MA Lighting. Made in Germany.
For the past few years MA Lighting has followed its strategy against counterfeit products. This resulted in multiple actions at several tradeshows, e.g. Prolight + Sound Guangzhou, GET Show, Sound Check Exhibition and Palm Expo India, where fake consoles were removed from the booths or the respective catalogues destroyed by the officials. Even some of the booths were officially closed.
At Prolight + Sound Guangzhou MA Lighting could also rely on the great support of the organizers that were keen to remove the fake consoles and catalogues. At GET Show MA was assured that no copies will be tolerated at the tradeshow any more, not even for booth lighting control.
Additionally Sound Check Exhibition in Mexico and Palm Mumbai in India were a huge success this year as compared to last year, there were nearly no copies and no catalogues to report.
Furthermore MA Lighting has been busy in the internet as well. Hundreds of announcements for fake consoles on social media portals have been deleted so far.
MA Lighting would like to stress again, that copying its products is a crime and will be punished with all legal consequences.
For quite some time consoles from China have been brought onto the market by a German distribution company. With regards to the key arrangement, these consoles are based on the MA onPC wing devices. In addition, these consoles - if the grandMA2 software is installed - illegally unlock parameters.
By preliminary injunction of the Munich Regional Court, the distribution company concerned has now been prohibited from distributing MA Lighting grandMA2 onPC software on devices other than original MA Lighting hardware. The infringer now faces a fine of up to 250,000 Euro for each case of a violation of the court ban and up to six months in custody if the amount can not be raised. In order to avoid further legal disputes, the distribution company concerned has also committed itself to the complete cessation of sales of "Kolibre" devices from the Chinese manufacturer YEL Technology, subject to criminal prosecution.
We have information about Chinese consoles in the country and strongly recommend that companies owning such consoles - regardless of type or Chinese manufacturer - do not use them with our grandMA2 onPC software at events. Users and operators should refuse to use such a combination for a show in order not to expose themselves to such liability risks and to make themselves liable to prosecution for an illegal act.
The circumvention of technical protective measures of copyrighted software and unauthorised interference with technical protective measures of such software for commercial purposes is punishable by imprisonment of up to three years or a fine, § 108 b UrhG. It is not a trivial offence!
MA Lighting strongly discourages all users from using the grandMA2 onPC software to unlock parameters on counterfeit or non-MA approved hardware. Violation is illegal and punishable by law.
Every day we receive information on this topic from our valued customers, friends and users of our products, who actively support us in the fight against product piracy. We visit small, medium-size and big events and collect photo documentation about such software violations. All this is evaluated by our lawyers.
We are aware of distributors in Germany and Europe who distribute Chinese hardware with the same key layout as our grandMA2 consoles and MA onPC command wings and emulate their interface to the grandMA2 onPC software. The moment someone installs the grandMA2 onPC software on this Chinese hardware and unlocks parameters, they violate MA Lighting’s rights. Distributors know are trying more and more frequently to delegate the responsibility to the customer by recommending the customer to install the MA software to get a console ready to play. From here-on in particular the user is responsible and he is the one who is liable to prosecution and subject to civil liability. However, distributors who do so also are responsible – both criminally and under civil law – for infringements of MA Lighting’s rights and must expect to be prosecuted by us.
We repeat at this point: Don't be misled and be welcome to ask us before you load the grandMA2 onPC software onto any non-MA approved hardware. To protect all our customers worldwide, we must take actions against these situations including taking legal actions.
Please contact infonoSpam@malighting.com if you have any questions or are unsure about which hardware you have in front of you or if you already work with such hardware in connection with grandMA2 onPC software and now want to cooperate with us. We are happy to help.
It is not our goal to take legal action against users and operators. Our primary goal is to stop the offending manufacturers and the sales organisations of such devices!
We of MA Lighting know that our software was hacked and that our products are being copied in China. We also know that it is extremely difficult to go against the copier.
Consequently we have decided to take legal action against the importers and users of such copies, as the import as well as the commercial use of copied products is prosecutable.
We have a series of patents and IP rights, that we can use on international legal basis. On top of that we work with the most renowned lawyers in this field.
Currently we are working on several cases and we have successfully concluded the first legal decision in our favour. The respective user has deferred to the requests of our lawyers and the console was confiscated.
Furthermore we will approach specific distribution partners in various countries on the basis of successfully concluded cases in order to achieve the same results in their countries.
Avolites and MA Lighting recently joined forces with the organisers of entertainment technology trade event Prolight + Sound to shut down the booth of prolific counterfeit operation PPL (Popular Lighting from GuangZhou, China). This is one more step that both companies have taken to prevent the distribution of counterfeits and to send out a clear message to all product copier that their actions are no longer tolerated.
Sales director Koy Neminathan explains: “Avolites synchronised efforts with MA Lighting and with the support of Prolight + Sound to successfully close PPL’s booth down before the Prolight + Sound show even opened. PPL shamelessly manufactures and sells counterfeit Avolites and MA Lighting badged products at respected trade shows around the world and we are determined to put a stop to this.”
Michael Adenau, managing director and founder of MA Lighting, added: “MA Lighting is willing to take any necessary steps to stop the sale and manufacturing of counterfeit products. Our industry is built on innovation, creativity and technical devotion. Years of manpower were needed developing consoles series like grandMA2 and grandMA3. By buying counterfeits you are killing this industry and despising the hard work of all manufacturers.”
Neminathan also stated that Avolites and MA Lighting plan to continue to combine their efforts to identify any product manufacturer that promotes counterfeit products that infringe either manufacturers copyright and ensure that their booths are expediently closed down at trade shows globally.
“It’s crucial that customers and end users of counterfeit products are aware that these products are not developed with the same R&D expertise or subject to trademarking and safety testing regulations,” continues Neminathan. “The impact of such products is that they are often sub-standard, do not have robust manufacturer or distributor technical backup or even offer spare parts. In the case of failure, they could also cause serious harm to those working with or in the same environment as them.”
Both Avolites and MA Lighting strongly believe that counterfeiting is theft. When these products make their way into the supply chain it is not just the originating manufacturer that suffers the financial and brand costs. It is also the distributor, the rental operation, the end user and potentially the artists, performance and audience that may be compromised. Because counterfeit goods are often sold direct to the end user, those customers generally have little comeback, service or support and if used knowingly may even compromise a user’s public liability insurance.
Purchasers and end users need to understand that genuine products should be supported by knowledgeable distributor networks, service centres, spare parts depots etc - all of these are reassuring for the end users and their clients. They also provide genuine job opportunities throughout the supply chain and the framework for other small businesses to thrive.
Essentially counterfeit goods poison the whole supply chain. At worst they can cause life threatening health and safety issues and those businesses who knowingly import or market counterfeit products in countries where such products are covered by patents are as guilty as those who manufacture them.
During the recent Guangzhou Entertainment Technology (GET) exhibition, MA Lighting and Avolites launched a series of anti-counterfeiting actions on the expo site with the help of the tradeshow organizers. This is another joint action by the two major stage lighting control brands, following a similar initiative at Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt.
Some counterfeit manufacturers in China have long copied MA Lighting and Avolites’ products, and a large number of them are located in Guangzhou. The GET Show - held in Guangzhou - is now one of the most important international industry shows attracting visitors from all over the world, and recently became a “must-go” annual appointment.
The support of the GET show in respecting international patents and copyrights follows the directions by the government of the People’s Republic of China, who set higher goals for the local manufacturing industry with their “Made in China 2025” plan.
This makes a clear statement: “It is understandable to learn advanced foreign technology through imitation during the early years of manufacturing industry development, but pirated copyright infringement is a totally different concept from imitation learning.
The practice of pirating infringement under the name of ‘imitation learning’ can only become a malignant tumor that harms the industry, it is also a clear crime.
Our manufacturing industry needs more innovation, and we urgently need to improve Intellectual Property Protection. Of course, we should support Made-in-China, but this is definitely not as such Made-in-China. Otherwise, in the future when we will once again face sanctions like those that the United States has launched against ZTE and the trade war waged against our entire manufacturing industry we can only surrender.”
Franco Zaghini, director of business development for MA Lighting, and Avolites’ sales director Koy Neminathan led the team to negotiate with counterfeit manufacturers on the show floor and asked them to withdraw all displayed infringing products.
Zaghini commented: “The way we conducted our actions was this; on the first day of the show, we sat with the GET organizers to show them all our Patents, Trademarks and IPs and their authenticity; at the same time our staff went around the exhibition halls to identify potential infringers. The second day, we visited the booth of the infringing companies accompanied by GET show organizers; we sat at the table of their booths with their management, owners and staff who had declared themselves entitled to speak with us.
After showing them the proof of our patents and IP rights, none of the counterfeiters, had any objections and they removed voluntarily all the infringing products. They clearly know they are committing a crime. grandMA2 software is only legal for use on our own hardware platforms; using our software either on consoles or any other window-based hardware developed by any other manufacturer is ‘pirated copyright infringement’.”
The companies involved were:
YEL, Yel Intelligence Technology Co. Ltd.
YPL, Guangzhou Yunpeng Lighting Equipment Co.,
F-LINE, Guangzhou Fine Line Performing Equipment Co. Ltd.
GUODA, Guangzhou Guoda Electronic Technology Development Co. Ltd.
HB Lighting, Guangzhou HB Lighting Equipment Co. Ltd.
LIV Lighting, Guangzhou LIV Lighting Equipment Co. Ltd.
XFC, Guangzhou Xun Fei Optoelectrionic Equipment Co. Ltd.
ZNL, Guangzhou Zunneng Stage Equipment Co. Ltd.
Taurus Light Co. Ltd.
These counterfeiting actions will continue outside the People’s Republic of China against importers of counterfeited products in every single country.