There are costs and risks that an inventor has to take when prototyping a new product. So far the community has respected the original inventor, but it wouldn't take much for that to change. We are in a small world here.
It would be one thing if at least credit to the original inventor was given. It is hard to come up with an inovation that improves the community. There should be a certain amount of respect that the venders should give each other and thier products. Why should one bother if another vender can just start making that product as if it was his idea?
I don't want to sound too bent out of shape or preachy here. Marty seems to be a good vender. I just can't agree with taking an idea that is so uniquely another venders.
Slo, I heard about you polr mod, I can't wait to check it out!
I am often asked to make custom gear for folks that starts with the design of a currently existing product. Before I will even speak with them about it, I try to answer a few questions.
1. What else is already out there that will satisfy their need?
2. Is the original vendor willing or able to provide various options to meet their need?
3. Are the changes I am being asked to make going to result in a substantial difference?
4. Do I have the original innovator's blessing to offer this item in a new and different way?
Often, it's wiser to simply use the already proven product than to "re-invent" or "copy" it.
I think possibly this offering fails at least a couple of the above tests.
Anyone know if Marty talked with Paul first? Marty has a great reputation and I'm sure whatever potential issue this may or may not be, he and Paul can get it worked out and he'd do what's right. I try to be an optimist.
RIP GORDIE HOWE
One of the great things about this forum has been the tremendous amount of innovation that comes from it's members and vendors. Hope I'm not going too far off topic here (or maybe we should just start a new thread) but lately there have been more products for sale that are just "me too" items.
On the surface this may not seem like a big offense but if you analyze it you'll see that ultimately it leads to less innovation and fewer new products for all of us. The innovating vendors generally don't have patents, because they're mostly mom & pop shops, and if other vendors come along and start selling the same product for a couple bucks less the innovators can't survive and the motivation to come up with new ideas is squashed.
I have no problem with DIY. In fact I encourage everyone with an interest to make as much of their own gear as they can. It's cloning for profit that worries me, for the reasons I've already given.
End of rant.
Some features are signature to a particular vendors design and that should be respected when it comes to commercial gear. JRB's serape head-hole, for instance; or Warbonnet's footbox. In this case, the double-pole-above-the-tarp design was just released.
Imitation is said to be a sincere form of flattery. But there's a difference between imitation and copying that ought to be regarded. From the outside, this doesn't feel like it meets that standard.
“I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy
This is one of those threads that might share the same bed as politics and religion around here.... I am sure there is much to be said on the matter, but it would be hard to do so without stepping on a few toes. Here are some of my general thoughts on the subject.
There are times when a vendor comes up with a new and innovative idea, researches and develops that idea, and then releases it to the masses. That vendor MIGHT get a patent on it but probably won't because patents costs lots of money and all they really do is give you the right to round up the lawyers and empty your bank account.
There are also times when an idea pops up on here on HF that also seems like a great idea. That idea might be a spectacular right off the bat, or it might be the beginnings of an innovation that matures by sometimes lengthy discussions and then is finally developed by our very respectable DIY guys/gals out there.
At this point, a vendor (or prospective vendor) might be presented with an opportunity. People want this thing, but no one is commercially producing it. What to do? Should the vendor ask the permission of all the people that helped develop the concept? Should the vendor simply write a comment in the description of the product on his/her website giving credit to the discussions, and website where the discussions took place? Who is to say? I know if I was a member that came up with something neat and saw it for sale a month later on a vendor website...without giving me the slightest credit at all, it might be a sore spot with me.
Now, what if a businessman sees a good idea on another vendor's website, and wants to produce that, I guess that is another thing altogether. Or is it? What if the good idea offered is not the idea of the vendor but is just something gleaned from a thread or article read somewhere? Where is the line? Is the line finally drawn when the idea is commercially available? Is that the point when it becomes untouchable?
Sometimes a vendor might assume they came up with a new idea, without knowing that it already exists in a buried thread somewhere. What then? Should someone call him out? Maybe, in private, yes. Maybe not though, again, where is that line...
Let's say the businessman sees that good idea, and decides to change it up a little to make it his/her own. How much change is enough for it to be different? Who makes that decision?
Maybe it all boils down to ethics and perspectives. Maybe more ethics than perspective...lol. I have tried to keep my opinions to myself in this thread (not sure how well I did). Aren't I the diplomatic one? LOL. I will say this, I think if someone is selling something that is not their original idea, they might at least acknowledge the origin of that idea.
Sorry about the long read, everyone.
Wouldn't this world be boring, if everying were black and white!