This a problem that is not going to go away easily in our industry. This is the fight that us users need to get together in a united front and help the legitimate manufacturers stamp out the cheap and nasty copies that are invading venues and rental companies in the world. We all know that price is a major factor in purchasing decisions. We all know the price of these copies can be incredibly cheap, but is it really a saving in the long run. Is there real back up if the product goes wrong. Do they actually comply with the relevant standards in the countries that they are purchased in. There has also been horror stories of people buying what they thought was a brand name at a cheap price only to find out that it is in fact a fake. A lot of these copies come out of China, this country has a tendency to turn a blind eye to what their manufacturing sector is really doing as long as they pull in the dollars.
So the first thing we should be trying to do is avoid the rip off’s, buy the genuine article, we know you will get less equipment for your dollar but is it going to last. This should one of the criteria you use when you purchase new equipment. We also need to support those companies that only stock the genuine article, there are many companies around that also stock and sell the rip offs. Often you will find them mainly online selling through sites such as eBay. And you will often find that the stock is not held in Australia but will come in from overseas. also surely it is illegal to sell a forgery, I know it is in the art world. Especially id it carries the original manufacturers logo etc.
Some of the major manufacturers are trying to fight the rip offs that are pervading the industry. It is going to be an up hill battle for them as we all are after equipment at the cheapest price. companies like Clay Paky have already had a go at stamping out the copies. Now we know other industries have had some success, such as fake Rolex factories torn down and the product crushed. It is just unfortunate that our industry is actually quite small in relation to other industries.
Safety should also be a factor in the purchase of equipment, does it comply with the standards of the country of use. I have seen several counterfeit copies and it amazes me that people are willing to take the risk in using them. A lot of them don’t have compliance plates to prove that they are in theory safe to use. Also unless the item possess a “c tick” compliance, you cannot legally sell it, even if its several years and/or second hand.In fact some of them don’t even have the mains wiring in the correct colours, an example springs to mind are the Dortron S4 copies that are available. Don’t forget the cheap truss and staging systems that we often recieve emails about, nice low price but at what real cost – the loss of human life maybe? Do they really meet the safety standards of the country there are being sold to?
But it is not only lighting equipment that you will find these copies/forgeries in. There is also an awful lot of audio gear as well that is also copies. You will find amps, speakers and audio consoles are also fair game too. now there are going to be a lot of people who are going to complain about the high cost of original equipment, and how these companies are ripping the consumer off. People remember a lot of work goes into developing and designing and getting this gear manufactured. Should be become victims to people that steal from them, and are we not aiding and abetting a crime if we by these forgeries? Now I am not picking on overseas compainies that actual design thier own gear and have in made in China, or Chiense companies designing and making thier own stuff. It is the ones that steal we need to stop.
Would you like it if your work was stolen and you lost income to the thief?