I feel that I failed to explain why I care so much about the work I’ve done for Granite. Many new members of the community haven’t witnessed the creation of the set and the argument about intellectual property of a keycap set comes out every now and then.
Please do understand that the following is my personal opinion, likely a copyright lawyer would see things very differently.
ABS double-shot vs PBT dye-sub
First of all it is important to understand the difference between injection molding and dye sublimation.
When you design a double shot ABS set all you do is choosing a color scheme (and possibly design some novelty keys). The legends you are using are the standard the manufacturers already designed for you. In fact you can’t create a clone of the Gorton font without infringing Signature Plastics IP.
Dye sublimated legends have to be designed in the same way Gorton was designed the first time. The design work can be more or less complicated based on the complexity of the set. Granite was an extremely long and tedious work due to many factors.
I would say that 99.9% of the commercially available sets on the market (including those from Cherry, Topre, Cooler Master, Corsair, …) have some sort of misaligning errors. I dare to say that Granite is different. Each legend was designed to be: 1) perfect on its own; 2) consistent with the others. Most of the legends had to be redesigned, the thickness adjusted, the positioning tweaked. The final result was printed on a professional proof printer machine (at community’s expenses) to check consistency and color (to my knowledge this has never been done for a keycap set).
I don’t want to go through the whole design process, it would take forever and we would derail from the topic. Point being it took months to design Granite and I guess many other designers know what it means to create a top quality dye sublimated set.
I know for a fact that colors can be actually copyrighted, but if you design a keycap set picking a bunch of colors from SP color-ring I don’t think you should claim any right on it.
So I don’t really care if you use the same Granite colors. Actually I encourage it! If people like them, by all means use them!
In my yesterday’s post about the future of Granite I said that I was “blackmailed” and forced to run more. Of course that was a figure of speech.
The problem is not the community but the speculators. Why should I let a Chinese manufacturer benefit from our work?
When asked I always offered the Granite source files for free to members of the community willing to make updates or small integrations to the set.
I’m actually honored if you find Granite a source of inspiration and you wish to make something similar.
The WhiteFox Set
The keycap set for the WhiteFox (that is actually called Arctic Set) was also sold by Chinese manufacturer without permission and in that situation I was quite livid. But that is a completely different story. The problem there was a miscommunication between MassDrop and the manufacturers and I got caught in the crossfire.
I talked to the manufacturer and at the end I’m more than happy if others can enjoy my creation.
The bottom line is:
- Please, don’t quote things I never said, quote this post instead.
- I’m more than happy if the community makes sets similar to Granite (or any other of my creations).
- The problem is not the community but the speculators.
- I don’t think you should claim IP on a color scheme.
- Granite was a long and complex work that took months to be designed, it’s not just a “take a font and choose two colors” kind of thing.
Let me just add that before attacking someone you should try to understand his/her reasons and actually corroborate the facts. This would be common sense, but –you know– anonymity and internet…