Sep 15, 201718581 views

Massdrop Official Update - HALO Switch

To the Massdrop Community, We were disappointed to learn that earlier today Input Club published untrue remarks regarding Massdrop and the relationship between Input Club and Massdrop. We feel some response is in order so that our community isn’t mislead by these statements, and so the community hears Massdrop’s perspective on the situation.
As you may know, for some time Input Club has collaborated with Massdrop in the design of Massdrop's HALO switch. Throughout our relationship, Input Club has acknowledged they are the "Designer" of the HALO switch, with Massdrop as the "Manufacturer and Distributor" of the HALO switch. Along the way, Massdrop spent tens of thousands of dollars, dozens of hours, and many domestic and international flights to help bring this concept to life. In our agreement, in exchange for this effort, Input Club agreed to receive a royalty from Massdrop from the sale of the HALO switch and Massdrop would be able to exclusively manufacture and distribute the switch.
In our agreement for the HALO switch, Input Club requested an exception to our exclusive distribution rights to allow them to offer switches directly to end customers as replacement parts and as standalone switches via their website. This was a reasonable request, so we agreed and wrote it into the agreement. After that, Input Club launched their kickstarter campaign for the Whitefox, offering HALO switches as an option. This was against the terms of our agreement, so we reached out to let them know and discuss ways to move forward. Their response was to tell us they would make their own HALO switch, to demand that we change the name of the HALO switch, and to demand that we inform all K-Type purchasers that they were not going to receive authentic HALO switches. At this point they directed us to their lawyer and required that all future communication go through legal channels. After two months of trying to work with Input Club's attorney, no agreement could be reached. In fact, Input Club and their attorney threatened to use a public forum as leverage to tarnish the reputation of Massdrop. We refused to give into this bullying tactic, and so today Input Club has followed through on its threat.
Regrettably, our relationship with Input Club has ended despite our great desire to find a path forward. The K-Type Keyboard with the HALO switch remains on target for delivery to its customers.
Obviously we did not want things to go this direction, as it is not a positive result for Input Club, for Massdrop, or for the community. We’ve been running the Massdrop Community Design Program for several years now. We’ve worked with many dozens of designers and we’ve never run into this problem before (in fact, nearly all designers go on to work with us on many more projects). One of the main reasons we started this company is to work with enthusiast communities and help bring their ideas to life. We plan to continue and invest further in these efforts, and to take our experiences from this partnership as a learning experience moving forward to help us get better.
Based on their actions so far, it seems like Input Club will likely respond, attempting to continue this discussion in a public setting. We have no interest in engaging further - this has taken up a meaningful amount of time and we’d prefer to spend our efforts working with our other community members and helping them bring their products to market.
Thanks for your support, especially all of you who’ve been with us since the start. It’s your interest, actions, and ideas that have made Massdrop the platform it is today.
Best,
Brad and the Massdrop team
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Yep and this will be the last time I use Massdrop. GG
I'm most annoyed by I:Cs poor timing, re:Kickstarter campaign. Why wouldn't they at least talk to MD about running one, and propose starting it AFTER the K-Type completely ships? It seems like a naive misstep, to think they wouldn't notice, care, or act, on them running one. They could have easily offered the standard options(Gateron, Cherry, Zealio, etc), and a switchless option for those planning on using HALO switches. Wasn't the point of the partnership to leverage MD's financial resources??
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The problem is that the sale of them through a crowdsourcing campaign isn't a direct sale. They're using Kickstarter as a pseudo-storefront, with the product offered as a potential reward. Able to sell direct on their website seems fair, as it removes any direct affiliation with Kickstarter and uncertainty with regards to the switch's origin.
Seitenryu
That is a pathetic, low-life excuse. It's tantamount to saying, you charged people with PayPal, therefore you weren't using your own system. These are platforms that people depend on to do business. It was made abundantly clear what their intentions were from the beginning, and MassDrop is obviously just a garbage company trying to screw the little guy over.
Really wish both sides would show their hands and not rely on snippets.. Still looks like theres a lot of mudslinging on MDs side of things.. And what we are seeing is not putting MD in a good light but definitely I:C had made some false assumptions as well... Frankly I just want this resolved amicably and then have MD and IC part ways after this keyboard is shipping.. This drop is getting kickstarter type late and i just want my damn keyboard with the switches I paid for or better.. Feeling that infamous crowsourcing remorse....
I'll be laughing my ass off if we find out HALOs are total shit after getting our K-Types
these are my thoughts after reading your response MD.
Quote MD: In our agreement for the HALO switch, Input Club requested an exception to our exclusive distribution rights to allow them to offer switches directly to end customers as replacement parts and as standalone switches via their website. This was a reasonable request, so we agreed and wrote it into the agreement. After that, Input Club launched their kickstarter campaign End Quote: The reason people in general start a Kickstart is to fund a store / website. So if you agree that they are allowed to start / have a website and distribute the Halo switch then you also agree with them getting the needed funding to do so. it's simple really and not easy to argue. In the end i say live and let live. as a customer i hope to get my K-type as promised without any quality problems. i don't like reading this and you not making up putting this behind us and trying to mend fences is the way to go.
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To be frank such contracts sound awful and belongs in a mob movie not a community where the goal is furthering the hobby. But I guess in the end it's all about the $$ kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth not something I wanted to be a part of. i don't know who is to blame but this behav is not good in the end. will have to see what this means for the k-type drop. And lots of people including me will change their view of Massdrop
they should have read the contract a bit better thats wat my wif thinks hahahah. good point i guess ;-) people investing money always want the best conract deal and creative types more often lack the $$ to start alone so striking a deal with the .. hahahah they should have gone with a kickstart without MD or negotiated a better contract excuse my English I'm Dutch 🤓🤓
Its fishy that you guys bent over so fast to give into their demands.
Artoria
Business tends to rely upon what investments can deliver in the long run, so this current furore didn't deliver much of anything for MassDrop in the long run.
If there were millions or billions to be made here, then I suspect Input Club would of been scraped clean by the Corporate Lawyers working on behalf of MD.
Be careful about forming an opinion when a company gives up on pursuing any issue via the court system.
y'all people are serious about your keyboards
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thank you for learning me a thing.
killerkam
Once you clack, you won't go back.
Where's that fanboy @user73 who claimed MD is "a small crew up there in Seattle trying to make all this stuff come together [...] to cultivate a community of dorks like us and empower them to buy boutique shit that others can't get their hands on. " HA.HA.HA.
I couldn't give rat's ass if MD were a group of suits in Manhattan. I'll spend money here as long as the price is right, but not for a single second will I believe that MD places the welfare of the community above its quarterly P&L or MD's employees side with customers and go extra miles against their employer's expectation.
Massdrop probably couldn't give less shit about the people complaining in this comment section. They lost 100 customers top. If they go to court, they'll probably get more money than all the people hating on MD will spend combined.
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What about them?
pomk
Ah, you meant to maybe say that you think that they are a meaningful contact for MD. I don't really see that they would be at the same level as I:C. Planc and prenonic were doing just fine without MD getting involved. If I'm not mistaken, MD has just acquired some kind of a royalty deal with OLKB for using the names and does the procurement of keyboards independently. I would not call it collaboration, just licensed manufacturing.
Regardless of who is right or wrong, this is terrible for the community of enthusiasts. Massdrop, being the bigger company, should suck it up and do what is right for the people. They should use this as a learning opportunity and a means to recover some of the trust that they have lost.
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Do you fault InputClub at all with them heading to social media instead of letting their lawyers do what they're paid to do?
I'm more annoyed by that than anything else. After reading both statements, I won't buy from InputClub but jury's still out on whether or not I'll buy from Massdrop again.
I work in and around injection molding/mfg and it's insanely complex and expensive. If Massdrop put some thing in the contract, that sound aggressive to the layperson it's probably because they have people with a better understanding on how manufacturing processes work.
If Massdrop were to fold here, after what appears to be a breach/misunderstanding of contract then what's to stop anyone else from running them over? If the legality plays out in their favor, I:C's lawyers were shitty or they didn't understand the terms.
Regardless, I:C's reaction to this is piss poor and they've lost a customer. Even if they're ultimately vindicated.
beemoe
I don't agree with IC airing their dirty laundry in an attempt to gain leverage in their dispute with MD. That said, I can understand why they did it.
If nothing else comes from this, perhaps product designers will think twice before signing away the rights to their creations. Or at least review the contract more carefully.
So in short you suck at contracts and now you bitch and moan that you fucked up setting up the contract with IC properly. Very classy... not, just an embarrassment for MD.
The only thing I see you can do here is say: "Okay, we fucked up here, we will be the bigger company and compromise." - because trying to paint your competitor as the bad guy does not work by pointing fingers and crying "It wasn't meee!".
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If you're just going to be ignorant, ignore facts and not read anything why even waste time posting like you've got some insightful comment to make? This debacle is only made worse by people like you.
schoolbus
I read the Kickstarter statement, this statement and the IC blog post. Just because my opinion is condescending, doesn't mean it is totally ill-informed. If you have contradicting facts then give them and be insightful. Otherwise welcome to my level!
After reading the original post by IC, statement by MD, and a reply by IC with the limited contract quote, it seems to me that the part that MD is having trouble with is the 'other distributors and resellers' sentence. If this is the case, I believe IC is in the right, as Kickstarter isn't a distributor nor reseller.
It seems cut and dry to me considering only what the public has access to, so I am curious why either of their legal teams can agree on how to proceed - which makes me think that the issue is a lot more complex than either are willing to share publicly.
Often times with legal contracts, it is important to view the document as a whole because a lot of times there will be sections and articles that lay out exceptions or clarifications. To that end, I am interested to see the section where MD points out that "Massdrop would be able to exclusively manufacture and distribute the switch". And where this term is laid out - "In our agreement for the HALO switch, Input Club requested an exception to our exclusive distribution rights to allow them to offer switches directly to end customers as replacement parts and as standalone switches via their website. " If this is true on contract, MD would be in the right as they are protesting the Kickstarter sale exclusively.
Overall, we can agree this kind of thing is harmful to the community, and look forward to both parties settling on some kind of agreement. I urge everyone to be calm and not draw quick conclusions because this only divides the community. We should all root for the community instead of taking sides in a battle that we can't possibly know who is in the right at this moment in time.
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schoolbus
@etatauri, @nitrobackflip Thanks, sorry I didn't see this until now. That's the one.
I commend I:C on going public with this because there is a chance that backers of the Kickstarter may not be getting Halo switches. As such, their update gives backers the option to modify or to rescind their pledge, which is, very sound and I believe it is the correct thing to do. Obviously, they have to give some sort of explanation as to why. I don't feel that they are opening a public battleground.
On another topic, I appreciate this type of transparency from MD. This is rare. One of the things I dislike most about MD is how they keep completely quiet when things are not going well. I would like to see more transparency about any drop in the future, especially when people have put money into this.
Doubtful. Massdrop has stated K-Type buyers are getting Halo switches. I:C will need a new name.
search
as if I didnt have enough reasons to not use massdrop
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Midnaspet
I Cant believe you retards argued over this shitpost. I didnt even read the write up.
Midnaspet
Did you get a booboo typing that response out? Pretty sure you might have used your last two remaining braincells replying. So sorry to see you go...the way of the DoDo. ;)
Shameful, Massdrop. Especially after reading IC's response to this post which quotes the contract directly.
Won't be ordering from you guys again. I want a refund on my K-type too. Nasty company.
jamorton
Lmao, I wouldn't want money from a customer who takes a cherry picked portion of a contract and draws such ignorant conclusions.
RIP Massdrop. It's been a good run. But unless the contract has parts other than what we've seen so far, y'all are just salty about them having a successful kickstarter, and are trying to extort them for it.
Based on MD's past dealings with things like:
WoB's TMNT/Star Wars caps - Star Wars IP Hammer's Mummie - KWK/KBK's Death Lives/Mummy Z0M0's cat paw cap - Keykollectiv
I'm not surprised, given their complete disregard of IP, that this panned out the way it did. Next time I need product, I'll go straight to their source : TaoBao. Better prices and won't have to wait months.
I:C has been a cornerstone of the mech community for years now. The choice is obvious.
In addition to poor communication in the xd60/64 group buy, the other reason i canceled my spot in that drop is due to the way MassDrop is handling this situation. for what it's worth you've lost a customer indefinitely.
Massdrop is being dicks. I'm cancelling my account, marking the emails as spam and unsubscribing. You have lost a customer for being assholes. Bye.
asd23as
wow so edgy.
Input Club has posted a response to this on their site: https://input.club/official-halo-switch-statement/
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That still doesn't answer much though. Why is Massdrop considered a bully? What happened that forced the Fox over to kickstarter as opposed to re-dropping here? I'm not trying to be deliberately obtuse about this stuff, but I am trying to get a better understanding of all of this.
LevelSteam
That's pretty much all I got, man. This maelstrom of dismissive quasi-political one liners, personal invective, and general disagreement is playing out in both public and private. The membrane between those two is porous, but some stuff is too big to fit through yet. I've got enough data to determine my response, but that also has to do with my personal politics. As for my personal politics, I'm going to shut up about them for fear of expending even more energy on something that ultimately doesn't affect my life very much.
Seeing as how I:C had the sense to post the part of the agreement that is relevant to this entire problem, I'm going to repost that part of your contract here for everyone to decide for themselves who is at fault:
" Limited License Back. Massdrop does hereby grant Designer a limited, non-exclusive and revocable license to use Massdrop’s Joint Inventions solely to the extent necessary for Designer to (i) perform Designer’s obligations under this Agreement; and (ii) to request manufacture of, and purchase, Products solely from the manufacturer designated in Exhibit C, and to sell products incorporating such Products to end users. Input Club (itself or with or through other entities) agrees to not distribute or sell such Products to resellers or distributors. "
Ergo they were entirely not breaking the contract in any way. The key phrase in there is: "and to SELL PRODUCTS INCORPORATING SUCH PRODUCTS TO END USERS". That would mean nothing about running the Whitefox on Kickstarter (MEANS DIRECTLY TO END USERS) with Halo switches (SELL PRODUCTS INCORPORATING SUCH PRODUCTS) broke any terms of the contract.
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No it doesn't. Revocable means that the revocation clause, however it's worded, kicks in. If Massdrop were initiating revocation of the license, there is likely as detailed process on how that works.
However, since this is dealing with a patent, and no patent has yet been granted, the truth is IC doesn't NEED the license. There is a patent application pending and that means there's nothing to license, but there is also a risk to taking this route. You can read some expert analysis here: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/massdrop-input-club-halo-switches,35468.html
PhantomTaco
It depends entirely on what's in the rest of the contract and if its intent was to establish a partnership for specific products or ad infinitum. The single clauses themselves prove nothing; until you see the context, I'd refrain from "bush-lawyering" as you might look bit silly later.
The K-Type is the last Massdrop Group Buy I will ever do. So long and thanks for the delays.
"Based on their actions so far, it seems like Input Club will likely respond, attempting to continue this discussion in a public setting. We have no interest in engaging further"
Considering the inability of Massdrop of keeping a clear communications' channel within their own group buys, as seen by many complaints on reddit (that's particularly true when Massdrop makes mistakes), that isn't a surprise, but seems like a regrettable policy.
I can see here the clash of two very distinct cultures and ways of thinking: the corporate and the community-driven. And community-driven group buys as a rule have a culture of being extremely open and communicative about everything that happens on it, especially when things goes wrong and/or in unexpected ways. Massdrop explicitly said that they won't do that in this case, and just that is enough to mistrust this company.
While Massdrop is a convenient gathering place for the community, actions and policies like that shows that they don't give a sh*t about the community.
For those wondering - here is quite a bit more detail from IC - https://input.club/official-halo-switch-statement/
FYI @massdrop - my oblivion order will be canceled shortly.
timzilla
cool
Input Club has responded and released the relevant portion of the contract. Looks like IC might be right in this case if that contract text is accurate. Only MD can verify if it is, so let’s see if they acknowledge or dispute it.
https://input.club/official-halo-switch-statement/
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To get one thing clear there is no IP argument here. The IP belongs to IC as the Designer and no one is disputing that. The only issue is whether or not IC is entitled to purchase Halo switches from Massdrop for use in keyboards sold to end users. That's all as Massdrop has said they would sell to IC for individual sale or as replacements. Massdrop has rights to manufacture and distribute. They don't own any part of the Halo switch design nor do they own the patent.
As to the revocation, I never said it was non-revocable. It is, as most licenses are, and no one is saying that Massdrop invoked the revocation. If they did, there would likely be a large part of the contract that says "here's what happens when any part of the contract is revoked" but we don't know what that says. It's fairly standard to have an out in these cases and I'm certain this contract has one. Very likely there would be a cash sum paid to Massdrop by IC in return for the rights to manufacture and distribute the switch.
If, and only if such a thing existed, then IC would have to see if developing a new switch costs more than paying Massdrop for the Halo. If not, develop the new switch, which is what is happening here. But again...I have no idea what's there, just pure speculation from what is considered standard practice.
And really that's the whole argument here...Massdrop is refusing to sell to IC for use in other keyboards. Massdrop argues that it's not allowed, and the snippet released by IC, but unconfirmed by Massdrop, says it's one of the allowable uses. If there's something else in the contract that restricts where IC can sell "products" (lower case) using the "Product" (upper case) then that has yet to be released. Right now all we have to go on is what IC has released and Massdrop has not confirmed.
As to what contract Massdrop has with Kaihua? Who knows. All we know is what IC has released between them and Massdrop.
But you get to the heart of it. Maybe Massdrop is legally entitled to do this. If so, it's a shitty thing to do. And if they are, release the contract, let us, the customers, see it, and make up our mind. Just because someone is legally entitled to do something shitty doesn't make it right. Martin Shkreli jacked up the price of an AIDS pill 5000% and publicly shamed for that. Yet, he was legally allowed to do it.
Dukrous
@Amnesia1187 Thank you both for coming to the entirely sane conclusion that an action can be both legal and obnoxious (or reprehensible in the Shkreli case).
It sounds like Input Club signed a contract that they didn't really understand and shot themselves in the foot in the process. Frankly though, my recent purchases from MassDrop have been terrible, and I'll personally no longer be supporting this company in any fashion. I've ordered many things from here over the past year and a bit, and have about a 60% "issue free" delivery rate (not even including non-MD related delays caused by SP). Having a 40% chance of receiving a product that should have instantly failed QA, was poorly packaged, came with missing/damaged pieces, or required replacements with very poor support communication and absolutely absurd shipping costs to Canada is completely unacceptable.
I envy those who seem to have never had issues with receipt of an MD purchase, and I understand why you are saying "I've never had issues so I will continue to support them". All I can say is if the trend continues, you will eventually find out for yourselves how often this can happen.
I would encourage others to stop using this platform as well.
"Based on their actions so far, it seems like Input Club will likely respond, attempting to continue this discussion in a public setting. We have no interest in engaging further - this has taken up a meaningful amount of time and we’d prefer to spend our efforts working with our other community members and helping them bring their products to market. "
So much absurdity in this paragraph that I just have to make a second comment. First off, IC has been very cordial in their communications so far, explaining the situation from their perspective. They have to say something, people want to know what the hell is going on with the switches. The fact that you just expect them to stay completely silent is ABSURD, but completely typical. You guys HATE communicating lately, and you only do it as a last resort.
And if this is taking up time that's your fault! Why do you have employees at a for-profit company focusing on forum drama?! That is PATHETIC.
No wonder you have dropped the ball on every recent drop. No wonder you don't even communicate until a week past the original ship date. No wonder you are nowhere to be found for people asking questions in every single drop. No wonder you STILL haven't updated your pictures for drops that you re-run repeatedly, even after being contacted MULTIPLE TIMES about blatant inaccuracies!!!
Your entire staff is sitting around trying to defend their actions (and lack thereof) on forums instead of DOING THE DAMN WORK.
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The double standards hurt my brain. It's fine if you want to back I:C despite not knowing the facts but at least make the arguments coherent.
AverySegaw
My argument is completely cogent. If you're having trouble with part of it, be specific. There is no double standard, it's just clear that MD's communication was malicious and had no positive intent, and it is even more clear that IC's communications were a very regretful tone and served the obviously necessary purpose of informing people who had put hundreds of dollars into this drop about what was actually happening with the product. People deserve to have that information, and Massdrop is even telling us outright they wanted to keep it secret. That's not okay. That money MD is complaining about putting in isn't actually their money, it's ours! We deserve to know what's going on! Where is the disconnect for you?
Thank you for the calm and dispassionate response regarding this issue.
How will this affect the ErgoDox Infinity drop that is is progress?
If the HALO switches in the K Type are not authentic, I want a refund. I only bought for the HALO switches and I don't value the money or time you claim to have spent, I value the switches that INPUT CLUB developed, NOT YOU.
I also will not do business with MD any more. I used to be one of your biggest defenders, but things are drastically downhill. I definitely trust their side of events more than yours, when you've dropped the ball repeatedly lately on every drop I've been in, and it's not like this is the first company complaining that you tried to exploit them.
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But that's the whole point in the first plce. MD refuses to make the switches available outside their keyboard. IC did everything in their power to prevent that exact thing from happening, and MD C&D'd them when they tried to do exactly what they had clearly communicated all along they were going to do. Now MD is insisting that the switches just never be made again. That is 100% MD! Nothing IC did short of signing over all rights to anything could've made this situation come out good for consumers, but there were 80 options along the way for MD that would have resulted in happy customers. They would prefer to be the epitome of an evil company and use legal strong arming to shut down any possible competition, than to make MORE money and have happier customers, but let Input Club sell their own switches.
Yeah I read IC's response to this post and I'm siding more with them on this. This whole situation is incredibly strange and while I'm not personally going to boycott either IC or Massdrop this fiasco isn't going to benefit anyone. Hopefully they can sort this all out in the near future :(