Nov 5, 2008 at 7:10 pm #1231910
@dsmontgomeryLocale: one snowball away from big trouble
WTF? has anyone else seen this? http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/product398.asp
It's significantly heavier than the BB, so hopefully it won't cut into Fritz's sales. Very lame.Nov 5, 2008 at 7:50 pm #1457766
Competition is good. More power to them.Nov 6, 2008 at 8:51 am #1457816
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
This is not competition.
This is an insult to the integrity that the cottage industry generally honors among each other for their designs.
The Qvist stove is a direct copy of the Bushbuddy design, which is unique. BackpackingLight.co.uk and Qvist create division, strife, and disrespect among our business community by claiming an original design.
Forget intellectual property law: this smacks loud and clear of outright dishonor.
Some things are way more important than profit. Integrity is one of them.
This is worse than a Chinese knockoff because it comes from within our community. How sad.
This is a direct call to action for BackpackingLight.co.uk and Qvist to back off and discontinue this product, and instead, seek a relationship with Fritz Handel at Bushbuddy to work out a solution that allows the Bushbuddy stove to be distributed in Europe. If a relationship cannot be made that works for both parties, then tough. At least have some respect for the designer and recommend that your customers contact him directly for a stove.Nov 6, 2008 at 9:52 am #1457828
Were BPL.com podcasts a knockoff of BPL.co.uk's, and therefore justifying all the comments Ryan makes above?Nov 6, 2008 at 10:19 am #1457833
@slnsfLocale: Northern California
The analogy would only be valid if the podcasts covered exactly the same content and presented it the same way – and even stole the script.
That of course is not the case – all that's the same is that they both are podcasts; no more crossover here than Time and Newsweek.
The stove, on the other hand, does appear to be a near exact copy of Bushbuddy's work. Ethically very poor form, if not legally.Nov 6, 2008 at 10:33 am #1457835
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
A podcast is a means of delivering audio content. The stove looks like an attempt to directly copy another product. Very unethical.
I noticed the BackpackingLight.co.uk logo is very similar to the logo at the top of this page…Nov 6, 2008 at 10:41 am #1457836
I don't get it. There are tons of sleeping bag manufacturers. How is this different?
Maybe they should just alter the design slightly so it doesn't look the same.Nov 6, 2008 at 10:52 am #1457840
Are the cocoon pullovers a copy of Patagonia Micro Puffs?
I personally wouldn't pay over $130 for a few pieces of metal. I would just buy a J. Faulks Wood stove.Nov 6, 2008 at 10:58 am #1457843
@dsmontgomeryLocale: one snowball away from big trouble
It's clear that the brilliance of the Bushbuddy makes it a prime target for emulation. We've seen that in numerous MYO posts on this forum and even J.Falk's "Bushwhacker" stove that plays off both the name and design of the Bushbuddy. What makes the "Bush Cooker" different, and so egregious, is that 1. unlike the MYO stoves, this is being manufactured for sale, and 2. Unlike J.Falk's, there are absolutely no material differences (other than the use heavier materials, and the emblazoning of their logo on someone else's design) between the Cooker and the Buddy. I don't think that the Bushbuddy can claim sole dominion over the entire "inverted downdraft gassifier… yada yada" realm, but this is not a hard case. The Bush Cooker is a facsimile; it adds nothing new.
I think that this kind of copying poses a real, I'll even say "existential," threat to the hiking cottage industry. Designs are always hard to protect, but this is especially true in a cottage industry, as few companies have the resources to gain, not to mention enforce legal protections for their designs. We're not in some macro, efficient market where competition and lawsuits cure all. If these innovations aren't protected in some way, these excellent companies will cease to be, and we'll be stuck with crap gear.
With that in mind, I've written Fritz to get the scoop on whether he knew about or okay'd the Bush Cooker (I doubt it). If not, I plan to start a petition to backpackinglight.co.uk and Qvist to urge them to stop the manufacture and distribution of this stove. I'll probably post info on that in another section of the forum, but I'll include a link to it here.
Power to the people! Let's put this forum to some good use.Nov 6, 2008 at 11:25 am #1457845
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I think that there is a difference between flat out copying someone else's design 100% vs. finding a way to improve upon a design to make it different in some way.
Yes, there are many sleeping bags out there and they are probably all very similar, but the individual manufacture will have different fabrics, baffle designs, etc….they could be materially different enough to make a difference in performance or they may be cosmetic to allow for a marketing difference.
However, it seems that in this case, this is an outright copy/stealing of someone else's design.
The man who designed and created the Bushbuddy should be rewarded for his creativity and hard work for having created such an innovative design/product.
If someone else wants to flat out copy it…at a minimum there should be some licensing fee/money that is provided to the original creator.
I would think that normally there would be a patent placed to protect the man who created the Bushbuddy, but getting a patent is supposed to be an expensive process.
The fact that the UL community is small and probably tight makes this all the more terrible.
Imagine if this knockoff caused the niche market for the Bushbuddy to collapse and we would lose a superior product to be able to buy and be left with an inferior knockoff product as our only option?
Much of the UL products we all lust after are made by a small number of passionate individuals.
Actions like this put them and their livelyhoods at risk with the possibility of depriving us as consumers of these innovative UL products.
Competition and innovation is good….it spurs manufactures to produce new and better products.
Knockoffs like this only serve to weaken the market, not improve it.
Anyway, my few cents on this matter.
-TonyNov 6, 2008 at 11:29 am #1457846
Is it too small of a market to do any good in fighting it? I'll sign the petition. Since they are across the "pond", do you really think it will cut into Fritz's sales? I'd say not, esp when it's heavier and not in this country. It's still no excuse.
I've not seen the usually diplomatic RJ (even under pressure from whiners) express himself in this way…go get 'em dude!Nov 6, 2008 at 11:41 am #1457851
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
It is shameful, but if Fritz doesn't have an international patent on his design, it is not illegal. However not ACKNOWLEDGING someone else's design is cowardly and scummy.
In a small (international) comminity such as ours, we as individuals can exert a lot of power via petition and, more importantly, boycott. The second form of protest is more powerful!! Lets' get the message out there to potential buyers of the knock-off that buying the BushCooker is dishonourable and casts shame on them.Nov 6, 2008 at 11:45 am #1457852
I can understand that a 1:1 copy is a bad thing.
Also, Fritz doesn't have a patent because of cost, it's because someone else already patented it.Nov 6, 2008 at 11:45 am #1457853
The way I see it, if any patents are violated, then Fritz is free to defend them in a court of law. May the right person win. And may perpetuators be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
But if Fritz did not obtain patents, then basically, the Bushbuddy is a free for all.
I personally don't respect copycats — which is probably why I don't care much for companies like Microsoft. But I also think that droning on about morality (or immorality) of copying is one big waste of time. There have been far too many "outside inspiration" and "cross pollination" — all throughout history. Who here hasn't been inspired by somebody (or something) else?Nov 6, 2008 at 12:11 pm #1457857
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
>> But I also think that droning on about morality (or immorality) of copying is one big waste of time
It's really not about the practice of copying.
It's about the people, their relationships, and the respect that we have for each other.
Yes, this is a cutthroat world we live in where every competitive edge (in this case lack of IP protection) will be used to make money.
Yes, we have formal mechanisms for intellectual property protection so that the courts can make intelligent and objective decisions.
But at some point, should we really allow the law to be the lowest common denominator of a well functioning society? I'd argue that if this is the case, then society will function, but not to its potential.Nov 6, 2008 at 12:47 pm #1457862
If I was going to buy a synthetic quilt, I would buy an American made one from Mountain Laurel Designs, even though it costs more than twice as much as all of the Chinese-made one's being unloaded on here this week.Nov 6, 2008 at 1:07 pm #1457866
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
I'm not following you, Tom. What does that have to do with the Bushbuddy issue?Nov 6, 2008 at 1:29 pm #1457869
"But at some point, should we really allow the law to be the lowest common denominator of a well functioning society?"
I see your point and I dislike that as much as you do. But the reality is that as a society, we already ARE at that point — and have been for some time. The kind of world where folks act nobly and courteously toward each other exist only amongst small and/or well-defined groups, locations, etc. The BPL community is one such group. The much larger Ebay 'community', as another example, is not. The commercial world? Even less so.
My gut feel is that within the UK-BPL group, they may have a similar high standard practiced amongst its own members. That the modus operandus does not reach across the Atlantic Ocean is sad, but hardly unexpected. It's pretty much the same story both directions — and all around the world.Nov 6, 2008 at 1:30 pm #1457870
Tom appears to be introducing an anti-chinese angle into the debate to rebutt BPL for speaking out. Unnecessary really.Nov 6, 2008 at 1:37 pm #1457874
If I recall correctly, my American-printed high school 'World History' textbook not only failed to condemn the illegal smuggle of Chinese silk cocoons to Europe — but even treated its success as something of a coup! I think it was a small group of Byzantine monks who hid the cocoons inside the hollow of their walking staff. If true, then three cheers to the Turks!
Copying, pirating, industrial espionage… Far too often, when "our side" scores a success, we attribute that to ingenuity and persistence. But if "they" do it — oh my, what an evil bunch they are!
Which is why I feel that copying/pirating should legally be stopped. But moralizing about it is just such a waste of time.Nov 6, 2008 at 1:40 pm #1457875
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
>Tom appears to be introducing an anti-chinese angle into the debate to rebutt BPL for speaking out. Unnecessary really
Only Tom can say. I took his comment as an initiative to buy locally produced goods rather than import from overseas. I guess Canada is close enough to be considered 'local'. I respect and support this philosophy (if that's what he meant) to the extent that the local goods meet my requirments. Living in NZ that is often not the case, so having to import something from somewhere means I am less likely to favour US over UK over China than many Americans…My priorities are NZ first, then Oz, then Japan, then US or UK, all other things being equal.
In the case of the Bush Cooker, all things are not equal as it is heavier, and most Americans would no doubt be put off by the extra cost of postage from UK.Nov 6, 2008 at 1:46 pm #1457878
Benjamin wrote "The kind of world where folks act nobly and courteously toward each other exist only amongst small and/or well-defined groups, locations, etc. The BPL community is one such group." Elsewhere others have spoken of morality.
How many of those who have said harsh things about BPL.CO.UK have taken the trouble to write and ask for their side of the story first? What was the answer?Nov 6, 2008 at 1:49 pm #1457879
I too read it the same way as Alison. Tom was simply trying to "slip in" a buy local rhetoric.
Buying local to support someone you know or a neighborhood shop or even a cottage industry at large can make sense.
But at a broader scale, buying "USA" (or whatever your country is) as a matter of course actually makes no economic sense. The best way to help all concerned is to always shop for the best at whatever is your particular price point. Pick up 'Economics 101' from any college bookstore.Nov 6, 2008 at 2:01 pm #1457881
I don't think Fritz has anything to worry about. I have a bushbuddy and it is a work of fine art.
Re: BB Ripoff, judging by the picture, the workmanship is not there, I don't believe the top comes off (or does it?) to nest inside, and it is ~2 oz heavier…basically, they have stolen someone else's idea and made it worse…quite embarrassing for them actually.Nov 6, 2008 at 2:44 pm #1457890
@fperkinsLocale: North East
Damn brits! Just wait until the Germans invade and see what happens then! Don't expect us to save their limey behinds [again!]
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