Together all of us here in this harp community are a creative, artistic group and we should support each other when we can. With that in mind I wanted to bring up the following for discussion.
It looks like there’s a guy making cheap knockoffs of products that were first developed by active musicians in our harmonica community. a) He makes a version of the HarpLock, a great product invented and sold by a working musician. b) He makes a version of the Harparatus, a cool mic-stand device invented and sold by a working musician. c) He makes a neck rack similar to the Farmer ArchTop magnetic rack developed and made by a very creative husband and wife musical team. d) He makes a version of the Duo Harp Quick Change, a device that adds a magnet to your traditional neck rack, originally invented and sold by a working musician.
And to add insult to injury this guy has even filed various law suits against some of these original inventors too.
He was not a musician when he began this venture and frankly it shows in his designs. But people are buying these cheaper knockoffs and it’s taking away sales from the original artist and inventors. Sure it’s a free market but this guy has presented himself as an inventor / innovator and I’m thinking the harp players here might like to be aware of the situation and maybe help if they can.
If anyone else has any more details maybe they can chime in.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world bro. Legal fees (retainer only) would unfortunately probably cost more than said product makes in sales per year.
If the original designers didn’t patent their products than it’s really their own stupidity. Do I agree with using someone else’s idea to profit? Personally No! The rest of the world doesn’t necessarily share my personal viewpoint either unfortunately
Dog-eat-dog world bro!
Last Edited by CarlA on May 23, 2018 9:18 PM
this is awful. i use both duo harp quick change and the harplock. they both make life so much easier. to steal these designs is a crime. i may look into the harparatus,even though it fills the same role as a harplock. that way i could use any mic.
You see, I work just the exact opposite way. I come up with ideas and share them, the only caveat being that if it works you got to give me one!
If you don't copyright something... unfortunately the copyright system is kind of broken right now. It was designed to encourage innovation, but people are buying up intellectual property they have no intention of making and suing anything that resembles. The review process is broken right now. The best idea I've seen is to open source the patent review process... basically put all the submitted ideas up online before they are granted and let people search for reasons to deny them. You might even offer a small prize (although a ranking system where people get prestige for finding reasons to deny the patent would probably suffice.)
As for the person in question taking legal action, first they'd have to file a patent. That can cost a few thousand dollars. Then they have to file a claim. If they do that to someone who had the product out before them, well, they could be screwed. If someone has prior proof that they invented something they can invalidate the other guys patents. I suspect a warning letter would probably scare off the patent trolls at that point... unless the person is mentally unbalanced.
There was a guy on FB who used to swear that he had invented overblows and a couple other things which he didn't. In his case it was clear it was a mental health problem.
As for my stuff, like I said, just send me a copy if it works. As of right now though my magnetic lids get stuck on each other and my electronics skills aren't quite up to snuff for taking the buttons off a computer mouse and mounting them to a microphone chassis to control effects pedals and my reeds turned sideways apparently was patented by Seydel was back in the day. I've got one more idea, by my partner is taking forever with the mockup... (and since I have a partner on that one I can't share.)
Hmmm. Glen, at 2 posts in, it seems that you are new here. Welcome to the fold.
My view is that the various harmonica rack creators have little to fear. Even if this un-named individual is stealing their ideas, the resulting racks would never be found by anyone in the harmonica community. Google will take care of that.
Speaking of which, Google "Harmonica Racks" or Harmonica Holders". My contributions on this, via harmonicatunes.com, are easily found.
---------- Tony Eyers Australia www.HarmonicaAcademy.com everyone plays...
I’m sure we are talking about Tim McGreal and his Harparm products. Yes he now makes all these copy-cat harp holders. I got a neck rack from him and it was clunky and poor quality. So hopefully if the original products are any good the original makers won’t be hurt too badly by these knock-offs but yeah, this guy needs to be exposed.
Well said, Happy Honker. I have a similar issue with someone who's copied a product of mine. I thought of exposing him for the lowdown leech that he is but, as you say, that would only help him get publicity.
This whole area is quite fraught and complicated. In a perfect world inventors who think up new stuff, spend their own money and the large amount of time it takes to iron out all the bugs and wrinkles, then protect their idea with a patent, would be safe in the knowledge they can't be ripped off by copyists. But in reality there are so many ways it can happen it makes you wonder if it's worth the effort.
I've heard how some Kickstarter projects get copied so quickly in China that they come to market on AliExpress way before the Western parent company has their own version out. And it's always cheaper, and sometimes better... Trying to litigate is hugely time-consuming and expensive, and can bankrupt the parent company.
In a warped kind of way, being copied can be taken as a 'badge of honour' - since it's a sign that what you've created is good enough that others think they can make a buck out of it too.
Hard to know how to deal with it, except to stay ahead by keeping on innovating and develop a good reputation for the quality of what you make. Plus perhaps get versions of some of your stuff made in China so that you beat the copyists to the punch with good low-cost models of your own, which makes the incentive to copy lower. That could be a good strategy for the guys mentioned in the first post.
If someone is presenting themselves as the inventor of ideas that they stole they are a fraud. I appreciate what you all are saying about fair competition and perhaps ignoring him but he won’t go away so easily. He’s shown us his true character threatening the original makers with legal action.
As artists if someone is inspired by our music and their creativity is influenced by our work that is a great complement. But if someone outright and knowingly steals your lyrics or melody and calls it theirs you’d have every right to be pissed.
So I don’t think we should ignore this guy. I think that anyone who might be thinking of using or endorsing a copy-cat product might like to know who they are associating themselves with.
BEGIN QUOTE It looks like there’s a guy making cheap knockoffs of products that were first developed by active musicians in our harmonica community. a) He makes a version of the HarpLock, a great product invented and sold by a working musician. b) He makes a version of the Harparatus, a cool mic-stand device invented and sold by a working musician. c) He makes a neck rack similar to the Farmer ArchTop magnetic rack developed and made by a very creative husband and wife musical team. d) He makes a version of the Duo Harp Quick Change, a device that adds a magnet to your traditional neck rack, originally invented and sold by a working musician END QUOTE
Here is the information needed to buy the genuine articles.
http://harplock.com/ http://www.harparatus.com/shop/ https://www.footdrums.com/product/archtop-harp-holder/#configuration https://rockinronsmusicsd.com/duoharp-kwik-change.html
Last Edited by johnleewfan on Jul 31, 2018 9:13 PM
I find it suspicious that this thread has multiple posts by some very new, low post-count members trying to stir up a controversy about a product on the forum. I know nothing about the merits of their cause.
Why would brand new forum members choose this way to enter a forum?
Several brand new members posting on this one issue is really an odd "coincidence." ----------
Maybe like nacoran if I have an idea I like to share it. There is an idea from Gnarly but this is cheaper so I made to day an English voice to my video from last year. I have made it originally in Finnish but I thought that this way it could be useful to more people, although it is understandable without speaking. So you can do from a cheap "Dylan" model neck rack, without using any money, a "Rolls Royce" model that really works. And to this discussion I would also say like CarlA “Dog-eat-dog world bro!”, mara