The Clone War - Behringer. Good or Bad?

Reverse engineering (circuits and code) is perfectly legal.

The latter is not universally true. Behringer ended up settling with Mackie over one of their clone attempts that involved digital components , if I recall correctly.

Now, here we’re less talking black box “reverse engineering” anyway! Behringer would copy the code outright if offered the opportunity and US-based/influenced copyright law allowed for it.

Someone better tell Justin.

I don’t know every “Justin” the world over :slight_smile:

Who is protected depends on what you’re reverse engineering, from which industry, and for what purpose. Interop between proprietary signals? Security research? Reimplementation in commercial products?

Do you have any examples of Type 3 products?

They do not sell this software, it is free. They have spoken with Elektron and have agreed to never release the source code. The MD was definitively discontinued 5 years ago in 2016. Manufacture and software updates had stopped long before that.


Thanks for the clarification!

I don’t think the existence of noncommercial projects that happen to infringe on IP with the knowledge of the IP holder are really analogous to what’s being discussed. If the projects have the passive-to-active support of legal, whether someone can sue in a particular country’s courts (with justification) is irrelevant.

As mentioned earlier, they made an agreement with Elektron over source.

I was a user of a project that extended an old in-dash Linux-based MP3 player called the Empeg. Persons extended the firmware for some years, but while it was based on Linux, they could never release the FULL source for DSP code as hardware implementation of some chipsets relied on proprietary agreements.

What I’m saying is that it’s pretty complicated and what one is legally allowed to do and what actions a company can take against them can vary widely on context.

What is explicitly legal with cloning analog board design is not so clear with digital components. We’ve had some good rulings lately (Google v Oracle on API usage, yeesh.) But IP owners and predatory holders can make the lives of small companies and “the little person” miserable in a way that guitar pedal cloners will not encounter.

Only because it isn’t being made. Move forward.

Someone made sick tracks with it when it was “common”. You could do the same with something new. Set the trend, be the guy that made the new “gear name here” the shit everyone wants.

You can’t have everything, you can’t make everything forever.

The gear doesn’t make the music great. The user does. Case and point, I have an MNM and I make it sound like shit. I actually have guilt owning it sometimes, feeling, it should be in the hands of someone capable.

But I’d like to add: I catch myself doing the same thing. I lust after a Nord Modular G2 and @waftlord now has me listing after a Nord Drum2….but I tell myself to try to come up with new interesting stuff on new stuff.
Tho, I’d love to get one of those old boxes…I definitely don’t want some kind of knock off.
But I wouldn’t shy away from Nord making a G3…COME ON GUYS!


Still, it’s a handwave on sucabeza’s end ( :stuck_out_tongue: ).

B is aggressively courting cloning of new products from vendors that are for the most part not large enough to match Uli’s legal team without exhausting their coffers. Moog is large for an indie but is not structured for hours of long court cases in the same way a Roland or Mackie might be able to suffer through.

They’re not only bringing us what is out of print, they’re explicitly preying on companies they find it safe to stomp on, because what can the indies do?

Hey now, I’m sure it sounds like $4000 worth of shit! :smiley:


Honestly…it doesn’t. I manage to make it sound like a poorly used VST


Imagine trying to copywrite black and white keys.
Weird Arturia wasn’t sued for doing it.

Here, you cannot copywrite a circuit. It can be patented if it’s completely new and unique. The actual drawing on paper (the exact layout on paper as printed) and the exact layout of a circuit board can be copywrited, but move the wires around and it’s legal. A VCO circuit is well beyond it’s patent expiration. Particularly on a 40 year old 303.

Just because he swings his didler around in peoples faces and mocks them while doing it, or paying armies of people Pennie’s to make the stuff doesn’t make it illegal.

Slander is tho.

Don’t worry. When I had mine, I’m sure I sounded far worse than you.
But I was really good at making it sound cold and sterile. That’s all I could get outta it.

As I said, analog design is not protected in these more-strict but large markets.

Not the only pusher of software/digital IP, but an entertaining coverage of one of the IP baddies that has spawned a lot of patent trolls- Part One: The Ballad of Bill Gates - Behind the Bastards | iHeart

Apologies if any of these seem like fussy rebuttals, i’m in the software field and have plenty of conflicts in who IP benefits, who it punishes, and who gets protected. I thankfully do not deal with protection of commercial code but use unofficial projects and reverse engineered FOSS regularly.

That’s kinda what I was getting at. He could def make clones that are less offensive by making his take of them instead of making it look the same as well, save for a knob placement.

A bunch of people make tires, you can’t claim copyright on that, but you can on tread design or construction. So like the keys on a piano, that make it usable, or chips in a synth make it usable…that is part of it makeup. If you package it the same way, your kind of taking someone else’s IP.

Code…it’s kinda black and white. BUT at a company I was at, we were developing a game for a larger company that was publishing us. Some shit happened and they shut down the project and took it to make it for themselves. They dropped the ball and couldn’t finish. We made the same game, diff look, diff name and we’re able to execute it. BUT the publisher went through the code to make sure we didn’t reuse any of it. Which kinda baffles me. We had to prove it was rewritten and we didn’t use any of “their” code. In the end they end up publishing our game and all bad blood when under the bridge. But the code thing blew my mind.

Anyways, ramble over.

[oh shit just noticed this is post 666 :grimacing:]

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Behringer - good or bad?



That last part is not accurate. For example, I wish Joe kept the 2 year free community college in. Actually wish it was 4, because that helps everyone in the long run. But I don’t think it should be free with no strings. 2.8/3.0gpa required. It shouldn’t be free and allow people to fail out. Under 2.8, should have to pay it back.

I can think of two examples of Type (3) behavior off hand. Neither in the field of electronic music, but maybe we could find one there too.

Example One — This happened to me :

One was a company i worked for, for about a month. One thing they would do was make agreements to pay people for work and then cheat them out of that money. I caught them doing this behind my back to me, about a month in, and i took all the development equipment i was using, put it in my car, and carried that into their office and quit. That hurt because i considered this person a close friend for a long time.

They cheated others out of pay regularly too. They also lied about their products to get sales. They cheated vendors from whom they got development equipment. They lied about sales numbers and profits to inflate their stock, and much more. They were investigated by the SEC. They would work and exploit workers to exhaustion, and mental breakdowns, and then just fire them. They stole everything they could, including the stuff that was nailed down from trade shows. They stole code and trade secrets and employees from other companies. Needless to say internally the company was a zoo.

About a month after i told them good-bye, i was called into a meeting with a company they had stolen code and secrets from. The president of that company and i had a private meeting. He was very nice, offering me food and refreshments, as he asked me to do industrial espionage, and then testify as an expert witness in the lawsuit they had against the company. They offered to pay me well into the six figures for this small job, back when six figures was real money. There were all the reasons for me to want to get back at the company that cheated me. I thought about it for a few seconds, and decided i wanted to be able to keep working in my profession, and turned him down.

That’s a pretty good example of a Type (3) company not to buy from.

Example Two :
Came across this next one because up thread people were talking about Stradivarius instruments and business practices in Cremona Italy between 1680 -1720.

Industrial Espionage from the Time of Antonio Stradivari :

Couldn’t find much about Stradivari stealing trade secrets from Amati and Guarneri, but clearly each fed the success of the others. Stradivarius likely never would have been as great a success without the others.

So no Type (3) copying there, probably more Type (2).

But what I did find from the same time was industrial espionage conducted by a Jesuit missionary, to get trade secrets for the manufacture of “white gold”, porcelain ceramics, that was done by the Chinese in the city of Jingdezhen. Definitely Type (3), certainly by today’s standards.

So instead of people stealing trade secrets from Antonio Stradivari, it was a Francois Xavier d’Entrecolle, doing the stealing from the Chinese.

Of course about a hundred years later there was some other sorts of Type (3) activity undertaken. Counterfeiting the Stradivarius Violin !


Pretty sure @trytykee is guilty of this. I’m Innocent!


It would be nice if we could get Steve Carell + Stephen Colbert as “Even Stevphen” to debate this topic.