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The birth of a copycat The birth of a copycat
by The Ovi Team
2006-10-17 12:45:06
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On Friday 13th October, Jone Nikula and Ari Halttunen published the first edition of their brand new free magazine that will be distributed across Finnish cities and we hope that it will bring them bad luck. The familiar name of this new magazine is 'Ovi'.

Yes, they have stolen our name, a name we have built a reputation upon for three years and has become intrinsically connected with everything we do here at www.ovimagazine.com as the Ovi team.

We categorically state that the copycat has nothing to do with us and we ask for your continuing support,

The Ovi Team

Below is a copy of the mail we sent to the staff of the copycat magazine:

The Ovi magazine and the Ovi team feels obliged to say that the name of your magazine is simply splendid – we bet you gave great thought to its selection, after dismissing names like the New York Times, Newsweek, The Economist, you decided to send your creativity sky high using our magazine’s three-year-old name. Your graphic designer also did a splendid job as well; we bet their portfolio features other names like Leevi's Jeans, Colpa Cabana, Roleks and others.

Just as we have done over the last four months, we promise to answer all the mails coming to Ovi magazine and Ovi lehti, both names that are registered to us, but we suppose you already know that.

Actually, in a telephone call a few months ago with Ari Halttunen, he gave the rather entertaining answer, "We didn’t know you existed; we checked the internet!" You definitely knew about us since then and you know that we are the only true Ovi magazine and are one of the very few daily magazines in the world.

We wish you luck in the harsh world of free Finland newspapers, although we are confident you will find a niche among City, Voima, SixDegrees, V, Metro, Uutis 100, Nöjesguiden, Sue and Spektr. We're sure we missed four or five – oddly, we are so organized that we have carried out research into the future of free magazines and it doesn't look good.

We are certain you will finish on top of the pile…just before they are sent away for recycling. We're joking, although you are printing your magazine on recycled paper, aren't you? It is only coming out ten times a year, so you could always pass the cost onto your advertisers - let's hope the Green Party use you to promote their candidates in the coming elections. Ahhh, irony!

Luckily, you have the web edition of your magazine to champion yourselves online at the catchy URL of www.ovi-lehti-fi. Nice. Don't most of your competitors just have their title and dot fi? Oh well, we are sure it will work out through the search engines and your readers will not stumble upon any original titled online magazines…hmm.

Seriously, we wish you the best and if a copy happens to blow down the street and strike a leg then we may scrape it off the ground and have a read.

The Ovi Team

P.S. Despite the warnings, even from Roman Schatz, that you act as a copycat and our warnings that you shouldn’t base your future on somebody else’s work, you ignored everything. It's natural that we are going to publish the truth, warn advertisers and readers at every single chance.


 
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bohdan2006-10-19 07:08:36
In a World of Thievery --- it's only expected as the norm. How sad to see this form.


Timo Mäkinen2006-10-25 08:40:23
Leevi’s Jeans? Huh, I honestly like your sense of humour guys.

If you really are interested in my portfolio please feel free to browse it. http://www.unitedbytes.fi


Timo Mäkinen2006-10-25 09:26:53
It is not nice to be falsely accused for plagiarizing. That is why I feel obliged to speak for myself in a few words.

I created the visual concept and logo for Ovi-lehti in the beginning of May 2006 having never heard of ovimagazine.com. I first heard of you just before midsummer, 21st of June to be precise, and visited your site the same day.

Still, from my point of view there is no similarity at all between the two Ovi logos. They are obviously built on different visual heritages. If you or anyone else disagrees, I suggest you read the following story of my Ovi logo for a deeper understanding. It is in finnish, sorry for that.

- - - - -

Miten voisi plagioida jotain, mitä ei ole koskaan nähnyt? Siinäpä kysymys. Vastausta hakiessa voisi olla hyvä syventyä hetkeksi grafiikan ja erityisesti typografian kulisseissa lymyäviin reunaehtoihin.

Omissa silmissäni nämä kaksi Ovi-logoa ovat yleiseltä ilmeeltään ja tyyliltään kuin yö ja päivä. Jos ne jonkun silmissä muistuttavat toisiaan, niin syy löytynee versaalia O-kirjainta seuraavan gemenan v-kirjaimen edelliseen leikkaamasta lovesta. (Ei siis ovesta vaan lovesta). Tuo lovi on kuitenkin ammattinsa osaavan graafikon ainoa vaihtoehto. Tämä mainittakoon tunnustuksena myös Ovimagazinen logon tekijälle, kuka lienee.

Kun logossa on kolme kirjainta, vaihtoehdot ovat rajalliset. Jos kirjaimet sattuvat olemaan O, V ja I, on versaalin (suuraakkosten) käyttö koko sanassa visuaalisista syistä välittömästi pois suljettu vaihtoehto. Ensimmäisen O-kirjaimen ei ole pakko olla versaali, mutta versaalina se näyttää gemena-vaihtoehtoa luotettavammalta ja energisemmältä. Siis: O versaalilla, v ja i gemenalla.

Kaikissa logoissa on ensiarvoisen tärkeää kiinnittää paranoidista huomiota kirjainparivälistyksiin. Se olisi suositeltavaa myös otsikoissa. Leipätekstin osalta optisen välistyksen osaava taitto-ohjelma hoitaa homman melko hyvin, mutta ei täydellisesti. Mutta nyt puhutaan siis logoista.

Kirjainparia O-v välistettäessä v-kirjaimen vasemman sakaran kulma liukuu lopulta O-kirjaimen päälle. Se on väistämätöntä. Muuta visuaalisesti hyväksyttävää vaihtoehtoa ei yksinkertaisesti ole olemassa. Mutta parivaljakko ei silti näytä tyydyttävältä. O on siis leikattava auki v:n sakaran alta. Koska kyseessä on ”ovi” tämä on parasta tehdä käyttämällä meille kaikille asuntojen pohjapiirroksista tuttua oven kaari-symbolia. Seuraava ajatus on, että sama symboli voisi toimia myös viimeisen i-kirjaimen oikeanpuoleisessa yläkulmassa. Ja toimiikin.

Siinä se. Tarina gemenasta, versaalista ja lovetusta O-kirjaimesta kaikessa ennaltamäärätyssä yksinkertaisuudessaan. Jos plagiointiväite vielä tämän jälkeen tuntuu oikeutetulta, niin kaikin mokomin. Toisaalta ymmärrän väitteen, koska näissä hommissa näkee jatkuvasti ympärillään hyvien ideoiden surutonta kopioimista. Tällä kertaa siitä ei ollut kyse.


Ovi magazine editorial te2006-10-25 11:04:37
Greetings Mr. Mäkinen,

The accusation of being a copycat is not pleasant, but this does not mean it is false. The claim that none of the creative team or editorial staff knew that a magazine with the name Ovi magazine already existed was your collective responsibility and we even gave you a number of warnings. If your colleagues decided not to inform you, then it is something you should have investigated yourself. "I didn't know" just isn't an excuse - remember that Sir Francis Bacon said, "Knowledge is power" and right now we have the power.

Ovi magazine has been online since December 2004 and has been advertised on Finnish radio and in the Finnish press. It has thousands of hits on a daily basis, it is in Wikipedia and it comes first in a variety of different Google searches of the name, plus hundreds of blogs and sites link to us, so it isn't as though we were hiding beneath an e-rock or lurking in the online shadows.

For a clearer understanding of the situation, we suggest you ask for some answers from the people who are using you, even this minute, as a scapegoat for their failure to furnish you with all the facts, instead of telling us how you came up with the logo idea two years after the original Ovi magazine logo was born. By the way, you might find it interesting to research how many excuses the copycats of Levi’s have used.

However, we are glad that finally after five months of telephone calls and emails to the copycat editorial team somebody has had the dignity to communicate with us. It was positive to see that you easily found our editorial about the subject and took advantage of the freedom to post a comment, and we hope you are impressed at how quickly we have answered your post.

We wish you prosperity in your future jobs…just perform a little more research next time and show more creativity!

Ovi magazine editorial team

PS - When we click on a moving Gorilla in your portfolio, we see: Haettua sivua ei löydy! Cannot find the page! Den sökta sidan kan ej hittas!


Thanos2006-10-25 11:25:56
The ...technical information was ... well, we think you saw the tree and missed the forest so we suggest you to read carefully our answer!


Thanos2006-10-25 12:17:23
BTW why didn't you play with the word 'lovi'? that sounds as a clever and unique idea! If you need any creative help, we can do it!!!


Ovi Team2006-10-25 15:02:12
Here is a translation of the Finnish Mr Mäkinen wrote:

How could one plagiate something that one have never seen before? Now that is the question. While trying to search for the answer, we could benefit on stopping momentarily on going deeply into the prerequisites of graphics and especially typography. To me the overall visual expression of these two Ovi-logos are like day and night. If some beholder of the logos thinks they do remind each other, the reason for this must be the cutting of the capital letter "O" with the small letter "v". This cutting, however, is the only option for a professional graphic designer. I mention this also as a recognition for the designer of the Ovimagazine's logo, whoever that is. When the logo has three letters, the possibilities are very limited. If the letters happen to be O, V and I, the use of capital letters in the whole word is immediately not possible because of the visual reasons. The first letter "O" should not need to be on capital, but if it is, it will look much more reliable and energetic than the small letter "o" would. So, we will put "O" on capital letters and the rest on small letters. In all logos it is paranoidically essetianl to pay attention on the spacings of letter couples. This is recommended also on headlines. On the body type the optical letter spacing is handled pretty good by a pagemaker-softwares, but never perfectly. But, yes, now we are talking about logos. When spacing the letter couple "O" and "v", the left corner of the letter "v" will ultimately slide over the letter "O". That is unavoidable. Quite simply there is no other visually acceptable option. After this the mentioned couple of letters does still not look satisfactory. So the "O" will have to be carved open under the arm of the letter "v". Because the word is "door", this is best done by using the door-arches from the floor plans that we all are familiar with. Naturally the next thought is that the same symbol would work well when used also on the right top corner of the last letter "i". And that does work well. That's it. The story about capital letter, small letter and the cut letter "O", in all it's predestined simplicity. If the allegation on plagiation still feels legitimate, then feel free to feel so. On the hand I do understand the accusation, because in this business one sees good ideas plagiated with no remorse and all the time. This time that is not the case.

There's one joke not translated, because "(Ei siis ovesta vaan lovesta)" is a word play with the word cutting (lovi) and door (ovi).


Alan2006-10-25 15:13:46
"the cutting of the capital letter "O" with the small letter "v". This cutting, however, is the only option for a professional graphic designer."

And I thought Finns don't have humor! Is this the Finnish way to apologize? This is the best excuse for a copy ever!


Robert2006-10-25 19:50:30
Let me see, if I ‘the cutting of the capital letter "O" with the small letter "k", this cutting, however, is the only option for a professional graphic designer.’ And put them on a mobile telephone then I can create a company called NOKIA?

Oh man, I’m going to put this in the international graphic designers’ forum; this was the dimmest excuse I ever heard! Ovi boys, you don’t mind if I do so?


Timo Mäkinen2006-10-26 11:34:29
Thank you for the translation. I’m flattered by the attention being paid to my work.

I don’t believe in selling – or trying to sell – excuses. That would be a sign of disrespecting my audience. The truth doesn’t need selling. When you hear someone telling the truth you buy it or you don’t. If it doesn’t suit your interests you probably don’t buy, that’s only human. And then you just have to live with your own version or theory.

I wish all of you and your project sunny future.

PS
Thanks also for notifying me of the broken gorilla links. Fixed them.


Thanos2006-10-26 14:46:25
Timo,

This is not a case of buying or selling. We are foreigners in Finland, but we are not aliens in this job. We have a very rich professional background both nationally and internationally, and we are very proud to see examples of our work in Finland.

Whether you feel guilty or not about being labelled a copycat, when a customer asks you to design a logo for the name ‘Ovi’ it was your obligation as a professional to check if the name exists in the same field or in the same country. If the customer assured you that it doesn’t and you relied upon their assurances, then you have a serious problem and you had better make it clear to them because from our side it is not a case of technicality, it is a case of pure copycat.

The logo, as I suppose you know, is not just a graphic, but also a result of a whole concept. I didn't just sit in front of my Mac and work with the latest version of Illustrator, it is a result of thought, research and investigation - I presume they should have taught you these points at the graphic designer schools you attended.

From the moment the editorial team started promoting this Ovi copycat, we had been warned in a case of hours from media and advertising companies all around Finland via a number of mails and phone calls, which means that the people that should know let us know. However much we want to believe you, we are sceptics in the fact that they warned us that a copycat is coming out before officially publishing the name and the logo - again this is something you didn’t know, even though you are a part of this circle.

As we mentioned before, obviously somebody is using you this minute as a scapegoat to start a conversation and, to some extent, shoulder the responsibility. This is your choice, but be careful because it is not good for a reputation to be associated with a copycat.

We will continue to inform and warn everybody about the copycat both home and abroad,

Thanos


Robert2006-10-26 16:43:29
Good answer Mr. T


Antti2006-10-29 00:46:50
You are the only Ovi, keep doing the good work.


M2006-11-16 22:10:55
Keep the good work


IAL2007-08-25 21:35:55
It is quite low move, that of taking ovi's name and almost the logo too - I know for a fact that this copycat will not become a huge phenomenon or an extremely popular free magazine. But it will in deed achieve its objective, make tons of money from the advertisers, who, bewildered by the "fame" of those involved in the making of this copycat, will use the money of their customers to purchase overpriced ads in the copycat, that doubtfully will reach the target audience; but the greens (money) will successfully help pay the bills of those making money from the copycat "OVI" - I respect the work of the original OVI magazine, and I dont like copycats - this is why I am against the move of the copycat - and I also dislike the fact that some "famous" people get more attention from advertising agencies than real professionals (people with ethics) who ACTUALLY DO have an audience that would help serve the purposes of advertising - but such is this small finnish world - few celebrities and companies, prefer to pass the money arround and keep their elite in a closed cirlce - I am sorry if I come off bitter, but this is just how I feel right now - I hope the magazine is as successful as my salmiakki flavoured soda shop in Saudi Arabia. Thanks for the chance to post my opinion - after all freedom of speach is my right and I like spaces to excercise it -
kiitos -


Alan2008-05-20 18:54:39
Nokia should pay you now


P.B.2008-05-21 11:45:06
Oh I´ve got an idea, first copy someone else´s work and then get (assumably) loads of money by selling it to Nokia! That money should be in the original Ovi Magazine guys´ pockets! It´s incredible something like this can happen. You guys keep up the good work!


OVI KENNELS2009-08-08 09:20:07
wow never heard of both of you im from USA and i own a kennel that breeds dogs so hope no one is amd at me and i named my kennel OVI KENNELS because my best friend who passed away it was his nickname never knew what it meant it was just an abbreviation of his rap name so hope no hard feelings but i breed dogs not distribute news so hope all is well for you guys good luck!


Asa2009-08-10 09:08:05
Hi OVI KENNELS!

Nice name! No hard feelings at all, since the fact was the copycat was based in the same country and operated in the same business of magazines - they have changed their name now, although we doubt it had anything to do with us.

Good luck with your business!


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