This thread, wow, disappointing.......
I completely see this side of it, too. It's a tough situation and a tougher problem to solve. It's really easy for me to just sit over here flailing my arms knowing I don't actually have any power in this. It's a much harder thing for forum admin to figure out how to deal with this, if at all. My goal in the short term is to simply broach the topic, bring the issue to light, and engage in discussion that will hopefully lead people to think a bit about the impact this has on the wet shaving makers, designers, and artisans.Thanks for your thoughtful response. I understand your thinking about this, but I think we'll have to settle on disagreeing on this point: I'm just not persuaded that trying to selectively block the flow of information to shavers out there is a winning strategy in the battle against knock-offs. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it ain't going back in. Fighting it by trying to keep people from knowing about it seems like a losing proposition to me. In my view, better to go at them head on, as you have done here, and expose them for what they are.
There is also the very thorny problem of fairly administering a policy that bans any sort of knock-off-centric threads, or perhaps even any mention of knock-off products. It would be hard to make clear rules for that; even if one could, they would be, by definition, arbitrary. That looks like an impossibly slippery slope to me.
Thanks again for your contributions to this discussion.
I'd say mission accomplished. And thanks for that.My goal in the short term is to simply broach the topic, bring the issue to light, and engage in discussion that will hopefully lead people to think a bit about the impact this has on the wet shaving makers, designers, and artisans.
I may have missed something but what was censored?I agree with Shane that ripping off someone else's intellectual property is a reprehensible thing and it is a practice I condemn. However, banning any discussion of products that reflect it is a bridge too far for me. Shutting down open discussion about it simply isn't, in my view, an appropriate remedy. It is a treatment that does nothing to actually help eradicate the the disease. On that matter, I have to respectfully disagree with Shane.
The suggestion to ban these threads is apparently based on the assumption that discussion of such products here is tantamount to condoning or, worse, promoting the practice of knocking-off other people's designs. Taking a look at the discussion in this thread, it seems pretty clear to me that is definitely not the case. A lot of diverse opinions have been expressed about this, which is what B&B is all about.
But the real issue this suggestion raises is the inherently arbitrary nature of censorship. How is it to be decided which threads get banned? When does "inspired by" become a banned knock-off? And does that carry over to brush handles, mugs, maybe even soaps and AS, that look like, smell like or are even explicitly based on an existing product? That, my friends, is a slippery slope indeed.
Finally, I'm not so naive to think that B&B is an unfettered platform for free speech. As pointed out, there are plenty of rules here that could be construed as censorship. But saying "since we already have some, let's have some more" is a "two-wrongs-make-a-right" argument that doesn't logically work for me.
Shane seemed to advocate the idea that any discussions involving knock offs of products from B&B vendors should be completely shut down before they could get started. After all, he's paying for forum sponsorship, etc.I may have missed something but what was censored?
I disagree as well but this is a privately owned forum and the owners can do whatever they want.Shane seemed to advocate the idea that any discussions involving knock offs of products from B&B vendors should be completely shut down before they could get started. After all, he's paying for forum sponsorship, etc.
It's not a vote. So, I guess people should not even express their opinion? After all, they are just powerless sheep? Gee, thanks.I disagree as well but this is a privately owned forum and the owners can do whatever they want.
A knife forum I used to frequent completely banned the discussion as well as the selling of knockoffs. Not many members had a problem with it either.
People need to remember that just because this is an Internet forum, it isn’t necessarily a democracy.
I understand and appreciate your passion.. But also remember that other people trying to emulate something also leads to further innovation.. Smart phones are constantly being copied and having features added which leads to further improvements over the original design.. I have to be honest though when i heard about a clone I had mixed feelings even though the clone isnt anywhere to be found online... I had a nightmare a while back where my oldest son got ahold of a razor from your company and he was injured by it and didnt survive.. so Personally I have taken a stand and I know its irrational of me but I wont have a blackland razor in my house to make sure it never happens.. It has nothing to do with your products which I think are great its just ME....so for someone like me who is in a situation like mine the only way I could even try your design would be through the the clone.. I dont have the clone by the way... I wish you great success with all your current and future endeavors though....If fighting for my business turns away some customers then so be it. I see no other alternative. Sitting on the sidelines and shrugging while my products are knocked off is not my style. I put a lot of effort, passion, time, and money into making these things and you can bet that I'm going to stand up for what I've created when it's threatened.
I've always aimed to create a business that I would personally want to purchase from. And in my personal life I like companies who fight for what they've made and who scratch and claw for every inch. I'll always support people who believe enough in what they've made that they're willing to fight for it especially when they have to ruffle some feathers to do so. It would be a lot easier and safer for me to just sigh and walk away with my tail between my legs because I'm afraid of losing a customer. But I don't personally respect businesses who do that and so I won't let Blackland become that. If that is unattractive to a potential customer despite the reputation of my products, my customer service, and my willingness to engage in the community then I'm okay with that because I know that there are guys like me out there who value businesses with integrity and determination.
I said I agree with you. Read my post. Nothing to do with being sheep and yes, we would be completely powerless if B&B wanted to ban clone discussions. Not our call. That was my point.It's not a vote. So, I guess people should not even express their opinion? After all, they are just powerless sheep? Gee, thanks.
I think the difficulty of patenting or trademarking anything in China is obvious due to the massive amount of pirated, knock-off, and copy-cat products this country produces. Not being xenophobic, but I have a Blu-Ray set heavily advertised on Facebook that I'm sure is a Chinese knock-off upon receipt.This is a total aside but have you (@Blackland Razors ) looked to see how much it costs to file the patents in China / US ? If it isn't too much I don't think it would hurt in keeping issues like this to a minimum (e.g. truly sketchy knockoffs).
I agree with the sentiment I think the target audience is a bit different (so this might not be worth pursuing), but I also definitely agree with the anxiety (given the breathless random purchases from aliexpress, people seem to go on about [ which I had not even heard of before coming here ] ) that this has the potential to completely derail an already pretty niche market.
Where the discussion gets a bit lost above is - homages / off patent duplication certainly has a role in innovation. In contrast patents themselves have a legal timeline to protect businesses - particularly small businesses like Blackland. An homage or an idea that is not patented is one thing that can be discussed .. but in cases such as these, this is a different topic all together (if patented).
So in this case, I can only point out the irony in banning discussions around recreational/medical weed that randomly pop up - which is legal in California ( where I think Blackland is based ) and actually in contrast being far more lenient on sales of potentially patent breaking innovation / knock offs - which is decidedly not legal in California or in the world actually except under very rare exceptions.
I think the difficulty of patenting or trademarking anything in China is obvious due to the massive amount of pirated, knock-off, and copy-cat products this country produces. Not being xenophobic, but I have a Blu-Ray set heavily advertised on Facebook that I'm sure is a Chinese knock-off upon receipt.