In many countries, copyright law is considered a bigger fantasy than Tolkien. Thieves regularly swipe the work of legit tech companies, follow a few IKEA-esque assembly instructions, and sell it as their own. The cops won't stop this because "owning" an idea makes no sense to them, and also because they're probably using the ripoff versions themselves. This lack of enforcement has led to some hilariously brazen products, created almost as if they were meant to show how few fucks their creators give about our puny laws. Products like ...
7Russian Pokemon Go Has You "Chase" Historical Figures
Pokemon Go has its haters. The Pokemon, for example; they can hardly be enjoying that whole process. Also, Russia. The Russian government is convinced that Pokemon Go, which we Westerners use mainly to get exercise by chasing imaginary critters into traffic, is a CIA plot to get photographs of Leninland's secrets. Also, it might be Satanic, because ... who knows.
Do Satanists like exercise?
To protect its citizens, Moscow has launched an acceptable alternative: Get To Know Moscow. Photo. Yes, that's the name. It's got the same essential idea as Pokemon Go -- walk around, find stuff -- but instead of cartoon monsters, you're on the hunt for statues of famous Russians. Who needs Golbat when you've got Yuri Gagarin? Fuck a Rattata, Russia's got Rasputin! Go to hell, Pidgey, because we're hunting Alexander Pushkin!
Moscow Department of Information Technologies
This does look more fun than catching Zubat.
Moscow Dot Photo does differ from Pokemon Go in several ways, though we're guessing none will seriously tickle your pleasure glands. The statues don't appear randomly like Pokemon -- the game simply points you to where they are, usually in an area related to whatever they did in real life. Then you walk there. If you're entertained by your GPS telling you how to get to the nearest Wendy's, then this game might be for you. Obviously, this means no Soviet gyms, since it'd be historically inaccurate to pit one Ivan the Terrible against another. But you will learn about Moscow's history, which is way more fun than capturing and enslaving fantastical animals.
6GooPhone: The Chinese iPhone Ripoff That Tried To Sue Apple
Pirated goods generally have a poor reputation as far as quality goes. But some ripoffs have managed to rise above this notoriety. China's GooPhone is so good at turning other companies' ideas into their own that they've been rewarded with a loyal fanbase which actually prefers their products to Apple's or Samsung's.
Good enough to fill the iPhone-shaped hole in your life.
Like many shady companies, it's hard to learn anything about GooPhone. Their website's "About Us" page doesn't say a goddamn thing about them. And the only time you'll ever read about them in the news is when they get accused of ripping someone off (so, every Tuesday). But here's more or less how they work: GooPhone creates legitimate working smartphones, with legitimate specs, at discount prices. It does this by being heroically unoriginal, pilfering every design feature from competing Apple or Android models. Here's their i6s phone:
You'll notice that it looks exactly like an Apple iPhone 6S. The only real difference is that it runs a version of Android tweaked to look like iOS, which makes this something of an unholy union -- the smartphone equivalent of Rosemary's baby.
But they don't merely hijack the newest products; GooPhone goes after products that Apple and Samsung haven't even sold yet. Once one of the Big Two announce a new phone, GooPhone tracks down the specs (easy enough to do, since China makes most of these phones anyway), creates a clone, and sells it long before the original product hits the shelves. In one instance, they were brazen enough to steal the design for the upcoming iPhone 5, make their own GooPhone i5, wait for the the iPhone to come out, then threaten to sue Apple, claiming that the iPhone 5 looked too much like the GooPhone i5.
"Yes, I'm serious."
Wow. We almost want to applaud them for having the balls to try that.