Editors Blog

Murphy's Law: Grab Those Cameras

February 25, 2008

The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) in New York City is a blur in the rearview mirror now, but an after-taste is in the mouths of a few. The NEWS received several letters from attendees who suggested that the rule of “no photography on show floor” should be more strictly enforced. I agree.

As representatives of the trade press, The NEWS receives special permission, as do other trade journals, to photograph the show. However, one of the reasons for the rule is to prevent copycat companies from stealing designs.

Unfortunately, the copycats are usually non-English speaking Asian attendees who either have a great ignorance of the posted signs or a great disregard for them. An abnormal proportion of these people are Chinese who elbow their way in for close-ups of control wiring and components.

The theft of intellectual property in China has been well-publicized, and some progress is being made between the U.S. HVAC manufacturers and that country. However, the industry’s largest exposition in North America should not be the primary place for the copycat camera-bugs to have a field day.

Evidently, signs at the AHR Expo are not enough to curb the enthusiasm of our snap happy guests. Perhaps it is time that greater security measures are implemented by the International Exposition Company (IEC), owners of the AHR Expo.

Sorry to put that burden on the good folks at IEC, but enough is enough. If baseball stadiums can confiscate umbrellas, isn’t it time to start grabbing those cameras?
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