Smartwatches enter a wearable realm that have long been dominated by luxury brands like Omega, Mondaine, Swatch, and Armani. It’s these same brands that are also none to pleased about their own designs slowly spreading throughout the internet and onto our smartwatches.
According to TorrentFreak, several watchmakers are beginning to send cease and desist notices to sites posting free downloads that are essentially digital ripoffs of copyrighted watch designs. A lot of this attention is focused on round smartwatches like the round Moto 360 (and now the LG G Watch R), which can sport any round watchface imaginable. Of course, the benefits are obvious. A watchface that would normally cost you several thousand dollars to brandish on your wrist is now suddenly free.
Although the overall visual aesthetic of smartwatches can still be comfortably described as bulky and awkward, for many companies this is just the first generation of hardware. Smartwatches will get better, probably pretty quickly, and watch brands definitely should be worried about that.
Watchface site FaceRepo spoke with TorrentFreak about the growing number of infringement notices and says that they have been complying accordingly. They have also set watch brand names as keyword filters to help prevent possible infringement before its even uploaded, but as we’ve seen with almost every other industry that’s been exposed to online piracy, it’s impossible to scrub the internet clean. Watches have gone digital, and as always, piracy soon follows. [TorrentFreak]