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LEGO fight Against Chinese counterfeit LEGO

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Comments

  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,569
    I understand that LEGO might have a rough road with suing LEPIN due to expired copyright on some bricks - I did not know about the Coko case, which makes it sound like LEGO would come out on top if they decided to sue.

    What really surprises me is that Disney has not come after them for the Star Wars IP that is being infringed. LEPIN may not be big enough for LEGO to feel it is worth their effort, but Disney has sent cease-and-desist letters to much smaller targets (like mom-and-pop bakeries making cakes with Disnet character themes), so it would seem that LEPIN would be a perfect target for their legal team.
    stluxcatwrangler
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,062
    ^ 'Space Wars' is totally different from 'Star Wars'.

    No way anyone could confuse the two...


  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    SumoLego said:
    ^ 'Space Wars' is totally different from 'Star Wars'.

    No way anyone could confuse the two...
    Of course not. There's no "LEGO" logo on the studs on their box.

    It must take them an awful lot longer to scrutinise TLG's artwork, removing such things, than it would to produce their own.
  • EdmicEdmic ZürichMember Posts: 102
    TigerMoth said:
    SumoLego said:
    ^ 'Space Wars' is totally different from 'Star Wars'.

    No way anyone could confuse the two...
    Of course not. There's no "LEGO" logo on the studs on their box.

    It must take them an awful lot longer to scrutinise TLG's artwork, removing such things, than it would to produce their own.
    Few minutes for an experienced photoshop artist. Also they if wanted don't need to strip all the text out and recreate the background in the picture, the blank originals are on the web, so just to copy/paste a square and the text is gone in the picture, the logo takes like 5 minutes to make and can just be copy/pasted on every new box.

  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Edmic said:
    TigerMoth said:
    SumoLego said:
    ^ 'Space Wars' is totally different from 'Star Wars'.

    No way anyone could confuse the two...
    Of course not. There's no "LEGO" logo on the studs on their box.

    It must take them an awful lot longer to scrutinise TLG's artwork, removing such things, than it would to produce their own.
    Few minutes for an experienced photoshop artist.
    They've got to find them first. It's hard to tell but I think they've also removed the moulding IDs.
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,742
    SumoLego said:
    ^ 'Space Wars' is totally different from 'Star Wars'.

    No way anyone could confuse the two...


    I'm sorry, but I prefer "Star Wart."
  • EdmicEdmic ZürichMember Posts: 102
    TigerMoth said:
    Edmic said:
    TigerMoth said:
    SumoLego said:
    ^ 'Space Wars' is totally different from 'Star Wars'.

    No way anyone could confuse the two...
    Of course not. There's no "LEGO" logo on the studs on their box.

    It must take them an awful lot longer to scrutinise TLG's artwork, removing such things, than it would to produce their own.
    Few minutes for an experienced photoshop artist.
    They've got to find them first. It's hard to tell but I think they've also removed the moulding IDs.
    Still a piece of cake for a photoshopper. And even if someone would spend 3 hours on the box, that's going to cost a maximum of like 30,- in China.
    pharmjod
  • ricecakericecake Maryland, USAMember Posts: 879
    SumoLego said:
    ^ 'Space Wars' is totally different from 'Star Wars'.

    No way anyone could confuse the two...


    I'm sorry, but I prefer "Star Wart."
    My favorite was "STAR WNRS". Star Winners‽
    pharmjod
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Edmic said:

    Still a piece of cake for a photoshopper.
    I know that the process is trivial. The point is that somebody has gone to a lot of effort to identify things (and that isn't trivial) that it might be prudent to remove when it would be a whole lot simpler to take a new photograph.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,062
    SumoLego said:
    ^ 'Space Wars' is totally different from 'Star Wars'.
    I'm sorry, but I prefer "Star Wart."
    I suppose 'Space Wart' would be an unstoppable rival to Lego...
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,409
  • nhyonenhyone Member Posts: 145
    The copycat Green Grocer is out. :-O I'm amazed at the speed these sets are released. One a month?

    I don't think Brickset has shied from discussing bootlegs. I saw an article dated from 2013 on it. At that time, bootlegs were still mostly of questionable quality. They have caught up quick.
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 797
    Thanks for that @Pitfall69. I think we're all now counting down the days until a new page starts.
    bendybadgerBricklover18SumoLegoAllBrickricecakePitfall69catwranglerOmastar
  • zorzoszorzos CyprusMember Posts: 26
    It's been a really long time since I've been here but this conversation got my attention. While I have gotten some sets by Ausini and Banbao (only for research purposes, I wanted to see how the quality compares to Lego), I do consider myself to be a purist - for my collection I won't settle for anything else than actual Lego. 

    If we put aside the legal aspect of the issue, I think it comes down to whether someone is a Lego fan or a building block fan in general.

    But yes, I do agree that since there is a legal issue then that alone should be reason enough to be against counterfeit brands.

    (and those Ausini 'minifig' faces gave me nightmares, really painful to look at!)
  • bendybadgerbendybadger 127.0.0.1 ::1Member Posts: 1,141
    I never buy anything except Lego. You know the quality and pay the price for it.  

    Another post closer to the to the next page. Thanks @Pitfall69. Put me right off my soup ;)
    SumoLegoAllBrickcatwrangler
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,062
    Thanks for that @Pitfall69. I think we're all now counting down the days until a new page starts.
    This ranks up there with the leather man-suit.  And how do I know that wart is in/from space?

    (One more post closer to the next page.)
    AllBrickcatwrangler
  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,419
    I'll start to be impressed when I see that The Lepin Movie is being made.


    MattDawsonPitfall69pharmjodBricklover18catwranglerOmastar
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 2,780
    That picture reminds me of the Red Spot on Mars. Very evocative!

    One more post closer - at least it wasn't a wart on top of a cyst that had been frozen and then a blood vessel burst underneath. That's what I had to deal with back in my late teens. It stank.
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,742
    AllBrick said:
    I posted this right at the start of the thread and I feel it needs bringing to attention again. China doesn't care very much at all......

    Is it just me, or is everything funnier when explained by a Brit?
    AllBrick
  • Legopassion8Legopassion8 North CarolinaMember Posts: 1,181
    edited July 2016
    ^i want a MINIon. 
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,062
    AllBrick said:
    I'll start to be impressed when I see that The Lepin Movie is being made.

    Starring Ermitt Lepinkowski, voiced by Pliss Cratt.  Featuring Space Wart characters Hans Olo, Red-Haired General, and Rear Admiral Vaguely Annoying.

    The 'Man Upstairs' will be played by Colin Farrell.  The film will be a bit darker... and involve the gritty underworld of clandestine faux-Lego manufacuting.
    Pitfall69zorzosAllBrickSprinkleOtterOmastar
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,939
    SumoLepin has spoken.
    MattDawsonAllBrickSprinkleOtterSumoLego
  • fleuryfleury Member Posts: 10


    And you bricklinking a set has nothing to do with a company on large scale copying a design from another company.

    I don't mean me assembling one copy of a set. I mean someone BrickLinking many copies of an official set and selling them. The Bat-Pod, for instance. If the specific assembly of parts into that set is copyrightable, then would it not be an infringement to buy all the parts from other sets and sell bunches of Bat Pods?


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,882
    fleury said:


    And you bricklinking a set has nothing to do with a company on large scale copying a design from another company.

    I don't mean me assembling one copy of a set. I mean someone BrickLinking many copies of an official set and selling them. The Bat-Pod, for instance. If the specific assembly of parts into that set is copyrightable, then would it not be an infringement to buy all the parts from other sets and sell bunches of Bat Pods?


    I don't think so, as they'd just be selling a collection of parts that can be made into something. They are not selling the instructions or other copyright information.
  • eggsheneggshen Middleton, WIMember Posts: 565
    fleury said:


    And you bricklinking a set has nothing to do with a company on large scale copying a design from another company.

    I don't mean me assembling one copy of a set. I mean someone BrickLinking many copies of an official set and selling them. The Bat-Pod, for instance. If the specific assembly of parts into that set is copyrightable, then would it not be an infringement to buy all the parts from other sets and sell bunches of Bat Pods?


    I feel that these are two different things. The Bricklinkers are purchasing official LEGO pieces and what you are paying for is both the pieces and the labor of purchasing/gathering the pieces. Some people try to pass off bricklinked sets as actual sets (those are the 'no box, no instructions' listings on ebay) but most people are pretty upfront with that info. You are paying to avoid the hassle of bricklinking the set yourself.

    The copycat companies set up their own manufacturing for pieces. They copy art work from the boxes of sets. They use logos/images to cause brand confusion. That is entirely different in my mind.
    MattDawsonpreverecatwrangler
  • eggsheneggshen Middleton, WIMember Posts: 565
    So we now have the #71040 Disney Castle images, any bets on how long until a copy from LEPIN hits aliexpress?
    pharmjod
  • zorzoszorzos CyprusMember Posts: 26
    eggshen said:
    So we now have the #71040 Disney Castle images, any bets on how long until a copy from LEPIN hits aliexpress?
    It'll be extremely interesting to see how long it takes them.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    eggshen said:

    The Bricklinkers are purchasing official LEGO...

    ...Some people try to pass off bricklinked sets as actual sets
    I wonder how long it's going to be before we see people trying to do much the same but where the rare pieces have come, not from TLG, but from a clone manufacturer.
    The copycat companies set up their own manufacturing for pieces.
    A lot of the time, that's legal.

    Then you're going to get the situation where are an older LEGO piece can be copied legitimately (without even needing to consider Clarkson's Chinese X5 comment), but in the rare colour needed for one of the high-value sets - and you might not even be able to tell the difference because not everything carries a logo.

    Those precious sets you've got stored in that temperature controlled vault under the garage might not be worth much more than the box and the manual...
    pharmjod
  • fleuryfleury Member Posts: 10
    CCC said:
    fleury said:
    I don't mean me assembling one copy of a set. I mean someone BrickLinking many copies of an official set and selling them. The Bat-Pod, for instance. If the specific assembly of parts into that set is copyrightable, then would it not be an infringement to buy all the parts from other sets and sell bunches of Bat Pods?


    I don't think so, as they'd just be selling a collection of parts that can be made into something. They are not selling the instructions or other copyright information.
    I don't think those clone sets make copies of actual Lego instructions, right? What some have said is that the SET (presumably the organisation of parts into a specific pattern) is copyrighted. Maybe it is. But if so, then BrickLinking a set would seemingly be an infringement.

  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    fleury said:

    (presumably the organisation of parts into a specific pattern) is copyrighted.
    Maybe you meant something different, but if somebody isn't allowed to "organise parts into a specific pattern", then TLG haven't got a business because we wouldn't be able to build any set.

    Nor do I think you could stop somebody selling a collection of pieces - and as I said, how many "spares" would you have to add (or omit from the original spare) before it became different.

    Instructions? It shouldn't be too difficult to produce an alternative set. A danger is that they may chose to use TLG's PDFs - in which case they're likely to cease being available online

    TLG have fought always to protect the bricks - without which a competitor is a bit limited. I don't think they have many other options, except to protect artwork. They've had lots of practice, too - there were half a dozen clones around in the 50s - so it's likely that they've pursued anything they reasonably could.
    catwrangler
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,882
    fleury said:
    CCC said:
    fleury said:
    I don't mean me assembling one copy of a set. I mean someone BrickLinking many copies of an official set and selling them. The Bat-Pod, for instance. If the specific assembly of parts into that set is copyrightable, then would it not be an infringement to buy all the parts from other sets and sell bunches of Bat Pods?


    I don't think so, as they'd just be selling a collection of parts that can be made into something. They are not selling the instructions or other copyright information.
    I don't think those clone sets make copies of actual Lego instructions, right? What some have said is that the SET (presumably the organisation of parts into a specific pattern) is copyrighted. Maybe it is. But if so, then BrickLinking a set would seemingly be an infringement.

    They are not selling a set though, they are selling a collection of parts. Bricklinking the parts to a set and selling them is not the same as selling a set. But even so, how can bricklinking a set (including the box and instructions) be an infringement? It is just selling genuine LEGO parts, which lego has already sold. If selling a bricklinked set was an infringement, then so would selling a genuine set purchased from LEGO, as it is the same thing. A genuine 2x1 brick is a genuine 2x1 brick, whether it originally came with the Bat-pod, or with some other set.
    xwingpilotprevere
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 919
    Interesting debate. 

    If someone bought the original Lego printed instructions booklet from ebay and proceed to accumulate non-Lego bricks to build the model, is the action illegal in the eyes of a diehard AFOL? 

    If a person is selling a kit (set of non-Lego bricks) and expects you to get the original Lego instructions from elsewhere or download from lego.com, is it illegal? 

    As to people selling a used Lego model and claiming it to be from the original set, he could have built the Lego set and threw away the instructions/box while another person BL all the Lego parts and separately acquired the instructions booklet and box. How can you tell which is lying? And do you even care given both are of genuine Lego bricks? 

    Where do you draw the line? 
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,742

    As to people selling a used Lego model and claiming it to be from the original set, he could have built the Lego set and threw away the instructions/box while another person BL all the Lego parts and separately acquired the instructions booklet and box. How can you tell which is lying? And do you even care given both are of genuine Lego bricks? 

    Where do you draw the line? 
    And this brings us back to that ancient Greek dude's ship paradox. If you take all the parts off a ship and replace them with identical parts, is it still the same ship? ANd what if you use said parts to build a new ship. Is that the original ship?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,409
    Recce said:
    Interesting debate. 

    If someone bought the original Lego printed instructions booklet from ebay and proceed to accumulate non-Lego bricks to build the model, is the action illegal in the eyes of a diehard AFOL? 

    If a person is selling a kit (set of non-Lego bricks) and expects you to get the original Lego instructions from elsewhere or download from lego.com, is it illegal? 

    As to people selling a used Lego model and claiming it to be from the original set, he could have built the Lego set and threw away the instructions/box while another person BL all the Lego parts and separately acquired the instructions booklet and box. How can you tell which is lying? And do you even care given both are of genuine Lego bricks? 

    Where do you draw the line? 
    I am sure there have been many people that have gotten instructions from other building block brands and built the model with Lego Bricks. Is that illegal? To each his own, but people wanting to have Military, G.I. Joe, Halo and Star Trek Lego sets are out of luck, so that's the alternative I imagine.

    Lot's of Lego instructions are available for download. It is TLG's intention that you use these instructions to build sets made with real Lego bricks, but I am sure that is not always the case. Frowned upon? Yes. Illegal? That's another thing.

    ...And there it it is. My favorite discussion. Do you "own" the set if you "Bricklinked" it? I cannot get into this again :) I am sure is is a bit of a gray area for some, but I imagine if all the parts are the correct parts one might not seem to care.
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
    What if the Chinese made an identical copy of the Brickset website and you are reading it right now without realizing it.  Would that be illegal?
    catwrangler
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,409
    ^You know when are leaning back in your chair and you back a bit too far and start to fall, but then you catch yourself? I feel like that right now ;)
    pharmjodMattDawsoncatwranglerOmastar
  • nhyonenhyone Member Posts: 145
    edited July 2016
    zorzos said:
    eggshen said:
    So we now have the #71040 Disney Castle images, any bets on how long until a copy from LEPIN hits aliexpress?
    It'll be extremely interesting to see how long it takes them.
    Based on Brick Bank and GBHQ, 3-6 months?

    I was going to say that copying this set will paint a red bull's-eye from Walt Disney Co, which (i) is very touchy about their IP, (ii) has been granted special trademark protection from the China Government.

    But then the copycats have been releasing Space Wars / Star Warts , so who knows?

    I can think of two more obstacles:

    1. If this set is as large as GBHQ, it would cost a lot to ship. (Might cost the same or more!)
    2. Sellers may not sell internationally. (Some sellers already do this.)
  • EdmicEdmic ZürichMember Posts: 102
    1. Given that China is putting of a lot of subsidy into shipping costs to promote export, shipping costs for this should be limited to $16,-
    2. There's always a seller willing to ship internationally.

    I guess that in a couple of months this set will be cloned and you can order it for $120,- including shipment, which depending on where you live might give an extra 20% up to 40% for importhandeling costs. I think lego is already happy that the market is still relatively small scale. Imagine the money one could make by importing a full 36ft container with Lepin, bargain a much lower price and sell in facebook groups like you see happening with other very populair goods.

    Besides the actions Lego might be taking, i also wonder what bordercheckpoints might consider this to be illegal regardless of the actions Lego itself might undertake.
  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 1,002
    nice-o weapins fi ma cmf-mocs

    pretty satisfied with the minifig displays.


    also:
    batman capes
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,874
    CCC said:
    Pitfall69 said:
    You have to put yourself in a designer/inventors/innovator's shoes. Every single one of us would be angry if someone blatantly stole our IP and were profiting on it.
    That's true. But complicated slightly in that the modular fakes are old IP, ones that lego are no longer selling themselves. Does a fake FB really harm lego, considering that they are no longer selling them? It might take away a little money that might have been spent on lego either directly or indirectly through the secondary market, although that is not necessarily true or easy to prove. Would it divert enough money that it makes it worthwhile for lego to go after them? I doubt it. The fake company will just shut down and restart under a new name.
    If these companies were only reproducing retired LEGO sets it might be difficult to demonstrate harm being done to the LEGO Group in terms of sales. But seeing as they also reproduce current sets, buying reproductions of retired sets from them could be seen as supporting their ability to continue making counterfeit versions of current sets.

    There is also other forms of harm being done. One of the big problems with clone brands and counterfeits alike, as hard as it might be for us AFOLs to believe, is people buying them thinking they're real LEGO products. Even if they have a totally different logo on them, a person who's less in the know about the building toys market might think all building blocks are LEGO and that "Mega Bloks" or "Oxford" or "Decool" or "Lepin" are just sub-brands.

    "Hello, Customer Service? I bought this BELA Ninja Thunder Swordsman set and some of the pieces were deformed or missing." "I'm sorry sir, we don't make that." "What? Yes you do. It's from your budget brand." "No, I'm sorry, sir, we don't HAVE a budget brand." "Well then why does it look the same as in your catalogs?" And so forth. LEGO Customer Service calls like this can cost the company a lot of money regardless of the outcome, but furthermore, the customer will still likely be dissatisfied even if they do eventually come to an understanding that it was their mistake buying a counterfeit product, because they'll still be stuck with a defective counterfeit product rather than a real LEGO set. And that's assuming the customer even goes the extra mile to call LEGO instead of just assuming that LEGO quality control is abysmal and opting to no longer buy LEGO sets.
    dougtscatwrangler
  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Felixstowe Member Posts: 1,503
    Aanchir said:
    "Hello, Customer Service? I bought this BELA Ninja Thunder Swordsman set and some of the pieces were deformed or missing." "I'm sorry sir, we don't make that." "What? Yes you do. It's from your budget brand." "No, I'm sorry, sir, we don't HAVE a budget brand." "Well then why does it look the same as in your catalogs?" And so forth. LEGO Customer Service calls like this can cost the company a lot of money regardless of the outcome, but furthermore, the customer will still likely be dissatisfied even if they do eventually come to an understanding that it was their mistake buying a counterfeit product, because they'll still be stuck with a defective counterfeit product rather than a real LEGO set. And that's assuming the customer even goes the extra mile to call LEGO instead of just assuming that LEGO quality control is abysmal and opting to no longer buy LEGO sets.
    That reminds me so much of my retail days.  "This is broken and I want my money back", "Sorry sir, that's not one of our products", "I bought it in your other shop in town" "we don't have another shop in town" and so on and so forth.  I used to work for Argos (which for non Brits is a catalogue store) and Ipswich also used to have a branch of Index offering the same sort of thing.  "No look, it has Index and their address on the receipt", "but you're the same company aren't you?"...
    Aanchircatwrangler
  • legobodlegobod CA USAMember Posts: 272
    ^ I used to work at a pawnbrokers with another pawnbrokers next door, used to happen all the time
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Aanchir said:

     might think all building blocks are LEGO
    What is anybody supposed to do about that? Do the same people think that all cars are Fords? I'll grant you that they probably think all computers are made by Microsoft, but that's just something a business has to handle. Perhaps it's just better to avoid customers that are that dumb.

    The real damage to TLG is that there will be people who buy a clone because the original is highly desired but has been retired - and then subsequently choose to buy other sets because their experience and opinion regarding any difference in quality doesn't just the difference in price.

    Do clone cheese wedges crack?
    pharmjodSumoLego
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,742

    Do clone cheese wedges crack?
    Probably as often. The real question, though, is whether or not a stiff breeze will liberate them from the part under them...
  • eggsheneggshen Middleton, WIMember Posts: 565
    TigerMoth said:
    Aanchir said:

     might think all building blocks are LEGO
    What is anybody supposed to do about that? Do the same people think that all cars are Fords? I'll grant you that they probably think all computers are made by Microsoft, but that's just something a business has to handle. Perhaps it's just better to avoid customers that are that dumb.

    Back to that brand confusion thing we talked about before. I don't think we are talking about Megablox here, where someone would think some Transformers building set is LEGO brand. We are talking about LEPIN who has the same box artwork as LEGO and who also has a big logo in capital letters that starts with the latin letter "L" in a big red box in the upper left corner of the box. Bela does the same thing (uppercase logo inside a red box in the upper left corner of the packaging). SY also does it.

    I could imagine in a market that has limited access to information about LEGO brands that there could be a lot of confusion about whether any or all of those companies belong to TLG. For all they know they do. 


    catwrangler
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    eggshen said:

    I don't think we are talking about Megablox here, where someone would think some Transformers building set is LEGO brand.
    Er... but we were - and specifically Mega Bloks:
    Aanchir said:

    There is also other forms of harm being done. One of the big problems with clone brands and counterfeits alike, as hard as it might be for us AFOLs to believe, is people buying them thinking they're real LEGO products. Even if they have a totally different logo on them, a person who's less in the know about the building toys market might think all building blocks are LEGO and that "Mega Bloks" or "Oxford" or "Decool" or "Lepin" are just sub-brands.

    eggshen said:

    We are talking about LEPIN who has the same box artwork as LEGO and who also has a big logo in capital letters that starts with the latin letter "L" in a big red box in the upper left corner of the box.
    Forget the capital letter. They actually use TLG's font, and as that's trademark infringement, it's a wonder they're not pursued on that basis. Except, of course, that they don't appear to trade directly in the west, and a myopic eastern court is unlikely to uphold a claim, hiding behind it being a foreign language.
    Bela does the same thing (uppercase logo inside a red box in the upper left corner of the packaging). SY also does it.
    Bela don't do anything unexpected, and the Latin name is secondary. What colour would you use? For kids, red and yellow are an obvious choice. Yes, SY use red, but that's all.

    I'm not even sure that some of them do it to confuse - stealing artwork  just gives them a consistency that somebody else has thought through.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    @TigerMoth why do you try so hard to defend and support the illegal theft by companies like Lepin, SY, Decool, etc.? Is it because they are Chinese companies?

    To muddy up the details is a consistent and common form of distraction & obfuscation of facts by the Chinese companies & government. By claiming they are same as Megablocks, you are trying to defend them as legitimate companies by affiliation with true and known companies of much better moral standing. Of which they, the illegal counterfeiters like Lepin, certainly and obviously are not equal to.

    Just because the Chinese courts are complicit in their fellow countrymen's illegal endeavors, it's not because they believe them to be righteous, but rather they obviously lack the moral backbone to accept international standards when it comes to legal matters. By calling a spade a spade when it comes to the thieving nature of their citizens. Similar to their belligerent and ridiculous protest against the silly South China Sea issue yesterday.

    All this back and forth is fun debate as we parse out small details like "Well even though it's obvious they stole and copied Lego's brand logo, what are they supposed to do when Red is so obviously the color of all children's toys duh! And Latin is the most common font type to use as well of course. ANd never mind the square box shape being used in the same upper left corner that Lego just happens to use, but has no legal ownership over as a true patentable/copyrightable item. Nor does using their exact artwork of the same set constitute deceiving of the customer, because its obviously the easiest way for a company to get consistency across its entire range of counterfeit products to be believable."

    I'm excited at the possibility that the world, starting with US first, is facing the facts with China. I hope they can be convinced to change their thieving ways before irreparable harm is caused. Because when words stop working, money is not enough to turn the other way, courts are purposefully blind, ignorant & deaf, then what options are left won't be fun to see. I can't wait for China to get a slap in the face for their misbehaving ways.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    @TigerMoth why do you try so hard to defend and support the illegal theft by companies like Lepin, SY, Decool, etc.?
    I don't.
    Is it because they are Chinese companies?
    I don't give a monkey's whether they're Chinese. I'm against all clones, Chinese or not.

    You talk about "illegal theft". The point is that it often isn't illegal.  Immoral, yes; illegal no.

    THAT is the basis on which we have to go forwards. Everybody wants to express outrage at what the clone companies do. Well, so what - it doesn't get anybody anywhere expressing outrage and claiming something is wrong. It doesn't give any sort of platform for fixing the situation or for moving forward in any way.
    All this back and forth is fun debate as we parse out small details like "Well even though it's obvious they stole and copied Lego's brand logo, what are they supposed to do when Red is so obviously the color of all children's toys duh! And Latin is the most common font type to use as well of course. ANd never mind the square box shape being used in the same upper left corner that Lego just happens to use, but has no legal ownership over as a true patentable/copyrightable item. Nor does using their exact artwork of the same set constitute deceiving of the customer, because its obviously the easiest way for a company to get consistency across its entire range of counterfeit products to be believable."
    Everybody's entitled to their opinions. I believe that the Chinese don't copy everything in the way that they do to deceive; instead I believe they copy absolutely everything because they're lazy f**ks who take the shortest path to making money.

    There are some good arguments against what they do. And bad ones. Saying they use the colour red, or use Latin capitals is meaningless and fairly incidental; the person who said that omitted to mention that LEPIN use TLG's own font - something that is a lot more significant and would carry a lot more weight in a western court. We need to pick the right evidence not the flimsiest of connections - because the latter just makes it look like there is no substance to our claims and that we are grasping at straws.

    At the end of the day, they're not yet interested in duping the west, essentially because they've got a much bigger home market to conquer first. It's dead easy to sit here and dismiss the Chinese as being nobodies - but don't you think they do exactly the same in reverse? It's not all about the west, especially when you're not in it!

    Different cultures have different values. You talk, with contempt, about China's "thieving ways". Most people reading this board, including me, would agree with you. The trouble is that the Chinese don't - they laugh at us and continue to steal our ideas. We have the moral high ground and they get the results. Hmm!

    So what do we do? I don't know. What I want to do is get away from the single-minded approach of repeating, over and over and over again, that the Chinese clone manufacturers are nasty, horrible, thieving, cheating entities (which they are), because calling them names achieves exactly NOTHING. We need something a lot better.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    zorzos said:

    If we put aside the legal aspect of the issue, I think it comes down to whether someone is a Lego fan or a building block fan in general.

    sure, this distinction makes sense when you are talking about hardcore nerds like us who spend our days online typing back and forth about LEGO.

    But what about the majority of customers - they aren't FANS of anything. They are just buying toys for their kids to play with. How many of them are even going to care if they are buying brand X or brand Y, or are they more concerned about buying something their kids will play with for awhile at a lower price. They don't care if it's compatible, if the quality is as good, etc, etc.  Toys (in general) aren't made to last anymore anyway, so they don't care if it will still hold up 10 years down the road. If they get 6-12 months out of it, they are happy.

    I'm not condoning ripoff companies like Lepin in any way, just saying that we tend to get a bit too myopic when we discuss these things. Sure, I would never taint my LEGO collection with this stuff, but I also know I (we) are the minority in even caring about such things.
    catwrangler
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    CCC said:
    Bricklinking the parts to a set and selling them is not the same as selling a set. But even so, how can bricklinking a set (including the box and instructions) be an infringement? It is just selling genuine LEGO parts, which lego has already sold. If selling a bricklinked set was an infringement, then so would selling a genuine set purchased from LEGO, as it is the same thing. A genuine 2x1 brick is a genuine 2x1 brick, whether it originally came with the Bat-pod, or with some other set.
    this is an interesting philosophical discussion that edges into First Sale Doctrine territory.  No doubt LEGO (and other manufacturers) would love to figure out a way to have their products be seen as "licensed" and not "sold", much like digital products generally are.  We've had previous discussions about this in much more detail on this site, so I won't go into it at length. 
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