• https://twitter.com/KTLit Charles Montgomery

    Awesome Joe, who knew you could actually write?^^

  • https://twitter.com/KTLit Charles Montgomery

    Awesome Joe, who knew you could actually write?^^

  • farawayplace

    Nice piece, Joe. Thing is

    • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

      Interesting. Peeps love their i-Products. I have a Samsung Galaxy phone, Samsung laptop, and an iPad. Love all three.

  • farawayplace

    Nice piece, Joe. Thing is though, some of my students took Apple’s side. That shocked me.

    • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

      Interesting. Peeps love their i-Products. I have a Samsung Galaxy phone, Samsung laptop, and an iPad. Love all three.

  • mervsdamun

    Fair observations and the culture of copying is indeed endemic in Korea. However, with regards to the Apple v Samsung case, the criticism of the jury is fair. The speed of the verdict and its extremely one-sided nature indicate lack of understanding of the issues.

    • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

      Agreed. I keep reading that the memo was the bit that wrapped it so quickly. And that the jury was doing a lot of work deciphering everything during the months of the hearings.

  • mervsdamun

    Fair observations and the culture of copying is indeed endemic in Korea. However, with regards to the Apple v Samsung case, the criticism of the jury is fair. The speed of the verdict and its extremely one-sided nature indicate lack of understanding of the issues.

    • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

      Agreed. I keep reading that the memo was the bit that wrapped it so quickly. And that the jury was doing a lot of work deciphering everything during the months of the hearings.

  • http://www.scroozle.com/ Zackary Downey

    *cough*Boor Chicken*cough*

    • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

      Oh yeah. I need to get a picture of that sometime.

      • Dom

        What does Boor Chicken copy?

        • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

          Hooters. In the logo only.

        • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi
  • http://www.scroozle.com/ Zackary Downey

    *cough*Boor Chicken*cough*

    • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

      Oh yeah. I need to get a picture of that sometime.

      • Dom

        What does Boor Chicken copy?

        • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

          Hooters. In the logo only.

        • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi
  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    To be fair to Meat and Bread, their Root Beer Frosts are heavenly.

    • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

      You mean the Korean version? They sound good.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    To be fair to Meat and Bread, their Root Beer Frosts are heavenly.

    • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

      You mean the Korean version? They sound good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hdefined Michael Aronson

    For a while, just about every coffee chain around here (and you know that number is big) had a logo that resembled the Starbucks logo. These days, some day and some don’t. Also, a bunch of them still have variations of the word “frappaccino” on their menus. I was going to do a video about that at one point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hdefined Michael Aronson

    For a while, just about every coffee chain around here (and you know that number is big) had a logo that resembled the Starbucks logo. These days, some day and some don’t. Also, a bunch of them still have variations of the word “frappaccino” on their menus. I was going to do a video about that at one point.

  • gforce duparc

    yep. you exactly right. they copy and do it all the time and think it is ok. the funny things is that koreans will never tell their people that they copied. i see it all the time, from ads to music and movies or korean dramas. they live and breathe the american culture. it is ok to do so but they have to acknowledge it at least.

  • gforce duparc

    yep. you exactly right. they copy and do it all the time and think it is ok. the funny things is that koreans will never tell their people that they copied. i see it all the time, from ads to music and movies or korean dramas. they live and breathe the american culture. it is ok to do so but they have to acknowledge it at least.

    • You’refullofshif

      How much more condescending can it get? Well you’re just a nation of worthless copycats with absolutely no originality whatsoever regarding dramas, ads, and music but hey it’s fine- just admit it.

    • You’refullofshif

      And the majority of the brilliant and original ideas that the evil shameless Koreans aren’t even original in the first place. And do tell, how many nations brazenly admit to plagerism when it happens on their soil. Very few from what I can tell. Why not just scream at Koreans for copying rice because it travelled from Mongolia to China before it hit Korea, then Japan. If we’re going to start rebuking everyone for “copying”, it’ll be a very tiresome process.

  • Alan

    I’d stick to food. The jury in the Apple Samsung case:
    1. failed to follow the court’s instructions about prior art and misunderstood the meaning of prior art
    2. failed to follow the court’s instructions on damages and misunderstood how damages were to be awarded
    3. By their own admission, failed to read the courts instructions
    4. Initially awarded damages for products they found to be non-infringing.

    And
    the jury foreman, who was a patent holder, and supposedly “educated”
    the rest of the jury, is the most at fault here. This decision, like
    rotten food, will be thrown out on appeal because it’s garbage.

    Most of Apple’s patents are design patents. Apple has very few
    technical patents on the technologies that make up their products. In fact Samsung makes a lot of the technology that goes into Apple’s products.
    And Samsung owns a truckload of technical patents.

    • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

      “I’d stick to food.” Thanks for the condescension. :)

  • Alan

    I’d stick to food. The jury in the Apple Samsung case:
    1. failed to follow the court’s instructions about prior art and misunderstood the meaning of prior art
    2. failed to follow the court’s instructions on damages and misunderstood how damages were to be awarded
    3. By their own admission, failed to read the courts instructions
    4. Initially awarded damages for products they found to be non-infringing.

    And
    the jury foreman, who was a patent holder, and supposedly “educated”
    the rest of the jury, is the most at fault here. This decision, like
    rotten food, will be thrown out on appeal because it’s garbage.

    Most of Apple’s patents are design patents. Apple has very few
    technical patents on the technologies that make up their products. In fact Samsung makes a lot of the technology that goes into Apple’s products.
    And Samsung owns a truckload of technical patents.

    • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

      “I’d stick to food.” Thanks for the condescension. :)

    • Alan
      • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

        I’ll check ‘em out.

        • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

          Okay. Read. Interesting stuff, much what I had already heard before. A lot of technical nerdpicking that distracted from the heart of the case–the intent to copy. The main influence on the jury was the intent to copy. It’s like if O.J. recording a message saying, “I’m going to kill Nicole tonight,” and legal nerds bickering if the glove fit or not.

          • Jacksnap

            The intent to copy is irrelevant if they didn’t actually copy under the law. Call it an intent to mimic. Many companies, all over the world mimic. They release similar features on things like cars, appliances, mp3 players, phones, etc. The fact is a lot of prior art exists for the patents Apple is claiming, and they shouldn’t have won anywhere near as much more or as many points. When it is properly analyzed you may find that only 1 or 2 of their patents were valid (then there is a discussion of whether or not they should have been able to even patent those in the first place)

          • http://zenkimchi.com ZenKimchi

            Good points. I do believe the intent to copy is quite relevant if I remember anything from studying intellectual property law in college, along with the transcripts where Google discouraged Samsung from copying certain elements and comparisons of the smartphone Samsung was working on just before the iPhone arrived in Korea with the Galaxy S that came out a few months after its introduction. I was hoping that the other anecdote in my post highlighted a sliver of the culture inside Samsung, which rhymed with the attitudes of the Google meeting, that shameless mimicking was the cultural norm until Apple sued them.

  • http://www.karfarm.com Taeyang Yoon

    As one of the writers of ZenKimchi, and with the risk of sounding like an Korea-apologist, my opinion varies a little bit from Joe’s.

    I currently use an iPhone and a Galaxy Tab. I also had owned an iPad and a Galaxy S phone. Apple did not invent the touchscreen phone, iconography based home screen, nor the swipe to unlock technology. Apple is being protected by some outdated US Patent laws that grant Apple patents on technologies that already has existing prior art. http://9gag.com/gag/5195630?ref=fb.s

    At the same time, I’m not suggesting that Samsung did the right thing here either. With almost unlimited resources at their disposal, they decided to copy some of iPhone features without improving on them (some of it is Android/Google issue, not Samsung). Also, the restaurants and music copying each other happens all the time all over the world.

    Some other possible ‘plagarisms’:
    - Daimler Benz invented the automobile, what does that make Henry Ford?
    - Office Depot and OfficeMax?
    - Countless instances of Japanese automakers copying other makes (Lexus LS 400, Mazda RX-7, Datsun Fairlady Roadster, etc…)
    - Korean Kimchi and Soju – Japanese Kimuchi and Sochu

    • http://zenkimchi.com ZenKimchi

      True. As I said, though, just because others do it doesn’t make it right. I think the reason this post has been shared so much, and looking at the comments when people share it, indicates that Korea does go a bit overboard and copying is never taught to be a bad thing. Apple and some of the other examples you’ve listed have been brought to task for ripping off others. I’m afraid that in Korea, shaming folks for copying just doesn’t happen unless it’s an outsider doing the copying.

      • http://zenkimchi.com ZenKimchi

        Another example you should add to your list, though, is this guy who is ripping off ZenKimchi, including your recipes. The posts are shorter now because I’ve truncated the feed to thwart him. But he’s been slowly creeping up the Google searches for stealing our posts.
        http://oishi-desu.blogspot.kr/

        • Jacksnap

          That’s a scraper blog. It in fact scrapes several blogs for content using various feed services. It’s basically little more than a bot, and not likely run by a Korean. Name is Japanese, the user name doesn’t remotely look Korean.

          • http://zenkimchi.com ZenKimchi

            Yes, I’m aware it’s a scraper blog. A little digging revealed it may come from Southeast Asia.

    • Dan Tomas

      Your iPhone point is good but Daimlar Benz and Ford are simply in the same industry, this is not plagiarism. Cars are superficially grouped into categories and have so much tech and IP under the hood to differentiate products. The Japanese are clearly industry leaders here. The kimuchi example is not a passoff, it’s just the Japanese spelling. Distilling is Persian in origin and Shochu has been made in Japan since the Azuchi-Momoyama period, definitely not plagiarism. Therefore I think we do need to clarify what we mean by this term so we are on the same page.

  • http://zenkimchi.com ZenKimchi

    True. As I said, though, just because others do it doesn’t make it right. I think the reason this post has been shared so much, and looking at the comments when people share it, indicates that Korea does go a bit overboard and copying is never taught to be a bad thing. Apple and some of the other examples you’ve listed have been brought to task for ripping off others. I’m afraid that in Korea, shaming folks for copying just doesn’t happen unless it’s an outsider doing the copying.

    • http://zenkimchi.com ZenKimchi

      Another example you should add to your list, though, is this guy who is ripping off ZenKimchi, including your recipes. The posts are shorter now because I’ve truncated the feed to thwart him. But he’s been slowly creeping up the Google searches for stealing our posts.
      http://oishi-desu.blogspot.kr/

      • Jacksnap

        That’s a scraper blog. It in fact scrapes several blogs for content using various feed services. It’s basically little more than a bot, and not likely run by a Korean. Name is Japanese, the user name doesn’t remotely look Korean.

        • http://zenkimchi.com ZenKimchi

          Yes, I’m aware it’s a scraper blog. A little digging revealed it may come from Southeast Asia.

  • 코리

    Agreed with the blatant copying as far as storefronts and brand names go (although this isn’t just a Korea phenomenon, but all of Asia, especially China, and even in Japan you can hardly go 10 meters without seeing a Starbucks copy). Also give the Chinese and Japanese tourists a little credit, they’re also here for plastic surgery. After all they can get the Gucci knockoffs cheaper in Hong Kong.

    On the Samsung front, while I certainly have criticisms, I wouldn’t level them quite as harshly. The “fast follower” approach is a valid starting off point for a new tech product and while they definitely crossed the line with the first generation, Samsung has quickly grown and arguably even surpassed Apple with phones that hardly could be called copies. Also the jury in the US trial was a farce, plain and simple. As I think someone else mentioned, the foreman “educating” other jurors is blatantly disallowed by the court as is the jury awarding damages as punishment, which they have freely admitted they did, rather than compensation. This was stated clearly (twice) in the jury instructions they didn’t bother to read, so really the whole thing should get thrown out,

    This doesn’t completely excuse Samsung though, but I’m willing to give them credit for trying to get better. Also, to use a classroom analogy, I would have more sympathy for the kid copying a few answers to pass the test over the kid trying to burn everyone else’s tests just to make sure he gets the best score.

  • 코리

    Agreed with the blatant copying as far as storefronts and brand names go (although this isn’t just a Korea phenomenon, but all of Asia, especially China, and even in Japan you can hardly go 10 meters without seeing a Starbucks copy). Also give the Chinese and Japanese tourists a little credit, they’re also here for plastic surgery. After all they can get the Gucci knockoffs cheaper in Hong Kong.

    On the Samsung front, while I certainly have criticisms, I wouldn’t level them quite as harshly. The “fast follower” approach is a valid starting off point for a new tech product and while they definitely crossed the line with the first generation, Samsung has quickly grown and arguably even surpassed Apple with phones that hardly could be called copies. Also the jury in the US trial was a farce, plain and simple. As I think someone else mentioned, the foreman “educating” other jurors is blatantly disallowed by the court as is the jury awarding damages as punishment, which they have freely admitted they did, rather than compensation. This was stated clearly (twice) in the jury instructions they didn’t bother to read, so really the whole thing should get thrown out,

    This doesn’t completely excuse Samsung though, but I’m willing to give them credit for trying to get better. Also, to use a classroom analogy, I would have more sympathy for the kid copying a few answers to pass the test over the kid trying to burn everyone else’s tests just to make sure he gets the best score.

  • Stevie B

    If you’d care for an example from the world of fashion, try this experiment: First of all, go to any branch of Zara. There are lots of them around, being as they are something of a foreign-incursion success story, owing, no doubt, to their ability to supply reasonable fashion products at a reasonable price and to adapt to changing tastes and trends very quickly. When you’re in there, don’t just take note of the clothing; note also the signage, the decor, the lighting, the layout, the staff uniforms, and the music they pipe in. Know also that you won’t have been the first to do so.

    How so? Well, at some point in their history, someone has visited Zara and taken careful notes of all of the above, and reported their findings to the Korean chain Mixxo (pronounced ‘mi-so’ for reasons no linguist could ever explain). From these findings, Mixxo have created their own stores, copied almost exactly to the letter. Mixxo stores are usually to be found wherever there is a Zara, and if I took you in blindfolded, you might only have the quality of the clothing to go by to tell one from the other. Mixxo have blatantly and shamelessly coped Zara in a way that in any other country would have had them dragged into court almost as soon as the doors opened on day one. It’s not ‘people like Zara, let’s try to model their success’; it’s ‘people like Zara, let’s copy every single element of their store design and business model down to the finest detail’.

    They must have employed designers to achieve this, and these designers must have actively created a whole identity system that they knew full well was nothing but a slavish rip-off of another designer’s work. This is where I feel the anger most keenly, for design is my own area, and to see designers behave with such disdain for their colleagues’ achievements makes me fear for their souls. Although I have no love for Apple (in fact, I fucking hate Apple and all the po-faced smuggery that they inflict upon the world), and although I don’t think that the court victory they won last week was achieved on fair terms, I’m rather glad that Samsung has received the spanking that it has, for it sends a message to all Korean designers: Sort it the fuck out!

  • Stevie B

    If you’d care for an example from the world of fashion, try this experiment: First of all, go to any branch of Zara. There are lots of them around, being as they are something of a foreign-incursion success story, owing, no doubt, to their ability to supply reasonable fashion products at a reasonable price and to adapt to changing tastes and trends very quickly. When you’re in there, don’t just take note of the clothing; note also the signage, the decor, the lighting, the layout, the staff uniforms, and the music they pipe in. Know also that you won’t have been the first to do so.

    How so? Well, at some point in their history, someone has visited Zara and taken careful notes of all of the above, and reported their findings to the Korean chain Mixxo (pronounced ‘mi-so’ for reasons no linguist could ever explain). From these findings, Mixxo have created their own stores, copied almost exactly to the letter. Mixxo stores are usually to be found wherever there is a Zara, and if I took you in blindfolded, you might only have the quality of the clothing to go by to tell one from the other. Mixxo have blatantly and shamelessly coped Zara in a way that in any other country would have had them dragged into court almost as soon as the doors opened on day one. It’s not ‘people like Zara, let’s try to model their success’; it’s ‘people like Zara, let’s copy every single element of their store design and business model down to the finest detail’.

    They must have employed designers to achieve this, and these designers must have actively created a whole identity system that they knew full well was nothing but a slavish rip-off of another designer’s work. This is where I feel the anger most keenly, for design is my own area, and to see designers behave with such disdain for their colleagues’ achievements makes me fear for their souls. Although I have no love for Apple (in fact, I fucking hate Apple and all the po-faced smuggery that they inflict upon the world), and although I don’t think that the court victory they won last week was achieved on fair terms, I’m rather glad that Samsung has received the spanking that it has, for it sends a message to all Korean designers: Sort it the fuck out!

  • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

    I’ll check ‘em out.

    • https://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

      Okay. Read. Interesting stuff, much what I had already heard before. A lot of technical nerdpicking that distracted from the heart of the case–the intent to copy. The main influence on the jury was the intent to copy. It’s like if O.J. recording a message saying, “I’m going to kill Nicole tonight,” and legal nerds bickering if the glove fit or not.

      • Jacksnap

        The intent to copy is irrelevant if they didn’t actually copy under the law. Call it an intent to mimic. Many companies, all over the world mimic. They release similar features on things like cars, appliances, mp3 players, phones, etc. The fact is a lot of prior art exists for the patents Apple is claiming, and they shouldn’t have won anywhere near as much more or as many points. When it is properly analyzed you may find that only 1 or 2 of their patents were valid (then there is a discussion of whether or not they should have been able to even patent those in the first place)

        • http://zenkimchi.com ZenKimchi

          Good points. I do believe the intent to copy is quite relevant if I remember anything from studying intellectual property law in college, along with the transcripts where Google discouraged Samsung from copying certain elements and comparisons of the smartphone Samsung was working on just before the iPhone arrived in Korea with the Galaxy S that came out a few months after its introduction. I was hoping that the other anecdote in my post highlighted a sliver of the culture inside Samsung, which rhymed with the attitudes of the Google meeting, that shameless mimicking was the cultural norm until Apple sued them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.walther Joe Walther

    Just this weekend I saw someone wearing a shirt that said “Abercrombie and Filth.”
    Does this count?
    (I don’t think the person had any idea just how awesome the shirt was.)

    • http://zenkimchi.com ZenKimchi

      That’s pretty freakin’ awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.walther Joe Walther

    Just this weekend I saw someone wearing a shirt that said “Abercrombie and Filth.”
    Does this count?
    (I don’t think the person had any idea just how awesome the shirt was.)

    • http://zenkimchi.com ZenKimchi

      That’s pretty freakin’ awesome!

  • James

    I am very glad you wrote this article. You bring up the most important point about Korea that anyone can make in the 21st century. It isn’t Korea anymore. Korean culture and heritage is in danger of extinction. Here’s why:

    After the occupation by Japanese forces, along with the split between the two Koreas, South Korea, in order to rebound from decades of hardship and oppression, almost entirely became dependent on U.S. and Western powers for growth. Companies like Samsung, LG used to produce goods like toilet paper and raw metals. Thanks to the infusion of U.S.-aid, Korea has become the Asia superpower of today.

    But at huge cost. In order to turn a war-torn country into an economic superpower in 50 years, the identity of the nation was sacrificed. The nation embraced complete Westernization, copying the American ideals and values and throwing away so much of its own. A system was created from huge conglomerates like Hyundai, Samsung, LG, SK group, etc. These companies control the government (developmental issues such as education, etc.), the music industry (K-pop, the perfect example of Westernization), the restaurants, the coffee…

    It’s a huge price to pay as the true cost cannot be measured by money, but by the loss of cultural identity. Some say the economic boost was worth it, but I disagree. Most Koreans brought up in the system are pressured since birth to succeed financially, and the education is entirely test-based. Individual freedom and choice is very limited because it’s the entire system that’s the problem. And at the end of the day, Korea is one of the most unhappy countries in the world (it’s been surveyed) and the gap between rich and poor remain.

    Korea has become a nation of copycats because that is what the country is based on. Copying America in order to gain economic stability and power.

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  • yonsarh

    Even Chinese foods in Korea have been copied decades ago and changed to Koreanized. Also Japanese food such as sushi(cho-bap) and maki(Kimbab) have been Koreanized in Korea as well. Some says, in other words, these have been fusionized to local style, but I hate fusionized foods. But if you go to Japan, or Hong Kong, most foreign foods are not copied. In Hong Kong, there are so many restaurants that run by many foreigners. But in Korea, even pizzas are copied and changed to Korean style recipe. Do you realize how serious situation they are in? I think Korean government should have to get involve on this, otherwise copying will never stop in Korea.

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  • Jean Poulot

    My dough?

  • Greg Demmons

    Yeah, I feel the same way. I do not understand why you are saying the same thing that has been repeated over and over again about Korea. Don’t you have something original to offer or are you just someone who has nothing original to say? Write an original article on a platform that you designed.

    I live in BC, and I lived in Korea for 5 years, and if you think that Korea copies more than we do in the west, you are pretty narrow-minded. Walk around to EVERY mall in America or Canada and you will see repetition and copying. Absolutely shocking to me that people are still ignorantly professing some sort of superiority of western culture over Korea when it is the modus operandi everywhere in North America and Europe, as well.

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