Clay Paky to take action

Thanks to CX Magazine and Julius it was brought to my attention that Clay Paky are going to take action against users of fake Sharpy beam lights. This is fair enough. For to long there has been available fakes of a lot of main stream lighting company products available. This is not just limited to Moving lights, there is also a lot of dodgy copies of Source 4’s , lighting consoles and the like. I originally wrote an article on this blog about chinese copies damaging the industry.READ HERE

It looks like at least one company is going to stand up against this insideous practise  of these companies and the end users. If the end result is that people are more aware of what they are buying and are supporting the companies that originally spent the R & D time developing these products. It makes you wonder how much money these companies are losing to these rip off copy companies. Buying these rip offs is also going to bite you back one day, try getting warranty work done. Are you likely to freight the gear back to an address in a foriegn copmany because you bought it online. Is the company in this country like to service the equipment, if they are still around.

So the price is cheap, but is the saving worth it? Me thinks not when this unit fails before warranty and you want action. If you bought a supposed name brand really cheap, surely in your own mind you would have thought sonething was not right. Then it breaks and you decide to take it to the local dealer to get fixed under warranty. Once they have finished laughing you are going to be sent on your way with the fixture still broken.

So how does this happen? Reverse engineering is the process, we have all heard this term before. Well what these companies do is purchase or steal a piece of equipment and then take it to bits and duplicate. They can sometimes get the info they need also from patent information.

Here is a link to one of the companies that is blatantly ripping off an original manufacturer. A company under the name of Made in China.Com They think they are so far above the law that they do not even change the name. Here is another company that makes a whole range of copied equipment, they are called Dortron Show Technology. Very scary indeed. Ok maybe I am wrong in pointing you to these companies, but you need to see what they are doing. I am assuming you are all ethical.

Just look at these pictures:

It looks like a Pearl, they may have even stolen the image. This was taken from the Dortron site. Or this Source 4 copy:

Also buying from some of these companies is like supporting slave labour. Often the workers in these factories that manufacture these copies work under the most appalling conditions.  So buy original, it may cost more but you will have the back up and service. There are a few companies in Australia that sell some of these copies, maybe we need to out them. Or at the least no longer buy from them, then they may go away.


11 thoughts on “Clay Paky to take action

  1. Made in China isn’t a company that makes anything.. They are a portal for Chinese companies to promote their products to the rest of the world..

  2. There’s a similar campaign running in the UK too by Clay Paky / Ambersphere… I’d like to know what they’re targeting though – just the “counterfeit” Sharpy’s (like LEES Sharpy and other similar ones) or what about the ADJ Vizi Beam 5R (which is very
    similar in appearance and function but is not a “counterfeit” as such)

  3. Thanks for the posting. It is about time this was brought to the fore of the industry’s mind and the people who are buying units. Buyer beware! Would you spend money on a cheap fake rolex watch just because? I know someone who did & if fell apart in a matter of days. These fakes are hurting our industry. There are fake light units, fake consoles, copied gobo patterns, – stolen intelligence and therefore money? Its time we stopped it.

    • I have a clay paky rip off and I don’t see $6500 in product. Clay paky is freaking greedy. Welcome to competition. If another manufacturer wants to reverse engineer a product, so be It. That’s the story of business since the second caveman copied the first caveman when he made a weapon out of an animal bone. Clay paky didn’t invent the 5r bulb, but it’s in their light. Look at all the different smart phones out there that are copies of the IPhone. Why do you guys think you gotta defend Clay Paky? Defend Varilight, they are the original intelligent lighting manufacturer.

      • In the case of Avolites, all our products have been build in the UK by Avolites and our UK subcontractor since the beginning.

        The copies are just that, they copied the metalwork, the copied the PCBs and most upsetting they copied or software.

        If that was not enough they also use our thousands of personality files, they have web links for the manual that point to our website..

        So do not judge us as if we are ripping of the Chinese or any other nation or person. There are 50+ individuals at Park Royal that work their socks of each day to design and build and support great innovative products and they like to have a fair wage for that.
        The effort and cost in developing lighting control is enormous and the market is small in comparison to other products with similar complexity, yet many companies around to world manage and compete with each-other by standing up for individuality and fair behaviour.
        Then there are some that start copying products in the name of “competition”, those characters do not add anything to our wonderful industry, they just take money out that otherwise would be used for R&D and further development.

        JB Toby
        Avolites Ltd

  4. I saw an episode of Top Gear (the original, British version, not the crappy American one) last night that had a segment about this. BMW sued a Chinese company over a copied X-5, which is nearly identical to the BMW. They lost. The ruling was that the cars were too different to support the claim. Likely, any other product suit brought in a Chinese court would yield the same result.

  5. When western companies decide to make product in the east and ship back to the west, charging western prices then greed is the reason. It figures that getting a manufacturer to do your leg work means clone products go via the east from the same factory. Had Clay Paky kept production in the west, then they would have had a little of a head start before the east copied. They only have themselves to blame.

    • This is not about the price you pay. It is more about the fact that these companies are STEALING designs. Would you like it if thedid this to you?

  6. Often they’re not actually stealing the design…
    Most “counterfeit” lights actually come from the factory that made them for the original brand.
    For example, Martin contracts a factory in China to make their fixture. They send them the plans and everything. The factory makes the order for 10,000 of them, delivers them Martin. At the factory doesn’t stop making them, makes another 5,000 and sells them via other channels. It’s known as the ‘third shift’ (the first two shifts being the legit day-time shift, the third being at night)
    Very often it’s identical, from the same factory, just not bought from the original brand.
    Not saying it’s ok, just that they’re not fakes

    • I understand what you are saying Rob. I’m just tired of paying these way over the top prices for the original light. Martin doesn’t need to charge $1,750 for a Mac 101 and as long as they continue to over charge us, we will look for an alternative.

  7. These products are generally made by OEM factories, they are not “fakes” and are being used & distributed more frequently without any issues. There is certainly no affordability in buying Martin or Clay Paky fixtures at $6000-7500 per unit, the “industry standard” manufacturers have been far too greedy for too long!!!

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