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Author Topic: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)  (Read 23486 times)

Allen Corneau

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2011, 01:58:41 pm »

What about all the Neve mic-pre clones? There's got to be hundreds of 1272/1081/1083 style mic-pre's out there, and Neve is still in business (AMS/Neve).

Would your "Davelizer" be considered a clone?
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SafeandSound

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2011, 02:03:33 pm »

Well considering I do not have an electric engineering degree but I am a "dabbler" and have a good success rate at making things sound much better I add, I have no idea about the design other than it appears to be similar to a Sontec EQ. I hasten to add there are many users of such a device and they are in commercial facilities a plenty. I have not even thought about it to be honest, it's so common. Oh well I will modify it myself and be very happy I am sure.

Oh did I mention I cannot wait ! Surprised
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bblackwood

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2011, 02:05:20 pm »

Allen Corneau wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 12:58

What about all the Neve mic-pre clones? There's got to be hundreds of 1272/1081/1083 style mic-pre's out there, and Neve is still in business (AMS/Neve).

Is Neve manufacturing these mic pres? If they are, then yah, unless these other folks / manufacturers have Neve's blessing, they are stealing.

Not sure how you guys are missing the big issue here - these Sontecs and SSLs are still being made...

Do you really not see the difference?

Quote:

Would your "Davelizer" be considered a clone?


Considering they're not in production and the creator gave me his blessing, you could call it an approved clone. They were all custom built.
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Brad Blackwood
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Allen Corneau

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2011, 02:27:44 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 13:05


Is Neve manufacturing these mic pres? If they are, then yah, unless these other folks / manufacturers have Neve's blessing, they are stealing.


Yes, they're still making them. Not sure if they have always had them available or began offering them again when AMS picked up the Neve business.


Quote:

Not sure how you guys are missing the big issue here - these Sontecs and SSLs are still being made...

Do you really not see the difference?


I agree with you, Brad. However, it's the same issue as any IP problem: is it the fault of the consumer for creating the demand, or the fault of the people providing the goods?

Quote:

Considering they're not in production and the creator gave me his blessing, you could call it an approved clone. They were all custom built.


That's cool, didn't know the originator gave the OK for you to use his design.

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2011, 02:38:54 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 18:52

I'd suggest if you wish to do this, the legitimate thing to do is to buy the unit and modify to your heart's content. Otherwise, you're still stealing the designer's IP - the original design...


If it makes decent sense from a design perspective and can be done, then I completely agree (and had actually edited my post to account for that, probably while you were replying).
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Gold

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2011, 05:08:40 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 12:52


I'd suggest if you wish to do this, the legitimate thing to do is to buy the unit and modify to your heart's content. Otherwise, you're still stealing the designer's IP - the original design...


I said this in the other thread but the circuit was published by the designers in an AES paper in the early 1970's. It is not IP theft to use the circuit. It would be IP theft to copy the PCB.

The Igor boards are not exact copies. Calling it a Sontec is unseemly but the people who build these things are not concerned about an exact copy. I've built them and I could care less whether it's an exact copy. I have more fun tweaking it to my taste. Which is the whole point.

"There is nothing new in audio"
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dcollins

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2011, 05:30:13 pm »

Allen Corneau wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 11:27


That's cool, didn't know the originator gave the OK for you to use his design.



It's just a single band of broad peaking EQ, after all.  I use a particularly non-trendy opamp and some other implementation specific things, but there is nothing new in audio.

http://collinsaudio.com/Davelizer/


DC

Adam Dempsey

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2011, 10:14:21 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Sat, 22 January 2011 06:05

Allen Corneau wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 12:58

What about all the Neve mic-pre clones? There's got to be hundreds of 1272/1081/1083 style mic-pre's out there, and Neve is still in business (AMS/Neve).

Is Neve manufacturing these mic pres? If they are, then yah, unless these other folks / manufacturers have Neve's blessing, they are stealing.

Not sure how you guys are missing the big issue here - these Sontecs and SSLs are still being made...

Do you really not see the difference?

More to that, beyond intellectual property rights, use of the names themselves, at least here, would constitute Trademark infringements.

Secondly, I just don't understand the justification of the use of the word "clone" if its actual definition is: "a person or thing regarded as identical to another", and when, most often, this is simply not the case.


Additionally, from Rupert Neve himself:

"If I were to provide detailed circuits they would not necessarily sound like mine if built by others because, mainly, of the context in which they are used. I've seen more than one alleged "copy" which claims that it sounds the same as or better or ???
Well, this sounds trite, but I firmly believe that every designer is a creative artist and creates the best he can. Whether he acknowledges it or not, he has talent, like a painter or musician, that are gifts from his or her Creator. His (her) handwriting is on it. Indeed the very personality of the designer, is reflected in the design. If someone copies the design it is a forgery.
[emphasis added] What does that reflect? To the bank manager looking at a forged cheque, it is easily recognized as such. To the normal person who trusted in the value of that cheque, it is real until he tries to cash it and the bank informs him otherwise!" – on design of the Masterpiece http://www.legendaryaudio.com/overview.html
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Matt_G

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2011, 08:57:27 am »

What about Waves Q-Cloning a Sontec?  Laughing  
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Matthew Gray Mastering

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2011, 01:12:50 pm »

Gold wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 17:08

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 12:52


I'd suggest if you wish to do this, the legitimate thing to do is to buy the unit and modify to your heart's content. Otherwise, you're still stealing the designer's IP - the original design...


I said this in the other thread but the circuit was published by the designers in an AES paper in the early 1970's. It is not IP theft to use the circuit. It would be IP theft to copy the PCB.

The Igor boards are not exact copies. Calling it a Sontec is unseemly but the people who build these things are not concerned about an exact copy. I've built them and I could care less whether it's an exact copy. I have more fun tweaking it to my taste. Which is the whole point.

"There is nothing new in audio"


I'd say Paul has made some excellent points here.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2011, 06:36:23 pm »

Well Burgess would tell you that George stole his design anyway and George would tell you just the opposite.... IP theft from the get go if you ask me (at least as far as both of them being parametric EQ's anyway... ha ha)  I love both those guys!

As for the Buzz REQ 2.2, it's made with real chokes and filters, so while it is Sontec like it's not exactly the same.  I'm told that the Sontec uses an emulation of chokes and filters.

From my understanding, most audio equipment designs (in the US) comes from the two "cookbooks" (WE and RCA), much in the analog world hasn't changed since these were written.

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SafeandSound

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2011, 06:34:23 am »

The beauty of this design is it is highly customizable from having discrete opamps in the output to being able to change opamps per band. It's a "funbox". I may even consider transformer I/O, but step by step.

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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2011, 07:33:26 am »

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 14:05

Allen Corneau wrote on Fri, 21 January 2011 12:58

What about all the Neve mic-pre clones? There's got to be hundreds of 1272/1081/1083 style mic-pre's out there, and Neve is still in business (AMS/Neve).

Is Neve manufacturing these mic pres? If they are, then yah, unless these other folks / manufacturers have Neve's blessing, they are stealing.

Not sure how you guys are missing the big issue here - these Sontecs and SSLs are still being made...

Do you really not see the difference?

Quote:

Would your "Davelizer" be considered a clone?


Considering they're not in production and the creator gave me his blessing, you could call it an approved clone. They were all custom built.


If I took the time to back engineer any piece of pro gear and then built it and used it in my own studio to make money I guess according to what you are saying that too would be considered theft of IP.

A long time ago Lang Electronics of New York brought out what many consider to be a very good copy of a Pultec EQ. Lang made some changes to the Pultec but it was basically a Pultec with Lang's name on it. I never heard anyone complain that Lang was stealing Pultec's IP. They both used circuits that were in the Audio Cyclopedia and before that were published in papers from WE and RCA.

CBS brought out a series of compressor/limiters that lots of radio stations and recording studios wanted to own. They were called the Volumax and the Audimax. They both had a potted in plastic black box in them that no own knew what it contained but was the heart of the unit. On the schematic it just showed a square with the traces going into and out of it. Lots of people wanted to know what was in the box. A rival company went so far as to have the plastic around the components removed by a company that specialized in de potting modules. I don't know what they did with the information but I assume they brought out a competing product.

Anything that people build can be back engineered and someone can use that knowledge to built something similar and maybe even better. (To really do a good job of back engineering takes a long time and can be costly if you have to pay for someone to do it.)

The op amps in the Sontecs are legendary for their sound. Some people might disagree but they are what make the unit sound like it sounds. So unless you use the exact Op Amps someone's home built or commercially built unit will not sound EXACTLY like a Sontec but may sound very good.

I agree that the theft of IP is something that is disagreeable at all levels and should not be allowed but today I am not sure how really enforceable it would be. Many of the circuits for equipment we all hold in high regard are freely available on the WWW and if someone wants to take that information and build a "similar' unit I think they have that right. Even if they use it in making money as long as it is their built I don't think a court would find them guilty.  If they want to put the SONTEC name on it I think they may be in for a court date since it is a trademark that is recognized in the pro audio world and stands for something that is "special". Also if the sell their SONTEC labeled units they may also be in for more problems than if they simply used it in their own studio.

I am not a lawyer and I do not play one on TV so I am only stating my thoughts.

Brad - thanks for hosting this discussion in a separate discussion area.

Just a side note and please correct me if I am not stating the correct information but didn't SONTEC go out of the manufacturing business for a while and wasn't it during this time that some of the other "SONTEC" clones appeared???


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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2011, 08:45:44 am »

Thomas W. Bethel wrote on Sun, 23 January 2011 07:33


Just a side note and please correct me if I am not stating the correct information but didn't SONTEC go out of the manufacturing business for a while and wasn't it during this time that some of the other "SONTEC" clones appeared???





Yes, when this was being talked about the status of Sontec was ahem unclear. That's why it's called "sontec". It could just as easily be called T filter, GML, or ITI. Except no one would have tried to call it GML.
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Matt_G

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Re: Clone Wars: IP theft (was Sontec thread)
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2011, 09:12:05 am »

yes you've gotta remember that Burgess went off the grid for a long time after the company was forced to shut down. Even people who owned the real unit couldn't get servicing or parts so some reverse engineering was done for this reason & the clones were also born. As far as people knew Sontec was to be no more.

Ok so now Burgess is back in business does that mean people who cloned the unit back when the company was insolvent should de-commission their clones & buy a real one now?

Or what if Pultec's were revived & being built again would people be expected to stop using their Pultec clones & go buy a new legit unit?

There is some grey areas with the use of clones.. just saying...

Having said that, there is no clones amongst my gear... Sontec 'copy' doesn't have the same ring to it & any client who is a gear snob probably wouldn't be that impressed with a clone either.  

Matt
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