clone

Forget Hollywood — U.S. startups are in dire need of copyright protection

The recent debate over SOPA, PIPA, and OPEN has left a bitter taste among those who think the tech industry is in desperate need of intellectual property reform. Add to it the recent shutdown of Megaupload and big-time patent disputes, and it’s easy to see how IP enforcement has become a weapon that threatens technological innovation in a way like never before. Despite the mess, a recent trend has left many startups crying out for greater copyright/IP protection: the rise of copycat kings like Rocket Internet in Germany, Fast Lane Ventures in Russia, and others in China, who are quick to “clone” successful U.S. businesses like Pinterest, Fab.com, Airbnb, Groupon, and Zappos in overseas markets. And I’m not just talking about taking an idea and tweaking it; this is about copying a site’s entire design, layout, and logo almost pixel for pixel and coming up with some uninspired derivative name (e.g., “Pinspire” instead of Pinterest, “Zolando” instead of Zappos) that reeks of being a cheap knock-off.

The Imangi Studios Team: Kiril, Natalia, Keith

Apple pulls cloned games from App Store

A developer that sells apps in Apple’s ubiquitous App Store goes by the name Anton Sinelnikov. Pulling up his apps today shows a much thinner selection than yesterday, according to website VideoGameWriters. Nine apps are left on sale from this particular seller, down from 68 previously. The reason? Cloned apps. Knockoffs.

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The 14 hottest Chinese tech-startup clones of 2011

Cloning or copycatting ideas, companies, and products is nothing new in China. Westerners, especially Americans, loathe cloning; it hurts their pride and is an insult to their creativity and hard work. The Chinese, however, love it. It comes as second nature and presents a grand opportunity to seize a massive market potential.

Moscow

Russia’s startup climate: 5 steps away from primetime

Protests in Russia last week have dominated international news, and talking heads have been eager to explain how this is evidence of an increasingly divided and unstable Russia. Although the political response has not been as graceful as it could have been, the restraint the government has shown in regards to the protesters is encouraging, especially compared to how similar protests were met in Syria, Libya, or Egypt.