What is Windows but a continuing knockoff of the Mac OS? Apple itself has cannibalized its own hardware and software developers for many years. And would there be so many free After Effects tutorials exploding onto the scene several years ago without imitating and borrowing from the relatively expensive Total Training tapes and Creating Motion Graphics?
The big filter sets are all about being “me too!” by offering everything & the kitchen sink. That's often good enough if you don't have a big budget. Who knows, in trial evaluations buyers may find the GenArts Sapphire LensFlare as the tipping point over BorisFX, and forgo the extra expense of Knoll Light Factory at $399 or the even better Video Copilot Optical Flares at only $125.
Since they have the the advantage in quality, innovation and training, maybe Red Giant and others could make their keiretsus even more attractive by competing on price -- or just take the BMW route (which probably won't work for Automatic Duck). The whole issue makes me want another go at the Art of War, Code of the Samurai, and the Master of Demon Valley (in Thunder in the Sky: On the Acquisition and Exercise of Power by Thomas Cleary).