Chinese logo look-alikes: BMW and BYD Jason 17 Jul 2006

30 comments Latest by Peter

From the auto industry (via Cartype):

bmw logo

byd logo

30 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Jason Liebe 17 Jul 06

Excellent, hopefully I will be able to buy one of their cars soon down on Mulberry St. along with the Prada knock-offs.

mike toreno 17 Jul 06

well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all..

Mr. Kahn 17 Jul 06

And then there is the Daewoo Chairman

http://images.google.com/images?q=Daewoo%20Chairman

A Mercedes rip off.

J 17 Jul 06

well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all..

According to who?

kelake 17 Jul 06

They are a remix culture.

Luke L 17 Jul 06

You should see the cars they ripoff, they look identical. No major car manufactures will now work with chinese companies as they get ripped of and the government refuses to stop them.

JF 17 Jul 06

“They are a remix culture.”

It’s interesting how language changes things. “Remix” softens up the truth: they’re stealing. Brands, products, designs. It’s rampant in China.

David 17 Jul 06

“n 1997, Ssangyong motors introduced Chairman, based on Mercedes Benz E class platform with Benz engine, transmission, and design. When the company faced severe financial problems in 1998, however, Daewoo motors took over Ssangyong motors and as a result, Chairman was reborn as Daewoo Chairman.”

- Automotiveforums.com

This should explain the Daewoo Chairman’s similarities to the Mercedes.

Adrian L 17 Jul 06

“This should explain the Daewoo Chairmanís similarities to the Mercedes.”


No!

It’s far hipper to say they are stealing.

Stealing, in the transitive form, means to “take without permission or legal right.”

Since its legal in China, the companies doing so have legal right. Therefore, it is not stealing.

It can also mean “dishonestly pass off (another person’s ideas) as one’s own” which is funny, because nobody is claiming the Chinese companies came up with these ideas on their own.

Not stealing. Find a different word.

J 17 Jul 06

Since its legal in China, the companies doing so have legal right. Therefore, it is not stealing.

It’s not about China’s laws. It’s about the laws of the countries where the originals are from.

If I write a book and someone plagiarizes it because their rules say ‘it’s ok,” well, it’s not OK. You have to get *my* permission, you can’t just get *yours*.

Mike Swimm 17 Jul 06

There is and has always been a ton of stealing going on everywhere. Probably less now than in the past.

A ton of the technology we are using today was ‘stolen’ in one way or another.

To single out China doesn’t really make sense. And Daewoo is Korean if I remember correctly.

Adrian L 17 Jul 06

“Itís not about Chinaís laws. Itís about the laws of the countries where the originals are from.”

That’s not the case at all. It is illegal here. It is not illegal there. Therefore legal right. It fails a fundamental test of the word “stealing”.

If I write a book and someone plagiarizes it because their rules say Ďitís ok,Ē well, itís not OK. You have to get *my* permission, you canít just get *yours*.

Sure it is, if its legal under their laws.

Find a different word. One that isn’t emotionally and culturally charged and doesn’t reek of knee-jerk.

Lau T. 17 Jul 06

Logo’s are not property. If I download a logo from the BMW website, BMW still have their logo. It’s not stealing.

If someone takes the badge off of someones BMW - that would be stealing.

What I would consider illegal, was if someone other than BMW sold cars that resembled BMWs with BMW badges, so that the buyers thought they bought a BMW car. That would be fraud.

Alan 17 Jul 06

I agree with the previous commenter that this is not stealing, as long as the products in question are not exported from the Chinese market. China is a sovereign nation and, as such, is entitled to adopt its own legal framework for dealing with intellectual property within its borders. I realize that this offends the sensibility of many Westerners who see Western-style intellectual property laws as a Platonic ideal, but laws within China are their choice. It is intellectually dishonest to use a charged world like “stealing” when the behavior in question is perfectly acceptable within the Chinese legal framework.

This is very much akin to US politicians calling Venezuelan internal petroleum subsidies “theft.” True, the Venezuelan government would perhaps be wealthier if it adopted the Platonic ideal of the free market and sold its entire production of crude oil on the open market at market prices, but as a sovereign nation, they have the right to adopt fiscal policies that suit them, rather than policies that suit other nations or large international companies.

D Zine 17 Jul 06

I think, legal or not, we can all agree that it’s in poor taste…at least in Western Europe and North America.

For example BMW are big on the brand satisfaction and clearly, for some reason, there are those out there satisfied with a product that is a knock-off off an established brand. Perhaps it speaks more about the culture (and I’m not judging, good or bad) that accepts these products than the companies that are producing them.

street 17 Jul 06

SON OF A BITCH! I’ve been had… and I thought I was getting a good deal on a new BMW! Well, at least it looks like a BMW..

http://www.bydauto.com.cn/ver2/car/hy/3.jpg

Peter Cooper 17 Jul 06

I don’t get all this calling out of ‘stealing’. Those logos are totally different. Sure, there’s certainly a number of similarities, but only an idiot could confuse them.

If you were to stop someone using the second logo on the basis it’s similar to the first one, there’d be about a hundred ‘unique’ logo designs full stop and everyone would be screwed.

J 17 Jul 06

China is a sovereign nation and, as such, is entitled to adopt its own legal framework for dealing with intellectual property within its borders.

With *it’s* IP. They have to respect other people’s IP if it’s other people’s IP that’s in question. If China wants to make stuff inside their borders that is copied and copied and copied again then that’s fine, but when dealing with other people’s IP they need to respect other people’s rules since they were the creators of the content.

D Zine 17 Jul 06

Sorry, to clarify I meant to say the logo, as a part of the brand, was knocked-off.

Good one, Street. That looks like a sweet ride.

Anyhow, not sure why this is such a big issue. I’m sure if you asked these companies they wouldn’t deny what’s going on here. I doubt Louis Vutton, BMW, or any other knocked-off brand are really being harmed (rather maybe just insulted) here.

Anonymous Coward 17 Jul 06

D Zine: Anyhow, not sure why this is such a big issue. Iím sure if you asked these companies they wouldnít deny whatís going on here. I doubt Louis Vutton, BMW, or any other knocked-off brand are really being harmed (rather maybe just insulted) here.
i think BMW should rather feel flattered — instead of felling insulted. may it called stealing, copying or whatever, it certainly doesn’t feel right and i second J: China is a sovereign nation and, as such, is entitled to adopt its own legal framework for dealing with intellectual property within its borders. With *itís* IP.

beachlevel 17 Jul 06

D Zine: Anyhow, not sure why this is such a big issue. Iím sure if you asked these companies they wouldnít deny whatís going on here. I doubt Louis Vutton, BMW, or any other knocked-off brand are really being harmed (rather maybe just insulted) here.
i think BMW should rather feel flattered — instead of felling insulted. may it called stealing, copying or whatever, it certainly doesn’t feel right and i second J: China is a sovereign nation and, as such, is entitled to adopt its own legal framework for dealing with intellectual property within its borders. With *itís* IP.

Jared White 17 Jul 06

Oh, so morality is simply defined by what’s legal? So if it were legal to murder, abuse, rape, and defraud, that would make it OK?

Stealing is stealing. If someone creates a product and someone else rips it off, it’s stealing, and I don’t care what country you’re in. Period.

beto 17 Jul 06

You should see the cars they ripoff, they look identical.

I have also seen Chinese copies of Rolex and Patek Phillipe watches that look like the genuine article and sell for like a hundred bucks.

Point is, yeah, sure they can look identical, but do they perform like the real deal?

I’ve seen other Chinese cars too (they’re being exported here in droves - looks like there’s a ton of people that find appealing to get a new 4WD for five thousand bucks), and what I can deduct from their overall build, fit and finish is, they are really and honestly the proud succesors of the Yugo.

Ryan Allen 17 Jul 06

Point is, yeah, sure they can look identical, but do they perform like the real deal?

Exactly! You buy BMW because of the exceptional quality (and perhaps looks). I couldn’t see many people buying BYD’s on the basis of that they look sort of like BMW’s…

On a similar note, I saw an Apple Cinema Display rip-off in a computer shop a few months ago. It only cost $350 (AUD)! Wow! It looks just like one of the Apple ones! It’s actual LCD was terrible.

So for the space cadets that’ll buy the rip-off, good luck to them! There are plenty of people who are prepared to pay extra for quality.

Alan 17 Jul 06

With *itís* IP. They have to respect other peopleís IP if itís other peopleís IP thatís in question. If China wants to make stuff inside their borders that is copied and copied and copied again then thatís fine, but when dealing with other peopleís IP they need to respect other peopleís rules since they were the creators of the content.

The IP concept you’re advocating is a Western idea; it’s what I referred to as the Platonic concept of IP in my original post.

There is no inherent concept of intellectual property in nature. IP is fundamentally a legal (and quasi-social) invention. As such, different nations are entitled to define it differently within their borders. The idea that China somehow has to respect IP from other countries presupposes that the definition of IP in those countries is somehow inherently “correct.” It’s wrong and fundamentally ethnocentric to make that assumption.

Content creators have to realize that when they create something intangible, they may “own” it as “property” in the US, Europe, etc., but they do not necessarily own it as property in China or India. There is nothing unfair about this, and content creators getting indignant about it are fundamentally displaying a western legal-social bias. China and India have chosen to adopt different IP strategies. The nascent US republic did the same in its early days by choosing to ignore European patents.

I will concede, however, that China and India could be more transparent about their decisions. Both nations are signatories of the Berne convention, but it is fairly obvious that those signatures do not accurately reflect state policy with respect to IP.

Adrian L 17 Jul 06

@ Jared:

“Oh, so morality is simply defined by whatís legal? So if it were legal to murder, abuse, rape, and defraud, that would make it OK?”

Pretty much, yes. Think about that carefully.

“Stealing is stealing. If someone creates a product and someone else rips it off, itís stealing, and I donít care what country youíre in. Period.”

I agree stealing is stealing. On the other hand, what’s going on there isn’t stealing. It’s something else altogether.

I know exactly where I stand on this morally. I wouldn’t do it, regardless of the legality in my country. But in China, that’s legal, and therefore, its fine.

If you don’t like it, go lobby to have the law changed?


@ J

“With *itís* IP. They have to respect other peopleís IP if itís other peopleís IP thatís in question. If China wants to make stuff inside their borders that is copied and copied and copied again then thatís fine, but when dealing with other peopleís IP they need to respect other peopleís rules since they were the creators of the content.”

What does location have to do with it? When someone attempts to sell this in YOUR country, then it becomes a felony under YOUR laws. In China, its not a felony.

In the US, its legal to possess pornography. It isn’t in other countries.

We should not judge the morality or ethics of another culture by the morality and ethics of our own.

Besides which, I still stand by my point. This isn’t stealing. It might be something else, but it sure as hell isn’t stealing.

Jake 18 Jul 06

I bet 90% of the ppl who are ‘outraged’ by this ‘stealing’ have pirated music, movies, and softwarez on their computer.

So IP is good… unless its the RIAA trying to protect their IP…

street 18 Jul 06

D Zine: Good one, Street. That looks like a sweet ride.

It IS a sweet ride, and as stated on its license plate.. its a HYBRID! If you are running low on gas you can press a button and the car turns into a rickshaw and you can pull it wherever you need to go. Beat that BMW!

http://www.bydauto.com.cn/ver2/car/hy/1.jpg

Jay 19 Jul 06


Jared
Oh, so morality is simply defined by whatís legal? So if it were legal to murder, abuse, rape, and defraud, that would make it OK?

Terms, like ‘murder’, ‘defraud’, and ‘abuse’ by definition refer to that which is illegal, so it’s a bit of a circular argument. Semantics aside, does your government have the death penalty? Has it ever sent soldiers into war? In that case killing (or whatever you want to call it) is legal. Is it ‘OK’? There’s arguments to be made both ways.

At any rate, the question of international laws versus laws of a specific country is a tricky one. Do you really think that the US (or any other country for that matter) would respect, another country’s IP laws if that country were to enact such laws that were considered overly restrictive? Doubt it.

IP rights are a tricky issue, but conflating them with atrocities like murder and rape is pretty silly.

Peter 20 Jul 06

I wanted to chime in to stick up for my Korean friends. Deawoo was Korean not Chinese but after ‘97 it is mostly owned by ours truly GM. So anything after ‘97 has the stamp of approval from the friendly people at General Motors.

Thanks for listening.

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