Turning Over a New Leaf - Is It Possible?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by OrangeBlueOrangeBlue, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary

    Jan 12, 2013
    I think the question is flawed. In China, they aren’t breaking the law. I don’t think they’re trying to “go legit” as much as they are expanding their product line using the materials and machining equipment they already have.

    They’re not concerned with anything but selling products to people. Other companies do this too, like Ganzo, Eafengrow, Twosun, etc. Despite all the youtube praise about Ganzo’s new D2 bearing flipper being a great move towards “original design”, one of their very next releases borrowed the style and form of another Chinese company’s knife (Ganzo FH21 vs. Fat Dragon “Dead Silence”)

    Besides, there is no “going legit” in the business world since they operate for profit... and profit is made by taking the time and effort of others and selling it for more than they paid... kinda like copying designs. All business is theft, but Chinese laws allow that to extend to intellectual property.

    I don’t really have a point here, TBH. Fun fact: you can’t get back the time you spent reading this. So, in keeping with the topic at hand, I just stole some time from your life.
    filedog, willc and Pharmagator like this.
  2. slyraven


    Feb 19, 2019
    They are a scourge on society as a whole...I can forgive and forget but they will need to spend the next few years proving it
  3. specgrade

    specgrade Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Momma told me anything's possible.
  4. bobobama

    bobobama Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 15, 2017
    This is a very good point. They may be breaking our laws and going against our moral codes (and intellectual property rights) but they're just doing what is perfectly acceptable and legal in their country. We look at them as evil for doing so, but their intentions aren't evil, as they see it they're just out for the profit and it's business as usual. And that's the American way right (to run a business and make a profit). Just because their standards are different, do we have to hold them to our standards? If you don't like what they're doing, don't buy from them.

    Furthermore, how many people are buying the so-called "legitimate" Chinese brands, when in all probability that same company may have been, or may continue to be, heavily involved in the making of clones? Is it OK to buy their legitimate wares but then snub our noses and castigate them for their cloning activities?

    Just some food for thought.
    willc likes this.
  5. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    They aren't making knives to be used in their own country as locking folders are illegal I believe.
  6. NorthernSouthpaw


    Feb 27, 2014
    It's not like they are clueless as to what is acceptable in the US. They just don't care. And apparently neither do we. Since we allow them to sell here. This is a much larger issue that goes way beyond knives, and is a rabbit hole NOBODY wants to go down in this forum.
    A.L. and danbot like this.
  7. ronnie hood

    ronnie hood

    Mar 12, 2018
    I don’t believe they should be afforded the opportunity
  8. Cosmodragoon


    Jan 1, 2019
    Intellectual property rights in the global marketplace may be a more complicated issue than some of us are willing to grant. Is it wrong for a company to copy design elements from a foreign product within the scope of their own laws? Is it wrong for them to sell it in their own country? Would it matter if the foreign product was not available to compete there in the first place? What if one country's government had an embargo on the other?

    On the other hand, I have a big problem with outright counterfeiting. Don't make something that looks like Brand X and says Brand X on the label if it isn't Brand X. I also have a problem with companies who lie about their products, such as claiming that 3Cr13Mov is Elmax.
  9. T.L.E. Sharp

    T.L.E. Sharp I support the 3rd amendment! Platinum Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    To play devil's advocate: Yes, they can be redeemed... but they'll have to do something that I've never seen a company do...

    Going "legit" is not enough. Simply producing their original designs doesn't make up for the prior theft. They'd have to actually settle up with those they ripped off.

    If they took the proactive step of paying the companies and individuals that they stole from and then started transparently manufacturing all original products I could see redemption, but that would be the only way.
  10. T.L.E. Sharp

    T.L.E. Sharp I support the 3rd amendment! Platinum Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    "Legal" and "right" aren't always the same thing. Just because it's legal somewhere to rip off a design doesn't make it ok. It's also legal to stone people to death for being gay in some places...
    craytab likes this.
  11. Cosmodragoon


    Jan 1, 2019
    It is certainly true that "right" and "legal" are not always the same thing. History is replete with horrific examples and even now, I'm sure there are people here who have had unfortunate experiences with laws or the legal system. This argument actually enforces the point I was making. We are talking about patents and intellectual property laws after all.

    I came right out and said that I'm not okay with straight-up counterfeiting. I was only trying to make the point that intellectual property rights in the global economy are more complicated than a lot of us are willing to grant. I offered several examples in the context of borrowing design elements (as opposed to outright counterfeiting). To take it a step further, would it have been morally wrong if a US company copied a Soviet design during the Cold War? Are all the "clones" of CZ pistols out there, perhaps in some of our EDC rotations, morally wrong?

    Again, all I'm saying is that this issue isn't always black and white. Sometimes it is. (You can find plenty of example for sale on Ali Express.) Sometimes it isn't.
    willc likes this.
  12. Sigsog226

    Sigsog226 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2013
    I agree with T.L.E., they would have to make it right with the companies they stole from for starters. But i would say they would have to give a little more then that even.
    If i robbed to make money to start a business then payed it back, there would need to be a sincere apology and some actions to back that apology up before i think people would trust me enough to let me play part of their society again as an equal.
    T.L.E. Sharp likes this.
  13. T.L.E. Sharp

    T.L.E. Sharp I support the 3rd amendment! Platinum Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    No, it's black and white. Leaving the butterfly off of a 940 design makes it a clone rather than a counterfeit, but they're both in the wrong.

    IP law has nothing to do with what's morally wrong. Yes, all the CZ clones are wrong. Yes, it's wrong for a US company to copy a Soviet design. Anything sold for profit should be an original product.

    The only plausible exception is something so generic, so devoid of feature that it can't reasonably be claimed as IP. A basic axe or chef's knife for example; or a flathead screwdriver. It would be difficult to claim IP on something as simple as these items. Until you add something unique to them like a bolt on head, patterned damascus or a Kraftform handle.
    Mo2 likes this.
  14. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary

    Jan 12, 2013
    Morality is immaterial in business. If your goal is to make a profit, your best bet is to do whatever you know how to do that is both legal and profitable.

    It’s not ethical business practice to us, but ethics are inherently subjective and not even particularly consistent to any individual. I own a Yeti, and also two different knockoff Yeti cups because Yeti charges $50 for a goddamn cup, and both Wal-Mart and other brands can (and do) produce essentially the same product and sell it for $20. The difference is so minimal that you legitimately have to look at the bottom of the cup to determine which one is a Yeti and which is a clone.

    This brings up the question of which is more important; the creator of the product, or those that take the idea and turn it into something more people deem worth purchasing?

    Personally, I only get annoyed by clones that are dishonest. If you say M390 but it’s actually 8Cr13MoV, then you’re lying. If you use the same logo as the company you’re aping, you’re potentially harming their business. That said, if you’re essentially just making a copy of their product but using your own brand name... that’s just the Wal-Mart Great Value strategy.

    That’s right - if you feel fine buying a Great Value (or equivalent) version of a clearly iconic product, you have 0 room to slam any clone brand that doesn’t use the original IP’s branding. Wal-Mart markets their “great value” 1:1 clones side-by-side against Campbell’s Chunky soup line. Does that offend you? Would you still buy the offbrand soup if it was half the price and the same quality?

    Broadly speaking, nobody buying a $50 clone of a $200 knife thinks they are getting the genuine article - they just want an approximation that they feel comfortable spending the money on. They want the Great Value version.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  15. danbot

    danbot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    IP theft is illegal, even in China. China simply doesn't care to enforce it on foreign designed products. Ever seen a clone of an original WE design? How about all those Huawei phone clones flooding the African markets?

    People don't "deem them worth purchasing", people are cheap and will feel they got a great deal on something that is "the very same" as the more expensive original.

    All clones are dishonest.

    Who says it's the "same" quality?

    I want the genuine article. ;)
    Mo2 likes this.

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