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IP theft topic I found on Facebook
#1
Cameron Tinder Rocketry
Anyone that knows me knows that I would rather poke myself with a sharp stick than to seek out confrontation. As a result I do not normally post thing that may be too controversial. There are times however that having a tough and possibly controversial conversation is the right thing to do and I believe that this is that time.
On the surface it seems like all the drama that has been going on this last year was the result of two manufacturers not getting along, look a little deeper and it is much more serious and seeks to destroy the innovation that this hobby is known for.
As a result, this is a conversation that we as adult rocket guys and gals MUST  have. Let me start with saying that during this conversation NO NAMES SHOULD BE USED so that we can have this conversation without it being removed by the administrators. THIS IS NOT ABOUT POINTING FINGERS BUT RATHER WHAT SHOULD WE DO AS A COMMUNITY GOING FORWARD.
This conversation is based around the question: "Should we allow IP (Intellectual Property) theft in our hobby?" If not what should we do about it?
Four cases in point:
Case #1:  Early this year, a major manufacturer (NO NAMES PLEASE!) obtained one or more items from another smaller manufacturer through a 3rd party (NO NAMES PLEASE!) where they disassembled, dissected and made identical copies of the items. The bigger manufacturer actually copied and pasted all of the information regarding the items found on the smaller manufacturers website. The larger manufacturer even kept the original NAME of the item that was stolen when they listed it for sale! This was only resolved when the smaller manufacturer hired an attorney at a great expense and forced the larger manufacturer to change the name of the stolen design and remove the copied and pasted description of the stolen items from the larger manufactures website.  The larger manufacture did copy and is still selling this stolen design on their website today.
Is this ok for a large manufacture to obtain, dissect, and make IDENTICAL copies of another manufactures items? Or should we stand against those that steal others stuff?
Case #2:  A major manufacturer (NO NAMES PLEASE!) obtained one or more items from me on December 18th of last year presumably (On my part) to see if they wanted to be re-sellers. They disassembled, dissected and made identical copies of these items and this last March came out with exact replicas of these items. I was notified by several in the Rocketry community that this had happened. I made an announcement on the NAR FB page stating that this larger manufacturer had stolen my design and was attempting to sell it. The major manufacturer immediately contacted the administrator of the NAR FB page and the post was deleted within minutes. Shortly after that I followed up with a post stating that I had a major announcement and directed people to my FB page where I detailed what happened. This was resolved when I agreed to remove the post on my page AND the major manufacturer agreed: not to sell my stolen items, to resolve issues with the other manufactures regarding stolen items and agreed not steal other peoples stuff!
Again the question, Is this ok for a large manufacture to obtain, dissect, and make IDENTICAL copies of another manufactures items?Or should we stand against those that steal others stuff?
Case #3:  A major rocket motor manufacturer (NO NAMES PLEASE!) back on October 25th posted on the TRA FB page an allegation that someone (NO NAMES PLEASE!) was selling  un-authorized motor hardware. This post is still up has 68 comments (As of this writing) the overwhelming majority seem to side with the major rocket motor manufacture who's stuff was being copied and sold and the offender seems to not be selling this stuff anywhere that I can find.
Is it ok for a little guy to steal IP from a larger company and sell an un-authorized copy of it? Or should we stand against those that steal others stuff?
Case #4:  Recently, a major manufacturer (NO NAMES PLEASE!) obtained one or more items from another much smaller manufacturer through a 3rd party (NO NAMES PLEASE!) where they disassembled, dissected and made identical copy(s) of the item(s). The major manufacture even took pictures of this and sent them to others bragging that they will be copying and introducing this item(s) during their Black Friday Sale. (They did.)  The smaller manufacturer got wind of this about 3 weeks ago and though he has been squealing like a stuck pig, he has not been listened to, largely (In my opinion) because he seems to come off on social media as childish and petty, but the fact still remains that the larger manufacture did copy and is still selling this stolen design on their website today.
So once again, is this ok for a large manufacture to obtain, dissect, and make IDENTICAL copies of another manufactures items?Or should we stand against those that steal others stuff?
It appears from the examples that I have given here that  the largest companies can take what they want from the smaller companies and little or nothing happens. Is it ok for a larger company to steal from smaller companies without consequence, or do we stand together and say stealing of all IP is theft?
Make no mistake about it, I am not talking about people making a similar items or common items, but rather obtaining, dissecting and copying unique products, designs or devices.
(PLEASE don't say "get a patent" unless you personally have gotten and PAID FOR a utility patent so that you actually know what you are talking about- Thanks!)
Please keep your comments constructive and do so without naming ANY NAMES! Thank you!
[Image: sigpic867_3.gif]
Gloria Robinson
AMW/ProX
www.amwprox.com
NAR L3 94376

Certified L3 on an O3400
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#2
I didn't want to stir up any muck on Facebook Tripoli but I would like to know the companies involved in each of the cases as it will affect my future purchases.
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#3
I'm not sure about every issue that Cameron raises, but two are pretty recent and you can get a decent picture if you go back through TRA or NAR posts for the last few months and see where the discussions have been happening.  (correction, it appears that most/all of the feuding posts have been deleted)

Aerotech posted a "cease and desist" notice to one of their sub-suppliers, which I believe constitutes case #3.  I am not familiar with the sub-supplier.

Case #1 and #4 may be related, but I don't know for certain.  I believe these are relating to several parachute/recovery systems manufacturers.  If you want to go down the rabbit hole, you can go to this link for one side of the story...
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