As many of you know, I have a company called free tronics, which makes open hardware, electronics like Arduino, compatible staff boards and modules, all sorts of cool things like that. But this morning I saw something that made me really sad now to explain why it makes me sad. I’Ve got to show you something. First, have a look at this, so this is a kit out a package of parts that free Tron X produces so it’s got an Arduino compatible board in here and a whole lot of other parts, so it’s the experimenters kit for Arduino. It comes with a whole bunch of different things, and I don’t this is not intend to be a sales pitch. This is just showing you what there is in here, because it’s important in a moment so we’ve got this box. This box actually was designed by my friend mark. He laid it all out in Illustrator with all of the cutting angles and everything that’s necessary to make it, and it was obviously designed to suit the free Tronics logo and no space for everything. We also designed this foam, which is cut out specially for us and it’s got all the different parts in here, so there’s, the Arduino various other bits and pieces buttons, LEDs, breadboard, jumpers and there’s. Also a guide that I wrote. It goes with it. So if you open it up, there is this project guide with a whole lot of things. That starts off with telling you what the different parts are that are inside it, and then it’s got projects.
Tells you how to set up the software controlling an LED how it works, it’s got all these diagrams goes through a whole bunch of things, explanations of how the code works. So the idea is that you can give someone this and it gives them everything they need to start messing around with the Arduino. Now that is something that we’ve been producing for quite a few years now and many many thousands of these have been sold through our resellers, including Jake our stores and then just this morning. I saw this look familiar much, so this is not ours. We know. Tec is a brand that’s owned by the company that owns Jacobs. This is basically like a Jake, our in house brand, and so what they’ve done is taken our kid and sent it off to someone in China and said we want you to copy this, so they produce this kit and if we open it up, you can see That the box is pretty much identical and obviously we’ve, never given them the illustrator files for these. So someone at Jake our or their supplier and sat down with the ruler and measured this box and then they’ve recreated it. Then you see, they haven’t got the curves right, it’s, pretty rough, so they’ve actually sat down and three laid out. The entire box and they’ve gone to the trouble of even matching the curve where our logo goes for this space up here. But then, of course, because they don’t have the fresh Onix logo on here.
They just put some other text in there, so it could not be much more of a blatant or ripoff and opening it up. You can see. They’Ve got the same layout. All the same stuff inside they’ve got their Chinese cotton Arduino in there all the same parts they’ve even arranged it the same with the four buttons pushed in there, and once again, we haven’t, given them the design files for the phone. So they’ve measured our foam and made up their own dies and they’ve cut it all to be exactly the same, so that in itself is kind of annoying to say the least. But you know one of the nice things about the one that we produced is that it’s got this project guide which which I wrote with some help from John box. All that many of you would know from mtroniks labs and tronic stuff, and surely they wouldn’t have gone so far as to rip that off as well. Yes, they did put this aside so that’s my original project guide – and this is theirs welllook table of contents is basically the same thing. They have sat down. Someone wanted someone, there has sat down and typed in the contents from my guide and they just directly ripped. It off so you mine, it starts with an explanation of all the parts, explanation of all the parts software and getting started so that’s, a direct copy of mine. In fact they’ve. You can see it’s a word for word copy.
Oh they’ve just changed a couple of words here, but the links of the you know: it’s all the same projects are the same. Oh look. They actually ripped off my my image. I hadn’t noticed that so so, they’ve recreated this image and taken a free, Tronics branding off it, obviously, but it’s basically the same thing. In fact, I wonder if it looks like they’ve edited the original image I think they may have taken the original. They probably grabbed the PDF of this, because we make this available for download as a PDF and they’ve copied out the image and then they’ve essentially photoshopped it to take make sure that free, tronics doesn’t mentioned in there anywhere. And it goes like that. All the way through so it’s, just a direct, blatant ripoff and then they’ve changed the back in ours. We had some resources so in here more information in getting help, so we direct people to the guide that goes for the experimenters kit and our forum. In a couple of books, so there’s my book and John box hauls book and a link to hackerspaces. If someone wants help and they’ve just removed all references up to any of our stuff, of course, and just had a link to Jake our so J car and the hackerspaces that’s it oh, this is two color codes. Interesting. Well, look at that. So this graphic that you see here so this is in my original guide. I spent many many hours sitting with Adobe Illustrator laying this out.
So this graphic is actually my original work and they’ve just directly ripped it. Presumably they ripped it from the PDF and use it exactly, as is so. It couldn’t be much more of a blatant copy than that so that’s. Why I’m feeling sad and some of you will probably be saying: what can you do about it? Can you sue them or whatever well it’s kind of not really worth it? I mean the very first interaction that I ever had with the owner of J car was when he called me one day, because J car were wanting to sell my book practical Arduino, and he was asking me to send him the PDF of the book so that He could get it printed because he didn’t want to have to buy them from the publisher, and I said it at the time you can’t do that, because, even though I have the copyright on the book because I’m, the author of it, there is a contract with The publisher, they have exclusive distribution rights, so you have to buy it from the legitimate channels and his response was basically that he didn’t care. So one of my options not really a lot except to feel sad about it, that’s just the way it goes when people do business and they don’t have ethics. So if you are buying an Arduino, experimenters kit – and you get this one and basically you’re ripping me off so please don’t – please buy the free trial XY.
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@JaycarAU, seriously fuck companies like you. Scumbag corporate assholes with no ethic