February 2019 Piracy Update
By Andi Gladwin - Saturday, February 23, 2019
For the past ten years, magicians have told us that piracy is a problem that can't be fixed. "If Hollywood can't fix it, you definitely can't" is a common comment and one that I can't completely disagree with. But, magic is a small industry and unlike the movie world, there are a surprisingly small number of pirates doing all the dirty work. While I don't think we can ever eradicate piracy, we can certainly take moves to help reduce it. That's our responsibility as a magic producer.
When I spoke to the Chinese government about magic piracy in 2017, one of my main angles of attack was that we needed better protection to help stop pirates. Since that time, Vanishing Inc. (and our logos) have become official Chinese trademarks, meaning that if anyone in China tries to pirate any product with our logo on, we can take them to court and have their entire operation immediately banned from the common online trading platforms.
And that's exactly what we are doing. We are in the process of filing a court complaint on one of the larger pirates who has reproduced our famous Roughing Stick in such large quantities that we just couldn't ignore it. You might wonder why we'd do so much work on such a low-value product, but there are two reasons:
Firstly, the quality of the ripoffs are terrible, but they look exactly like ours. Our Roughing Sticks are custom manufactured using our own combination of ingredients to find the perfect colour and tackiness. And it's not just the Chinese ripoffs either; even the ripoffs made in the UK are bad. For example, there's a professional magician in the UK who continues to sell a ripoff version on eBay - but has recently removed all our branding to protect himself from the eBay feds. Not cool. We don't want these bad quality products in circulation as they're bad for the consumer and make us look like we produce bad quality products.
Secondly, the Roughing Stick is one product of many. Manufacturers of ripoffs don't just duplicate a single product - they do it to hundreds of products. So if we can shut them down here, we can make a larger impact all around.
We're continuing to work closely with our team in Asia (who you'll learn more about in our Meet the Team posts soon) to help reduce magic piracy. Our next targets are those who have pirated the technology behind Triad Coins, which we recently patented in China.
We'll continue to keep you updated - and we hope that success here will help convince other magic producers that it's time to move forward on protecting their creations too, for the sake of their own customers.
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