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Pro-Scapes
01-31-2010, 10:55 AM
I know it’s been some time since I posted but I felt I needed a break from the redundancy so I could take a fresh look at how we do things as well as getting caught up on some things I have been putting off.

As 2010 begins we are emerging with a new set of business principals and we will be mainstreaming our business to better serve our clients.

As I work to revamp our company website (it crashed and was not able to be recovered) I have been taking a look at many of the outdoor lighting sites many from participants here and I really liked a lot of them. Kudos to you guys

One thing I noticed is that a lot of sites contain the same basic info which is good. I also noticed something that disturbed me. One website I visited had exact text content duplication of another site. In this case there was no consent as I e-mailed the original site and asked it’s owner. While I think it is a beneficial tool that some manufactures or even colleagues help the newer guys out with canned or stock photos (I used stock photos at first to get started) to get them going I think it’s really bad if you are going to copy someone’s text verbatim. I know at one time someone had copied my FAQ page without even so much as changing a letter but I am curious as to what some other business and website owners feel about this practice.

Is this unethical business practice or do you consider whatever is on the Internet public domain and open for "borrowing" without permission or some form of compensation to the original owner. It’s easy and costs nothing to copy and paste anything but do you respect ones intellectual property and the time, thought, experience and money they put behind what they have written on their website?

I hope all is well with everyone and 2010 is profitable and healthy year for all.

emby
01-31-2010, 03:03 PM
Hey Billy,

Nice to see you back here as I have not seen or heard from you in a couple of months. Thought maybe there was another site that you had found.
I am also in the development stages of creating my website. Sorry to hear about your crash.
It has been fun looking at all the professional websites as some are very well done.
I have just contacted a web designer here and we will be meeting this month to discuss. I too would like something remarkable and different from the "norm" and so I have started to prepare by making a list of things that I would like to express on the site. Such things as custom and professional design, only the best products, and a maintenance package that ensures them of worry free operation year after year.
I waited until this year to begin since I knew I needed to use my pictures of my jobs so that future customers could see my design techniques in painting with light.
I hope that other professionals here will comment on this thread and express their experiences (good and bad) when they developed their website.
It would be very helpful to us apprentices like myself.:)

Regards,

Ken

klkanders
01-31-2010, 03:55 PM
Welcome back Billy!
Good post! I know it took me awhile to get a website going. Like you, Ken, I waited until I had some quality pictures of my own before enlisting a website designer to help me.
When I first discovered these lighting threads in 06' I made the time to read them all, which I would still recommend to anyone new here. This along with searching for any tidbits of information or articles I could find on the web. I compiled years of sentences here and partial paragraphs there. I saved them and added my own words to compile what I wanted to come across on my site. I looked at the stand-alone guys websites, some of whom have not been on for awhile, and was very impressed with their content. I purposely stayed away from frequent phrases I came across numerous times such as "Paint with light" , "Canvas" , "Be rest assured" , etc.. Sorry I like alot of these but they get over used.
There are things on my site that still need to be corrected and others I would like to change or add but I suppose that holds true for many. Some had done websites maybe prematurely, before establishing their business, and are not here or in this line of work anymore. That is unfortunate.

Pro-Scapes
01-31-2010, 07:03 PM
Thanks Kieth and Ken.

I think you guys are taking the high road by trying to provide all original photos and content on your websites. I think you missed the main part of my post. I am trying to see how people feel about someone doing a copy and paste of someone elses text.

Kieth there is nothing wrong with taking a good point and putting it in your own words if you employ that point or practice into your business. But going so far as to use the text word for word ?? Where do you draw the line ?

The Lighting Geek
01-31-2010, 09:46 PM
hey Billy, nice to see you here again.

I think it is disrespectful for anyone to use your pictures, verbage, or worse, your name without written permission. In cases, it is copyright infringement.

I purposely do not talk about techniques, details, or fixtures because none of that matters. They hire you for your expertise and if they like you. If you present yourself properly, they know you know what you are doing and see it in YOUR pictures. everyone uses stock photos at first and upgrades to their own eventually. I think you are correct to label it as bad or poor business to copy someone's material. if you can't be original, you should not be in an artistic business to begin with.

klkanders
01-31-2010, 10:12 PM
Good Stuff Billy and Tommy!
Tommy I also enjoyed the video on the CalExpo! Thanks for sharing it!

Pro-Scapes
02-01-2010, 09:00 AM
Thanks Tommy.

I totally agree. People need to pay more respect for someone. If you want to take a key point and reword it that should be ok but the example I saw was clearly a copy n paste type of scenario.

My website is going on a Diet big time. Lots of photos. Half the text we used to have on our homepage. It will serve as more of a show em what we do and prequalify gateway for clientel before they even fill out the form to contact me.

RLDesign
02-01-2010, 10:37 AM
Hello All,

I have shared many a photo to industry friends for various marketing purposes. Most have chosen images that have sold well for me. Sometimes, I have asked for credit and other times it has not been needed. It is a terrible infringement to steal images and text, but the internet is plagued with many people who portray the works of others as their own. It sucks. Report the theft and banish them. Prosecution or compensation for infringment, other than cease letter is limited.

For website design, we try to update our photos every 2 years. We try to have as many images and diverse categories on our website. Some feel this is putting too much out there for the competition and we feel it educates our client. If they are coming to us, it is just an upsell for other items. I have always tried to place as many images on our website to place an idea and demonstrate the technique to the client. My photos also demonstrate the professional install and design skills a potential client will get with our company. I agree with Tommy that our lighting work should represent itself. We put specific photos on our webpages instead of emailing various clients specific photos. I tell them to look at my website and see some downlighting images, docklighting photos, or day shots. I also try to include as many press links to provide backing for our work. I have found some great websites that I live by. James Solecki, Keith Rosser, Jan Moyer, Naomi Miller, John Pletcher, and Mike Gambino... just a few quick names of great sites... and there are so many more. Some have rights protected with water marking or locked file info. I have always felt that an image is worth a million words, but that value needs to be protected to each designers wishes.

Just my input. Oh, my website is reynoldsgardenshop.com. Please look around and see that lighting is a piece of our puzzle. We do a good amount of lighting and it is my favorite piece of our puzzle. Please understand that my photos need quite a bit of work and I am always growing and adjusting my images to fit myself as a designer. I try to have the attitude that keeps me from judging my previous work in a regretful way - always knowing that I can and will do better with the next design, budget, or photograph. Listen to your sales - some images that may be terrible in composition - may sell very well and that is more important than anything!!!

When selecting an image viewing platform for your clients, research your target audience and display options. Flash, photo size, roll over viewing, etc. are all options in photo display that make it easier for clients to see images easily. Make it easier for them to navigate the webpages.

Best, Tanek

JoeyD
02-01-2010, 12:22 PM
awesome photos Tanek!

Great topic Billy!

steveparrott
02-01-2010, 01:45 PM
Good thread - as many of you know, we, at CAST, provide stock images to contractors (who use CAST) to help them create an impressive website. Everyone using our images signs an agreement promising that they won't represent these images as their own projects - rather, as examples of great landscape lighting. I am also careful to not share project images with a contractor's competitors. I also give permission to copy and paste our website text.

Still, I find many contractors try to take our images without permission. Surpisingly, most assume that images on the web are free for the taking, or they assume that they will never be caught, or, if caught, that they won't get into trouble. These misguided folks are wrong on all three counts - I do search the web for our images and text, and if I find someone using them without permission, I contact them and start the legal process for copyright infringement.

This process starts with a cease-and-desist request, then, if necessary moves to complaints to web hosts and domain registrars. Most don't realize that if a web host or registrar finds out that one of their clients is engaging in copyright infringement then that person can lose their website and domain name. I've never had to move beyond that stage but more serious consequences could unfold.

The main reason I do this is because when I take photos of a contractor's projects, I sign an agreement to protect his images. I take this agreement seriously and consider it my responsibility to pursue people who steal them.

maxwilbryan
02-01-2010, 03:26 PM
I've been reading through thread after thread for quite sometime. I've been taking notes, exploring your websites, and at times laughing my a$$ off at the conversations. Anyway, I'm learning a lot and have been wondering about issues such as this. Nice thread.
Posted via Mobile Device

RLDesign
02-01-2010, 04:56 PM
Steve,

Your photos and work are amazing. As I begin to use more CAST product, I would love to get together to discuss some of your techniques. I admire your 40 pg. training booklet that your artistic direction was behind. My crews and I use it daily. Now, we need this economy to turn around and then I can sell some work.

It is hard to disuade people from taking images, since the only repercussion is a cease&decist letter. I wish there were more agressive channels.

Talk soon.

Tanek

RLDesign
02-01-2010, 05:03 PM
awesome photos Tanek!

Great topic Billy!

Thanks Joey. I used to post a photo with almost every post in previous forums. I cannot always do that, but whenever possible I will share my stuff.

Random as ever, but putting my work out there.

Talk soon. Thanks for the compliments. I also take critique very well, so please rip my stuff apart. Most of design sacrifices are budgetary!! (as usual)

Tanek

JoeyD
02-01-2010, 05:05 PM
very cool.....I rarely ever rip someones work. What looks good to me may not be what looks good to you and visa versa. However if I think a better technique could be used or a different product application I will always offer up advice. With that being said you work is some of the best I have seen posted here.

Keep it up! and thanks for sharing!

RLI Electric
02-01-2010, 08:44 PM
The difficult part that I have found about the websites is coming up with decent photos. I have had hundreds of photos taken of just a few jobs and there are few that come out decent enough to showcase. One of the other students at Jan's class this fall had an interesting point. He was taking the class out of interest and not because he is in the lighting industry. He is in marketing and over breakfast one day he said, "Don't just fill your website up with photos. Everyone does that. If you want to be taken seriously get really good photos done by someone with an artistic eye. What looks cool to you as a technician does not do the same for your client." I think about this a lot. I don't know how to do photography although after sitting in George Gruels studio, I think it is awesome and inspiring. I told the photographer that lives near me, from now on look for the art in the picture and don't just take a shot for the sake of taking a shot. My friend went on to say, in the marketing industry if you take a portfolio to a potential client and you have a ton of mediocre shots, they don't look at the volume simply the quality. They will see some of the mediocre shots, drop the portfolio on the desk and say thank you and send you on your way. For what its worth, I know that my website does need a ton of work and better photos but I gotta watch the budget.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-01-2010, 09:17 PM
I hope that other professionals here will comment on this thread and express their experiences (good and bad) when they developed their website.
It would be very helpful to us apprentices like myself.:)

Regards,

Ken

Ken, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a professional web developer build and manage your online presence. My guys; Metropolis Media in Toronto, fully immerse themselves in a project before they do any creative work. They want to understand the business, your operations, your market, etc first. In this way they are better able to meet all of your requirements and expectations.

I fully encourage you guys to contact pro web developers before you spend any time or money on software or working up your own sites. I see it this way, if you want a pro lighting system then you call one of us. If you want a pro web site, then what the heck are you doing trying to build and manage it yourself?

Regards

The Lighting Geek
02-01-2010, 11:15 PM
Amen James.

niteliters
02-02-2010, 11:48 PM
Thanks Tommy.

I totally agree. People need to pay more respect for someone. If you want to take a key point and reword it that should be ok but the example I saw was clearly a copy n paste type of scenario.

My website is going on a Diet big time. Lots of photos. Half the text we used to have on our homepage. It will serve as more of a show em what we do and prequalify gateway for clientel before they even fill out the form to contact me.

hey Billy, looking forward to seeing you and your wife next year. sorry on the fishing trip. I have shared my photos with others. It's such a challenge getting a good shot...I know the frustration..when I trip on a good one and someone could benefit, I'm usually happy to share. if someone would take something off our website, photos or text I am not going to sweat it. step mother is an english major, and you know about wess. we changed all our text recently and some of the pics. I figure because we are trying to keep site fresh things won't be copied for long. Let God figure out the rest :)

RLDesign
02-03-2010, 08:34 AM
I would say that my website goes in a direction that I may change, although my clients and many other design minded people love to see the images. I feel if the photo is OK, and in your mind it will lead to a potential sale. All my photos are sales driven. My categories are divided by sales. If you go to our gallery under landscaping, click on specialty work, then the 2 galleries represent the different stone and wood pieces our company has been building and designing. It all comes down to your potential to drive traffic to your website, and the aggressive nature with which you choose to do so. I would suggest tracking each lead from where your sales come next year and see where you should invest your money.
Go out to those same jobsites early with a pro. You should be able to do 3 small properties in one night. Clean it up the landscaping early (really adjust and prune to fit your design). Be the photogs assistant and help him get the right images. I always look at digital photography like you can never shoot enough, bracket enough, adjust enough, or post produce enough. With that said, many of images become outdated yearly and updating is so important. I could update our website and manage it, but that is not my job. I credit our web designer/marketing creative director will making our company as strong as it is. She is one of the best. Mixed Media his her company.

If you notice on our homepage, we have an email address collector which strengthens our ability to direct market to our clients. We are marketing 6 mini companies from 1 website, because we have specific photos setting us (hopefully) apart from the rest. Call my cell 609-468-8488 if you need any more advice or help.

Best, Tanek

steveparrott
02-03-2010, 09:18 AM
It is hard to disuade people from taking images, since the only repercussion is a cease&decist letter. I wish there were more agressive channels.


Tanek,

Your photos are great and I hope we get to meet sometime soon. Regarding the protection of images. You may know how easy it is to right-click on an image, copy it, and post it to a website.

Here's a few ways to provide some protection.

1. Place a watermark of your logo and/or copyright statement on each photo.

2. Display photos as part of a Flash gallery. Right-clicking doesn't work in a Flash movie.

3. Ask your web master to put in code to disable the right-click function, but it's not dificult for someone to get around that by taking screen shots or using browsers that don't recognize the protection script.

Regarding enforcement, as I outlined in my previous post, the cease and desist letter works in most cases to get people to remove your images. If they don't respond in a timely way (I always give them a two week deadline), contacting the company who hosts their website and the company that registers their domain name is very effective. In my experience, hosting companies and registrars have very strict policies; they have acted immediately on my behalf and will disable the offending website and deactivate the domain name. That always gets results!

RLDesign
02-03-2010, 10:22 AM
Hello Steve,

I will make sure to set something up with you before the spring rush. Thanks for the tips. I feel that watermarking is only feasible if you select the part of the image the watermark is applied (or type of watermark) since it affects the photo. I will try the right click protection, and I have always found flash presentations limiting on the viewing of photos (personal opinion).

Talk soon.

Tanek

It is important to think monitor size and browser speed when designing websites for clients. I went bigger than before in many ways since my clients monitors are getting bigger and they can preview on a larger screeen.

tadpole
02-03-2010, 02:15 PM
http://www.makeuseof.com/tech-fun/i-was-stealing-your-images-and-you-took-them-down/

RLI Electric
02-03-2010, 02:25 PM
I am interested in how many of you take your own pictures. That is the amazing thing about trades, you can never get enough equipment. I never thought I would consider a SLR camera or digital photography until I started down the exterior lighting path. Oh yeah, I need Photoshop and a Mac and a tripod and etc,etc,etc....

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-03-2010, 02:59 PM
I am interested in how many of you take your own pictures. That is the amazing thing about trades, you can never get enough equipment. I never thought I would consider a SLR camera or digital photography until I started down the exterior lighting path. Oh yeah, I need Photoshop and a Mac and a tripod and etc,etc,etc....


I have always taken my own photos. Started with a Canon G1 way back when, then a G3. Now I have a Canon 50D with multiple lenses, tripod, trigger release, filters, etc etc.

I still use photoshop for any production/publishing, but you would be amazed at how good Picasa3 from google is for most touch up needs. I highly recommend it, and it is free.

RLI Electric
02-03-2010, 03:03 PM
How about the rest of you? Are you all budding photographers too?

NightScenes
02-03-2010, 03:37 PM
I use a Canon Rebel XT and have always taken my own shots. I have tried a couple of photographers but they really didn't know anything about night time photography.

emby
02-03-2010, 04:36 PM
This past summer I have taken all my own photos of my jobs. I have a Nikon D40 and just love it.
Steve or anybody else that can answer this...How do you place your logo or watermark onto your photos? I have read a little about it but cannot seem to figure it out.

Ken

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-03-2010, 04:40 PM
This past summer I have taken all my own photos of my jobs. I have a Nikon D40 and just love it.
Steve or anybody else that can answer this...How do you place your logo or watermark onto your photos? I have read a little about it but cannot seem to figure it out.

Ken

Ken, using Picasa3 it is as easy as clicking a button when exporting or 'resaving' the image. In Photoshop there is a watermark tool when saving or exporting as well.

Regards

RLI Electric
02-03-2010, 04:58 PM
George Gruel speaks at Jan Moyers school and I know he did a lecture on lighting at the AOLP conference. I can only assume it was fantastic as the lecture he did at the LLI was excellent. Is he the only one that is doing this particular form of photography (aside from you guys) or are there others that do this around the country as well?

Pro-Scapes
02-03-2010, 07:48 PM
I see nothing stays on topic still. Some of you wouldnt care if someone borrowed from your website without permission ?

Steve I know you ask people to sign an agreement. I signed the agreement back when I used your photos years ago. Excellent Camera work but I still cant imagine guys are that lax about people just taking others hard work.

How would you feel to drive past to find a competitors yard sign in front of your project?

RLI Electric
02-03-2010, 08:20 PM
Sorry, I did thread jack. To answer the question, when my website started the guy who did it went to "stock" photos and posted them. Now that I have had my own photos of work that I have been involved with, I replace them. No I would not be happy with someone using them.

Pro-Scapes
02-21-2010, 10:27 PM
I was surfing around today and was going to check out the latest from The Geekman and typed in www.thelightinggeek.net for some reason(Tommy's site is www.thelightinggeek.com ).

Looks like someone not only used the name but the logo looks way to similar. I talked to Tommy about this and it looks like this has been up almost a year. The FAQ are neatly verbatim of Mike G's too.
In an industry that should be full or originals and uniquness (no pun intended Joey) yet there seems to be be alot of this going on latley.

I am curious as to peoples thoughts on this. Tommy has worked REALLY hard to build up his name and make The Lighting Geek a memorable name for people with his work on TV and all. I am disapointed to say the least. I think the guys on this board are capable of more. Or are they ?

The Lighting Geek
02-21-2010, 10:42 PM
I own the name The Lighting Geek and it is a registered name. I was very upset to find out that anyone would have done this, let alone someone who posts here and knows who I am. It was done without my permission or knowledge.

What bothers me the most is someone is benefiting from my hard work, my late nights driving home trying to stay awake, or the long hours I put into TV with basically no pay. I have always been very open to my local competitors and in some case even helped to train them. This will not change anything I do, I am passionate about this industry.

Pro-Scapes
02-21-2010, 10:53 PM
Tommy I feel for you. You have done a great job branding your company. This is not the site I had originally came across to start this thread but in this case it was a much worse example of "borrowing" ones hard work and making it work for you. I always felt you were on to something and might have a real slick idea that might make a great franchise but last I heard you were not interested in doing that ...yet.

S&MLL
02-21-2010, 10:58 PM
Wow sucks Tommy.... I do give you guys credit with your websites. Mine sucks.

Btw is that guy a member here?

only 1 guy i see posting with the name dave and out of arkansas

S&MLL
02-21-2010, 11:01 PM
Well after a little clicking around I have confirmed my thought........ Shame on you

TXNSLighting
02-22-2010, 12:02 AM
Yes Tommy is hands down one of the greatest people in this industry IMO. Its a real shame about the "copycat" if you will. Ive enjoyed my conversations with Tommy, and he has really helped me out this year. I owe alot to him. I hate to see this guy copying Tommys name. I doubt the guy will change. And this seems to be a copy cat world. Im now on the right track of setting myself apart, and not doing what others in the industry are doing.

irrig8r
02-22-2010, 12:22 AM
You know, when I first heard Tommy's business name I said to myself "wow, wish I'd thought of that!"...

Someone else took it a big step further... and shamelessly so.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but if I were Tommy I'd see what I could do to make the copycat cease and desist.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-22-2010, 12:38 AM
O.M.G.

Tommy, how long has David Gretzmier been operating his business under this banner? Have you checked to ensure that you are/were the first "The Lighting Geek" around? Also, is your registered mark a Trade Mark or a Service Mark? (There is a big difference)

I cannot believe that David Gretzmier would actually straight out copy you like that. Did he not think that someone would notice?

Tommy, have you contacted legal counsel on this? I know it would probably be prohibitively expensive to go after David Gretzmier, and to get him to stop using your registered name, but perhaps a nice cease and desist letter, posted in David Gretzmier's local papers / magazines would work?

In some regards imitation is the ultimate form of flattery.... but in this case, well this just reeks. I hope you go after him Tommy and get him to stop ripping off your name. Tommy The Lighting Geek is a true original, and although the likes of David Gretzmier might try to borrow from his vision, passion and success, I doubt it will work for him in the long run.

Personal non grata in my books from now on.

irrig8r
02-22-2010, 06:07 AM
For whatever it's worth, a Who Is search shows this about the www.lightinggeek.com:

Creation date: 16 Mar 2006 06:21:00


And it shows this for www.thelightinggeek.net:

Created on: 21-APR-09


Seems obvious to me who has had the name registered longer.


Meanwhile, searching the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, they show www.thelightinggeek.com as having been around since at least Feb 18, 2007:

http://web.archive.org/web/20070218083115/http://www.thelightinggeek.com/


But it hasn't yet found www.thelightinggeek.net.

Mark B
02-22-2010, 07:16 AM
I had heard about this. But that is just something else. Back to chasing turds. Ya'll have a great week.

Pro-Scapes
02-22-2010, 07:59 AM
I had thought before that Tommy had owned both .com and .net versions of his name but he told me he missed the renewal on the .net and David snatched it up.

I agree Gregg, I wish I had thought of it. I did Ask him at one time if he was willing to experiment with franchising as long as I didnt have to wear that vest in the summer time and he informed me he was not ready.

Kudos to Tommy for keeping his head held high. Tommys name and Logo... Mike Gambinos FAQ (slightly changed). I think this is the 3rd time that I know of Mike G has had his text copied now that I think about it.

maxwilbryan
02-22-2010, 08:27 AM
Very twisted indeed.
Posted via Mobile Device

indylights
02-22-2010, 08:34 AM
It says on "his" website that he is a deacon at a Church. He must have forgotten about that "thou shall not steal" stuff. I have limited to no patience for people who preach a good game but in no way back it up in their personal or professional life.

RLDesign
02-22-2010, 08:54 AM
Hello All Participants of this Forum,

I was sickened by this theft when I saw it. I think David G. will eventually be persuaded to find an original name, either by the lighting industry, his local press, or cease/decist route. I know that Tommy is the most honest, giving, and hardworking face our industry has. Due to Tommy's hardwork on TV, clients know what about downlights, lighting effects, and layering. That education and legitmization gives us all work. I have clients that have referrenced him, and his input into my projects have lended credibility and merit to myself in my client's eyes. His hardwork was not yours to steal. Why would someone try to steal from themselves what is rightfully someone elses? When I saw the other website, it was the most disgusting thing I have seen as far as copying a company. It made me sick. CAN DAVID GRETZMIER ANSWER AS TO WHY HE DID THIS? DOES HE NOT HAVE ENOUGH CREATIVITY TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND UNIQUE? I would take Jame's advice and send a nice press release to his local newspaper. There is nothing like brand infringement to bring the press circling about. Sometimes, any news is not good news!

I saw David had a twitter account out as the lighting geek (that is terrible)... maybe someone should send him a tweet about genuine image branding/unreg. tradmemark infringement. It is almost like David hijacked Tommy's company! The script is even similar. What do his clients think, that he works with Tommy?

"A trademark is a type of intellectual property, and typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements." quoted from Wiki. Even unregistered, it is still protected. Come on, why would someone do this?

Talk soon.

Tanek
Reynolds Lighting

maxwilbryan
02-22-2010, 08:55 AM
Sleezy practice by the web builder as well.
Posted via Mobile Device

Pro-Scapes
02-22-2010, 09:08 AM
David had a decent name. Bright Ideas. I think that was a marketable name. He has an excellent holiday lighting business so I assume he was capable of building his landscape lighting business.

Tommy has known about this for 10 mo now and took the high road and didn't out him then. I think we should leave the next course of action up to Tommy as it is his name.

I think in the very near future we will see alot of knock offs. It is no secret Mike Gambino has been knocked off with his propriety equipment before. There has been 1 or 2 people on this board who have been making calls to whom they think are the manufactures of his components and now all a sudden a Manufacture whom has been working with a certain contractor on this board is coming out with a transformer similar to the Gambino Magnum. I think the evidence is overwhelming when this person went to great lenghts to obtain a magnum then pay a personal visit to this manufacture.

Coincidence ? I think not. Its the same thing in my opinion. I think it is time we circle our wagons and protect the guys who want to be original and not "borrow" without permission and knock off others gear.

RLDesign
02-22-2010, 09:53 AM
Product Technology/Patents vs. Image Branding/packaging

One thing I learned at conference is that the technology is out there for the grabbing. The manufacturers of many products, being it chip technology or transformer pieces/components or fixture specs is being coppied at such a fast rate... I cannot even keep up. I have found that there are some pieces of lighting equipment in my world that are necessary for the success of my company. Almost everyone of those pieces has been copied or improved by another industry wide company. It happens every minute, but it still does not make it right. I have become Ok with that because it leads to improvement. I feel that the copying of an un-patented lighting product is something that is an industry practice and happens all the time. I think what David did is something totally different from (working with a manufacturer to create something - however similar it may be or not be). I would love for David to call my cell and explain himself. 609-468-8488 It sickened me to think that someone would steal another persons entity, personality, and character. I do not know David, but I cannot fathom why he would do this and continue to do it knowing that it is wrong. Treat others as you expect to get treated.

Just my rant. So easy to get sucked into the drama!

Tanek
Reynolds Lighting

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-22-2010, 10:04 AM
Billy. You are again 'going-off' without knowledge of what you speak. You are also twisting timelines, events and ultimately the truth.

I have sent you a private email in regards to your assertations above. If you would prefer to do this in public, hey no problem. I have all the emails and the time lines dating to way back when.

Just let me know your preference. Here or there, it does not matter to me.

Pro-Scapes
02-22-2010, 10:10 AM
Tanek I agree to a certain point. Building on someone elses technology or ideas can lead to bigger and better but where do you draw the line.

Can a person obtain a product they have expressed intrest in then run to a different manufacture since they were denied by the OEM ? Can another reputable manufacture borrow on that design and still remain credible with thier loyal contractors ?

irrig8r
02-22-2010, 10:45 AM
I tend to agree with Tanek about ideas for fixtures, etc and companies copying concepts and some design aspects yet making improvements.

The most glaring example is the under-cap or rail type liter that Integral Lighting (http://www.integral-lighting.com/index.cfm) (I think) was the first to put out.

Copied and/or improved upon by Vista (http://vistapro.com/Product.aspx?ProdID=461&CatID=1&typeID=5), Evening Star (http://www.eveningstarlighting.com/products_wall_lights.htm), Unique (http://www.uniquelighting.com/product_pages/VANGUARD5.htm), Cast (http://www.cast-lighting.com/products/fixtures/specialty-lights/175/), Nightscaping (http://www.nightscaping.com/masonliter.php), etc.

I'm not going to chime in on side or the other with Billy/ Mike or James... but a concept, even a good one, such as a 0.5 V difference between the taps in a transformer isn't really patentable as far as I know.

indylights
02-22-2010, 11:01 AM
I'm going to echo the sentiments on the products. Just about every product in every walk of life has been copied and modified or improved upon. If it's a patent violation, take legal action, but in the majority of cases if there is even a small amount of change or modification, that case is history. Again, it happens all day long in every industry and I think manufacturers know that. The Integral example is a good one (and you don't think Mike got the ideas for his transformer by looking at others and seeing how he could improve or modify them?). However, when it comes to identity and trademark violations, when you are dealing with an individual's or business's identity and reputation and basically stealing their name to further your own cause, that's just blatant theft and misrepresentation in my mind. Like Tanek said, most of us try to create our own identity and separate ourselves from the competition. I guess he decided stealing someone elses name would be the easier way to go. Pathetic.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-22-2010, 11:09 AM
Well spoken both Gregg and Scott.:clapping:

Now hmmm, lets see.... Who came first? INTEGRA Lighting ( www.integralighting.com ) or Integrity outdoor lighting ( http://www.integrityoutdoorlighting.com )

:laugh: JUST KIDDING! :laugh: (really I am... I was flattered by Billy's choice of company name when we first made intro's here on lawnsite way back when. Seems like a long time ago now.)

NightScenes
02-22-2010, 01:40 PM
I ran into a situation of a similar nature with my original name of NightScapes. It wasn't long before there were all kinds of "Nightscapes" companies in Texas. Some of them are still operating and others have gone out of business. I know of a couple of others who are operating landscape companies and have separate lighting divisions with Nightscapes in the name.

I was informed by Nightscaping that I needed to change my name because they own the trademark on Nightscaping and I could not use any form of the word. It turned out they were right. I didn't think there would be an issue because the names were not the same but I was wrong. Those of you out there who are still using the NightScapes name might want to think about this. I then changed my name to NightScenes and took out a federal trademark on it. I also own a trademark on my slogan "Refining the Night". Both of these things are now fully registered and I'll protect them just as Bill Locklin did with his name.

If I were you Tommy, I would go after David and yes, even take out a month long ad in his local paper. I'm sure you could find a young reporter at that paper who might find a pretty good story to write as well.

S&MLL
02-22-2010, 02:05 PM
What was the name of his lighting biz before? Why try to rebrand yourself after 20 years in.

JoeyD
02-22-2010, 02:17 PM
Disgusting, I cant believe someone would copy you like that Tommy. Thats just sad and lame and I would bet to say he has ruined his name and reputation around here and it wont be long before this story floats all through the industry. You have worked very hard to build your company, your image, and your name up to a level that people know The Lighting Geek is Tommy Herren. It isnt fair for someone to try and steal that or anything else you have worked for away from you.

Unfortunaltly we (Unique) know all to well about the copy cat thing. Just look around your local distributors, this forum, and all over the indsutry and you will see copies of what we created. Everything from entire buisness models to product copies. We have patents, and we are doing what we can to fight them but these guys know what it takes to get around a patent.

Its comical when a company knows that you are the reason they have a product line, or buisness model yet fails to acknowledge it and just pretends like they had these ideas all along and dont owe you anything as far as appreciation for developing the system, the designs, and concepts they now use to make themselves profits. But like I said years ago when all this went down some consider this American Enterprise? I call it shady buisness practices. Eevn sadder when we speak out on it people look at it like we are crying and we need to get over it. It never truly hits home until it happens to you and then you see why supporting these "others" is so costly in the long run. Its not fair for another to benefit off of YOUR HARD WORK without your consent. Just my honest opinion.

Alan B
02-22-2010, 02:23 PM
David G,

It's a free country and you and Tommy are in different parts of the country, so you customers don't intersect. However in the Internet world that is not the case regarding PR and other industry marketing. Its not just the name (there are lots of Nite Light co's and such), but you went beyond the same name. Taking the Twitter acct goes even further, as does using the same spray paint/graffiti styled font-- it elevates it from just liking the name, to appearing you want to actually try to cause confusion. I'm sure this is not the case and was likely laziness on the designers part. I won't cast judgment because we all make mistakes. I think you can help the situation by changing the name, assigning the Twitter acct and if you decide use anything close to the name, at least change the font to a different family of fonts that doesn't convey the same look.

I don't have a dog in the fight and hope two contributors can make peace.

Sincerely,

Alan

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-22-2010, 02:38 PM
Not just the twitter account either I have discovered... but the FaceBook Identity too!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fayetteville-AR/The-Lighting-Geek/298650642614#!/pages/Fayetteville-AR/The-Lighting-Geek/298650642614?v=wall

Of course having a twitter and FB account under this name and 'identity' does open him up to the possibility of being publicly flamed. Not that I'm advocating such behaviour, I'm just saying....

NightScenes
02-22-2010, 03:30 PM
I'm thinking a flogging!!

irrig8r
02-22-2010, 05:48 PM
The FAQ page at www.thelightinggeek.net (also accessible at www.geeklights.com) is nearly identical to Mike Gambino's at www.gambinolighting.com... almost (but not quite) word for word.

Pro-Scapes
02-22-2010, 06:53 PM
The FAQ page at www.thelightinggeek.net (also accessible at www.geeklights.com) is nearly identical to Mike Gambino's at www.gambinolighting.com... almost (but not quite) word for word.

Yes I already pointed this out but take a look at www.EOLighting.com and tell me that is not cut and paste from Mike Gambinos site.

irrig8r
02-22-2010, 07:20 PM
So, maybe my question to these other contractors would be: are you providing your website designers with content or are they finding these other sites and copying it without your knowledge?

(This doesn't address the blatant "identity theft" that Tommy has experienced, but maybe gives the people who have Mike's words posted as if they were their own the benefit of the doubt, and possibly allows them a face-saving opportunity to change their sites' content?)

Pro-Scapes
02-22-2010, 08:00 PM
If you are not providing your web designer content you probably should not have a website. Your web designer can help you ammend your content by suggesting information that should be present on your site but I think its hogwash to even for one second imagine that these people do not know what is on thier sites.

Besides as the business and site owner they are ultimatly responsible for the content are they not ?

irrig8r
02-22-2010, 08:07 PM
If you are not providing your web designer content you probably should not have a website. Your web designer can help you ammend your content by suggesting information that should be present on your site but I think its hogwash to even for one second imagine that these people do not know what is on thier sites.

Besides as the business and site owner they are ultimatly responsible for the content are they not ?

I agree Billy, all I'm getting at is maybe if they should change/erase the plagiarized content (and stop the identity theft on David's part) and apologize to the offended parties then maybe they shouldn't be publicly (virtually) flogged or lynched.... give them a shot at redeeming themselves first.

Pro-Scapes
02-22-2010, 08:27 PM
In davids case I do think that Tommy had called him when he first saw it 4/09 so David has had some time to change...edit...delete....terminate..cease....get Tommys permissiong and or pay Tommy a royalty type of solution.

I asked the offending party that copied part of my site to take it down. They did not respond to me but it was down about a week later.

TXNSLighting
02-22-2010, 08:44 PM
I ran into a situation of a similar nature with my original name of NightScapes. It wasn't long before there were all kinds of "Nightscapes" companies in Texas. Some of them are still operating and others have gone out of business. I know of a couple of others who are operating landscape companies and have separate lighting divisions with Nightscapes in the name.

I was informed by Nightscaping that I needed to change my name because they own the trademark on Nightscaping and I could not use any form of the word. It turned out they were right. I didn't think there would be an issue because the names were not the same but I was wrong. Those of you out there who are still using the NightScapes name might want to think about this. I then changed my name to NightScenes and took out a federal trademark on it. I also own a trademark on my slogan "Refining the Night". Both of these things are now fully registered and I'll protect them just as Bill Locklin did with his name.

If I were you Tommy, I would go after David and yes, even take out a month long ad in his local paper. I'm sure you could find a young reporter at that paper who might find a pretty good story to write as well.

I will own up to it. I am currently Texas NightScapes. When i landed on that name, i really was not a part of this thread alot and didnt really know names yet on here. I realized after i decided on it that Paul's company was Nightscapes. But i did figure being in a different region of Texas that it wouldnt be a big deal. Looking back at it now, i do regret it. Theres also two other companies in my area That use Nightscapes in their names, and one is a AOLP member. I am in the process of changing my name to Something more "me".

I do want to apologize to you Paul if it did anger you in any way. It definitely was not my intention to steal the name. I do not want to be known as a copy cat. I am really striving to set myself apart from the other lighting companies in my area, And Tommy has helped out alot in pushing me in the right direction.

David Gretzmier
02-22-2010, 08:51 PM
I'll respond to a few other things, but first things first-

Tommy spoke with my by phone several months ago. He asked me to state on my website That I am not associated with him, and He is not associated with me. I believe it was posted on our temporary Christmas Home page, and I have asked the Belford Group ( my web/marketing company ) as of an hour ago to put it permanantly at the bottom of our new home page. I was not aware it was not there on our new home page until looking today.

I said on the phone with Tommy and I'll say it here. I have enormous respect for Tommy, and I love what he does. my name change was meant more as a homage to him. I still answer the phone "Bright Ideas, The lighting geek" as Bright Ideas was and still is part of our name.

I have asked The Belford group to remove the FAQ page immediately and I will rewrite that when I get back from vacation in a few weeks.

I admit to asking tommy here publically when he first used that banner with his catchphrase- "Battling the forces of darkness..." about franchising his system. he replied there and elsewhere he is not interested in franchising.

In our conversation Tommy and I agreed to my ceding the name to him if any Franchise of his comes in my market area. I also make no claim I am associated with him or try to profit from his likeness or copy him in any way. I have fulfilled my promise to him.

I believe if anyone is intellectually honest, they will agree that my website by no means copy's tommy's, his likeness, his fonts, his uniform, or makes any claim to that regard.

I apologized to him in private and the phone call was amicable, and I apologize in public here now. to all- I am sorry. and I am sorry to tommy that I used his name.

For anyone's info, The names of my business have been since I was 13-

Dave's lawn service
Dave's lawn care
AAA Lawn Care
AAA Lawns
Brite Ideas
Brite Ideas NWA
The Light before Christmas
The Lighting Geek

If you feel the need to google any of those, you will find hundreds of business's that use those names. My prediction is that the lighting geek will become a common name as well, unless Tommy franchises it nationally.

I will be glad to step up and pay the franchise fee for the state of Arkansas or my designated area should Tommy decide to franchise and do so nationally.

Feel free to google your own business name and see if there are others out there.

For the record Tanek- there are 4 "Reynolds Lighting" that I could find after 2 minutes of seaching.

the bottom line is you need to ask yourselves if Dave Gretzmier is going to profit anything from using the lighting geek name.

Mark B
02-22-2010, 09:05 PM
What a good thread. I will give it to you David for fessin up here in front of everyone. I wonder how much longer the thread will be up before it gets the ax. Back to turd chasing.

irrig8r
02-22-2010, 09:07 PM
the bottom line is you need to ask yourselves if Dave Gretzmier is going to profit anything from using the lighting geek name.

I think the bigger questions might be ones you have to ask yourself David. What was it that motivated you to use a name that Tommy has been working so hard to establish as his own, and how in the world did you think no one would notice?

Pro-Scapes
02-22-2010, 09:40 PM
I think when Tommy told you no he wasnt interested the first time it should have meant something to you. Your logo is way to close to Tommy's logo so you cant go saying your site didnt borrow from his.

Sorry David I think you need to realize Tommy owns the name... He has tremendous PR and is a highly searchable name. All to easiley mixed up for someone that is not on the inside track knowing the difference (ie a client)

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-22-2010, 09:40 PM
Tommy, it sounds to me like David would like to enter into a licensing agreement with you (Not a Franchise situation at all) I think you should entertain this idea. Speak to a CMA and your Lawyers and come up with a reasonable % of gross sales for the use of your Protected Name. I would say 7% to 10% of audited gross revenues sounds about right... Considering your years of effort, and the expense that has gone into building the name and reputation. Its not like he is marketing much other than the catchy name (and your good reputation), and some gleaned content on those web sites.

Time to cash in Tommy. Settlements in these types of affairs are going to be better for everyone than any type of drawn out disagreement.

The Lighting Geek
02-22-2010, 10:16 PM
DAVID,

I want to keep this simple.

I found out about your name new name by accident, someone saw it and let me know. I would have rather it not gone down this road, I would have preferred you had asked me about it first. When we spoke I specifically stated I was undecided as to what to do and at a minimum, asked you to put the disclaimer on your website. It never happened that I could see. I was not a happy camper when I called, although I chose to remain calm with you on the phone, and honestly I did not know how to react.

You took this a step further by securing facebook, Twitter, multiple domains, and so forth. This reduces my ability to use my own name and causes confusion with my customers and my NATIONAL audience. My name is nationally recognized, including in the Arkansas area, because homeowners have called me concerning the TV show I am on.

I trademarked the name The Lighting Geek to protect myself and my name.
I am requesting you stop using my name, surrender the .net domains, and close the Facebook and Twitter accounts under that name. Please do not use my name now or in the future, in any manner. If you do this within 72 hours, I will consider this matter done.

S&MLL
02-22-2010, 10:26 PM
Tommy if you do choose to go national give me a call. I will buy up the cen. Jersey area.

David Gretzmier
02-23-2010, 02:31 AM
Tommy, I will also keep this simple. I have spoken the truth. You and I had a conversation months ago on the phone as I discussed in a previous post. I do not believe this is the appropriate venue for us to discover a new conversation about this. The Facebook and twitter accounts are brand new and you can have them. I have no posts on them, as you can go and see. I am happy to name my twitter and facebook something else.

I really wish you would have asked met to stop using the name months ago when we talked. We agreed on a discaimer, and it was on our Christmas page. it will be on the new home page ASAP so there is no confusion between The Lighting Geek in Arkansas and The Lighting Geek on TV in California.

I am happy to follow the law as far as trademarks and trademark infringement are concerned.

I am also happy to make available to tommy, every bid, every job I have done since using that name to see if any of my customers, or potential customers made any connection whatsoever to myself and tommy. I want it to be absolutely clear that I do not and did not wish to profit off of Tommy in any way.

I just liked the name.

Mark B
02-23-2010, 07:12 AM
I cannot believe all this is unfolding here out in a public forum. I am not picking sides. I do not believe it is right. But each to there own. My .02

Pro-Scapes
02-23-2010, 07:32 AM
Tommy, it sounds to me like David would like to enter into a licensing agreement with you (Not a Franchise situation at all) I think you should entertain this idea. Speak to a CMA and your Lawyers and come up with a reasonable % of gross sales for the use of your Protected Name. I would say 7% to 10% of audited gross revenues sounds about right... Considering your years of effort, and the expense that has gone into building the name and reputation. Its not like he is marketing much other than the catchy name (and your good reputation), and some gleaned content on those web sites.

Time to cash in Tommy. Settlements in these types of affairs are going to be better for everyone than any type of drawn out disagreement.

Are you vertically intergrating into legal mediation now ? Let these boys work it out. If they choose to be transpearant and do it in public that is their business. If they choose to do it in private I pray the outcome is acceptable to Tommy.

David just because you like a name does not mean you can just begin using it. The reason I outted you is because I was very upset by this and I think it needed to be brought into the open. I can imagine how upsetting this is to you and do feel for your stress. We have been talking a long long time but, you brought this on yourself. You must have felt some guilt or remorse because you never posted up your website for all to see.

David Gretzmier
02-23-2010, 07:58 AM
Tommy and I had an oral agreement that has already been discussed. One that he has confimed on his post here, and one that he now wishes to change now that it is on a public forum. I can accept that private agreements can change when the public sees it. We'll see what happens. As far as an ability to use a name, the trademark laws are pretty clear and I encourage everyone here to research them, put yourself in both Tommy's and my shoes, and form your own informed opinion. My reasons for not posting my website here are the same as my not posting photo's here.

I know in this forum the name The Lighting Geek immediately forms a picture and a brand. One that Tommy invented and has all the intellectual rights to profit from. I do not deny that. If Tommy is hurt, then I do feel guilty for hurting him. If you guys truly believe I have benefitted in any way from anything tommy has created, then you are entitled to your opinion.

I will be heading to the Florida today for a 9 day cruise out of Miami and will return to Northwest Arkansas on March 10. I'd like everyone to know my silence is because of that.

I guess this is the kind of controversy James was missing.

maxwilbryan
02-23-2010, 08:47 AM
The real Geek won't be financialy hurt bc of this. But it still sucks for him. I'd probably never share information in this forum again if I were him. It makes since to join the likes of an AOLP and only dIscuss in a closed forum. Id bet there's a lot more fleas than David. You can tell that by the # of views.
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RLDesign
02-23-2010, 09:13 AM
I really wish you would have asked met to stop using the name months ago when we talked. We agreed on a discaimer, and it was on our Christmas page. it will be on the new home page ASAP so there is no confusion between The Lighting Geek in Arkansas and The Lighting Geek on TV in California.

I am happy to follow the law as far as trademarks and trademark infringement are concerned.


I just liked the name.
Hello David,

Well, at least you are finally admitting that you did something wrong. You liking the name and stealing the name are 2 different things. The difference between "Reynolds Lighting" and "The Lighting Geek" are that you failed to recognize that everyone in the industry has credited Tommy with somewhat legitimizing the landscape lighting trade. More or less it allowed regular folks to see what a downlight looked like installed in a tree on a national level, thus making that aspect of lighting familiar, and even more important easier to sell. I guess you didn't fail to recognize, but I guess you did not think someone would be upset that you stole from him. I am glad you realize that you stole his name, his brand, his image, and his hardwork. It was like you were acting like him and thought a phone call would do until franchizing took off (even if it were to take off - not sure he would want you behind it) I do not know you, but this really upset me. I think it was so unecessary for you to open up twitter and facebook accounts, however new they were... it was a total smack in the face that will probably burn you for a while. Reynolds Landscaping has been around for 30 years. Reynolds Lighting Design and Reynolds Irrigation are branches of our company, not a business name. I sign my name because I am proud of how far our divisions have come under my hardwork and dedicated client service. I know they are other "Reynolds Lighting" out there, but I am not on TV and have no national audience or have a scripted font, unique name, and branded image of geekness. I mean you knew it was wrong or you would have posted something on here when we were all talking about setting up facebook pages. I just do not get it, but I am glad you decided to back down. I do not think there is any option, but to close down the site in entirety and change to something totally different. I would think Tommy would appreciate you to run an ad in the paper saying your new name because I have a feeling you will still try to operate as the Lighting Geek (Maybe Brinks is now Broadview, or The Lighting Geek of Arkansas is now Lighting Nerd. It was so weird that you did that, phone call or not. Never seen anything like that in my whole career... it was like one of my PR casestudies. Except in your case David, you have the potential to be a good case study in removing a bad taste from your former peer's mouths. I think you started by saying you would want to change, and I think Tommy's 72 hours is more than reasonable. I found someone who had used my images without my permission and they shut their site down within 24hrs.

Good luck. I really mean that.

Best regards,

Tanek
Reynolds Lighting

NightScenes
02-23-2010, 09:21 AM
I do know from experience that you can not IN ANY WAY use a trademarked name which will IN ANY WAY cause confusion to the public as to the identity. This is straight from the trademark office attorney. He is the one who informed me that I could be sued for using the name NightScapes. So I'm sorry to pass this on David but you are clearly in the wrong here.

Ryan, thank you for stepping up and I know about the others like Creative Nightscapes who has pulled out of my area of Texas. Since my name change it really doesn't matter much but I was catching a LOT of crap before I changed my name. Good luck with whatever name you choose to go by in the future but don't even think about NightScenes, LOL!

steveparrott
02-23-2010, 09:41 AM
Tommy, congratulations on your new hard stance.

I have admired your brand-building genius for years. I've even used you as an example of the best-of-the-best in my advanced marketing seminars.

I, too, was shocked to see what happened, how your brand was hijacked. If it were me, I would have called in an attorney from day one (or, at least after a short grace period).

There's also a lot you can do on your own (as I've described in previous posts). You could have taken down his site fairly easily. Anyway, those options are still open.

Good luck, let me know if you need someone to vouch for the value of your brand.

RLDesign
02-23-2010, 09:49 AM
Nightscaping sued 2 local business by me for the same name. Sued one of the businesses who had a website, large sign, and streetfront business... until they changed their name in entirety. The business was a small competitor for me, but they did cause confusion as I was a registered and trained NS contractor for 5 years. It allowed me to operate without confusion. Even though AK an CA are far apart - the web,cableTV, and forums cause so many people to blur the lines for your benefit David... not Tommy's benefit. It doesn't matter whether you can show you gained nothing, it is because you have the potential too and you are stealing his image!! When you have a friendly version of a cease/decist offered up, I would advise anyone to take it before teeth and lawyers get involved. In my experience, it always ends better. You might lose something, but you will not lose face. Tommy would not be off base to run an ad in your newspaper explaining to your town what you have done. David, what would you do if the shoes were reversed? I can't imagine you think what you have done is OK??

Have a nice vacation.

Best regards,

Tanek
Reynolds Lighting

irrig8r
02-23-2010, 10:22 AM
I'm wondering who, like me, just read Tanek's post and went and to search whether www.thelightingnerd.com was already taken.... :)


Hint: it's available as of this minute.... by the end of the day, who knows?

The Lighting Geek
02-23-2010, 10:25 AM
My last post on this subject.

You used my name without even a courtesy call, quietly, knowing that we had had earlier conversations about my marketing ideas for you, openly discussing how you could improve or shift your marketing to improve your business. I am sure others have had a a similar conversation with you. It is part of why we are here, to help each other. I do this for anyone who asks, sometimes I offer to help out. I have not changed the conversation in any way. As you can see, others are equally appalled by your actions. You chose to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.

Kiril
02-23-2010, 10:28 AM
I am trying to see how people feel about someone doing a copy and paste of someone elses text.

Copyright infringement and illegal, plain and simple. The only exception that I am aware of is if the material is marked as public domain, otherwise copyright is automatically granted to the original author.

JoeyD
02-23-2010, 10:46 AM
There is only 1 Lighting Geek.................

TXNSLighting
02-23-2010, 10:57 AM
I do know from experience that you can not IN ANY WAY use a trademarked name which will IN ANY WAY cause confusion to the public as to the identity. This is straight from the trademark office attorney. He is the one who informed me that I could be sued for using the name NightScapes. So I'm sorry to pass this on David but you are clearly in the wrong here.

Ryan, thank you for stepping up and I know about the others like Creative Nightscapes who has pulled out of my area of Texas. Since my name change it really doesn't matter much but I was catching a LOT of crap before I changed my name. Good luck with whatever name you choose to go by in the future but don't even think about NightScenes, LOL!

Hahahaha! Dont you worry. Im not even going to use night in the name. Creative Nightscapes is only 45 minutes away from me. I really wish i woulda known about them first and i would of never landed on Nightscapes.
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Alan B
02-23-2010, 12:32 PM
I am completely and unequivocally on Tommy's side on this, (my jaw actually dropped with a "wow" of disbelief when I saw the site in question) but give David a way out. We all make mistakes, and even bad mistakes can be rectified if you give someone the opportunity.

It's been discussed, opinions made, and it even rejuvenated mud slinging of old battles. Maybe its time to move back to positive topics. JMHO.


Alan

maxwilbryan
02-23-2010, 01:53 PM
Great idea- Change geek to nerd. Tweek the font. That seems like such a logicall and simple solution. No blood stains. Maybe Tommy should buy the lightingnerd now and offer it to him when he gets back from his cruise...
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steveparrott
02-23-2010, 02:12 PM
I am completely and unequivocally on Tommy's side on this, (my jaw actually dropped with a "wow" of disbelief when I saw the site in question) but give David a way out. We all make mistakes, and even bad mistakes can be rectified if you give someone the opportunity.

It's been discussed, opinions made, and it even rejuvenated mud slinging of old battles. Maybe its time to move back to positive topics. JMHO.


Alan

I agree, time to move on, but I would like to comment that this forum was a great venue for this discussion. It shows that we are a real community, that we are willing to take time and effort to support our members.

Tommy, I'm guessing that you feel gratified to know that there's a bunch of guys who care about you and your business - most of them complete strangers, but who have grown to respect you over time.

And David, while there was a lot of negativity slung in your direction, still, there's an undercurrent of support and a willingness to move on.

Onward and upward!

S&MLL
02-23-2010, 05:54 PM
Nothing against unique or cast but its kind of weird to me to see you two pick sides. But either way Everyone on here knows the real Geek and that will never change. I tell my clients all the time to watch for a guy in a tactical vest doing lighting on diy.

GreenLight
02-23-2010, 06:04 PM
Nothing against unique or cast but its kind of weird to me to see you two pick sides. But either way Everyone on here knows the real Geek and that will never change. I tell my clients all the time to watch for a guy in a tactical vest doing lighting on diy.

S&MLL you took the words directly from my mouth. I admit I have watched this conversation from the sidelines and obviously I respect a mans hard work in branding his own name and everything that goes with it. That being said, when vendors and company reps that sell to these guys take a hard stance and admittedly pick sides I have to admit it rubs me the wrong way a bit. I can certainly guarantee that Unique, Cast and Landscape Lighting World are not going to blackball someones business (david included). Another thing that irritates me is the amount of times I hear these same companies defending themselves against other companies accusations almost in the same exact circumstances we are looking at here. It's easy to pile on what appears to be a poor choice, that being said it's a legal matter between two parties. It's a very slippery slope to pick sides and can be even more slippery if a libel or slander suit is filed.

JoeyD
02-23-2010, 06:55 PM
Nothing against unique or cast but its kind of weird to me to see you two pick sides. But either way Everyone on here knows the real Geek and that will never change. I tell my clients all the time to watch for a guy in a tactical vest doing lighting on diy.

I know what your saying about the choosing sides thing and understand that people think because as manufacturers we are held to higher standards and we are supposed to be very PC in situations of this nature. I think for the most part 99% of the time we are. But in this case where Tommy is such a good customer of ours and a personal friend of mine, not to mention the whole being copied and ideas/concepts stolen from subject is very real to us, I think this is a case where voicing my (I say my cause I really am speaking my opinion) opinion is worth while and valid.

I dont know David, I know of him through his posts on Lawnsite over the years but thats it. I just find it interesting that of all his opinions, ideas, etc. that never once did he mention that his buinsess name was "The Lighting Geek". To me that seems very suspect. Again, just my opinion as a human, an avid member of LS, and as a friend to the real Lighting Geek Tommy Herren.

As Steve said I do hope that this is worked out between the 2 of them as this isnt good for anyone involved nor the industry.

JoeyD
02-23-2010, 07:04 PM
S&MLL you took the words directly from my mouth. I admit I have watched this conversation from the sidelines and obviously I respect a mans hard work in branding his own name and everything that goes with it. That being said, when vendors and company reps that sell to these guys take a hard stance and admittedly pick sides I have to admit it rubs me the wrong way a bit. I can certainly guarantee that Unique, Cast and Landscape Lighting World are not going to blackball someones business (david included). Another thing that irritates me is the amount of times I hear these same companies defending themselves against other companies accusations almost in the same exact circumstances we are looking at here. It's easy to pile on what appears to be a poor choice, that being said it's a legal matter between two parties. It's a very slippery slope to pick sides and can be even more slippery if a libel or slander suit is filed.



Blackballing? Thats pretty harsh words considering everything I have seen written has been pretty legit and not without merit. Nothing that has been said is even close to slander considering the circumstances.

Again, I too hope this all gets worked out. I dont want to see anyone lose anything, especially those who have worked hard like Tommy to get where they are.

GreenLight
02-23-2010, 07:21 PM
Blackballing? Thats pretty harsh words considering everything I have seen written has been pretty legit and not without merit. Nothing that has been said is even close to slander considering the circumstances.


Im just going based on your initial reaction. I noticed you used the term disgusting, sad and lame, and also made reference to copy cats and stealing. That seems to implicate that David wouldn't be someone whom you would do business with. Of course I highly doubt you would turn down a $30,000 order from him either. For me personally, it's not about expecting the manu to be politically correct. It's simply a matter of professionalism. On more occasions than I care to mention when I am at a distributor I hear the praise they lump on the product lines they carry and the absolute ripping they put on the products they don't (your company included). From all accounts, you seem like a great guy and im not trying to undermine you or make you out to be the bad guy. Im just reminding you that there is still a quiet contingent out there that reads these forums and they could be your future customers.

maxwilbryan
02-23-2010, 07:24 PM
Meh
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sal rodriguez
02-23-2010, 07:47 PM
Im just going based on your initial reaction. I noticed you used the term disgusting, sad and lame, and also made reference to copy cats and stealing. That seems to implicate that David wouldn't be someone whom you would do business with. Of course I highly doubt you would turn down a $30,000 order from him either. For me personally, it's not about expecting the manu to be politically correct. It's simply a matter of professionalism. On more occasions than I care to mention when I am at a distributor I hear the praise they lump on the product lines they carry and the absolute ripping they put on the products they don't (your company included). From all accounts, you seem like a great guy and im not trying to undermine you or make you out to be the bad guy. Im just reminding you that there is still a quiet contingent out there that reads these forums and they could be your future customers.

this is a weird business this lighting thing. I have experienced the same thing on the manufacturer and distributor level. Alot of badmouthing of competing product lines. You don't see too much of that on the irri side of things. More professional tolerance of one another I guess. I don't know who would be crazy enough to turn down anyones business these days with as tight as the economy there is and the little bit of business there is to go around.

I can't imagine a manufacturer reaching down to it's distributor and telling him not to sell a certain contractor because they don't like what he stands for or acts. I may be wrong but I can't imagine it.

Interesting thread. Really sad .

S&MLL
02-24-2010, 02:23 AM
Sorry didnt mean to change the course of this thread. Tommy you know where I stand. Your a good guy and I still want to sell a fiberoptic fiberplace :) ..... As per Joey and Steve.... To each their own.

JoeyD
02-24-2010, 10:26 AM
Im just going based on your initial reaction. I noticed you used the term disgusting, sad and lame, and also made reference to copy cats and stealing. That seems to implicate that David wouldn't be someone whom you would do business with. Of course I highly doubt you would turn down a $30,000 order from him either. For me personally, it's not about expecting the manu to be politically correct. It's simply a matter of professionalism. On more occasions than I care to mention when I am at a distributor I hear the praise they lump on the product lines they carry and the absolute ripping they put on the products they don't (your company included). From all accounts, you seem like a great guy and im not trying to undermine you or make you out to be the bad guy. Im just reminding you that there is still a quiet contingent out there that reads these forums and they could be your future customers.


Yeah the lighting industry is pretty cut throat and I will admit we have fed into it quite a bit ourselves by trying to always defend our systems, philosophy, and more recently our product designs and concepts. However these comments I made are not directed so much at David or anyone as a person but more on their actions which are all of those things in essence. Like you commented about me, I am sure David is a good guy, I think he made a very suspect decision in re naming his company the way he did. Maybe I made a suspect decision as a manufacturer to offer up my opinion but at the end of the day I do not regret it. I think there are lots of our customers and potential customers that want to know that a manufacturer will also stand up and defend them when the going gets rough.

Believe me I am aware of the quiet contingent that is out there reading these forums. Sometimes people want to see someone stand up and speak their mind, distributors and manufacturers alike. I admit in the past I have been harsh at times when trying to defend our company, at other times I just roll over and pretend I didn't see it because I know how quickly some can make it out to us being the bad guy when we do defend ourselves. Its a very hard line to walk here. I just try to be real and personable. reality is I am just one of you guys, I just happen to sit at a desk and push paper most of the time rather than being in the trenches all year which trust me I spent many years doing.

At the end of the day I was standing up for a friend and speaking my opinion on a subject we feel strongly about. I cant help how people may take it, I cant make people like me, I cant be someone I am not just to please the masses. If you want to buy products from a company who wears suits and is focused on the next big fixture then you probably wont like Unique. If you want a company that is going to help you with better ways to lay a system out, install or test a transformer, and make you more money all while coming to your job and helping you hands on then we are your best option. It's not hard to pick up one of our products and quickly realize we are in the elite of lighting manufacturers. And it doesn't take long to look around the industry and see how we have been copied or "borrowed" from. That is why when I see a GOOD customer of ours, with a GOOD product in terms of his self marketing, get copied or "borrowed" from it is very disheartening.

emby
02-24-2010, 10:36 AM
Now that is good stuff right there.:canadaflag:

Luna Lite
02-24-2010, 10:55 AM
Hello ....after reading these posts I had to share my experiences with web design and photos. I can't for the life of me imagine using stock photos or something other than pics of my own design and install. Coming from a concert touring lighting background, I quickly learned that shooting outdoor shots could only be done in a very small time from beginning at dusk, and that I had a very short amount of time to get good shots. Not too please with my current web shots, I hired a professional photographer to shoot my installs and gave her some background in color temperature and what end result I wanted, and more importantly what i did NOT want. My old concert photographer was a master (see any stock shots of Genesis, Rolling Stones, etc from Lewis Lee, and you can see how important it was to master color. Our industry, fortunately, does not have to deal with red and green (I hope) unless it is Christmas lighting (please no not this), so the variance in color temperature and light output is fairly consistent. One thing I did learn was to fine tune my computer monitor and get it color correct according to a few standard shots, otherwise what you will see on the monitor will not be the actual color temp that the install is with the naked eye. Hope this helps.
Good Luck, all.

Viewpoint
02-24-2010, 01:05 PM
As one of the "silent observers" on Lawnsite, I seldom post. I felt compelled this time.

I know Tommy. I know some of the situation, as I was the one that told Tommy that someone was stealing his name. I like Tommy, and having worked with him on the AOLP California Chapter formation, seen him on TV, and from people who know him by name and reputation I can say a few things.

Tommy is a goofball, has crazy ideas, and comes on too strong sometimes. He knows this, and instead of trying to create an image of a laid-back, artsy lighting guru (as I am working on ;)), he embraced who he was and made it work. Tommy is a geek. And since he took that inner geek and ran with it first, Tommy is THE Geek. I recently changed the name of my company and made efforts to come up with something that was different, conveyed the image I wanted to portray, and left the door open for future stardom (I will outshine you someday Tommy!). To hitch your wagon to someone else's rising star is unprofessional and unless you can do it better, longer, and louder than the original, you will ultimately fail.

When I noticed the copycat name and website, despite being a direct competitor in the same market with Tommy (and secretly wishing his empire would fall) I called him and notified him immediately. The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth, and I'm glad Mr. Gretzmier has come clean. The right thing to do would be abandon the name and move on. If Tommy decides he wants to sell the name, franchise, or allow you to use it, it should be on his terms, not your own.

I stand behind Tommy and will stand up for anyone else who I feel has been slighted. However, you manufacturers can slug it out on your own!

RLDesign
02-24-2010, 03:05 PM
Well stated Viewpoint. It is not that I felt any manufacturer was taking sides, but that this topic became personal for some of us. I felt as if I had to take a stand for someone who had helped me, and I always feel compelled to say too much when someone has been ripped off. I just will never get why David G. did what he did, and it can never be justified in my mind... although as curious as I am to know what made someone think that it would not matter.

On to better and more productive things. I am pumped for this new season. I am busy working on some leads and contacts. With only one project on the table, I better get selling. I always like to change a mood with a photo, so here it goes.

Talk soon.
Tanek

NightScenes
02-24-2010, 03:09 PM
Go get em Tanek!! I'm off on vacation for the next week so I'll catch up with y'all when I get back from that island getaway!!

niteliters
02-24-2010, 10:24 PM
[QUOTE=irrig8r;3432380]I'm wondering who, like me, just read Tanek's post and went and to search whether www.thelightingnerd.com was already taken.... :)


Hint: it's available as of this minute.... by the end of the day, who knows?[/QUOTE

Gregg, you are amazing.

niteliters
02-24-2010, 10:32 PM
Well stated Viewpoint. It is not that I felt any manufacturer was taking sides, but that this topic became personal for some of us. I felt as if I had to take a stand for someone who had helped me, and I always feel compelled to say too much when someone has been ripped off. I just will never get why David G. did what he did, and it can never be justified in my mind... although as curious as I am to know what made someone think that it would not matter.

On to better and more productive things. I am pumped for this new season. I am busy working on some leads and contacts. With only one project on the table, I better get selling. I always like to change a mood with a photo, so here it goes.

Talk soon.
Tanek

great photos tanek, udaman with that camera

RLDesign
02-25-2010, 08:48 AM
If you don't shoot it, how will I remember to do it next time. Just kidding. I shoot because it really leaves a detailed map of the way things are laid out. I shoot a lot of open trenches on big jobs. I usually try to change things up with a few pics, always off thread, and pretty strong defender of my friends.

Attached pics: This job is 6 years old. We orginally used part of the existing Romex from the old lights when it was line voltage... but since we were redoing the IPE - we decided it would be a good idea to redo all the splices in total. Recalculated the runs and balanced things out a little better.

Talk soon.

Tanek
Reynolds Lighting

irrig8r
02-25-2010, 10:20 AM
Hmmmm... still not taken... thought someone might have locked it up by now.

http://www.godaddy.com/domains/searchresults2.aspx?ci=16811


And Chris, I can't take credit for Tanek's idea.

maxwilbryan
02-25-2010, 12:36 PM
Viewpoint hit the nail. How about the "lighting deacon" for David? :) -We fight the sins of darkness-
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