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Fake Raspberry Pi Shops Pop Up 119

An anonymous reader writes "It seems that there are the first fake Raspberry-Pi sites out there: 'It's just been drawn to our attention that there's a Russian site ( purporting to be an official reseller, which is already offering preorders. [..] If you see a site offering preorders or claiming to be an official reseller at the moment, it's a fake. Please don't send them your money. Initially, this site will be the only place you can buy a Raspberry Pi, and we are not offering preorders.'"
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Fake Raspberry Pi Shops Pop Up

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  • Uhm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @12:03PM (#37985886)
    They have been selling Raspberry pie at Greggs for ages.
  • Why name it Raspberry pie? Im allergic to raspberries you insensitive clods!
    • by vlm ( 69642 )

      This calls for an Arduin of Ivrea joke, but I just can't find one. []

    • It's an investment in obscurity.

      Didn't you get the memo? We've run out of descriptive terms in the language, now we have to resort to made up terms like "Revo", "Ninite", and "Blaxor"; or subvert existing terms which have a completely different meaning like "Apache", "Chrome", and "Panty Shot".

      All the good terms are taken, like "Dev" and "Board".

      Having a name which completely hides the function is seen as an advantage - it's a great selling point which will draw in customers. Just wait and see!

      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        Open source gets trashed a lot for its silly names, GIMP being probably the most cited. But lots of non-FOSS products, even non-electronic products, have stupid names.

        You would name your car company Killed In Action? No war veteran would drive a KIA! How about a Saab *sob*.

        How about Windows? Did they give it that name because it breaks easily?

        How about the Dodge Startus; er, Stratus? USA Toady; er, Today?

        iPod? Sounds reasonable? Er, not to me. TWAIN scanners? WiFi (to my mind an incredibly stupid name)? Blu

        • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

          WiFi is even funnier if you're a native English-speaker living in a Spanish-speaking country. The natural pronunciation is somewhat closer to whiffy than wye-fye.

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Really? How awful for you.

  • Did they register a trademark? I didn't see one on TESS. Not that that would really help them in Russia anyway.

    • Trademarks don't matter if a company is taking pre-orders and delivering nothing. If they want to make a product with an identical name and sell it, that might fly in a country that ignores trademarks of other countries, but taking orders for nothing is illegal everywhere -except for companies that pay off the Chinese government.
      • You can't prove any of that at this point, though. They said they issued a take down but I am questioning on what basis. If they didn't register a trademark then they really have no thing to go on.

        • I'm pretty sure they didn't ask permission to use that picture of the Raspberry Pi, so I bet that's enough to issue a take down request alone.
          • Yes the raspberry icon would violate their copyright but they could get a C&D on that icon only - not on taking down the entire site.

            • And honestly, if you're dumb enough to send Russians good money to preorder a device made by a startup company based in England, you don't deserve that money anyway.

        • You don't need a trademark to get a site taken down for fraud. If they haven't been in contact with the project and are claiming to be official resellers, then they are committing fraud whether or not they ultimately deliver the goods.

          I'm betting that when all is said and done that none of the units are sent out.

          • What fraud are they committing? I don't see them claiming they are official resellers.

            • If you read the friendly link they're pretending to be official. But official or not either way they aren't authorized resellers of the devices and the only place where you can buy them new is directly from the project. Claiming to be resellers of any sort to get people's money is definitely fraudulent.

              • I read the whole site and nothing there made it sound official. They said they are a Russian community around the Raspberry pi project and were taking pre-orders for the product (although the page has since taken that down). They never called themselves "authorized" or "official" resellers. They were just plain old resellers.

                Based on your definition pretty much everybody company in the world that doesn't manufacturer a product themselves is fraudulent.

                • If you bothered to read the post here: [] It's abundantly clear that they aren't a reseller of any sort.

                  And no, my definition isn't loose, it's within the standard definition of fraud. []

                  • I did read the post and I don't agree that they are purporting in any way to be an official reseller. You can be a reseller without being "official" or "authorized". Those are special terms reserved for companies that make special bulk agreements with a vendor. I did not see that claim made anywhere on the Russian site.

                    The Raspberry Pi people are overreacting and the only thing they have legal recourse against is the unauthorized use of copyrighted images.

      • Trademarks don't matter if a company is taking pre-orders and delivering nothing.

        Even if one tries the legal theory that they're selling vouchers that can be redeemed for the product in question?

        • Good point, but they can't prove in good faith that they reasonably believed large quantities would be available in the future. Raspberry Pi adamantly states that they aren't projecting huge quantities to be available to the public, just that they "hope so" at some undetermined time in the future. Furthermore, they can't guarantee the price will remain the same by that point so pre-orders just aren't viable.
          • They don't have to prove anything right now. They said they expect sales to begin by the end of 2011 so if they fail to deliver AND fail to refund your money then it is up to the buyers to go after them.

    • Even if they had a trademark registered at USPTO, is it possible to enforce it at domain level even in the US? The last time we discussed this on /. everybody was against internet regulation whatsoever and people whining about authorities messing with domain names etc. BUT is this not a clear example that we actually need to be able to enforce law over the Internet?
      • There are a couple of scenarios:

        - No trademark - means screwed all around. They have no case (except for copyrights on images/icons/logos as mentioned above).

        - Trademark but on different business segment. If was selling raspberry cupcakes shaped like a pi symbol then there is no recourse to the American company.

        - Trademark on the same business segment. Then the domain name issue is irrelevant. It's a trademark violation and good luck enforcing it in Russia. Your only hope is that the hos

        • fwiw it's a UK charity not a US company.
          Doesn't make much difference to your points, but it changes what the company is and the legal recourse and the attitude if the people involved quite a bit.

  • The bad news is people are getting cheated, but the good news is that con artists see a big enough market to be worth creating fronts for it. It's a strong indicator that the Raspberry Pi will be successful -they just need to step up official press and YouTube releases with links to the real site.
    • by Arlet ( 29997 )

      Or maybe they think the target audience is particularly gullible.

      • "particularly gullible"? I don't think anyone finds computer programmers more gullible than the general population. However, any product that has demand with no supply makes people desperate enough to not validate resellers the way they may have otherwise. This is a form of gullibility, but only as much as a square can be called a rectangle.
        • by Arlet ( 29997 )

          I was just joking of course, but the target audience isn't your average computer programmer. A computer programmer would just buy a regular computer, or, more likely, already own several.

          • by slim ( 1652 )

            I'm a computer programmer, but I'm also a skinflint. I have my eye on Raspberry Pi as a really cheap, low energy Squeezebox server.

            • Let me know how that turns out. I'm helping a hospital experiment with sound therapy and making little packages of RPs with headphones sounds like a good way to have only large, networked archive to select various forms of music from.
              • by slim ( 1652 )

                Client-side, you probably want a screen and an input device. Something based on those super-cheap Chinese Android tablets might be a better bet.

                I'm not confident enough to get one for myself, because I read reviews of the WiFi being awful on them -- but if you have a research budget, it would be worth a go.

                • This would be more for during surgeries. Input would be needed only to pick a playlist, then let it run for hours while having as small a footprint as possible. Still, I guess a simple MP3 player with SD slot would just be so much easier on the staff. Personally I would want a central archive, but they would rather stacks of duplicate SD cards.
                  • by slim ( 1652 )

                    4GB USB thumb drive MP3 players are less than £20. Is that enough hours of music?

                    Then there's FM radio...


                    • MP3 players with SD or MicroSD slots are preferred because it's easier to make cards specific to music genres and swap them out according to the patient's wishes. Also, 4 GiB SD cards are ã3 each.
          • I'm a programmer with over a dozen PCs laying around. I want a Raspberry Pi for data-logging and reporting live readouts on an electric car I'm building. These would also be useful for running low-power web servers and running torrents. I can't think of any other full-function PC that uses 1 Watt. Even when they're not turned on most PC power supplies draw more than that.
            • Oh, but then again I guess I'm not your 'average' computer programmer. Honestly I'm not your average anything and proud of it :P Wait, does what I just said, the fact that I'm in the largest response column for every pole, and my strange hobbies make me an average /.er? crap.
            • by Arlet ( 29997 )

              Why not get a beagleboard, then ? It's already available, has better documentation, and an active group of developers. Or a beaglebone, or one of several other cheap processor boards that are out there.

              Especially if you're interested in hooking up other peripherals, and don't need 1080p video output, other boards are probably a better choice.

              And the web server you can just run on a regular PC. If you have a dozen PCs, chances are that at least one of them is on 24/7 anyway.

              • I considered the BeagleBone, but not only is the RPi cheaper, but I like to get in on the ground floor of stuff. Also, as far as I can tell those alternatives use more power than the RPi. I could be wrong about that fact, but the RPi clearly states that they use 1 Watt idle and I couldn't find the power spec of the other devices. Finally, I like HDMI. If I'm going to have an onboard computer anyway, might as well make it a media hub too -I promise no videos while driving.
          • by shish ( 588640 )
            I am a computer programmer with several computers; my electricity bill is enormous and I need air con in the middle of winter :-P
      • Or maybe "the system" reacts to the new kid on the block, if it turns out that fakes sites are very difficult to remove or oppose, of course. If not we are dealing with normal parasites.
        It's not the first time development of more open systems ran into problems with suppliers so they can't deliver even if they have requests. After some months the product is surely less appealing for the inevitable obsolescence.

        • Interesting. So you're proposing that this might be an industry conspiracy -similar to the roadblocks automotive manufacturers put up on any new company attempting to enter the market.
  • Initially, this site [] will be the only place you can buy a Raspberry Pi, and we are not offering preorders.

    Since the summary didn't actually link to 'this site' I thought I would do it and help you all out. It's right here [], from the official manufacturers in Korea. Really, I'm not trying to rip you off or anything. I'm just a lowly slashdotter. You can trust me, I even have a sig. Right here [], truly I am a prince, I know. It has OpenAPI security.

  • And yet again noone bothers to read the actual shop's web-page. Given web-site is nothing but reseller in Russia that is offering to preorder the Raspberry Pi in hopes of making bulk purchases when the product is available and saving a hefty sum on transportation and thus making a quick buck and offering it cheaper to those interested in buying it. But, well, who cares.

    • The Raspberry Pi company isn't guaranteeing that they will have huge quantities available for order at all. Furthermore, you have to ask permission to use images from the image owners if you want to use them as a promotional tool. I doubt they did that so the Russian website, as it is right now, is violating international law.
      • by mirix ( 1649853 )

        Russia violating IP law? lmao. not a single fuck was given.

        Maybe the US should start WWIII to protect its IP interests in china and russia. Good luck bro.

    • Except they will hang on to your money for months and you will get nothing, as bulk orders are not available from Raspberry Pi at this stage, and probably not for the first batch at all. Bulk buys will be cheaper, eventually. They are also using a trademarked name and logo without permission. And I guess the reason most haven't read the page is that most people don't read Russian, and Google translate (or similar) are not infallible...
    • by shish ( 588640 )
      Being a reseller is cool. Taking people's money for a product that you don't have in stock and might not ever have in stock (the r-pi guys don't seem to want to have all their stock bought on day one and resold elsewhere, and they're going to be even less friendly now, after they've gone to so much effort to avoid pre-order schemes) is not cool.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        From (translation mine):
        "Expected sales start date - the end of 2011. Until the spring of 2012 you can only acquire RaspberryPi on the official website of the Raspberry Pi Foundation ( The first 10,000 units should be on sale in December. We'll buy some part of the 10,000 units (if we're lucky). We will distribute devices at cost, with priority to those who have reserved one."

        Nothing scammy or fake. They are just trying to make it more convenient for people in Russia to purcha

  • Who knew (especially here on /.)? Thank you, Caption Obvious.
  • As well as the scam sites- I want everyone to watch out for the cheap fakes coming from China.

    The $24.99 Raspbelly Pi, is a cheap knock-off and not a genuine item.

    • by shish ( 588640 )

      I want everyone to watch out for the cheap fakes coming from China.

      AFAIK one of the creators had said that competing against the Chinese would be a good thing, as it would drive the price of components even further down, and making computing available for everyone is more important than personal profit.

      • I want everyone to watch out for the cheap fakes coming from China.

        AFAIK one of the creators had said that competing against the Chinese would be a good thing, as it would drive the price of components even further down, and making computing available for everyone is more important than personal profit.

        That's what I was thinking. Chinese knockoffs would be a great thing as demand for official units will outstrip supply for up to a year or longer. I would love to see these in retailers for this year's holiday shopping.

      • If it's anything like the chinese knockoff of the Nokia N900, it'll look identical (right down to the logo) but be completely different and relatively useless.

  • I appreciate the fake resellers for creating this situation, and Slashdot for bringing it to my attention. Now I am aware of this product and will be keeping an eye out for it and may buy one from the manufacturer when they are available.

  • When the original Macintosh came out,it was crippled by the provision of only one diskette drive, and no slot for a second one. Users were constantly changing disks (since the OS and applications lived on one diskette), or had to get an external drive. There was a knockoff Macintosh, recognizable by the inclusion of two diskette drives. It looked good, like an improved version of the original.

    Jobs was furious. There were radio announcements in Silicon Valley warning against the fake Macintosh.

    • Haha, nice history footnote. Additionally, many of the iPod knockoffs have and still are FAR SUPERIOR. I have one, the SanDisk Sansa e260 or something like that. Cost me $25 new, has MP4 support, FM radio, 4 GiB internal, MicroSD slot, acts as a storage when connected to any PC, is proven more durable, has a replacable battery, is slimmer, and (with RockBox) it plays Doom! The only thing a 4 GiB iPod does better is boot faster.
    • Do you have a citation for this? I'd be interested to read more about it.

  • Now I've heard of everything!
  • Now, that's a new low, like putting on a black dress and molesting little boys freelance rather than through the regular Catholic church.
  • 1. Make fake website taking preorders for hot new item. 2. Submit story containing URL to News sites like Slashdot declaring site a fake. 3. Watch fake site shoot up in Google rankings due to links on popular news sites leading to tons of sales. 4. Profit! An editor seriously fell for this?
    • Do you think that is what happened? (Clue - no it isn't) 1 RaspberryPi are a charity, and therefor profit isn't a motive. 2 RaspberryPi don't really need the publicity as likely to sell first batch of 10000 fairly quickly.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus