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so i was noodling around on the internet today, looking for inspiration for a wee dagger. i did a google image search for 'dagger' and one of the pieces which came up was oddly familiar - My link it's a direct rip-off of the very first knife i posted here back in 2005 - My link

curvy sgian.jpg

with the exception that the falcon heads were obviously too detailed to reproduce, though the guard mount seems to have the same carving flaws as my original. they've also shrunk the blade slightly to make the fitting up easier, but have kept the metal edges to the sheath, which i'd used to slim down the sheath profile. the handle itself is also obviously cast directly from the original. i particularly like the fact that they've tried to replicate the striations on the pommel, which were only on one side of the original, being mammoth bark. feeling strangely proud now...

 

they won't let me copy images, which seems a bit of a cheek - any chance someone could get a screengrab?

Edited by jake cleland
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Well now isn't that something :angry: ! At least they had to have aquired the original somehow B) .

Now i can afford one of your knives :P .

 

Bob

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Jake,

 

the odd thing is Ive seen that loads of places, my friend even purchased it from a vendor in Occonomowoc WI this summer and I saw it and said to him "that looks just like something Jake would make"

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Jake, I definitely understand your pride at your work being good enough to be ripped off, but this is a serious issue. IMO the manufacturer (your probably right, the seller doesn't have a clue) owes you money. I would report a copyright infraction to eBay, this will cause the seller to complain to thier supplier, and that may get things rolling. You could also contact the seller and ask them who the manufacturer is. They may cooperate if you ask nicely.

 

The biggest manufacturer of stuff like this is Master Cutlery. That may be a good place to start.

 

Of course, you may not be nearly as jacked up about this as I am, in which case (in the words of Emily Litella)...

.

 

:)

 

-Todd

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I agree with Todd. It is indeed kinda cool in a backhanded complimentary way that someone is making knockoffs of your designs, but it's still illegal and is taking money from your pocket. If they've started arresting people for selling counterfeit Vuitton bags (which they finally are), I'd think a counterfeit knife would be verboten as well. Of course, good luck getting any money out of it once a lawyer is involved, especially since I'd imagine the country of origin is China (AKA copywright? We don't need no stinkin' copyright!).

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yeah, honestly i am a little pissed about this, particularly seeing how widely these are being distributed, but the blades are stamped 'made in china', and i really don't see seeking legal recourse as being viable - i'm not entirely sure what the legal standing of this would be, as there is (thankfully) no attempt to associate this pos with me, but it was still my design. i'm still kinda thinking a harshly worded letter may be in order, but i don't think there's any chance of getting any money outa them... plus i still think it's kinda cool.

 

as a side note, i'm fine with anyone from this board taking inspiration from or even copying my designs - your interpretation will be different from mine, and i absolutely consider that fair use. the problem here is that they moulded their 'knife' directly from my work, bypassing the need to pay a designer. i remember a couple of years ago on the carving path board, there was a mass produced netsuke based off one of natasha's pieces, which she was quite distressed by, and while i totally understand that, it doesn't seem worth losing any sleep over.

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That is indeed the problem. They didn't bother to credit you as the designer, so now your work looks like you might well be copying them. I know your work is worlds and away better quality, but to the average lout in the street who didn't know which came first, while yours will be obviously better materials and workmanship, it'll still look like that cheap Chinese celtic thingy they saw down at the ren-faire. THAT is how uncredited cheap knockoffs hurt your livelihood. It cheapens your reputation.

 

It may just take a letter from a lawyer to stop it. That may run you £100-£200, but I'd sure do it. Just the legal letterhead will be enough to get eBay to take down the listing.

 

It's flattery, but it's theft. :angry:

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And it's big-time theft. A quick Google search on "celtic mysteries dagger" brought up at least seven places selling it, at prices ranging from $7.99 (Amazon) to $11.99 (Patriot Knives). The right lawyer may be able to smell cash on this and take you up on a contingency basis...

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And it's big-time theft. A quick Google search on "celtic mysteries dagger" brought up at least seven places selling it, at prices ranging from $7.99 (Amazon) to $11.99 (Patriot Knives). The right lawyer may be able to smell cash on this and take you up on a contingency basis...

 

And even if it's made in China, very often the parent company is in North America. If it does turn out to be Master Cutlery, they're in New Jersey and California.

 

-Todd

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Hello;

 

As someone who fought this exact same battle some 25 years ago..a small difference..(usually <10%) is enough to get "around" any sort of copyright infringement. It may look well enough the same but one to two more..or less little "cuts" in the carving..movement of the pin position even size is enough to keep them "in the clear"...

 

Yeah it cheesed me off the first time it happened and I looked hard into getting it stopped but there wasn't anything that I could do due to the fact that they changed the wire diameter in the grip and the guards weren't as curved on their production pieces...

 

Still good luck if you want to persue this..I hope you do cause maybe where you are things are different than they are here in the US...

 

JPH

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I agree with jph about 8 years ago in my car customizing days I was manufacturing some body parts and a company in Belgium started making a very similar parts and after talking with my lawyer because the parts were made from a different material and had different mounting brackets there was nothing i could do because of the 10% clause

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I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about copyright law as some folks. However, this situation may be different from JPH's and Justin's. At least under American law, there's no copyright in the functional part of a functional item. Only the aesthetic portions of such an item are subject to copyright. I think in this case that means the blade isn't part of the copyrighted work, and the fact that the Chinese blade is different means nothing. The aesthetic, copyrighted part of the work is the hilt, and that's a direct copy of your work, Jake, with very minor differences that may not be enough.

 

The practical questions are whether you have enough damages to make a suit worthwhile, and whether it's feasible to collect them. Those are both going to be very important considerations to any lawyer, especially if he's supposed to work on contingency.

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Jake ,

I think you have a good attitude about it.... walk away ... there is too little time on this planet to get caught up in wasting your time and money on lawyers... If they( the ones manufaturing the rip off) were telling you that you couldn't do that design again if might be worth fighting...

if there are so many our there then why not make another one and maybe sell if for may way more than the original because it is a" real" one of yours...

You may have seen some of the custom Ron Lake chinese made folders... from a distance it is hard to tell unless an original is next to it.... It doesn't seem to have hurt his bussiness at all..... So I think you should take advantage of all the advertizing they are doing for you and make some real editions.... you may be surprised how well know you have becomeohmy.gif

 

Dick

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Jake,

I'd look through and see to whom you sold your piece...that would be the place to start.

If theres is cast from yours I would say it is in extreme is poor form and theft. If they had made the thing look like yours that is one thing, but to cast from it...nope..theft.

You will not get paid by them no matter what you do

BUT

what they have done is loads of free advertising for you.

 

Make a page on your website detailing the story. Your work is good enough to steal.

 

Ric

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Jake ,

I think you have a good attitude about it.... walk away ... there is too little time on this planet to get caught up in wasting your time and money on lawyers... If they( the ones manufaturing the rip off) were telling you that you couldn't do that design again if might be worth fighting...

if there are so many our there then why not make another one and maybe sell if for may way more than the original because it is a" real" one of yours...

You may have seen some of the custom Ron Lake chinese made folders... from a distance it is hard to tell unless an original is next to it.... It doesn't seem to have hurt his bussiness at all..... So I think you should take advantage of all the advertizing they are doing for you and make some real editions.... you may be surprised how well know you have becomeohmy.gif

 

Dick

 

This response is the most conducive to a low stress and healthy life. And resistance probably is futile. :D

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Jake ,

I think you have a good attitude about it.... walk away ... there is too little time on this planet to get caught up in wasting your time and money on lawyers...

 

Probably true.

 

You will not get paid by them no matter what you do

 

Likely true, but not certain. Under U.S. copyright law, at least, I'm pretty sure you could go after the distributor. (That's assuming there's infringement here.) The manufacturer may be in China and out of reach, but there's almost certainly someone local who's actually doing the selling, who you may be able to reach. You could also seek to have infringing items impounded and destroyed, and to get an injunction against distributing them. Dunno about UK law, but I'd bet it's similar.

 

A nasty letter to the distributors might generate some action.

Edited by Matt Bower
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what they have done is loads of free advertising for you.

 

Make a page on your website detailing the story. Your work is good enough to steal.

 

Ric

 

Now THAT is the way to go! If "they" (whoever "they" are) ask you to cease and desist, don't. International law being what it isn't, I doubt there's any way to force you to stop, any more than there's any way you can force them to stop. B)

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Make a page on your website detailing the story. Your work is good enough to steal.

 

That's exactly what I would do. No amount of legal wrangling is worth it (to me, anyway), so you might as well milk them in fashion that benefits you and allows you to clear our name at the same time.

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Way to go mate!! Thats a heck of a compliment. (albeit theft, and wrong)

 

Be interesting to find out who the manufacturer is, and get in touch with them. I think I would ask them if they wanted any other pieces designing and try and make some $ from em! they obviuosly like your work and might jump at the chance of having a proven designer to work with ;)

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If it is made in china, forget it the company is run by the government and they won't let you sue.

BUT

You can sue the importers and distributors or ask them for royalties and the like and you have a fair chance of succeeding(especially if you can prove that they took a cast of the original.

 

Check with the MAD Dwarfs as they have had a similar problem with that country over there.

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hella-compliment jake.

in fact, for what its worth, i have been trying to make knives like yours for two years...and well, it will take at least a few more for me to come close i think ;)

 

a trajic compliment.

 

great attitude though.

 

you will be rewarded in many ways, i'm sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i say take advantage of the free press, tell the story, make a few "authentic" ones and let them worrie about how to stop you, if they come to stop you, sue them. then reap double rewards. fight forgery with your forge

Edited by jason howard
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