You have got to love these guys!
Most companies, in their humble beginnings, will have done things in slight bad taste: 'taking inspiration' from a competitor's idea and claiming it as their own, to put it nicely.
As the company grows there is always an effort from the management to distance themselves from these episodes, and gain an air of total respectability, integrity and what not.
Then you have Behringer. Taking shameless theft to a level where, to me, it becomes a form of art. Have a look at the last and most incredible example...
Yes they have cloned the website of Apple! WOW! Fantastic.
I mean, anyone designing a website will take in to consideration the example of Apple's and learn a trick or two from that, but here we have a photographic clone, pixel by pixel, like only Behringer could do.
Like with all the other products they copy (Boss FX pedals, Mackie mixers, etc) it would have been so easy to change just a thing or two and maybe get away with it. That's what everyone else does; I mean, take London School of Sound's website, we clearly steal a few ideas from here, there and Apple everywhere, and then adapt them to our design. But not Behringer.
I can imagine the quiet desperation of a graphic designer when Uli Behringer, founder and CEO of the company, asks to have a website "a bit like Apple's"; it will have to be REALLY a bit like that.
The irony in all this is that the website they used to have was much easier to navigate and I could find manuals and info about products in a second. This 'Apple" one is wrong in so many ways. The yellow Behringer logo is stitched on without having any counterpart anywhere else on the site, the navigation lacks the research that Apple puts in giving the right priorities to different parts of their business.
But that's not the point. The point is that stealing is morally wrong (and criminally fine as long as you are based in Switzerland and China), but stealing on this scale becomes a work of art, and art is exempt from moral.
Besides, if you think their products are inferior, all you have to do is buy something else. But you can't escape the fact that some of their things are just FINE. We have quite a few in the school and they do the job, according to the company's motto "double the features at half the price". One example? Their headphone amplifier, as found in LSS and many other studios around the world: I would recommend this to anyone, and it would still be great value for money if it cost twice as much.
But I am digressing.
To all the behringer haters and lovers I'd like to point out a passage from Uli's Behringer's story:
"At the university I studied, we had exactly two microphones for over 100 students and one had to queue up for several months to be able to use them. The mixing console and tape machines were under “constant maintenance” (...) I realized that it was simply impossible to become a Sound Engineer without having my own studio."
Think how much different things would have been if Uli had been a student at London School of Sound. The world would be missing a major manufacturer and would have gained a properly trained Sound Engineer. But then we wouldn't have our heaphone amps (and may other little useful things) and Uli would be out there copying note-by-note every song you hear on the charts!
Maybe it's better this way. What do you think?