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So I’d like to ask you guys your thoughts regarding bootlegs. I live in China, where the factories that make the authentic Madcatz TE cases sell unlicensed copies made in the same factory online. Shanzhai is a term that means bootlegged or copied, however nowadays we have an even greyer area where the product is simply made with a)cheaper materials or b)during off-work hours from the same production line and sold. What are your thoughts regarding buying these?
I have purchased Qanba products, where their Sanwa imitation buttons where almost as good as the real thing. The stick, too, was of great quality. The only shortcoming in my Qanba Q1 was that the spring in the stick was a little weak so it was not good at returning to neutral properly. I felt no guilt in this purchase, and was 100 percent satisfied. The Q1 Cut cost me about 65 bucks stock.
My next purchase (I am a broke mofo) was a bootlegged Viewlix case in the hitbox configuration. The selling party suggested I went to VLX size and opted for 30mm buttons all around as it was more comfortable. After using it for a year I can now say that the 24mm’s are most likely optimal. The stick came with a zero delay match plus pcb, all bootleg buttons. The PCB is not tourney legal for all button controllers, the buttons were perhaps the worst thing I’ve ever touched with my bare hands… ever. If you pressed the button down, held it to the side, and let go some of the buttons would remain depressed. I remained depressed. My guilt flared a little bit as I did feel that the layout perhaps still is new, and as such belongs mostly to the guys of the Hitbox team.
Finally, my most recent purchase: On May holiday the biggest online shopping website in the world was having a sale on all its items. I browsed around at the Qanba selection happily when I came across an acrylic board that looked AMAZING. I HAD to get my hands on it, especially when I would be getting a fully sanwa’d setup in gorgeous acrylic for 70 bucks. After purchasing it I couldn’t help but feel like the design reminded me of someone else’s: B15sdm. I was browsing around on the forums and decided to show my girlfriend how amazing his work is when I came across his X1 advert and realized an awful truth. The “S1” I had bought was literally a copy of his “X1” down to the last feature. The only difference is the kind of screws used, the way the acrylic is colored, and the screws used. When I forwarded the information B15SDM also found several other examples of design work that had been stolen. I felt awful. I haven’t received the product nor do I have the capability of comparing it outside of photos and hearsay to the original product. However this 70 dollars saved me a couple bucks but cost me a bit of my moral standing.
Where do you guys draw the line in bootlegs? I think for me this is a case of it’s okay to steal from wal-mart but you shouldn’t steal from a mom and pop store. I’d be happy to share links with you guys on where to get bootleg Viewlix and TE sticks/cases for 50 bucks (To someone who vets their background, I’m not gonna share it with the few madcatz employees here as it will cause a major loss in the local economy in one of the poorer regions of Canton, China) but I don’t feel right sharing the source for the B15sdm knockoffs. Is this hypocritical?