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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Thomas Henry designs
Legality of Mankato clone on eBay?
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sneakthief



Joined: Jul 24, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:59 am    Post subject: Legality of Mankato clone on eBay? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Did Blue Lantern license the Mankato filter?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&item=290305585670

I ask because Blue Lantern has a history of copying other people's designs and selling them without permission or licensing agreements, eg. Midibox stuff, MFOS, etc: http://www.midibox.org/forum/forums.html?topic=9760.0

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Tim Servo



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:12 am    Post subject: Legality of Mankato clone on eBay? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey Sneak,

Thanks for the heads up. To answer your question, NO THEY DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO SELL THIS. Magic Smoke owns the schematic and all rights to the Mankato. This is a Thomas Henry design based on the 2164, and Thomas sold all rights to Magic Smoke. The schematic is sent to anyone who buys a Mankato PCB, but it is NOT okay to clone or reproduce the circuit. Now I have to go and get all legal on this guy's ass.

Thanks again for the alert.

Tim (hates legal stuff) Servo
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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is seriously not cool.

Curious, Tim - can you tell if those are Magic Smoke boards he used, or were those cloned? In any event, Magic Smoke - which owns the rights to the design - does not seem to be mentioned anywhere.

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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Dunnint look like Magic Smoke boardz I guess, not that it would matter.
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Tim Servo



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:23 am    Post subject: Legality of Mankato clone on eBay? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey Scott,

From what it appears, he is not using the Magic Smoke PCBs. However, he has clearly stated that this is a Thomas Henry 2164 VCF design, and Magic Smoke Electronics owns the rights to that design. We purchased it from Thomas in 2005, and we own it outright. If he had just asked first, we would have made a very reasonable royalty arrangement. We also ask that our name appear somewhere on the product, and that Thomas' name appear on the PCB crediting him with the original design. Suit & Tie Guy and Bridechamber do this, and we actually give them a bit of a break on Mankato PCBs. We're really easy to deal with, honest. There may be some legal loopholes regarding actual circuit designs (as opposed to a PCB layout) and copyright law, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'd also like to find out where in the heck he got that schematic. When I send out the schematic to Mankato customers, there is a reminder that this is not public domain material. I guess I'll have to make the language of that notice a lot stronger, as someone has obviously not bothered to '"play by the rules."

This sort of thing burns me, and it's completely stupid because it would have been SO simple to avoid. I'm now going to treat each of those clones as a lost sale on a Mankato PCB, so guess who owes me $20 + royalty for each one sold...

Tim (slightly cheesed) Servo
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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Power to you, Tim. I'll have to admit I'm much more than slightly cheesed. I know the details, and I know the length and breadth of your investment in both time and money. This is unacceptable.
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synthmonger



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That totally sucks. Best of luck to ya. What if his design is has a couple or several changes?
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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't know the legal ramifications, but if he made a bunch of changes, at the very least he shouldn't trade on Thomas Henry's name. Supposing the filter, because of the changes, sounds like ass. Would you want your name associated with it?
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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That's a rhetorical question, BTW. Very Happy
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synthmonger



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:
That's a rhetorical question, BTW. Very Happy


Yeah and if he did the changes, called it a clone, used the name of the product and his name that's like a total smack in the face. I'd be furious. If he said "based loosely" or something like that I wouldn't mind if I saw the schematic and saw noticeable changes. If it were only changes like EM did with the serge waveshaper I'd be like "wtf mang?"
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sneakthief



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

blue_lantern is on this forum - the name was changed to haxster:

http://electro-music.com/forum/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=2687

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fonik



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ebay wrote:
The seller ended this listing early because the item is no longer available for sale.

Rolling Eyes

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Tim Servo



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:20 pm    Post subject: Legality of Mankato clone on eBay? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey All,

First off, John and I want to thank everyone for their support and kind words. Several people commented and backed us up on this, and we really appreciate that.

Second off, the seller has contacted me and wants to work something out. It looks like he only wants to sell a few units as part of a PCB run he did and then will stop after that, so I think we can cut a deal here.

Thanks again to everyone who chimed in, and it looks like this case can now be labeled "Closed." Smile

Tim (now I can get back to designing and shipping stuff) Servo
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honeck



Joined: Apr 06, 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

he relisted it sold one and now has another up for sale

http://cgi.ebay.com/ANALOG-SYNTH-SSM2164-VCF-ANALOG-FILTER_W0QQitemZ290308328858QQcmdZViewItemQQptZKeyboards_MIDI?hash=item290308328858&_trksid=p3911.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50
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suitandtieguy



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

legal issues aside, that thing just looks crappy. how could you even use such a piece? there's no front panel, and the knob layout doesn't even make sense.

i really appreciate the relationship i have with the Tim and John Show and have gone out of my way to make my implementation of the Thomas Henry circuit as DIY-friendly as possible, offering the panel for sale and even privately emailing detail shots of my wiring to people who have asked. it's not my design, i just capitalise on it, and this is still completely insulting.

i should point out though, that this isn't illegal because it's not the same PCB artwork and the circuit isn't patented. however, that doesn't change the fact that it's totally lame.
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