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I just got meta-copied (creatingev.com)
231 points by d_r on Aug 31, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 37 comments

In a country with a billion people, even if you're one in a million, there's still 1000 people just like you.

This is my QotD today.

Something is a bit fishy with that favicon. The version used by the 'rippers' doesn't use transparency, whereas Tian's favicon does have one.

That favicon source (there are probably others): http://www.veryicon.com/icons/system/free-business/copy-4.ht...

It's on the first or second page of icons in a Google image search for "copy icon" with size set to icon.


I feel a bit disappoint that this has got so many votes on HN, when a simple Google image search shows that the icon in question is a simply a freely licensed image produced by FreeIconsWeb that turns up when you search for "copy icon".

I'm guessing the author of this article knew that (presumably that's where he got it from) but chose to omit that rather critical point from his post to make it seem more favourable to himself.

Link to original image: http://www.freeiconsweb.com/Icons-show/Freeicons/Copy.png

Your pedantry seems out of place considering the self-ironic tone of the article. It's not like the author was whining and pointing fingers, he's obviously taking it with humor.

You are accusing the op of accusing another person of copying a site designed to let one person accuse another. I find that funny, hence the upvote.

Well as far as I know, the 'rippers' claimed by author has existed for a while now. This tweet is posted on Jul. 16 (http://www.weibo.com/1655212723/l4EWMiVcl ) while the author's post is posted on Aug. 30. So I would say this is just a coincident rather than a rip-off. And I believe the author should spend a little more time doing some research before accusing the wrong person.

Coincidence... really? I know the favicon is a common property and all but what are the chances two sites with similar ideas ends up using the one?

> what are the chances two sites with similar ideas ends up using the one?

Pretty high if your websites are both about copying and that icon is high in the Google results for "free copy icon".

Don't feel too bad, you spent a mere 2.5 hours, and as a result a website that took probably 10 times that effort popped up. You lose the personal gain from the project, but the valued created as a result of 150 minutes of work is very efficient!

Is there a Chinese copy of HN?

Not a "clone", but there is an India version and it seems to still be active: http://hackernews.in

HN Thread: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1908893

Author is actually Tianfang Li. As an entrepreneur he is famous in China. I did not think he would have time to make other projects.

I'd like to see them list each other as copies of themselves.

What's the consensus in protecting yourself from getting copied in China? Launch there first?

The short answer seems to be: you can't protect yourself, it's a waste of time and money trying, and just keep making your stuff the best it can be for the audience you want. Unless your target audience is in China, don't worry about China until you're Google (and even still, don't worry too much about China). Or at least that seems the best strategy for a startup that's short on time and cash.

Curiously, even Apple wasn't able to make headway in fighting counterfeit products. [1]

"China's government declined to investigate a facility ... that was manufacturing imitation Apple laptops because it threatened local jobs ... A different arm of China's government scrapped plans for a raid on an electronics mall in the Guangdong province because it could have driven away shoppers, the cable says."

[1] http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/30/apples-anti-counterfeiti...

If you're good enough nobody will take as much care in creating a copy as the you did the original.

It's tricky but the best way is to be a Chinese citizen in the country. This will avoid bribery laws of USA (China is more lax and society there encourages it), Chinese government officials will be supportive (Baidu > Google), assist government in finding anti-government people and more.

I'm curious as to where the line between 'copying' and 'competition' is drawn.

Generally, chinese companies that 'steal ideas' (if you subscribe to such a notion). Release to a chinese market, that you don't (and likely never will) have access to.

So what are you protecting against?

Brands and easy-to-copy stuff mostly: http://www.businessinsider.com/china-fake-stores-2011-8?op=1

I wonder if all these companies are really negatively impacting creativity and inventiveness?

The author hasn't included a link to the "copy factory" website. I'm curious about what that link is, because I have noticed that Chrome will show favicons despite no favicon.ico being equipped on a site. I have seen this mainly has happened on local apps where I know for certain I am not serving one yet one shows up. I would like to check the "copy factory" site to see if they aren't defining one either, and if the author is simply seeing an artifact from his browser.

link to "copy factory": http://shanzhaioff.com/

Thanks for the link. The first thing I notice is that while the icons visually are similar, they are of two different sizes.

Indeed, the favicon.ico from the "ripoff" site is 32x32 vs the "original" which is 16x16. Further, the larger image shows more detail in the gradients and edges than does the smaller. When I resize the larger to 16x16 pixels, it looks similar but still features slightly different colors than the "original".

Finally, when I resize the "original" 16x16 up to 32x32, it lacks the pixel clarity of the "ripoff". It seems obvious that the "ripoff" icon wasn't made from the "original" as is being claimed.

I don't think the claim was that the 'ripoff' icon was literally copied from the original, just that the concept for the site - right down to the concept for the favicon - were copied.

But I salute your sleuthing, none-the-less.

The webapp seem to be built using Twitter Bootstrap and Heroku. I would have thought Chinese programmers who resort to copying would be using older technology.

The app at chao.heroku.com is not the copy.

Oops, you are right. However, chao.heroku.com still seem to be made for China by a Chinese author.

haha this is one of the reasons I stick to iOS apps!!

Yeah, there are no clones on there! Ever since they required that applications not be clones of each other, there's only ever been one fart app!

Heaven, thy name is App Store. Thou art a pantheon of deduplication.

a)It takes a lot of time and technical skill to clone a good iOS app..and even if you are successful you have to go through the Apple Developer Program(which is annoying but it helps) and there are legal implications.

b) yeah fart apps are easy to make...but try cloning a good app like angry birds or talking tom cat!

c) if you really wanna clone and make money your best bet would be to clone as fast as possible and clone a lot of apps.You'd much rather just stick to rails apps (heroku ftw!)

d) and lastly there are people who can clone even the best iOS apps very quickly...but with that kind of technical skill also comes creativity and integrity!

There are dozens of clones of angry birds. Some of them as good or possibly better. And we aren't talking about clones of polished products here, we're talking about a site that admittedly took a 2.5 hours to make. The comparison to a fart app (though their site is vastly more useful, and a unique idea AFAIK) is apt.

Lets take something with a bit less stigma. Background-changing apps. There are, what, 100+ of them? Probably more? Lots of them even share some backgrounds, which is visible if you just skim a dozen from the app store's images. And almost every single one has probably paid back the dev time it took to make, if not through sales then through ads.

> And we aren't talking about clones of polished products here.

Well when I said "This is why I stick to iOS apps" I was actually referring to the cloning of popular websites like quora,reddit etc.I am sorry if I did not make that very clear.

>Lets take something with a bit less stigma.,Background-changing apps. There are, what, 100+ of them?

Why take such an example when I have clearly agreed that it very easy to clone such apps.

> There are dozens of clones of angry birds. Some of them as good or possibly better.

Hmm...now that makes me think !!

Angry Birds itself is pretty much a direct clone of dozens of predecessor flash games.

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