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Contest Copy Cats!


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#1 underwatercolours

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 07:24 AM

Friends just sent me a copy of a flyer that the a live-aboard has been distributing about a video contest they are having. They are a competitor to my client the Solmar V. Not only does the contest completely mimic what we did last year and refined this year, but they stole our contest rules too, most of them word-for-word! I don't know if I should be pissed off or flattered. I'm going to let my client deal with the guy who did this (he will no doubt me much nicer than I would be), but decided to vent here before he told me not to. ARRRGH!!

Edited by underwatercolours, 29 July 2008 - 08:26 AM.


#2 jimbo1946

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 01:04 AM

I'm not a lawyer, but my guess is that unless they copied your graphics, it's legal. But as irritating as it is to have them copy your flyer, it looks like a case of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.
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#3 echeng

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 01:08 AM

Hey, Bonnie -

I'm not sure that a YouTube competition is unique in any way. But word-for-word contest rules? That's unfortunate.

Hmm. I guess it isn't that hard to figure out who you're talking about, but I'll leave it as an exercise for anyone who is interested.
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#4 Graham Abbott

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 12:50 AM

Sadly there are many people with zero originality in life.
Go get em!

#5 BartB

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 04:34 AM

Fortunately, most countries' copyright laws recognise the fact that creating text is a creative process and thus subject to copyright. If their rules are truly word-for-word copies of yours (which we sadly cannot judge because you only linked to your own), then yes, that would be illegal. IANAL, especially not in Mexican copyright law, but in my experience, that would be something you could settle, preferably out of court.

However, while it is illegal to steal photography and literal text, it is not illegal to steal a general idea. Which is a good thing, otherwise there would only be one brand of digital camera and underwater housing. You cannot copyright the idea of a Youtube-contest, I'm affraid.

What you can do, is point out that is was your idea. Call it 'The first liveaboard youtube-contest in Mexico' or something. And have your mates be glad that their competitors aren't smart enough to come up with something original - then the competition would be harder!