Did a Kickstarter puzzle rip off this YouTuber's design? Watch this video and decide for yourself

Honestly, Kickstarter is full of these scams. My interest is photography, and the number of times I see new Kickstarter campaigns for items that have already been available for ages on eBay or similar. For example, this:

is a Kickstarter project trying to resell these:

There are at least 2 other Kickstarter campaigns selling the same “unique” lens hoods.


I’ve only backed about a dozen, if you include Indiegogo, and only had one failure. And even that one is still trying to finish, they’ve just had an extraordinary run of bad luck.

It was for a card game and the string of events went like this:

  • First printing lost at sea on way over from China
  • Printer didn’t have insurance on shipment, so was forced to reprint entire game at their expense.
  • Decided they’d try to extort more money from the game designers before shipping the second printing.
  • Legal action finally concluded with designers getting their money back, but the printers kept the second printing.
  • Game designer had cancer.
  • Then the business partner had to quit to take care of an ailing parent.
  • Printer located who could re-print game with the money that was left after legal fees, but there was a backlog and the game was in a long queue.
  • A week before the game was supposed to be printed, covid shut down the printer.

After all this there are still two people who are trying to get a game out to the people who backed it, over four years since the initial campaign.


Kickstarters are at least in theory about selflessly rewarding the kind of innovation tha people want to see in the world. This means that this guy has the levers of morality on his side, and this sort of video is a great way to exercise those levers. Legalistic levers like patents have their place but what is beautiful is that there is still a place for people to solve problems with sunshine disinfectant.


IMHO, Torshn pushed a simplified version of Astrolabicon and claimed to have “invented” it.

Personally, something equitable would be to acknowledge Montez as an inspiration (instead pretending he doesn’t exist), and donate X% of proceeds to a charity.

EDIT: And Montez can sign an NDA with whatever lawyer Torshn hired so basically Montez agrees not to sue Torshn (something he already said he probably won’t do any way). And Torshn can avoid this cloud hanging over their head by acknowledging Montez as an inspiration (but NOT co-creator) and will donate to a charity of Montez’s choice X% (an agreeable figure).


You need clarity on the difference between a Utility Patent and a Design Patent. This fellow specifically mentioned Design Patent in his video presentation. He/They could certainly get a design patent for these devices.

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Fill the gaps in the puzzle with finely powdered ancho pepper…

That labilabinastroblub or whatever from the '90s was cool! Almost a toroidal Jacob’s Ladder flippy toy. ( 04:45 or so in the video. ) Make that out of museum-quality paste and motorize it for the ragequitters with no other puzzlebox-o-pain thing going and it’s a fun man clutch or something.

Pictured: or something. This person will make a regular size one for post to the victim, perhaps they have cats, of your choice for a mere $200. Variants with a bonus color with +1 ball segment (say, pink and 4 places and balls,) available from someone else!


It sounds like a case of copyright infringement which should be brought up with Kickstarter.

I actually take away something completely different from this exchange than has been mentioned so far: This video is part of the system working.

Basically, the only reason that dude 1 could sell the puzzle in the first place is because of the internet and more importantly, the social internet. This direct-to-customer model was developed as a way to side-step the kinds of protections (like patents, and NDAs, etc) that older, slower marketing strategies needed to function.

But, inherent in the technologies that allowed dude 1 to succeed (and he did succeed, by all accounts - he is selling the thing, and has sold enough of them to feel as though the kickstarter will actually damage this revenue) is a vulnerability to copying. It’s not just the fact that he has to publish the design (which is honestly not all that novel) and it’s function to sell it. It’s also the fact that the same low cost manufacturing technologies that let a random guy make a complex mechanical toy to sell, basically allow anyone to make a complex mechanical toy to sell. The revolution contains the seeds of its own downfall, as they say.

So here’s where part three comes in. We’ve already seen that the channel of communication (the social internet) can’t be owned, since it is too easy for a competitor to jump on. Likewise, the manufacturing chain cannot be owned, since it’s available to anyone. So Dude 1 is trying to own the only thing which can be owned: The Narrative. He’s using this video to make himself (and his product) seem like a more valuable narrative to be a part of; Like if you buy dude 2’s toy, you have a less “real” or “authentic” story to tell about it, even though the reality is that (unless you’re IRL friends with Dude 1 or Dude 2) both narratives are fully mediated - their authenticity isn’t reducible to a ground truth.

I think this explanation does a better job of addressing why these sorts of “scandals” on crowdfunding sites generate so much community ire and disagreement - not because there is a well-defined ethic that is being violated, but precisely because the ethic is not well defined. Every one of these devolves into a sort of political narrative righteousness building contest.

i don’t know how to fix it, but that’s how I see it.

Until some firm with deep pockets decide they want your patent.

Maybe that’s more of a problem in software than in makerland.

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