The Internet laughs at the poor but not “copying”

How serious is plagiarism?

Because of their plagiarism, Guo Jingming and Yu Zheng still have to apologize to audiences and readers and accept criticism after many years; TV series and variety shows that plagiarize and copy will usher in a large number of boycotts and low scores once they are broadcast; These two words are even the shame of the original musician. The plagiarism of the music producer has only been confirmed once, and this negative shadow will accompany him throughout his life.

The voice of protecting originality is getting louder in this anti-plagiarism wave. But there are always surprises in everything. On the Internet, plagiarism seems to be something that will be encouraged?

Copy Clubhouse together

The popularity of Clubhouse is declining. Whether in Moments or other social platforms, there is less and less focus on the content of this app, replaced by a series of imitators.

Perhaps it is a bit too polite to be called imitators, we can give them some more specific names, such as pixel-level replica master, hardcore tribute expert, pioneer product applier…

After Clubhouse became well-known in China, some media predicted that "the Chinese version of the Clubhouse arms race is about to begin." Internet blogger Lan Xi said on the second day of sharing in Musk’s Clubhouse: “Looking at the dynamics of the product managers of major manufacturers in the Moments of Friends, it is expected that more than 5 Chinese version of Clubhouse will be online after the year.”

This guess may still be too conservative, and there are not only 5 people who stare at Clubhouse. According to the professional version of Tianyancha, about 270 companies in China have released voice-related social products. Products such as Dizhao and Meet are all voice-based social products that have been in operation for a period of time and have their own unique styles. But the recent surge in voice social products is almost always the template style of Clubhouse.

It was the live broadcast application Inke. Its founders brought in Zhu Xiaohu and Zhou Yahui from the venture capital circle to have a discussion on the new application "Talk Bar"-Can a Clubhouse be made in China? This product can be said to be the shadow of Clubhouse everywhere, and the product interface and mode are very similar to Clubhouse.

It is worth mentioning that the founding team did not hide the birth process of this app and shared it very frankly. In an interview at 36kr, Jiang Yuhang, the project leader of Dialogue Bar, said that the project was approved on February 3-this is the second day after Musk shared the explosion. Four days of development time, one test day on February 8th, the first version was submitted on February 9th, and it was launched in major application stores on February 10th.

This is what this quick app looks like. You can take a look at the screenshot on the left of the dialog. The third-ranked user avatar named "Drinking", because we will be able to see this icon in the WeChat pixel-level mini program immediately.

▲ Picture from: Kaipineapple Finance

This small program can be said to be a copycat version. In addition to the same UI, even the name is called "Clubhorse", which is only one word difference from the original version. The developer of Clubhorse explained in an interview with DoNews that the inspiration for the name actually came from the adult comedy animation "BoJack Horseman".

Good guy, if I didn't know that "BoJack Horseman" didn't have such a plot, I would have thought that even the UI and creativity were inspired by cartoons. Although the service of this small program was suspended half a day after it went online, it is rumored that there were hundreds of thousands of users in the short time it went online. It can only be said that the small program accumulates users really fast, and Clubhouse envied it.

The Clubhorse developer responded quickly, and he immediately changed the mini program to "Clubchat+".

But this small program is still in an unusable state.

Also very similar (plagiarism) is Capital Coffee. This product is made by Whale. The biggest difference from the Clubhouse is that the "All room" in the upper left corner of the original version has become a "Cafe Lobby". When sharing the facts about the birth of Capital Coffee, Whale's CEO Chai Yuan said that he had talked with his chairman Liu Chengcheng (the founder of 36kr) before the Spring Festival to make one. The app that was made at the beginning of the first year of the new year began its internal beta on the 21st. .

In addition to these well-known imitators, there are also some applications that are not so high-profile because of the team's operational capabilities. For example, the new applications in the App Store, Now, Raise Hand, Juju and Clubhouse, are almost exactly the same. Justin Sun also said that he would invest in the voice social application TWO to build a Chinese version of Clubhouse.

It is also very polite to call these very similar "new" products "Clubhouse Chinese Apprentices".

Of course, some people in the industry believe that the existence of these plagiarized products is still positive. They think that these plagiarized products are like pirated resources, allowing more users to experience the hottest social products at a lower threshold. It is actually too narrow to criticize these products simply.

Don't copy because you are too proud

Jiang Yuhang, the project leader of Dialogue Bar, said in an interview that "speed is very important." The most important strategy for its application is to bring in big Vs from all walks of life and play high.

When the Clubhorse applet was launched, there were not only copycat products, but also copycat founders. Lei Jun, Ma Huateng, and Ma Yun all have accounts on it, and some people ushered in the "Ma Yun's first online speech" in the room, and later found that it was a recording of Ma Yun's previous speech.

The CEO of Capital Coffee's company said that he was inspired by Clubhouse two weeks before the Spring Festival. There was a time gap from production to launch: "At that time, I was thinking about waiting a few days before publishing. Chengcheng (the chairman) said that he couldn't wait any longer."

▲ Picture from: See the truth

If people who fight against plagiarism in novels or music come to the Internet, they are likely to be dizzy because of the pie from the sky. Here, you don’t need an article palette (an important tool for plagiarism certification), and you don’t need audio track comparison. Just find a few articles interviewed by the product founders, and you can hear the undisguised product path from their mouths ——The Clubhouse is on fire, so we went on.

Those fighting plagiarism may be very puzzled: "You are plagiarism! Why don't you feel that you don't want to cover up, but you have to fight high, invade quickly, and occupy a favorable position."

A big reason may be that the industry really has no atmosphere to protect originality. It is a common practice to defeat innovation with plagiarism and win with scale. It can even be said that the current Internet is basically a field with no awareness of patent protection. There are business models, operating methods, and explosive products, but there is no innovative application in the true sense.

▲ Picture from: Techno FAQ

At this point, the industry giants have made a "good start."

Facebook is a giant product that "plagiars" all the advantages of its competitors with its super aggressive nature, from copying Twitter, Snapchat, Douyin, and Houseparty. In an in-house team of Facebook even has a creed, " Do not be too proud not to plagiarize " (Do not be too proud to copy ).

Although the many features of Facebook are well known to everyone in the world, not many people can set an example to resist plagiarism applications. Your social relationships are all here, and your content is deposited here. Compared with the convenience of these habits, the small flaw of plagiarism seems irrelevant.

Even the people who have been copied know this well, and even tolerate it, because this is part of the Internet game. Houseparty, the founder of Facebook's plagiarism, once told the media: "I have no problem with plagiarism. This is a business, but it is too distracting."

This is not what a giant is doing. Google has been reported that it will track startups that have good data on its cloud computing platform, find the most valuable companies, and then invest (or copy) them. What these large American technology companies are doing, domestic Internet companies are not falling, plagiarism, mergers and acquisitions, investment, to maintain the group's influence.

Others feel that the application itself has no threshold, so it is difficult to define plagiarism. Quora and Zhihu, Musical.ly and Douyin, Oasis and Ins, they were originally named "China Edition", and it is likely that the limelight will overwhelm the original version, and some directly purchase the original version.

The current public opinion may be even harsher, and big companies cherish their wings and will try to avoid such behavior. However, the threshold for plagiarism is too low, and small and medium developers will be there.

After the elimination of Big Watermelon not long ago, you have seen how many similar games with only element modifications. It’s just that there are too many games of this kind and they have been around for too long. It seems hard to accuse these people of plagiarism. They just borrowed some small innovations.

There are also "physical pinball" imitators when the mini game was first opened to third-party developers. It is rumored that one of the college student developers relied on his copy of the mini program to instantly wealth and leave the game. We have also interviewed many developers, and they have all faced plagiarism. There is even a developer pickpocketing the code by someone who has no front-end knowledge of the system.

The way to defend rights on the Internet? Is there this way?

The Internet can provide services. Service models, product forms, and operating methods can actually be found in the future. It is precisely for this reason that it is difficult to accuse others of plagiarism.

Of course, there are still software copyright protections, but it is too slow and too troublesome. Many product developers will choose to apply for software and register companies to protect their legal rights, but it is troublesome to apply for software, and product updates also need to be followed by software updates, which is a "blocker" for many developers. In the Internet, where one week can determine victory or defeat, the time cost of applying for a soft move is too high.

They are not people without rights protection, but it is very likely that they will not get correct feedback.

Miranda Kerr, the wife of the founder of Snapchat, once complained to the media: "Can't Facebook innovate? Have to copy my fiancé's ideas?" This can't stop Instagram's Stories feature becoming more and more popular, and Snapchat's stock price has been falling.

Netease Cloud Music accuses Kugou of plagiarizing Weibo. You said that I copied your UI. He said that he had already registered a patent. Even in 2018, NetEase Cloud Music sued Kugou for infringing on the information network dissemination rights of works, and was later handled by the court as withdrawing the prosecution. In the end, the two sides got nothing, and the user continued to use it, leaving only the topic of "bamboo shoots" on both sides.

But even if it is plagiarizing the Internet, which is not a big deal, some products and teams have paid the price.

Tencent once launched an efficient reading product-Lizhi. This product, which requires an invitation code to be used, was initially popular in Moments, and was immediately accused of plagiarism. The staff of Instant Fang stated that the Tencent App Store team had invited the App Store immediately on the grounds of providing an interface. But when he turned his head, he immediately copied the copy and launched Tencent Lizhi.

Just when the plagiarism began to spread, Tencent Lizhi went offline. Tencent said that the function of the Lizhi app caused considerable controversy, and the internal testing was suspended and the shelves were removed for rectification. And Tencent’s previous shareholding immediately responded in all aspects. Its CEO Wa Yun said in the circle of friends, “Tencent is our shareholder and has always been helpful to us.”

The success of the rights defense this time was because big companies began to cherish their wings. Tencent didn't want to be plagiarized anymore, so it downloaded apps suspected of plagiarism and stopped investing in official accounts suspected of washing manuscripts.

There are also successful cases where the product development is very successful, so disputes that can be settled with money are dealt with as soon as possible. Anyone who has watched "Social Network" should remember a plot. The Winklevoss brothers who wanted to be a social application at Harvard University asked Zuckerberg to help write the code. The beginning went smoothly. Later Zuckerberg Then he started to try to fish, but did not submit the code.

In 2010, Business insider revealed more of the situation at the time. Zuckerberg said in a call to a friend: “Someone is already making dating software, but they made a mistake. Haha. They asked me to give it to me. They make this website. So I will delay them so that they will be too late when Facebook comes out.”

▲ The Winklevoss brothers

Similar accusations have existed since the inception of Facebook. It was not until 2009 that Facebook chose to spend $31 million to settle this suspected plagiarism lawsuit. At that time, Facebook had a number of users ahead of the Winklevoss social application ConnectU.

On the Internet, plagiarism seems to be a very safe thing, and no developer will come to it.

In other words, when he came to the door, it means that you have been very successful. At this time, fixing the small storm of plagiarism does not seem to be a problem for you.

▲ Picture from: eWISE

When giants rely on scale effects to imitate their opponents and stand on the top of the hill to kill one challenger after another; small and medium-sized Internet imitates the big fire application, and want to seek financing and attention to create a product with the same valuation; when a big fire product is caught within half a day Pickpocketing, decomposition, and imitation can only be seen as imitators are more popular.

We seem to have to admit that we really live in an Internet world where plagiarism has no effect at all. The only thing we can be sure of, Clubhouse is by no means the last app to be plagiarized.

Not too interesting, not too optimistic.

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