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On clones, by genre, a thesis

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by gadgetgeek, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. WillardCorspe

    WillardCorspe Knifemaker, Jeweller Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    655
    May 3, 2012
    OK, there is a lot of back and forth bitterness. I'm going to throw in my two cents as someone who designs and sells jewellery, and as someone who's looking to start selling knives more consistently in much the same way. I'm trying to start a business by designing and making knives for sale alongside my jewellery. I have a decent (for my scale) capacity for output while keeping everything in my shop. I'd like to speak as to my experience with making and selling jewellery, some of my recent experiences with knife making and dealing with intellectual property and design work, which I believe is very relevant to all of this.

    Most of my jewellery making work hasn't been hampered by many problems dealing with design ownership, probably due to the fact that up until recently I only made custom work to order. Typically, I would meet with the client to discuss what kind of piece they'd want (pendant, bracelet, ring, etc), nail down a design, and begin work. Once the piece is completed, it is sent to the customer after the final payment is made. However with work I make in batches and sell later, obviously the overall cost is reduced and I can afford to do a little bit of advertising.

    If I were to find out that someone was copying my designs, custom or not, and producing what would be called "clones" in the knife community... if they kept overall appearance and function, but lacked my maker's mark, I would still be very upset. I rely on selling my designs in order to make a living. What do you think would happen if someone were to reproduce my work, and produced it at a capacity that I could not match, and could sell the work at prices I couldn't afford to sell at? They'd be able to undercut me for what initially appears to be the same product to the end consumer. So while a lot of customers who are already educated as to why custom or otherwise high end jewellery can be the prices they are, have some familiarity with value/cost of materials, or just shop with the reasoning that they don't want to buy anything under a certain dollar value (and there are a decent amount of people like that out there!), there is a far greater percentage of customers who simply want a given design for the lowest price possible. This means that I'm potentially losing out on a lot of business, based on the misuse of my hard work, and this remains true even if the hypothetical reproducers made work at a rate similar to my own.

    I've recently also been on the opposite side of this equation, sadly enough.
    Someone who I was fairly familiar with at that point approached me to do some custom work for them. He wanted a set of knives made, and he sent me a design he wanted resized to better fit his hand, among other adjustments that we agreed upon. He told me that the original designer was a knife enthusiast who drew up a very rough design but never made any, and who had given permission to replicate it. He sent me the design, and I began making some adjustments for fit, altered the blade shape to something I believed was more useful, and then started making the knives. It took a long time because I was still just getting familiar with a new CNC machine, learning the limits of the tooling on steel while going to college at the same time. I thought it was a good deal as the guy wasn't in a hurry, and this afforded me a lot of practice to get the knives right. However, it was only once I was done making the majority of the order that I was made aware of the real origins of the design.

    Turns out, the design was actually part of a series that was produced in limited numbers through a major American manufacturer, whose name I knew, but whose products I was largely unfamiliar with. I may have used the design as a starting point and made various changes which I saw as improvements, but at the end of the day, it wasn't mine to use, nor did it ever belong to the guy who commissioned the work.

    I was furious. I was mislead into making a variant of another designers work, believing that the design was available to use; after all, my modified design contained several key elements whose combination could only really be found in the original knife. I would have sold these knives whose design was hard work done by someone else with my makers mark on them, before I had even made a real name for myself. How would that look if someone were to find out about the design origin? I'd be known as a thief, and I would have no real defense. One of my first knives sold, and it'd be an unethical rip-off.

    Beyond that, I view this as a question of respect, both for myself and the other maker/designer. I respect other makers out there enough to at the very least not outright copy their design barring a few changes. I respect myself enough to try to take inspiration from other makers, to be sure, but to do my own legwork. To design and produce knives I can stand behind with a clear conscience, that clearly show my designs and ideas as a knife maker.

    EDIT: lost my conclusion.

    At the end of it all, I view the production of clones, "Jango Fetts" or whatever else you want to call them, largely a negative thing in the knife community. I do not believe that I would be doing the right thing, were I to reproduce another's work that didn't belong to the public domain, and for me it does boil down to a question of respect for fellow makers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
    Wilsonhome, palonej and Armadew like this.
  2. PURPLEDC

    PURPLEDC Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Well i wasnt going to respond again but given the subject matter i feel it warrants a response. I would not look at that as a post defending clones. But rather a knee jerk reaction to a comment i found insulting. I will admit to it being a derailing comment and for that I apologize. But just as many take the word "clone" hear seriously i too have a short list of trigger words. And while I havent been raped I do have reasons for why that subject has more meaning to than most. And again I apologize yet again but I feel one subject is a whole lot more serious than the other. And yes I also dont like the term "yellow people".

    As for the rest of it, my opinion all things clone is all ready written. Ive said it all before at some point and much of it in this thread. But without going through the boring verbose details I simply dont think like you do. I dont speak for other people. But I truly dont see the world like others see it and how things should work. I know that the majority dont agree. And it may make me look like any number of things to any number of people. That is fine with me. Im only being honest through the way my eyes see things. And fortunately for me my opinion doesnt need to be a majority vote. But im not the type to get into it deeper than that. Im not trying to have an attitude in any way. Thats just my position.
     
  3. Balls Deep

    Balls Deep

    315
    Jan 2, 2014
    I recognize that you probably don't feel comfortable naming the knife or brand but I fee there could be some gray in your example. Take the rat 1 or 2, or any utility folder. MANY look the same. To take those designs and improve upon them doesn't seem so much like cloning because they're very basic designs. Also in your example you discussed receiving a rough sketch, which seems apart from cloning. If it was very distinctive I could see the difference but the example as is doesn't feel like cloning to me.
     
  4. WillardCorspe

    WillardCorspe Knifemaker, Jeweller Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    655
    May 3, 2012
    I realize it's likely annoying to not know which knife model I'm talking about, but the knife designs are really extremely similar, and the one in question is quite the oddball design to begin with. At the moment, there are few designs that are quite similar.

    Just in case the guy frequents the forums, I wanted to avoid it, but whatever. He shouldn't have done what he did, and I ended up scrapping the knives anyway. Although I still won't type the name of the knife out (mostly to avoid him finding this by searching the name of the knife, no need for that drama here), here's the knife in question.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  5. trevitrace

    trevitrace Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    M. Stewart makes a scandi-ground karambit nessmuk?!?
     
    WillardCorspe likes this.
  6. WillardCorspe

    WillardCorspe Knifemaker, Jeweller Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    655
    May 3, 2012
    Yeah, like I said, oddball design!
     
  7. sabre cat

    sabre cat

    Jul 4, 2014
    It's interesting that you were only person that had the courage to respond and were polite enough to do so. Thank you. I'll tip my hat in your direction.

    Like you, I like to share the excitement of a new knife. And, I have to agree with you about the feelings someone gets from an legit, authorized copy. My CRKT Prowler is only AUS 6 steel but, it's an authorized. It's also over 15 years old and still brings a smile to my face. I wonder if I could say that if it was fake.

    BTW, your statement above is probably the best comment I have ever seen concerning clones, copies, or counterfeits. Pro or con. You should make it part of your signature line.:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
    PURPLEDC likes this.
  8. gadgetgeek

    gadgetgeek

    May 19, 2007
    And it only takes that long for the whole mess to come apart. Of course some are only here to try and justify their actions, and those who are arguing against a phantom.

    I have not read the whole thing, but I did see some more telling arguments.

    Anyway, I feel comfortable going on the record that any knife that can trace its design to a single designer/company/collaboration deserves to be protected by the community for use by that creator. Just wanted to make that clear in case along the way my thoughts got twisted or misused. Also sorry for the bad starwars joke.
     
  9. Balls Deep

    Balls Deep

    315
    Jan 2, 2014
    My concern is that with some designs I've seen I feel that some are too quick to call "clone". I may be a total noob but some designs I've seen referred to as clones, I just don't see it. That's the part that I think can hurt innovation. It's like callling someone a racist or sexist who just disagrees with an opinion and it can really shut down conversations.

    The example that WillardCorpse provided though I feel is a really great example of a very specific signature that I would consider a copy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  10. Danke42

    Danke42

    Feb 10, 2015
    Don't you mean sabre?
     
  11. trevitrace

    trevitrace Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Didn't appear to have a secondary bevel on my phone's screen so it'd be scandi, wouldn't it?
     
  12. Danke42

    Danke42

    Feb 10, 2015
    Clone phone?
     
  13. trevitrace

    trevitrace Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    There are no brand insignias on it, so doubtful.
     
  14. Danke42

    Danke42

    Feb 10, 2015
    Spoiler Alert!
    It has a secondary bevel.The knife, not your phone; stop looking at it funny.
     
  15. trevitrace

    trevitrace Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Whatevs.


    :D
     
  16. Danke42

    Danke42

    Feb 10, 2015


    XD
     
  17. anthony2

    anthony2

    1
    Sep 11, 2017
    It is strange that you guys use the term "Jango Fetts" to represent a certain category of cloned knife. Jango Fett was the original - he was not a clone. I guess "clone troopers" doesn't have the same ring to it.
     
  18. Armadew

    Armadew Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 22, 2006
    It's BAAAaaaack
     
  19. Ganzofan

    Ganzofan Gold Member Gold Member

    159
    Nov 5, 2016
    It's a free country, I don't let other people's moral compass dictate my purchasing behavior. Nor do I feel the need to subjugate other people to my point of view.

    Basically I buy what I please and I don't care about the peer pressure from others nor do I force my belief on others. To do so otherwise is very unamerican.
     
    katanas likes this.
  20. trevitrace

    trevitrace Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Oh, Carol Anne.
     

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