.
Thanks for playing though.
I really wonder what the impetus for making mayones counterfeits were.
that multipeice neck can't be that easy to make compared to a strat or gibson.
If I recall correctly. It was just stained lines when I took a closer look at it. Blended a bit easier since there was a SUPER thick clear coat. SMH
Mayones can top $4k, so when you get into that range you can become a target for counterfeiting.
Nothing is that much harder to make, especially considering the quality of work done. So they have to glue a few more planks, big deal.
A couple of folks around here have been copy/pasting a link that argues against IP preotection rights.
I'd like to point out that article 27b of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says
The link provides no acceptable argument that the product of one's mind is not a product, only that a person ought to be able to do with his or her own property as he or she wishes. That's why building a copy guitar for personal use has not entered into the discussion, yet building guitars for profit has. When a builder copies a design he does not own, it's stealing, simply put, because he is taking something of monetary value and using it for his or her own monetary gain. The link has nothing to counterpoint against that. If anyone would like to disagree and highlight anything of particular use in that link to contribute to the discussion, I'll toss them a like, because, so far, I've only seen the link posted without any further attention drawn to any particular text within it.
And, unless you value the authority of the link higher than you value the authority of the UDHR, then I don't think we've really got anywhere to go, logically, but to assume that IP is in fact something to be protected by law.
You'd be surprised how cheap that stuff can be produced. I ordered two custom made guitars based on my own design from a Chinese manufacturer, because doing these prototypes myself is both more expensive and time consuming. Alder bodies, 5pc maple/ebony necks, ebony fretboards, hardtail, cheap PUs and Wilkinson tuners, one body with binding, hardtail bridges, black satin and blue fade gloss finish w/ matching headstocks. And the guys had to create a CNC program for the body shape first. Price for both: $198. I have to pay around 50 Euros only for a 5-piece neck blank and 60-70 Euros for the body blank...
I'm at work currently so I'm going to be that guy and post without reading the thread, so...sorry if someone else already shared this opinion-
My stance on this is that anything is fair game because capitalism and human vanity.
To expunge on this, I LOVE the Blackmachine headstock. The rest of the guitar, while also incredibly aesthetic, I couldn't really care less about. But that headstock does things to me. So of course, I want one. I want ten. But at BARE MINIMUM 5 figures each, I need a time machine first so that I can go back and pursue a different career because that is SILLY money. "But internet guy," you say, "You don't deserve a Blackmachine then. You aren't entitled to one," is (somewhat) what you said in that NGD thread.
-This is totally true.-
I completely agree with your statement there. I am not entitled to a Blackmachine. But I fail to see why I cannot route a piece of wood into that specific shape.
See, humans put a lot of value into status and prestige. None of you can argue that owning a Blackmachine does not bring a sense of prestige (even you guys that act like you're too cool to care, you do, you know you do). Nobody can argue that owning a PRS Dragon or an old LP Gold top does not bring a sense of prestige. In my opinion, that's what you're buying. You're buying the prestige. The physical object is merely an avenue to it.
Buying a COPY, however, does not bring prestige. Owning a copy actually brings SHAME. I have a copycatmachine build, I put a lot of work, time, and money into it, but I'm still low key embarrassed by it because "lol, its fake tho." Even if nobody is a dick to you about it, you're almost always on some level going to be somewhat ashamed of it. BUT, it's got that headstock. That sweet, sweet headstock. And for now, that's good enough for me. I like to look at guitars that are fun to look at (why else would I lurk this site lol). They make me want to play guitar. I'm not going to pay $3500+import fees to want to play guitar.
They also make me wish I had the real deal though.
Because my jankmachine is fun, it's actually a monster player, but it's fake. It isn't real. When someone asks "what guitar is that?" I can't just say "It's a Blackmachine B6." I have to explain things. That's embarrassing and makes you feel like a scrub. It's fun for me, and me alone; and it makes you wonder 'what if.' Thus, literally the moment the means are available to me, I'm going to try and get a real B6.
I'm willing to concede that this kind of philosophy is somewhat specific, as it doesn't lend itself to every medium, but you get the idea.
A real B2 is baller. A fake B2 is unexciting.
A real diamond for your girl is impressive. A fake diamond for your girl gets you judged.
In both cases, you aren't happy with the imitation until you eventually get the real thing.
Far as it goes, I don’t support Chinese copies, meaning that I wouldn’t buy one.
I don’t give a fuck what other people do with their money; dude in that thread wanted a BM copy, found one, shared it in a NGD and I gave him a like because we celebrate NGDs around here.
Just because I wouldn’t buy one doesn’t mean I get to try and tell other people to think and act exactly the way I would. I’m not perfect and don’t force my opinion on others.
This whole ‘this is IP theft and it offends me morally’ weirds me out. Zombie13 did this whole thing awhile back where he ordered a LPC copy from AE or whoever and documented some work he did to it in the thread and some vids and people dug it and didn’t immediately freak out about IP theft and Gibson’s feelings.
I swear to Christ, it’s like BM is the holy Djent God of guitars around here. Agile builds almost exact copies of every fuckin thing under the sun and no one cares. No one cares about the AE copies of the EVH guitars that are all over the net, either...but show some people a BM clone and you better watch the fuck out because that shit is going 5 pages inside of two days.
I DO find it interesting that when a guy BUILDS a BM copy on here for his own personal use that most people applaud it....granted, we’re applauding his luthier skills but we’re also applauding the fact that he used them to build and copy a guitar most of us dig and no one says shit about the fact that he stole the entire idea from Campbell. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen it come up in one of those threads.
tl;dr copies of popular/unobtanium things are always going to exist...as long as you don’t try and sell me a copy claiming it’s the real thing, you go ahead and do you, man.
I keep pushing the like button but it only lets me like this post once.
Knock offs follow the pornography rule in my opinion: you know it when you see it.
A large part of it, I think, is undercutting the original to make money on someone else's work. When I have $3000 to spend on an expensive strat, if I spend it on a Suhr or Schecter it's because I think they make a better strat than Fender. If I spend $100 on the cheapest off brand I can find, it's because I can't afford a Fender. There's a difference between getting a sale because it looks like what Hendrix played and getting a sale because Fender won't put a wenge neck on a guitar. There's a difference between wanting a cheap facsimile and a reputable alternative.
In the same way, if someone improves on a design or does art to it that's not a knock off. A Blackmachine headstock and a Fly headstock are pretty clearly different to me because they have different goals. A Parker is the least a headstock needs to fulfil it's purpose (a place for tuners) plus a logo, and aside from the cutaway under the strings a Blackmachine headstock looks far more like an Ibanez headstock. If someone made a Les Paul with 24 frets, an OFR, comfort contours and a slicker neck joint before the LP Axcess I wouldn't have a problem with that either.
On the flip side, when Ormsby does the bare minimum in aesthetic tweaks so he has something to point to when people accuse him of plagiarism I don't think that's quite in good faith. I don't think people would take kindly to me releasing an album populated with knockoffs of Animals as Leaders songs, but tuned to 432Hz, titled The Fun of Motion, and not paying royalties because I said it's different.
Then there's stuff like narad's Sakashta tribute, where no amount of money could buy a new one and the person who built the tribute doesn't want his name advertised with it. Any intellectual property ownership related to the design is pretty nebulous, and the builder not taking credit shows a bit of class and respect.
Finally, if you want to build your own Strandberg or Blackmachine or JEM or Frankenstrat clone, go right ahead. Making a business of selling those clones is something else entirely. However, people do spend tens of thousands of dollars to get clones of 59 Les Pauls, because Gibson won't make a quality one. You'll notice people very rarely pay anywhere near the price of a Blackmachine for a clone.
The luxury watch point at the start is stupid. That's not about demand outstripping supply, it's about people not wanting to pay that much. Rolex will make as many watches as they can sell, which is not analogous to Doug making as many guitars as he wants to. The only analogy here is that you want something that looks like a Rolex and something that looks like a Blackmachine, but you can't afford the real deal. Analogously, there are Casios and Ibanezes if you want something functionally identical, but cheaper.
As a totally broke inventor and guitar builder, one would think that I'd be in support of the concept of intellectual property, but I don't believe in the concept at all. All ideas are either based upon someone else's work, or a free gift from the ether.
The patent process only works for those with the resources to defend their patents so it makes the already atrocious wealth gap even worse.
I think that as messed up as market economics is that it does well in pushing innovation. If I design something that's amazing and someone comes out with a cheap copy, I either have to make mine obviously better and market that difference, or I just have to come out with a new and better design. If people are buying the copies and happy with them, the people producing them are just better capitalists than I am and deserve to do better in the market. If they're junk, eventually, the word will get out. The people that fell in love with the look/feature but aren't happy with the quality of the product are now aware that the idea exists and can then search for a higher quality version of it. It's even better marketing for me if they copy the name exactly because once the people find out that they got a sub par product, they already have the search terms they need to find my better product.
Also, I have a book chock full of ideas. If one fails, I can move on to the next one. The guys that only have one good idea and think it's going to be something they can milk year after year seem a bit insecure and lazy to me.
Supporting the patent/IP system makes government necessary. Government empowers psychopaths because they're not scared of cheating man's rule systems. Nature works on survival of the fittest and most adaptable and there are definite, unavoidable consequences for breaking the laws of Nature. If I fall off a cliff, I can't throw money at, or point a gun at, the ground in an attempt to convince it not to hurt me when I fall.
Nothing I create will ever be patented and everything will be released open source, for others to freely use and improve upon. That's how we evolve! If someone takes my ideas, I think that's one of the biggest compliments I can get. If my version of it is higher quality, the right people will recognize that and be loyal customers. If the masses want to buy crappy fakes, it's their money to spend.
I have a complicated relationship with copies/fakes/replicas/etc. I would never purchase a copy/fake version of a guitar, but I do own 2 parts on my car that are considered replicas or fakes by the general enthusiast community. The debate within that crowd is actually very cut and dry; most people that run replica parts get them because they are cheaper, easier to obtain (some are even made in the USA!), and in most cases are just as functional as the real/original part. The low cost and high function is very appealing to people trying to race on a budget since occasionally you crash and shit breaks .
These are my street wheels (now bronze). They are extremely similar the ever popular and timeless Volk TE37s. Now there are slight differences in the face and shape, so are my wheels cheap ($400 vs $4,000) copies or not? Since it's a very simple design can you really claim every 6 spoke wheel is a TE37 copy? I bought them because they're cheap, light, and fit my car. Volk doesn't make wheel of this design that fits my car anyways. Is my decision justified there?
The second part is an exact copy of a carbon fiber roof that's essentially impossible to obtain in the US for my vehicle (Japanese company). I wanted that look so I bought the copy from a company that makes them in CA. My justification here was I'm purchasing a high quality product and supporting a small US business. It functions just as well as the original part at half the cost with no 8 month waiting period at the expense of a slight drop in quality (wet vs dry carbon fiber). As a capitalist and someone that places a lot of value on my time, why should I wait for the other part and pay twice as much?
I struggle with this since I generally agree with @bostjan 's thoughts on IP and copies. It's a very complicated problem that can be painted in a black and white manner in a perfect world, but I think we as a society have gone to far at this point to actually be able to approach it that anymore.
Because exact copies are going to sell more easily than the alternative, frankly. If someone wants a strat copy, it's not that hard to find one at a decent price. But someone with little money to their name will be quick to pull the trigger on one with the fender name on the headstock, even if they do understand that it's merely a copy, and not the real deal. People like to own things as status symbols. These builders know that, they know that brand names sell like a motherfucker. Even if the fakemachine doesn't have the blackmachine logo on it, it's a coveted design amongst the djent crowd and then some. making an exact copy of one is of course going to be more likely to sell than one that goes with a similar aesthetic, but changes some of the details. The main reason people buy these copy guitars is because they're copies. And it would be pretty hard to get communist (or state capitalist these days) China to give a damn about IP, intellectual property is an idea that is laughed at in communism, much like private property.
Yeah, I didn’t think about China being communist, and that being the reason for them not caring about IP laws. That’s a really good point, and I can’t believe that never dawned on me. The people in China have been raised, until very recently, to believe that personal ownership of property doesn’t exist. In the US, with our capitalism, we have largely the opposite upbringing.
Ip law and property aren’t the same thing tho. Unless your property expires.
As long as the design is not 100% the same, i mean the RG is inspired by the stratocaster, the blackmachine was based on the RG and then there is several guitars that are based on the blackmachine but with small design tweaks, like the Ormsby Hype GTR, Skervsen Raptor and so on.
I think it is ok to be "inspired by", because trends are trends and when a company finds something new it is normal all other brands try to adapt it to their product lines.
Then, I don't see the problem with Chinese copies, because they will not destroy or harm at all the custom builders or big companies. I am sorry, but I don't think people who buy a blackmachine are the same who would buy a 200€ replica.
Targets are different and in the end, it is just a matter of what is the coolest and trendy.