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Author Topic: From Antelope Island an interesting discussion on Kite Copies  (Read 3822 times)
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Gamelord
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2012, 03:28 PM »

I personally feel it comes down to what the person doing the copying has planned to do with the kite once it is made.

I will use myself as an example.  I really don't have a clue on how to go about designing a kite that will fly.  I am not an aeronautical engineer, nor an engineer of any kind.  I can barely sew.  Now if I sat down and measured a Revolution kite, inch by inch, then before cutting that kite out I increased everything by 1" ratio so that it was ever so slightly larger, then used my own colors to make it different from Revolution's production models....is that a copy?  Of course it is. I used Rev's kite to make my own.  Now...is it legal or moral to do? 

If my intent is to make that kite for myself and to use it for myself for no other reason than to fly it by myself, there is no harm.  I didn't make it exactly like the Revolution, I made it in the colors I like that Revolution didn't offer and have no intent on capitalizing financially or otherwise from their design.  Even Revolution doesn't have an issue with people doing this (even if they don't increase it by the 1" ratio and keep it exactly the same).

The problem begins when the intent is for someone do do exactly like I did above, but instead of doing it for their own flying pleasure, they do it for the sole reason of selling that model and making a profit on it.  This is blatantly wrong and is indeed a Knock-Off copy that is detrimental to our industry.

The difference between these two examples is that the first one is not intended to use Rev's design for profits and to infringe on Revolution's right to capitalize on their creation, hard work and design.  The latter is done with every intent to capitalize on what Rev has already created and built (product wise as well as reputation wise) and to use that copy solely for a financial gain (that rightfully belongs to Revolution).  Hence the words such as stealing or theft that are often used in relation to Knock-Off copies.

I have seen many large parafoils that were produced based on the so-called "airform planform" weather that be Dean's design or Sutton's or whoevers.  The incredible and sometimes incomprehensible amounts of layers of applique, hours of design and labor of love that put these beautiful kites together is just astonishing.  I would hardly call them a copy at all.  Sure they are "based" off of the simple basic parafoil design, but they are made for the owner's personal enjoyment with no intent of mass producing them or selling them.  Even if the owner did sell them, I am pretty sure that he would be losing money on them. (see attached picture below) I do not consider these a copy at all (in the essence of the word as it pertains to royalties or businesses losing money).  Of course it is a "technical" copy of some sort, but no more than a Widow Maker is a copy of a Team Hawaiian.

I do side with Tcope that if Dean is to demand royalties from the above mentioned parafoil, then TOTL should be getting royalties from every sport kite manufacturer of today and Mercedes Benz should have royalties from every automobile produced today.  I don't want to imply that Dean is actually demanding royalties...I haven't personally heard of him doing this, but if it is true then I feel it is a bit absurd.  If a company is producing a parafoil for the market and calling it a Jordan Airform without Dean's knowledge, then Dean has every right to be upset and to demand some form of compensation.

There is some grey areas that sometimes are more gray than first realized.  IMO, Chinesse knock-offs built for the sole purpose of taking profits from designers by making kits that look exactly or "as close to as possible" are not only killing our industry but also stifling creators in producing new products for all of us to enjoy.  They should be boycotted at all expense by all of us.  Even manufacturers that slightly alter existing designs from other manufacturer for the sole purpose of offering the same type of product in their lineup should be seriously scrutinized. The glider market is one in particular that I personally feel has been "gray area" copied by legitimate manufacturers that wish to capitalize on this new expanding area of the business.

A person who is creating their own impression of an existing design for their own personal enjoyment, without the thought of financially capitalizing on that creation in any way.... I feel is an expression of art or taste and is not a threat to our industry nor should it be considered a knock-off copy.

Again...this is just MY OPINION on the subject matter.  It is worth exactly what you have paid for it. Smiley

Link to a custom applique parafoil:
https://picasaweb.google.com/chilesej/AntelopeIslandStampedeFestival2011#5649108259311186306
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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2012, 03:45 PM »

Todd,

Your so clueless.
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tcope
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« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2012, 03:52 PM »

Todd,

Your so clueless.
I'd expect no other response.
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Todd Copeland
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« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2012, 03:53 PM »

Play nice now.....
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« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2012, 04:17 PM »

I have managed to stay away from saying anything direct to you todd for some time now, but this thread is going too far with regards to your comments. Just how many kites have you designed? Oh yeah, none. On what basis are you qualified to make statements about kite design, kite copies or kite designers, especially ones you have NEVER met?
 I guess the fact that you assemble kits that are directly related and based off of previously designed kites allows you some latitude, very little when it comes to this topic.
Your comments made directly at dean are slanderous and unfounded by any knowledge you have about the issue dean's video is addressing.
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rncembal
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2012, 08:50 AM »

I looked carefully at the video. I did not hear any case for Dean to be accused demanding royalties. What I took away was what a vast collection of shades of grey this issue has. I also attended Carl Crowells talk at the AKA in Seaside.Carl is a lawyer specializing in Intellectual property trademark copyright law. He is also a kite builder/designer. 
One of the issues he discussed was the whole "I'm allowed to build it if it's just for me argument"
That is a fallacy just because it is rarely enforced. When someone builds a Rev they steal. Unless they have permission or rights from Rev. The rational that "they don't make the design I want" is not permission. It dilutes the brand value if people think they are free to make one because they don't want to pay for one to customize.
Most other kites are less defined. Patents expired , prior art that was unsecured ill defined claims to invention. In the early sport kite boom patents were given to a French company in France for various elements in modern sport kites like the use of bungee to tension wing tips. These patents were voided when prior use was proven in court.
I particularly liked Deans display of his dragon versus Gibian's crane. One looking at them separately would find little connection. But side by side you could that Dean could be accused of using Ron's work to set his pattern. But what does that mean in terms of copy and  design? All in all I found it to be a discussion of a  little history and open conversation on ethics.
Rob
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red sweater
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« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2012, 09:27 AM »

I looked carefully at the video. I did not hear any case for Dean to be accused demanding royalties. What I took away was what a vast collection of shades of grey this issue has.
...
I particularly liked Deans display of his dragon versus Gibian's crane. One looking at them separately would find little connection. But side by side you could that Dean could be accused of using Ron's work to set his pattern. But what does that mean in terms of copy and  design? All in all I found it to be a discussion of a  little history and open conversation on ethics.
I found it somewhat interesting, too, maybe just for the history. But, "conversations on ethics" bore me greatly. Yes, fine, we can all ask loaded "hypotheticals" that enter "gray areas", it's not too hard. I've only once (in a college course, some sort of engineering intro.) ever seen such a conversation actually reach a conclusion. That's the most important part! Otherwise, we're just turning oxygen into carbon dioxide. Dean seemed to want to "ask questions", and "let the listener decide", which I parse as a lecture. Except he seemed genuinely baffled himself, or at least I thought so, until Todd chimed in about an alleged agenda. (I don't know the people, so I don't know what to make of Todd's posts. So I won't share my thoughts on them.) Dean actively silenced the guy in the seats answering the questions. Yes, that guy was getting annoying, and probably not taking it seriously after the first time he repeated his answer, but I'd rather hear answers than questions.

One of the issues he discussed was the whole "I'm allowed to build it if it's just for me argument"
That is a fallacy just because it is rarely enforced. When someone builds a Rev they steal. Unless they have permission or rights from Rev. The rational that "they don't make the design I want" is not permission. It dilutes the brand value if people think they are free to make one because they don't want to pay for one to customize.
I'm with you there. Mostly. I don't know what patents exist in kiting, but intellectual property is protected in order to encourage innovation. I assume we want that in kiting. But protection also expires to allow innovation to continue. When patents expire, all is fair. The formerly-protected ideas enter the commons, for all to benefit from. Again, I don't know what patents exist or have expired. I'm new to kiting. Perhaps other methods protect the Revolution's shape, I don't know. Deltas are even foggier to me.

Is there a moral obligation to not copy a kite that has no legal, IP protection?(And again, I don't know whether Rev kites still have protection in place. And, look, I just posed a "gray area" question! See, it's easy.) I'd say, no, provided you don't try to pass your product off as the original in any way. (Gomberg's own pictures were used to sell the copies. Obviously, that's over the line.) Once an idea enters the commons, let the free market work. No more protected status for the innovator. With luck, they have some advantages over their new competitors -- reduced costs, strong reputation -- but ideally, they'd innovate again, if they want to keep a dominant place in the market.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 09:30 AM by red sweater » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2012, 04:58 PM »

dean has asked me to post this statement on his behalf

So I havce copied his statement and will paste it here




6 hours ago
dean jordan



While Jordan Air Kites is certainly flattered by your attention, and we love that you know our name, we have to be diligent
to ensure that our brand and Trade Marks are used correctly. Given our popularity, we know that we might not please everyone. What may not be apparent is we certainly can't allow anyone to spout pure nonsense without a response.
 
Mr. Jordan is unaware of ever meeting you either in person or in a 'chat room'. Therefore it would seem difficult for him
to have made the statements you attribute to him.
 
In order to amend this misunderstanding, Mr. Jordan encourages you to actually watch the talk. If you disagree with that,
please feel free to speak on the merits of the talk. To impugn a persons reputation without even the courtesy of speaking
with them, or being a customer, we feel, is a bit out of line.
 
Should you like to speak to Mr. Jordan, call him sometime. I'm sure you will be seeing him soon anyway, as he seems to
travel quite a bit.

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tcope
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« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2012, 05:54 PM »

I could not find any Trademarks owned by Jordan Air Kites.

http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4007:ee1n2f.1.1

Edit: Better link, http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp

If "Mr. Jordan" (speaking in 3rd person?) is referring to me, than we have met before... but many years back (pretty much every time he was at TISC, I think 4 or 5 times). We've also exchanged Facebook posts (perhaps he forgot).

Examples:
"Here's the deal though. Everything in Barry's kite, i had or did first. In fact some things in there, like the lack of ribs, we were working on back in 1994."

(Well, it was called a Sutton back then... i.e. the one made before the Jordan where the rib design matches exactly)

"It's true that Barry does some things that are not needed, perhaps in an honest but misguided attempt to appear 'original' or 'different' but, fact it is If i think it looks like my kite and can't tell the difference, then, it probably is pretty much a copy."

As I said... Dean states if it looks like his kite... it's a copy. I guess every stunt kite ever made by anyone after Dean's is a copy as well. Man... that is a lot of copy kites! After all, every change is just a "misguided attempt to appear 'original' or 'different'".

"What's not okay, is when i call someone on the phone, and explain to them, and offer them an endorsement of the kite. Hey, if you are going to copy me, call it what it is, pay me 7% and you have my blessing."

"Barry is not alone though, and he knows it. There are others that are selling my stuff, without endorsement. They don't need to do it, but that's 'business' i guess."

"If you really are a designer, surely you can come up with something new now and then."

Not if everything Dean's ever thought of (and used from others) is automatically a copy of his "designs".

It was odd that that another person in that FB  thread has stated he added points to the trailing edge of a flow form so it was different (and this is the only thing that makes it look different). According to Dean's view, it's a copy. According to Dean he can make a Ghost kite with a different shaped tail and it's not a copy of the Gomberg Ghost. Odd how that works.

People... kites are kites. They _are_ going to looks similar (most people here fly dual line kites. Is that statement incorrect?). To consider if it's a "copy" you need to looks beyond if it simply "looks" like another kite. If flyers are going to simply use that logic then everyone may went to start selling their sewing machines... it's game over.

I'll borrow some rhetoric from Mr. Jordan himself....

Folks, I'm simply sharing this information with the masses. You can feel free to make your own decisions on the matter. At the end of the day it's all about flying kites and each person needs to make up their own minds. I'm only presenting facts for you to consider. You may have been around for 50 years, you may have been around for 1 month. You can still make up your own mind on what kites are copies and if you feel it's right to make a kite that looks like another. I've never advocated using someone else's design (I've never done that, such using the MAKR bol design and selling it) to make a profit. I don't think it should be done.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 07:22 AM by tcope » Logged

Todd Copeland
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« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2012, 05:33 AM »

The guy in the background flying the kite (Skyburner Ocius) steals the show.

Try to tell me that your eyes were not following his kite every time it was in the frame.

Yup...that was me.
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« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2012, 05:48 AM »

I could not find any Trademarks owned by Jordan Air Kites.

http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4007:ee1n2f.1.1


That link's expired, but I conducted my own search with similar results.

However, while I Am Not A Lawyer (nor a fan of making that an acronym), I believe there is a difference between a trademark and a "Registered Trademark." That search will only find registered trademarks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unregistered_trade_mark
"In the United States, neither federal nor state registration is required to obtain rights in a trademark."

Still, that would only cover the brand logo, not (to my limited knowledge) kite designs.

The guy in the background flying the kite (Skyburner Ocius) steals the show.

Try to tell me that your eyes were not following his kite every time it was in the frame.

Yup...that was me.


Guilty as charged. Seriously, why are a bunch of "kiters" sitting around when there's plenty of good wind? Folks can talk any time. You're smarter than the lot of them.

Or I'm just starved for good wind.
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