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 Post subject: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:58 am 
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As some of you may be aware, the Curvy Copter has been mass produced by a well known KO company and it is currently being sold in more and more cubing shops.
I have been getting questions about this: No, I did not authorize this copy and it was produced without my knowledge. Needless to say I'm upset about it but Uwe Meffert has been helping me and he's been amazing.

In any case, if you care about me or KO puzzles, you should not buy a mass produced Curvy Copter yet. We are still working very hard to get this product to you legally. While I'm certain we're going to reach an agreement with the company, it will be available from Meffert's shortly. These will carry the Meffert's Challenge logo and my signature. Any mass produced Curvy Copter that does not carry my signature is not legitimate.

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Last edited by TomZ on Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:34 am 
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Another sad day for custom puzzles :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:29 am 
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Not only is this really sad for custom puzzle builders because of KO's copying everything at the moment, but also naming it magic butterfly is just lame :(

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:01 am 
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i just found it, surprising. it looks so nice, hopefully i can have a legal approved version on my shelf in not too long. Since nobody has seen the mech of this one, i cant say whether or not they do your design justice, but its still a very beautiful puzzle. Even though this bad thing is happening for you, you should still be proud of what you made.

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:29 am 
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Magic Butterfly :lol: :cry: :roll: What!!
Sorry Tom..
You deserve to be mass produced, but not like this, and not, NOT, NOTwith `Magic Butterfly`!!
Let's see it in Mefferts, and let's see your other puzzles mass produced properly now before we are all humiliated further, surely legitimate people are knocking down the door to mass produce your work!
Cheers,
Burgo.
(PS I laughed and cried about the silly name only).

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:13 am 
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:cry: :cry: sorry about this.

sure hope you can get it to meffert's.

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:02 am 
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Burgo wrote:
Sorry Tom..
You deserve to be mass produced, but not like this...
Are the KO companies now selling clones of Tom??? :shock:

Sorry to hear about this, Tom. I hope it works out for you!

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:03 am 
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The Curvy Copter had been my second TomZ puzzle (March 2010) and I am in love with it :D :D since I have seen the first picture.
I feel really sorry for Tom and hope that Uwe will be successful in his fight against the KO company.
It is not the problem that it is mass-produced, the problem is that it is KO and there is no agreement with Tom as the original designer.
I would be completely happy, if I would share the beauty and the elegance of this puzzle with many others who have paid a fraction only of the Shapeways price. (I would even buy a second one, if it is legal.)

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:25 pm 
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Hey guys I think saying the name of the puzzle makes it easier to be found.
This is really a shame. I hope you can legitimize it.


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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Tom said it was a KO, the first place I looked I found it at the top of the page, so the name won't change anything, sadly...
I hope it's legitimate soon, I want to buy one :(

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:26 pm 
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Very bittersweet news, i hope you can come to an arrangement with the company quickly to get some royalties on this.

I look forward to ordering it when it has been legitimised , hopefully in the near future!
I think if possible, pre-orders would prove very popular!


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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:10 am 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
Are the KO companies now selling clones of Tom??? :shock:
Yes, sadly they are. Luckily, my parents are working very hard on a legitimate version. Unfortunately, quantities are limited and only 1.3 are available per year. In the meanwhile, we will offer a rebranded version which will come with fluorescent labels.

I have asked Meffert to make it possible to preoder as soon as possible (Curvy Copters, not me!). I understand that it's very hard to hold off buying a $15 version when there is no legitimate version but I think Meffert should have them at the same time as these other companies (since the ones offered are only preorders too).

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Buy my mass produced puzzles at Mefferts:
- 4x4x6 Cuboid for just $38
- Curvy Copter for just $18
- 3x4x5 Cuboid for just $34


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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:40 am 
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TomZ wrote:
Unfortunately, quantities are limited and only 1.3 are available per year.
And that would be pushing it - literally! :lol:

TomZ wrote:
... but I think Meffert should have them at the same time as these other companies (since the ones offered are only preorders too).
It sounds like they will come from the same mould, as soon as it's ready! Unfortunately it is very common in China that an (unlimited) quantity of "excess" parts can find their way into illegitimate distribution channels, especially when there's royalties to pay through the legitimate channel.

This is easy to check, because just like a bullet and its casing can be matched to a specific gun by signature dents and scratches, and a fingerprint or DNA specimen can be linked to a specific crime suspect (do you watch CSI?), any plastic component can be traced back to a specific mould by the nature and position of certain features related to the injection moulding process. Just order both puzzles, and then compare all shapes and dimensions, including wall thickness, etc., as well as the position of seam lines where the moulds come together, and the tiny burr where the plastic is injected into the mould. Also the circular ejection pin marks, where the formed parts are pushed out the mould. If all these features are identical, then you *know* the parts must come from the same mould. Isn't forensic science brilliant!

If they come from the same mould then you have to ask yourself who is supposed to be in control of this and has allowed it to happen? Or, if they come from a different mould you have to ask how similar they are, and in what form the design leaked out - either as a prototype or the overall concept (if all the shapes, dimensions, ratios and other features are slightly different), or as the original 3D CAD file (if the dimensions, or their ratios are the same, but the positions of the moulding seam, ejection pin marks, and other moulding features are different).

It's a sad fact, but if only the concept has been leaked and copied, then you can't hold anyone responsible for that since you published the design/concept on the internet, I assume without any patent protection (although I'm sure you have everyone's moral support and sympathy here at TP!). However, if the mould, or the 3D CAD file has been misappropriated, then you should get to the bottom of this and make the responsible party pay damages, or stop the copies being made (assuming you actually own the mould, or at least own some copyright in the 3D CAD file used to make the mould).

Anyway, I sincerely hope there hasn't been any foul play by those people you're supposed to trust making shadey/illicit deals on the side, rather than somebody else making their own CAD files and mould based on what they've seen on the internet. For example, it would be easy to say "give me a discount on the mould or parts, and I'll let you make as many copies for yourself as you like without paying any royalties", or "here, I'll sell you as many 'spare' parts as you like on the cheap, but don't tell anyone they came from us". Unfortunately this kind of practice is far too common. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:01 am 
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I have managed to purchase a KO of a legitimate puzzle that was designed from a hand made puzzle. My KO has the same molding lines as my hand made puzzle which are not on the legitimate versions of that puzzle.

As Kelvin says, there are ways to tell the differences-this particular KO I hold in my hand was easy to spot visually, often times though, you need to take the puzzle apart-and having done that once and been yelled at for it-I wouldn't recommend you do that on a regular basis.

I'm sorry this has happened yet again, but I have been assured it is being dealt with and have been told that Tom has done a good job of getting the ball rolling.

As he said, the ones that are out there in a couple of different places right now-don't buy them. Wait until you see Tom's signature on the cubes before you make a purchase.

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:38 am 
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Meffert does not have a mold for making Curvy Copters. The ones offered by him will simply be the ones from the KO company, but he will replace the stickers with his fluorescent ones and place on a transparent sticker with my signature. He might make another mold himself if the demand is big enough but it's not certain.
The only foul play that has taken place is that [a factory which I'd much rather call by name] copied my puzzle design. As far as I know, they haven't stolen any drawings our mold designs or whatever.

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Buy my mass produced puzzles at Mefferts:
- 4x4x6 Cuboid for just $38
- Curvy Copter for just $18
- 3x4x5 Cuboid for just $34


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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:53 am 
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OK, thanks for clarifying. Then it's just a case of being as nice and friendly as possible to these guys, while pointing out that they would do much better to form an alliance with you to "legitimize" these puzzles and thus get more potential customers, in return for a small royalty, or probably more valuable to you, as with Eitan, some recognition with your name on the cube!

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:19 pm 
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TomZ wrote:
Meffert does not have a mold for making Curvy Copters. The ones offered by him will simply be the ones from the KO company, but he will replace the stickers with his fluorescent ones and place on a transparent sticker with my signature. He might make another mold himself if the demand is big enough but it's not certain.
The only foul play that has taken place is that [a factory which I'd much rather call by name] copied my puzzle design. As far as I know, they haven't stolen any drawings our mold designs or whatever.
Is there a way that we - as the whole twisty puzzles forum of 2294 members today - can raise our voice to influence [a factory which I'd much rather call by name] ? Like saying, that most if not all people here will never buy it, unless there is an agreement with Tom? It would help, if they understand that the market potential is better having such agreement!

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:22 pm 
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Konrad wrote:
TomZ wrote:
Meffert does not have a mold for making Curvy Copters. The ones offered by him will simply be the ones from the KO company, but he will replace the stickers with his fluorescent ones and place on a transparent sticker with my signature. He might make another mold himself if the demand is big enough but it's not certain.
The only foul play that has taken place is that [a factory which I'd much rather call by name] copied my puzzle design. As far as I know, they haven't stolen any drawings our mold designs or whatever.
Is there a way that we - as the whole twisty puzzles forum of 2294 members today - can raise our voice to influence [a factory which I'd much rather call by name] ? Like saying, that most if not all people here will never buy it, unless there is an agreement with Tom? It would help, if they understand that the market potential is better having such agreement!


Perhaps some kind of online petition (that we could publicize), but honestly I don't think 2300 people is a huge chunk of their target market.


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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:28 pm 
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Iranon wrote:
Perhaps some kind of online petition (that we could publicize), but honestly I don't think 2300 people is a huge chunk of their target market.

True, but even a tiny TP poll could be explained as representating the most vocal and potentially critical portion of a much bigger market...

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:36 pm 
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I hate to admit it, but we all know a lot of members on this forum won't wait until Uwe Meffert produces the Curvy Copter. A lot of people prefer getting KO's because of their low price. I'd be ready to bet that less than 1000 people on this forum will stay legitimate :(

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:15 pm 
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RubixFreakGreg wrote:
I hate to admit it, but we all know a lot of members on this forum won't wait until Uwe Meffert produces the Curvy Copter. A lot of people prefer getting KO's because of their low price. I'd be ready to bet that less than 1000 people on this forum will stay legitimate :(

1000 out of "2000 worldwide members!" is pretty good. I give 3 months for a real company to produce the Curvy Copter (it really is a good design :) ), and if it's not on Mefferts by October I'll probably end up ordering the KO since I really want one. I'm very much willing to buy it legitimately, but if no opportunities to do so arise then I can't. I hope you can get your legal troubles worked out, Tom!

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:18 pm 
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I *really* exaggerated with the 1000 I think :( :( :(

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:23 pm 
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RubixFreakGreg wrote:
I *really* exaggerated with the 1000 I think :( :( :(

I doubt it. If we had the opportunity to get the Curvy Copter from Mefferts, I'd put the number at 1500 (unless everyone lies about KOs to avoid being yelled at so we think nobody actually buys them :( )

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:10 pm 
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Not all 2294 members are active or even real.

I'd put the number at only around 50 people that will not buy a KO puzzle. That number exludes you GoombaGeek. 2 months or even 2 years, a KO is still a KO. You could always buy it from shapeways :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:16 pm 
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PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
That number exludes you
Don't point fingers please.

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:22 pm 
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PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
Not all 2294 members are active or even real.

I'd put the number at only around 50 people that will not buy a KO puzzle. That number exludes you GoombaGeek. 2 months or even 2 years, a KO is still a KO. You could always buy it from shapeways :lol:

That's because I want one. It's hard to get the real version when there is no real version...

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Sorry about calling you out :oops:

But there is a non KO version, only $130.00...

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:28 pm 
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PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
Sorry about calling you out :oops:

But there is a non KO version, only $130.00...

:shock:

...Now it's more of a morally difficult question (if the KO doesn't cause the developer to lose money, it's fine by me) since there's a (really expensive) non-KO version. Do I want morals, or $110 (4 months of income)?

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 Post subject: Re: Regarding the mass produced Curvy Copter KO
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:32 pm 
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Just be patient. Mefferts will have them soon enough - he has placed his order, just a matter of waiting for it to arrive - all these other sites are offering are pre-orders, something which Meffert does not want to do.

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Buy my mass produced puzzles at Mefferts:
- 4x4x6 Cuboid for just $38
- Curvy Copter for just $18
- 3x4x5 Cuboid for just $34


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