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Museum of Counterfeit Designs Opens

Posted April 03, 2007 4:15 PM by plasticsgal

Museum Plagiarius has opened in Solingen, Germany, as of April 1. The museum showcases counterfeit designs with the intention of shaming the plagiarists with publicity. Action Plagiarius notes that plagiarism affects both the economy and small designers, in particular.

Since 1977, the organization has been rewarding copied designs and designers with an annual Plagiarius award. While it may sound like the old mantra "Any publicity is good publicity", this isn't the kind of attention most designers seek.

A BusinessWeek article reports, "An independent jury of eight design professionals presented 12 awards to the best—that's to say, the worst—plagiarists at the world's largest consumer goods trade fair, Ambiente, which takes place each February in Frankfurt."

That same article points to 7% of global commerce coming from fakes. The point of the museum, the awards, and Action Plagiarius is to discourage counterfeit designs. They've succeeded somewhat in removing copied products that garnered attention with the Plagiarius award.

This bit of news seems particular relevant given my last post highlighting the benefits of home rapid prototypers. The idea is terrific, but I paid little attention to the designers themselves. What about both small and large designers, whose designs are then de-valued by the simple fact that they can be reproduced by individuals at home without the cost of the original product? Just like the old Napster et. al. issue, the home rapid prototyper gives power to plagiarize to the people and reduces the motivation for designers to innovate.

If anyone goes to the museum, let us know your impressions.

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Power-User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Devon England
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#1

Re: Museum of counterfeit designs opens

04/04/2007 3:38 AM

More worrying is the copying of important safety parts. I worked for GM Truck and Bus and a large number of the failed brake components returned to us after failure or accident had NOT been manufactured by the authorised manufacturer.

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Hugh Mattos Chartered Engineer...... :---------: Through helping others we give purpose to our time on this earth and take pleasure from it.
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Commentator

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 83
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Museum of counterfeit designs opens

04/04/2007 2:20 PM

I agree with your opinion. I work in a goverment office where safety spare parts (glasses, braking parts, neumatics, lights, etc.) are homologated and/or certified. There are in the market parts with unknown origin that put in danger the vehicle itself and the rest of the people.

Here we use european (UNECE) norms and also argentine norms, in line with international standards.

Regards

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Gabriel, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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