Why LEPIN is bad.

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Sean Collins Sean Collins 1 week ago.

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  • #23484
    Profile photo of Josh
    Josh
    Keymaster

    I want to start off this thread with forgiveness. Starting fresh as of this post date. You don’t need to be accountable for past ignorance or expenditures, but I want to make it known now.

    LEPIN has started to produce a flying dutchman set, which was a lego ideas set that reached 10k supporters, but didn’t get produced. The creator of the dutchman had no interaction, and certainly did not give his approval. LEPIN gives him no recognition. The creator has functionally no recourse – if LEGO and Disney haven’t been able to stop LEPIN, 1 fan from BELUG isn’t going to stop them either.

    For whatever reason, LEPIN is a company that exists to make money. They’re profiting by stealing. This is not conduct Steel City LUG condones, and I expect the same ethical and moral standard to be upheld by Steel City LUG members.

    #23485
    Profile photo of Benjamin C Good
    Benjamin C Good
    Participant

    I don’t know what LEPIN is.

    #23486
    Profile photo of Matt Redfield
    Matt Redfield
    Keymaster

    I don’t know what LEPIN is.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=lepin

    Knockoff brick brand, blatantly stealing both TLG and AFOLs’ ideas. It was mentioned quite a lot at the fan weekend. People in the community hate them. Because they’re evil.

    Here’s a letter from someone whose work was stolen: http://www.brickfanatics.co.uk/an-open-letter-to-lepin-from-a-frustrated-lego-builder/ (This actually includes a few comments about the resale market, too, which are worth noting…)

    All that said, and LMGTFY joke aside, I fully agree with the “starting with forgiveness” and with “This is not conduct Steel City LUG condones, and I expect the same ethical and moral standard to be upheld by Steel City LUG members” as our policy moving forward.

    #23512
    Profile photo of Jim
    Jim
    Participant

    I don’t know what LEPIN is.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=lepin

    Knockoff brick brand, blatantly stealing both TLG and AFOLs’ ideas. It was mentioned quite a lot at the fan weekend. People in the community hate them. Because they’re evil.

    Here’s a letter from someone whose work was stolen: http://www.brickfanatics.co.uk/an-open-letter-to-lepin-from-a-frustrated-lego-builder/ (This actually includes a few comments about the resale market, too, which are worth noting…)

    All that said, and LMGTFY joke aside, I fully agree with the “starting with forgiveness” and with “This is not conduct Steel City LUG condones, and I expect the same ethical and moral standard to be upheld by Steel City LUG members” as our policy moving forward.

    Great letter and well said! There have been a few sets I have bought through eBay or even Bricklink with rogue, non-Lego elements in them. It is a shame. Those go in the recycling bin and I call Lego for the appropriate parts.

    The Lepin site is rediculous! The fact that they can get away with such blatant disregard for intellectual property is shameful, but, unfortunately, prevalent throughout many industries in their home country. There are no strict patent laws there. Companies are facing huge uphill battles when disputing patent infringement. And a worse problem is the fact that the Lego creators usually can’t even afford to copyright or patent their ideas.

    I am not sure what Lego’s “official” position is here, but they may want to consider an embargo on the country and not allow Lego bricks and sets to be directly sold there. Perhaps the voice of the people who are true Lego fans within the country will then be heard and Lepin will be shut down. The reality is probably not, but you never know.

    I for one will keep promoting the Lego brand. It brings me much enjoyment and I truly believe in the community we have. I am brand loyal and Lego loyal for sure! I will just wait for the 40% off sales on Amazon to be able to afford the sets I want! 🙂

    #23513
    Profile photo of Jim
    Jim
    Participant

    I don’t know what LEPIN is.

    https://lepinbrick.com/

    They are vile and evil.

    #23541
    Profile photo of Greg Schubert
    Greg Schubert
    Participant

    The main objection to Lepin is that they steal intellectual property, like so many companies do in China, without any repercussions. Its illegal, but apparently the laws are nearly unenforceable. Lepin does such a good job at replicating parts that I often wonder if they are also stealing molding equipment

    Is it okay for someone to make compatible LEGO parts of their own design? Apparently it is quite legal since plenty of companies in the US are doing it.

    Also, apparently its quite legal to make parts that are almost exactly identical to LEGO without the actual LEGO trademark on them. (I’ve heard, but cannot verify, that LEGO allowed their patent / copyright / whatever to lapse … or maybe it only lasted 25 years, IDK, I’m not a lawyer and my memory sucks.)

    Would there be anything wrong with a third party selling sets that are no longer available?

    Is it okay to make parts or sets that are no longer made or never were in production?

    One last point, in response to the “frustrated lego builder” article, the people who resell sets don’t really decide how much the sets will sell for, supply and demand / the market does.

    #23562
    Profile photo of Matt Redfield
    Matt Redfield
    Keymaster

    (I’ve heard, but cannot verify, that LEGO allowed their patent / copyright / whatever to lapse … or maybe it only lasted 25 years, IDK, I’m not a lawyer and my memory sucks.)

    Yes, the original patents on the brick (and minifig, I think) design are long expired. I’m not sure if you even can renew after a certain length of time… Tim’s our resident legal expert, so…

    Would there be anything wrong with a third party selling sets that are no longer available?

    I mean, it’s still IP… would it be ok to start printing an out of print book without paying the author royalties?

    Is it okay to make parts or sets that are no longer made or never were in production?

    Who designed them? LEGO? Or AFOLs? It’s pretty crummy to take something off LEGO Ideas and produce it without paying the designer.

    One last point, in response to the “frustrated lego builder” article, the people who resell sets don’t really decide how much the sets will sell for, supply and demand / the market does.

    This, I agree with. While I am not comfortable with the utterly mercenary tactics of clearing shelves of desirable sets and sitting on them to sell later (i.e. once out of print) to folks who couldn’t buy at the time they were available, it’s still a free market, in that if someone’s crazy enough to spend thousands on a Green Grocer, it’s their money they’re flushing down the toilet… nobody’s forcing them to do that. Just like how people spend tons on a piece of cardboard with a baseball player’s photo on it… or at least, they did 20 years ago, dunno if that market still exists in the digital age.

    For me, I’ve decided it’s ok to have a couple copies of certain on a shelf to resell later, but I’m trying not to make that a major investment strategy… and I’m not gonna go buy every copy of a big set I can get my hands on.

    Reselling actual LEGO products, though, is vastly different from making knockoff versions of LEGO products, and also from making versions of sets designed with LEGO but by AFOLs.

    Ultimately, Wheaton’s Law should be followed when dealing with all of the permutations of this line of thought.

    #23790
    Profile photo of Sean Collins
    Sean Collins
    Participant

    Yeah the they have stolen MOCs from ideas before so this isnt surprising.

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