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This was bound to happen...gray market VF's?


UN Spacy

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8 minutes ago, Boobytrap said:

I'd be faced with a quandary if the KO's ever released something new, whether a completely new design (like a VF-5000) or a new paint scheme that I don't see officially being released (like a VF-1 Alaska base or FB2012 VF-4).

You're giving them some great ideas. I never even considered them releasing a vf-4 in fb2012 colors. That may be the only way we ever see that color scheme.

Edited by Sandman
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I will totally support a new design like a variable Glaug or VF-14.

But if they're just stealing an Arcadia mold that just wrong to support it ANY way you slice it. 

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Are these knock-off companies just straight-up copying Bandai/Arcadia items, or are they doing something that separates them from the pack? I don't know of any "third-party" Macross kit makers, but some of the Gundam ones have gotten pretty creative in order to blur the lines between their products and official ones. Some do a fairly simple job scribing and/or scratchbuilding new details onto existing Bandai molds, while others convert resin/non-articulated kits to injection plastic/articulated ones. Others do original work altogether, and simply lack the IP; they're relegated to not labeling their kits "Gundam."

I haven't seen anything interesting enough to jump on it - the lack of quality control also plays a role. I'm still more interested in the (itself of dubious legality) resin kit/conversion market, but third-party IP kits are definitely stepping up their game.

But as far as Macross goes, I'd be interested if KOs go beyond just plain ol' copying Bandai/Yamcadia and introduce some creativity. A Cheyenne II kit/toy, anyone? VF-171? Eh? Even just a new Super/Strike Pack with different details, or a new add-on pack altogether.

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On 3/23/2017 at 1:53 AM, UN Spacy said:

Not supporting this...but if this is prevalent with the Transformers/Gundam market it was only a matter of time.

I had the opposite reaction from you.

It had taken so long that it meant the VF market was too niche and not lucrative at all.

But low-volume accessories and high prices for them are easy target for KO.

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10 hours ago, mark-1s said:

Found this on the 'Tube the other day and considering the thread topic, thought I'd share.

 

 

Excellent post and segment! Pretty much exactly what I'm talking about.

Theft? Lol! To me, scouring the world for places you can exploit people by paying the lowest wages possible and then charging more and more for a design that is decades old and you already made more than a fair share for is much more criminal than someone using those designs to give people what they want at a reasonable price. If people doing that puts you out of business, again, I say you probably shouldn't be in business. And I'm saying this as a fan of Arcadia. 

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6 hours ago, Slave IV said:

Theft? Lol! To me, scouring the world for places you can exploit people by paying the lowest wages possible and then charging more and more for a design that is decades old and you already made more than a fair share for is much more criminal than someone using those designs to give people what they want at a reasonable price. If people doing that puts you out of business, again, I say you probably shouldn't be in business. And I'm saying this as a fan of Arcadia. 

But the competition is not fair. Arcadia, Bandai and the other official licensees has to pay fees to Big West and has to make enough money to afford production of the next products. That's why their prices are higher. Why the price for the same item has steadily increased has also to do with increases in wages. The KO companies only copy the molds with minimal development involved and of course they can therefore sell the items cheaper. But do they even deserve our money for that minimal work? Especially since the quality seems shoddy at best in these cases.

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3 hours ago, Lorindor said:

But the competition is not fair.

but life isn't fair. if someone breaks into your house and steals all your stuff tough cookies on you. It was the easiest and most cost effective way for the person who broke in to get that stuff so it's ok. :rolleyes:

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Haha, some people can only ever contemplate things from one perspective. It's all good. Support what you want. The world market will decide what is "marketable" and those who appeal to that will flourish. 

As for the breaking in your home analogy, you need to add the factors that your home is in another country, where you gave your keys to people who you exploit to get what you want for the cheapest possible. To be surprised or even outraged that they do something to even the odds when they can is hilarious.

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I don't get the 'exploited' argument.  Are KOs made by elves? I think they're made by similar people in similar conditions. So if the person who took the risk and made the effort to innovate is wrong for using cheap labor... how are they worse than the KO operators? Yamato is a good example. Innovate or die means taking risks and taking risks can bankrupt you. KO operators take much less risk and almost never innovate. They don't bare the cost of research, they don't bare the cost of failure, and they screw their workers as much as any one else. 

There is a lot of stuff Yamato made that no other company will ever make again so some KOs don't bother me.  The stuff that's directly competing is bad for the company trying to produce NEW stuff. Third party stuff is a different story, those guys are bringing new things to the table. 

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Key point is the "risk" of doing business. You have to factor in the risk of being copied if you take your business to a place known for making KOs. You can't fault the Ko operators for having low risk in their business. As for the exploiting, it's very different when a foreigner comes into your country for the specific purpose of exploiting you compared to doing something for your own "family". 

If anyone disagrees, fine. I just like to look at things as a big picture that involves a lot more than just what one one group wants or thinks is fair. 

Imo, business is shady period and we are all slaves to money. Money was invented as a way to make advancement of humans easier by allowing people to focus on what they are good at for the betterment of all people. Now, people make laws to give themselves unfair advantages just for the sake of making more money.

Edited by Slave IV
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I think I've read everyone's opinion about this matter. And not just in this forum. It's basically everywhere where KO stuff is being discussed. But here's a thought though. Most opinions I've read are all consumer-based. And that matters because I'm a consumer too. Now I'm more interested to hear from people who actually an innovator and hear what they say towards this copycats. I'm sure if I were an inventor, an innovator, a copyright holder, for sure in the end I'm going to be pissed if I found out someone is copying something that I have copyright with and they're selling it half the price.

But it is what it is.

 

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In a perfect world where anyone can afford or attain anything they want with ease.....the ultimate high ground would be to view any unauthorized use of an IP as theft, therefore unacceptable.

Unfortunately, we all live in the real world where many people have the means to steal, create, copy something based on someone else's IP AND you simultaneously have people willing to part ways with their money to attain such non-authorized versions of an IP.

So basically, you just have to make a decision on how "grey" you want your views to be on IP infringement.

Personally, if it is something not available from the IP holder or with no indication that it will ever be made available by the IP holder, then I will support it if I care to have it.  Such things would include items such as "NON-KO" 3P toys, fan-created items made in small quantities, art....all the way up to "fan-subbed" Macross media.

I tend not to support direct KOs.  The reason is simple....just because Bandai or Arcadia is not making a valk or accessory today....does not mean they will not decide to re-release it tomorrow...my only "grey" area involves the TV and movies.....sorry, but I have waited too long for an English-subbed SDFM TV set on HD....how hard/expensive is it for Bandai to hire a translator and add the English subtitles on all of their Macross titles?  I know they have started, but it is too little and too late.....

 

 

 

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While not an innovator myself my uncle is. He is an electrical engineer and has designed a multitude of things. He often complains about the level of security he has to work under due to the issue of corporate espionage, with other companies trying to steal their designs. They do the research and development and pay all of the costs that go into it only to have some company steal it from them and sell it at a lower price since they don't have to offset those costs. As a result of that he refuses to ever engage in anything other than legitimate acquisition of someone else's hard work. He has never downloaded a copy of a song or movie. He has always paid for software and their related upgrades. Even for freeware or shareware he will donate or purchase the full version.

In the end, this is theft. No matter how you justify it to yourself "it's just business", "It's how the market works", "I need my fix", etc... it is theft. As I have said there are some instances that I am willing to engage in it. I'm not proud of it but at least I can admit what it is. 

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1 hour ago, no3Ljm said:

I think I've read everyone's opinion about this matter. And not just in this forum. It's basically everywhere where KO stuff is being discussed. But here's a thought though. Most opinions I've read are all consumer-based. And that matters because I'm a consumer too. Now I'm more interested to hear from people who actually an innovator and hear what they say towards this copycats. I'm sure if I were an inventor, an innovator, a copyright holder, for sure in the end I'm going to be pissed if I found out someone is copying something that I have copyright with and they're selling it half the price.

But it is what it is.

 

Here:

On 5/30/2017 at 2:14 PM, Slave IV said:

I've worked in the creative industry most my life and never concerned with "IP" because imitation is the highest form of flattery and keeps you on your toes. If you aren't good enough to stay ahead of your copiers, you are either lazy, not good enough or overly greedy, IMO. 

 

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37 minutes ago, no3Ljm said:

I think I've read everyone's opinion about this matter. And not just in this forum. It's basically everywhere where KO stuff is being discussed. But here's a thought though. Most opinions I've read are all consumer-based. And that matters because I'm a consumer too. Now I'm more interested to hear from people who actually an innovator and hear what they say towards this copycats. I'm sure if I were an inventor, an innovator, a copyright holder, for sure in the end I'm going to be pissed if I found out someone is copying something that I have copyright with and they're selling it half the price.

But it is what it is.

 

I can't really even explain the feeling other than it just totally sucks to see your idea taken and not just having money made off it, but becoming a whole sub-segment of a market unto itself.   

A few years ago I made a very simple DJ related device that I thought I'd share on a DJ specific forum. I was quite surprised to see the enthusiasm for it and was even told by one of the members that I should consider taking down the pictures as "who knows what vultures may lie". I gave it a quick thought and promptly heeded his advise. However, it was in vain as within a year suspiciously similar products started popping up on the internet. 

Can I prove that my idea was stolen? No, but you can't convince me otherwise. I was naive at the time and only have myself to blame so I've since been much more selective with what I post about my inventions / ideas which really is a shame because it would be great to get feedback on them. So why not apply for a patent on them you may ask? 'Cause they're damn expensive to acquire and even more expensive to defend. There's an old quote I read somewhere that went "Your patent is only as good as your pockets are deep", and my pockets are unfortunately rather shallow lol :(.  

With all that said  though, I'm not sure where I stand on the original matter; there are good arguments made for both sides. All I know is official Arcadia products are well out of my range and if the KO's are reasonably priced, I may have to jump on one.   Perhaps if Harmony Gold  / Big West were a little less iron-fisted with their IP's, we'd be getting original Macross related / inspired designs ala 3rd party TF's instead of straight up knock offs. 

 

 

   

    

 

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The bottom line is stealing is stealing is stealing. If one is to use some type of moral high ground about the plight of impoverished or exploited communities regarding the production of toys, then go for it. That excuse is paper-thin. 

So on one hand it's business and it's dog eat dog and innovate or die - but on the other hand, look out for the working class.

What was the response "lol"?

If you want your toys (or whatever) on the cheap and are willing to buy knock-offs to achieve that end then just own it, but don't try to make it into a socio-economic cause to be championed.

Nobody buys counterfeit Louis Vuitton purses to protect workers, they buy it because it's a "brand" to be had and the fake is a fraction of the legitimate item's actual cost. No difference here.

-b.

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11 hours ago, Lorindor said:

But the competition is not fair. Arcadia, Bandai and the other official licensees has to pay fees to Big West and has to make enough money to afford production of the next products. That's why their prices are higher.

KOs are cheap. 30-50% of the original price, because at some point, people will buy the original instead.

Even you don't support KO, you have to wonder if the cost of the original is justified -- and if the makers are doing anything to bring it down. Or do they just blame the usual license fee and increased cost.

Also, KO start from the opposite spectrum. They start cheap and poorly made, then they move up over the years.

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On 5/30/2017 at 2:14 PM, Slave IV said:

Not really, especially when it's something like a license giving you in essence, a legal monopoly. Legal technicalities are always secondary or much lower when it comes to morals IMO. I've worked in the creative industry most my life and never concerned with "IP" because imitation is the highest form of flattery and keeps you on your toes. If you aren't good enough to stay ahead of your copiers, you are either lazy, not good enough or overly greedy, IMO. 

I've read your post before and I understand what you're saying. But to what extent are you going to stay good enough in order for the "I'm-not-going-to-think-of-something-new-because-there-will-always-be-something-to-copy" copycats to stop copying just for you not to always think that imitation is the highest form of flattery, etc, etc? Would it need to stop if money is already involved since you have to pay lots of money for copyrights and all? That's what I'm trying to say when I said about I want to hear what those inventors and alike starts to say something about this matter. Even if it's a form of flattery and all, copying one's idea is already stealing. I'm not against to what you've said. But with what's going on around the world lately when it comes about this matter. Imitation is the highest form of flattery is just an excuse for being sourgraping. Esp when that copycat makes a better version of what you did. So, from there, it's just a big cycle. Now you have to make a better one. But like I asked in the beginning, to what extent you're going to stay good enough? ^_^ 

1 minute ago, Kanedas Bike said:

The bottom line is stealing is stealing is stealing. If one is to use some type of moral high ground about the plight of impoverished or exploited communities regarding the production of toys, then go for it. That excuse is paper-thin. 

So on one hand it's business and it's dog eat dog and innovate or die - but on the other hand, look out for the working class.

What was the response "lol"?

If you want your toys (or whatever) on the cheap and are willing to buy knock-offs to achieve that end then just own it, but don't try to make it into a socio-economic cause to be championed.

Nobody buys counterfeit Louis Vuitton purses to protect workers, they buy it because it's a "brand" to be had and the fake is a fraction of the legitimate item's actual cost. No difference here.

-b.

+1  :good:

 

In the end, for me as a consumer, when I run out of option then that's the only time I buy KO goods. For example, I bought a Metal Saga 00 Gundam Seven Sword it simply because the original release is so expensive nowadays. But that doesn't stop me for preordering Bandai's reissue Metal Build 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G. I know it's much expensive than the KO one. But who wants a Gundam display stand that says Metal Saga or Mecha Worrior in their collection, right? Who wants a KO display stand that has a different color compared to the others, right? Just my 2 centavos. ;)

 

 

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I'd like to think this topic was made purely for informational purposes, to point out that the eventual Macross KOs were finally here.

There is no need to debate if it is right or wrong.  It is wrong.  As it has been said "stealing is stealing".  The point knowing someone else's stand on the issue is not going to change your particular opinion.  People will do what they want and follow their own moral compass and deal with the guilt or lack of it as they see fit.   

What is most unfortunate is that this topic was allowed to fester and grow by the moderators.  This topic should not be debated on MW.

Per the MW Forum Rules & Guidelines.....

http://www.macrossworld.com/mwf/topic/23944-mw-forum-rules-guidelines/

  • Copyrights and Trademarks - Fan art and Reproduction of original casts/molds
    Discussions pertaining to direct listings, sales, resales, trades, auctions, raffles/lotteries or direct web links to offsite listings, sales, resales, trades, auctions, raffles/lotteries of any recasted items or parts of items without consent of those product originators are not allowed on Macross World. Macross World is not associated or liable for any user-generated artwork or original custom items or parts.

 

The rule would appear to not just be applicable for direct KOs.....  Maybe it is time to remove this forum "rule" as it would appear it is truly more of a guideline?  :unknw:

 

zz781cb7cb.jpg

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1 hour ago, Slave IV said:

I've worked in the creative industry most my life and never concerned with "IP" because imitation is the highest form of flattery and keeps you on your toes. If you aren't good enough to stay ahead of your copiers, you are either lazy, not good enough or overly greedy, IMO. 

I can say I've experienced both the positive and negative sides of this first hand, but being entirely in the digital domain makes things a little different.

During college, I worked in the Microsoft Flight Simulator add-on market as a way to make a bit of spending money.  The add-on market for MS Flight Sim is an oddball venue, since it basically operates on notion that the average sim enthusiast is not going to be capable of buying the vast majority of aircraft he would want to simulate, and it won't have any effect at all on ability of aircraft manufacturers to sell their product.  (Car simulations are more tricky, and usually require massive licensing deals, because manufacturers do not want their products badly represented to the consumer.)

Now, being entirely digital, piracy isn't really an "if" so much as a "when," and you kind of have to go in knowing that.  Certain add-on groups do take the time to distribute license keys, installers, and other such packages, but once extracted, there's really not much to keep people from redistributing the contents of an aircraft add-on.

I worked on one particular project for several years, and poured my heart and soul into a simulation of a particular aircraft.  Once it hit the market, I made a decent amount of income from that, and I was fairly happy.  Note, in the end I was getting paid pennies on the hour, but it was more a hobby and labor of love than anything else, so I was just happy to make something back from what I was already doing as a recreational activity.

Two things happened some time after the release of the original aircraft.

First, as was expected, it popped up on torrent sites.  But oh well, it happened, sales dropped off, and I was a little disappointed, but I was graduating at that point, so it wasn't going to be something I got all mopey about.

Second, other developers started imitating what I'd made.  Now, what's funny is that the part that was imitated may have even been an outright copy.  When I'd made this aircraft, I went to great lengths developing a layered and animated afterburner animation effect for the plane.  The files involved were nothing but a couple of bitmap graphics, and a text file describing the layers of textures, and could have easily been copied over directly to another aircraft.

What still to this day gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, and has me grinning from ear to ear, is that that animated burner effect style is now used everywhere.  As soon as my plane hit the market, people began adapting the effect script, using it on other planes, and generally copying the style I had developed.  Piracy or not, I can't be upset at the thought that I produced something that actually raised the bar for the developer community as a whole. :)

That's all digital though.  Copying a file is literally no effort, a few button clicks. 

Copying a physical product is a little different, and if you aren't doing a cheap recast of a product, requires some serious investment to either make or acquire the molds to reproduce something.

For stuff like Bandai's exclusives?  Let the bootlegs roll.  Bandai seems to get some kind of perverse pleasure out of teasing their customers with reissues of Ozma's VF-25S, while for all intents and purposes, the molds for the armor packs may as well be destroyed for all they care about reissuing them.  Bandai has their reasons, I'm sure, but if they are going to continue to ignore demand, the market will adjust to fill that gap.

I think where I mentally draw the line in general though is how the bootlegs were made. 

The way I see it, there are three possible sources.  Note, just for the sake of simplicity, I'm ignoring whether the products are being made with permission of the original copyright owner.

1. The original molding, if purchased (which may even be the situation with some old Yamato molds), feels to me like the product should be entirely legal to produce

2. Molds made from recasts of the original product, or possibly stolen molds, both which I would chalk up as illegal

3. Molds made from reverse engineering the original product, possibly with improvements, which I'd also consider legal (and which currently sustains a multitude of VF-1 shoulders)

Bottom line.. I know the concept of "abandonware" may be out of date, but to me, a lot of physical products should fall under this sort of category.  If the original production company is either gone, or shows no interest in ever producing a product again, it should be fair for someone with an interest in the product to step up and fill the gap left.

This definitely doesn't apply to products currently in production.  Arcadia clearly has the molds and intent to produce more VF-1s, so they don't fall under this category yet.  It won't stop people from making them, or buying them, but I'd rather support an official release if it has the possibility of happening.

 

Edited by Chronocidal
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22 minutes ago, no3Ljm said:

+1  :good:

 

Hey Noel!  B))

10 minutes ago, jvmacross said:

I'd like to think this topic was made purely for informational purposes, to point out that the eventual Macross KOs were finally here.

There is no need to debate if it is right or wrong.  It is wrong.  As it has been said "stealing is stealing".  The point knowing someone else's stand on the issue is not going to change your particular opinion.  People will do what they want and follow their own moral compass and deal with the guilt or lack of it as they see fit.   

What is most unfortunate is that this topic was allowed to fester and grow by the moderators.  This topic should not be debated on MW.

Per the MW Forum Rules & Guidelines.....

http://www.macrossworld.com/mwf/topic/23944-mw-forum-rules-guidelines/

  • Copyrights and Trademarks - Fan art and Reproduction of original casts/molds
    Discussions pertaining to direct listings, sales, resales, trades, auctions, raffles/lotteries or direct web links to offsite listings, sales, resales, trades, auctions, raffles/lotteries of any recasted items or parts of items without consent of those product originators are not allowed on Macross World. Macross World is not associated or liable for any user-generated artwork or original custom items or parts.

 

The rule would appear to not just be applicable for direct KOs.....  Maybe it is time to remove this forum "rule" as it would appear it is truly more of a guideline?  :unknw:

 

 

Fair and you're correct - there is not much point debating on it because I don't think anyone is going to change their mind. I think we are all very passionate about our differing (or similar) points-of-view.

Sorry for my part in devolving this thread - AND/OR - helping it to grow. 

I'm going to go look at some of our member's pictures of new, official, products - cause at the end of the day, toys are awesome. ^_^

-b.

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10 minutes ago, Kanedas Bike said:

Hey Noel!  B))

Fair and you're correct - there is not much point debating on it because I don't think anyone is going to change their mind. I think we are all very passionate about our differing (or similar) points-of-view.

Sorry for my part in devolving this thread - AND/OR - helping it to grow. 

I'm going to go look at some of our member's pictures of new, official, products - cause at the end of the day, toys are awesome. ^_^

-b.

Hey B! B))

Wait. Why am I saying Hey to someone who devolving this thread? :nea: 

Just kidding B! Hahaha! :lol:

 

Those were good posts, JVM and Chronocidal. :good: 

 

Edited by no3Ljm
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Moved this to another post since it does probably deserve a little careful thought in the near future.

I think I may have misread that rule a little in my first read-through, but what I believe it is saying is that recasts specifically are not allowed in any way, shape, or form.  The second part, addressing "any user-generated artwork or original custom items or parts," is more a liability statement, and not meant to apply to the discussion of custom made parts.

What I do think though is that the landscape is changing.  Things like 3D printing and Shapeways have changed the industry in some very important ways, and we're getting to the point where people may not be recasting things, but I could probably print myself an entire valk.  A lot of our collections are holding together because of third-party reproductions and replacements for original parts.

Does there need to be a line drawn between recasts and reverse engineered reproduction parts?  As 3D printed replacements get higher quality and lower cost, it's going to get harder and harder to tell the difference.

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Some interesting points. I come from from the IT field. Ever since i was in school pursuing my degree, my instructors always hammered into us, don't waste time trying to reinvent the wheel, just steal it (code  whatever) and modify it to suit your needs. However some things were not allowed to be stolen (example copyrighted photos that you want to use in your website). So there that real thin line on what's acceptable and not-acceptable. Not debating just pointing out an interesting fact.

1 hour ago, nhyone said:

 

Even you don't support KO, you have to wonder if the cost of the original is justified -- and if the makers are doing anything to bring it down. Or do they just blame the usual license fee and increased cost.

 

This reminds me of Marvel comics in the 90s. When the spectator market was expanding the market, Marvel kept raising their prices citing printing costs rising as the cause. Recently a read a book called comic wars which describes how Ronald Perelman brought Marvel to bankruptcy. There is part which discusses the aforementioned price increases. The printing cost excuse was total bullshit. They raised the prices simply because they wanted the increase shareholder profit margins.

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1 hour ago, no3Ljm said:

I've read your post before and I understand what you're saying. But to what extent are you going to stay good enough in order for the "I'm-not-going-to-think-of-something-new-because-there-will-always-be-something-to-copy" copycats to stop copying just for you not to always think that imitation is the highest form of flattery, etc, etc? Would it need to stop if money is already involved since you have to pay lots of money for copyrights and all? That's what I'm trying to say when I said about I want to hear what those inventors and alike starts to say something about this matter. Even if it's a form of flattery and all, copying one's idea is already stealing. I'm not against to what you've said. But with what's going on around the world lately when it comes about this matter. Imitation is the highest form of flattery is just an excuse for being sourgraping. Esp when that copycat makes a better version of what you did. So, from there, it's just a big cycle. Now you have to make a better one. But like I asked in the beginning, to what extent you're going to stay good enough? ^_^ 

+1  :good:

 

In the end, for me as a consumer, when I run out of option then that's the only time I buy KO goods. For example, I bought a Metal Saga 00 Gundam Seven Sword it simply because the original release is so expensive nowadays. But that doesn't stop me for preordering Bandai's reissue Metal Build 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G. I know it's much expensive than the KO one. But who wants a Gundam display stand that says Metal Saga or Mecha Worrior in their collection, right? Who wants a KO display stand that has a different color compared to the others, right? Just my 2 centavos. ;)

 

 

Constant innovation and advancement sounds like a pretty good thing to me.

 

51 minutes ago, Chronocidal said:

I can say I've experienced both the positive and negative sides of this first hand, but being entirely in the digital domain makes things a little different.

During college, I worked in the Microsoft Flight Simulator add-on market as a way to make a bit of spending money.  The add-on market for MS Flight Sim is an oddball venue, since it basically operates on notion that the average sim enthusiast is not going to be capable of buying the vast majority of aircraft he would want to simulate, and it won't have any effect at all on ability of aircraft manufacturers to sell their product.  (Car simulations are more tricky, and usually require massive licensing deals, because manufacturers do not want their products badly represented to the consumer.)

Now, being entirely digital, piracy isn't really an "if" so much as a "when," and you kind of have to go in knowing that.  Certain add-on groups do take the time to distribute license keys, installers, and other such packages, but once extracted, there's really not much to keep people from redistributing the contents of an aircraft add-on.

I worked on one particular project for several years, and poured my heart and soul into a simulation of a particular aircraft.  Once it hit the market, I made a decent amount of income from that, and I was fairly happy.  Note, in the end I was getting paid pennies on the hour, but it was more a hobby and labor of love than anything else, so I was just happy to make something back from what I was already doing as a recreational activity.

Two things happened some time after the release of the original aircraft.

First, as was expected, it popped up on torrent sites.  But oh well, it happened, sales dropped off, and I was a little disappointed, but I was graduating at that point, so it wasn't going to be something I got all mopey about.

Second, other developers started imitating what I'd made.  Now, what's funny is that the part that was imitated may have even been an outright copy.  When I'd made this aircraft, I went to great lengths developing a layered and animated afterburner animation effect for the plane.  The files involved were nothing but a couple of bitmap graphics, and a text file describing the layers of textures, and could have easily been copied over directly to another aircraft.

What still to this day gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, and has me grinning from ear to ear, is that that animated burner effect style is now used everywhere.  As soon as my plane hit the market, people began adapting the effect script, using it on other planes, and generally copying the style I had developed.  Piracy or not, I can't be upset at the thought that I produced something that actually raised the bar for the developer community as a whole. :)

That's all digital though.  Copying a file is literally no effort, a few button clicks. 

Copying a physical product is a little different, and if you aren't doing a cheap recast of a product, requires some serious investment to either make or acquire the molds to reproduce something.

For stuff like Bandai's exclusives?  Let the bootlegs roll.  Bandai seems to get some kind of perverse pleasure out of teasing their customers with reissues of Ozma's VF-25S, while for all intents and purposes, the molds for the armor packs may as well be destroyed for all they care about reissuing them.  Bandai has their reasons, I'm sure, but if they are going to continue to ignore demand, the market will adjust to fill that gap.

I think where I mentally draw the line in general though is how the bootlegs were made. 

The way I see it, there are three possible sources.  Note, just for the sake of simplicity, I'm ignoring whether the products are being made with permission of the original copyright owner.

1. The original molding, if purchased (which may even be the situation with some old Yamato molds), feels to me like the product should be entirely legal to produce

2. Molds made from recasts of the original product, or possibly stolen molds, both which I would chalk up as illegal

3. Molds made from reverse engineering the original product, possibly with improvements, which I'd also consider legal (and which currently sustains a multitude of VF-1 shoulders)

Bottom line.. I know the concept of "abandonware" may be out of date, but to me, a lot of physical products should fall under this sort of category.  If the original production company is either gone, or shows no interest in ever producing a product again, it should be fair for someone with an interest in the product to step up and fill the gap left.

This definitely doesn't apply to products currently in production.  Arcadia clearly has the molds and intent to produce more VF-1s, so they don't fall under this category yet.  It won't stop people from making them, or buying them, but I'd rather support an official release if it has the possibility of happening.

 

Thanks for sharing! I've had similar experience. When I watch certain videos these days, I see a bunch of people "copying" a style that my company first started doing over 15 years ago. We started the business to produce quality videos in a certain industry that was flooded with crap, to show people how it could and should be done. One of the best experiences of my life. We made a bit of money, got a LOT of respect and after seeing everyone and their mommas jump in and copy what we were doing, considered our job well done and moved on. ALL GOOD!

 

Here's a thought that came about during all this discussion:

If you make cupcakes for a living and then some foreigner comes in and wants you to make as many cupcakes as you can, as fast as you can, for the lowest wage possible, would you rather eat the cupcakes you made for the foreigner or the ones you made on your own terms?

I think this could help explain why we are seeing KOs and 3Ps that are better quality than the official product.

 

Of course people are going to come in with the argument of who's recipe is used, etc.

Anyways, it's good discussion and I agree no one will change their minds without experience. I'm looking forward to hearing reports of how these KOs turn out. I won't support them unless I know they are doing something better.

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7 minutes ago, Slave IV said:

Constant innovation and advancement sounds like a pretty good thing to me.

See. It's a never-ending cycle. You innovate. Someone will copy. You advance more. Then for sure someone else is going to copy that advancement. It's not going to end. That's why I ask to what extent because people will copy people.

In the end, why innovate? Why do advancement? When someone can just steal easily your advancement. ;)

 

Edited by no3Ljm
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1 minute ago, no3Ljm said:

See. It's a never-ending cycle. You innovate. Someone will copy. You advance more. Then for sure someone else is going to copy that advancement. It's not going to end. That's why I ask to what extent because people will copy people.

In the end, why innovate? Why do advancement? When someone can just steal easily your advancement. ;)

 

As I explained later in that post, the satisfaction of knowing you did something that is appreciated, used and wanted by people is enough for many innovators to keep doing it. Thing is, many great innovations come about from people who do it for the passion of whatever they are doing, not money. When laws and money get involved, in the end, it all just comes down to money...which is the enemy of innovation because it's easier to make money marketing BS.

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11 minutes ago, Slave IV said:

As I explained later in that post, the satisfaction of knowing you did something that is appreciated, used and wanted by people is enough for many innovators to keep doing it. Thing is, many great innovations come about from people who do it for the passion of whatever they are doing, not money. When laws and money get involved, in the end, it all just comes down to money...which is the enemy of innovation because it's easier to make money marketing BS.

Ok. Understood. So, how will you apply this satisfaction, appreciation, etc if your the head honcho of Arcadia? Would you still keep on doing it knowing that some companies out there are just going to copy what you've been building? For sure, Arcadia will be forced to lower their price to battle this KO goods. But how can you pay your own people now to innovate more? How can Arcadia or any company for that matter survive to pay the rights, materials, labors, marketing, costs, etc. knowing that other companies are just going to come in, reverse engineer your stuff and sell it cheap? Like what you said, it all comes down to money. How one business can survive if they're not going to be paid right?

And for sure, companies like this were also built with passion. Passion for making toys and make everyone happy especially us -- Macross Lovers.

 

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2 minutes ago, no3Ljm said:

Ok. Understood. So, how will you apply this satisfaction, appreciation, etc if your the head honcho of Arcadia? Would you still keep on doing it knowing that some companies out there are just going to copy what you've been building? For sure, Arcadia will be forced to lower their price to battle this KO goods. But how can you pay your own people now to innovate more? How can Arcadia or any company for that matter survive to pay the rights, materials, labors, marketing, costs, etc? Like what you said, it all comes down to money. How one business can survive if they're not going to be paid right?

And for sure, companies like this were also built with passion. Passion for making toys and make everyone happy especially us -- Macross Lovers.

 

I forgot to mention that even without all the love, my own satisfaction for what I accomplish is already enough.

As for the business thing, luckily I don't have to worry about it because it's not my business nor is it something I would ever want to get involved in. ;)

Just for the sake of thought, for starters, I don't think Arcadia has to lower prices (though it would be nice), they just have to ensure their product is the best. For me, I would start with the people making the the products. Better morale means better quality work and less chance for mutiny. Coming out with new designs instead of finding cheap ways to rehash the same old thing that they should have done right to begin with would also be nice. There is no reason why there should be different levels of Arcadis VF-1 Valks. Every VF-1 they sell should be decked out, epitome of VF-1 toys capable with that mold at one reasonable price. By labeling one as "Premium", they devalued themselves because everything they make should be "Premium".

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1 hour ago, Slave IV said:

There is no reason why there should be different levels of Arcadis VF-1 Valks. Every VF-1 they sell should be decked out, epitome of VF-1 toys capable with that mold at one reasonable price. By labeling one as "Premium", they devalued themselves because everything they make should be "Premium".

Although I am not sure what this has to do with the current debate about IP infringement.....you totally captured why Arcadia is a poor KO itself of the former Yamato.....

Arcadia Premium Finish VF-1 = Regular release Yamato VF-1

Arcadia Regular Release VF-1 = Pre-built Yamato VF-1 kit

;)

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