Why is the Lego YouTube channel blocking comments
Brick, Qman, LEGO and Customs (1)
The fuss surrounding Steingemachtes GmbH (an online shop for alternative terminal blocks) does not allow the community to calm down. You have surely noticed what happened, otherwise, for a first impression, check out the “Water level report for LEGO, Customs, Qman, Bricks4theKids and me” video by Thorsten Klahold, the managing director of Steingemachtes GmbH and YouTube channel operator of Johnny's World , at.
A storm is brewing ... Troll alert!
I gave my opinion in the last LEGO Fan Talk and got verbal beatings in the live chat. This is still the case today, if you want to have a look at the comments under the video on Henry's (but I can't really recommend it). These include a lot of personal and discrediting attacks on myself (not infrequently below the belt) and on this website. This may be cool and funny for a lot of the mostly anonymous commentators, but it definitely isn't. But what else can be expected from trolls ...
After Thorsten's first video a few days ago, the expected and certainly calculated shit storm broke in. Further cheered on by various other videos, including by Thomas Panke alias Held der Steine. The social media profiles of LEGO were overrun, the German customs also felt the anger of the so-called community - and according to Thorsten's latest video, the law firm or the lead lawyer who works on behalf of LEGO will soon also be there. Unfortunately, I can only smile at the subsequent appeal to always remain fair and friendly. The "crowning glory" in this context is the reference to the Board of Appeal at the bar. I think I know what will happen now.
Thorsten suspects in a recent video that there are around three percent trolls in every larger group. But when I look at the reactions and comments, I definitely come to a different conclusion. A comment sums it up a bit more for my purposes: “Two thirds of the contributions are from trolls who have nothing to do with terminal blocks and only celebrate a shit storm against LEGO and refer to people who disagree as“ fanboys ”. “Unfortunately I have that impression too. A discussion on equal terms is unfortunately no longer possible here, which of course I very much regret.
However, it is positive that Thorsten has now released the correspondence with customs and the law firm for download. This should contribute to more objectivity.
A few background information for a better classification
Also for a better classification of the topic it is important to know that the company Steingemachtes GmbH was entered in the commercial register on April 25, 2019. The subject of the shop: “The trade in toys - import, wholesale and retail”. According to Northdata, a database for business information, the balance sheet total in the year it was founded was a good 300,000 euros. At the moment, the sum should certainly be higher. Steingemachtes GmbH is also the importer of the Chinese Qman terminal block brand in Germany. And this is exactly the brand that the topic or the dispute is currently about.
According to my information, Qman (or its parent company) also owns the brands Enlighten Brick and Enlighten, which are anything but clean when it comes to compliance with copyright and trademark rights. Simply enter Enlighten Bricks in the Google image search and you will surely find it quickly. Even with Qman there were "problems" because of this, as Thorsten himself admitted in his video.
In my opinion, it is not really surprising that the legal department of LEGO, as a possibly affected company, becomes active here and carries out the affected container with the Qman sets (and perhaps also other brands from Concorde Toys?) Before delivery to Steingemachtes GmbH have customs checked. The prehistory actually speaks for itself.
It is also clear that as a company / retailer, of course, that's how you think about it, after all, it's about a lot of money. As a wholesaler and European importer of the Qman brand, Thorsten should certainly be well informed about this. In order to relieve him of the financial burden, Qman (according to Thorsten) has generously announced that he will assume the costs incurred in the dispute.
Certainly this is not entirely altruistic and also a bad move by a terminal block manufacturer who, according to its own statements, sold over 15 billion blocks in 2017 and was already the second largest manufacturer of terminal blocks (in Eastern Europe?) As of 2003 and, according to the website, has two factories . If Qman wants to continue to be involved in the European market, the company must of course support its European importer.
In spite of everything, it remains to be hoped that Thorsten and his shop will not get caught up in this dispute over time and will become the pawn of a legal dispute between LEGO and Qman. That would be a real shame, even if he is currently profiting from the protest action, as he himself admits. His online shop is currently being “bought empty” by his fans.
Statement from LEGO Germany
After the LEGO Group presented the results for the 2020 financial year this morning, there is now an official statement from LEGO Germany on the matter:
Anyone who buys a LEGO product receives a product of perfect quality that meets the strictest safety standards. This is exactly what consumers can expect from our products. Therefore, we monitor plagiarism manufacturers around the world and focus on ensuring that our trademarks, patents and intellectual property are not infringed. For this reason, like many global brands, we also work with customs in numerous countries to take action against the trade in plagiarism and possible legal violations.(Source: zusammengebaut.com)
The content of the statement is not that high now, but at least they reacted. For reasons they can certainly not comment on the matter itself.
ZIS, fundraising campaign and fair play guidelines
Customs will also only issue a general statement on the matter, if at all, as this is an ongoing procedure. It's a shame, because Thorsten's statements about his “black listing” in the European Customs Information System (ZIS) are also quite interesting from my point of view and raise a few questions.
But more on that later in a new post, part 2 follows here in the blog. The matter of the “fundraising campaign” doesn't leave me in peace either, if I'm honest. In my opinion it is only a means to an end or an expression of protest. But children and kittens are known to work great. Those of you who are on social media know what I'm talking about.
Ouch ... someone dares to do something
Finally, a little video note: Brick Talk Channel 1, operated by "a fat old man from the pot" (own channel description), who talks about his hobby terminal blocks. In just under 30 minutes he talks about the "Causa stone made", about the background and obvious parallels to BlueBrixx and the hero of the stones, which Thorsten "forgot to mention" in his videos. Very entertaining and please don't take it too seriously.
Do not feed the trolls ... real discussion welcome
This ends the first part of our reporting here on the blog. I would like to remind you, also because we have been accused again and again in the past few days: We see ourselves as an independent LEGO News blog and we will not be reporting on terminal blocks from other manufacturers in the future either. We are also not supported by the LEGO Group with information or review sets, as is often said. We are fully financed by commissions (including via the LEGO online shop) if you buy your LEGO sets via our links there.
Important: We do not want to switch off the comment function under this post and appeal to you to only participate in the discussion if you are interested in a discussion on an equal footing. Please do not get it wrong: We want to know your honest opinion on the subject, but without insulting and insulting other readers, without the fanboy and HdS vocabulary or other "troll behavior". These comments will simply not be released.
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