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RED CEO Jim Jannard Speaks About Their Lawsuit Against Sony Regarding RAW Compression

02.15.13 @ 4:11PM Tags : , ,

I mentioned that we might see a response on REDUser from the CEO of RED regarding the recent lawsuit against Sony, and that’s exactly what we got earlier this morning. In the lawsuit, RED is claiming that Sony is infringing on patents related to REDCODE RAW compression, since Sony is also using RAW compression with their F65, F55, and F5 cameras. If you haven’t read it yet (and you’ve got an opinion on the matter), I’ve embedded the document in the previous post, and I am also embedding the patents that apply below. Click through for those documents as well as the response from Mr. Jannard.

Here are two of the patents that apply in this case. There seems to be a third that doesn’t apply to the case in any way and is likely a typo.

Video camera (US patent 8174560):

Video camera (US patent 8358357):

This is the first response from Jim Jannard:

We have taken a bit of flak for filing a lawsuit against Sony Electronics.

#1. Sony stepped up and finally supported 4K from cameras to displays. That is helping to cement 4K as the real cinema standard. Good. We actually have a Sony 4K 84″ display and Sony 4K projector at RSH for reference.

But…

#2. We are heavily invested in concepts, inventions, designs, development and manufacturing of RED cameras, REDRAY and the RED Projector. Each is unique and has motivated the industry to get better, for the benefit of all. We don’t mind others joining the 4K revolution… quite the contrary, we embrace it. What we don’t accept is others just borrowing our technology, intentionally or unintentionally. We admire invention and happily pay for and license great technology from other companies when it is useful to our program.

#3. We have created many jobs in the US leveraging our vision and technology and we will aggressively protect our employees. Every single job matters. It is a magic trick to build a camera in the US, especially at the highest level. This cannot be done if others are allowed to just take what we have done and use our work as their own.

#4. Our customers have invested in our technology. They need to be protected and their investment needs to be protected. We have an obligation to our customers so they will not have their investment diluted by a proliferation of the proprietary technology they invested in.

We don’t mean to be heavy handed. We saw 4K as the future standard in 2005. We have endured comments that “RED was a scam”. “1080P was good enough.” “What does a sunglass guy know about cameras?”… as well as others I would never publish.

Patents are here for a reason. They protect IP. Receiving a patent now means that you have an obligation to protect it… or they have absolutely no value whatsoever.

We are anxious to resolve this and have everyone move along. But in the end… our ideas, employees and customers matter. We will tenaciously protect all of them.

He added more later (I’ve combined the later responses into one, separated by line breaks):

If ideas are King… what do you do if they are taken? Roll over and pretend that everything is OK? Sorry. I don’t do that. Especially when people’s jobs are at stake. I fight.
If someone breaks into your house and steals all your possessions… you call the police. When someone takes your ideas, inventions and designs, you call your attorneys. That is life.

This is a REDCODE RAW issue… one that many have acknowledged for years as a core invention of RED and incredibly important to what we all are doing.

REDCODE RAW is not “rounded corners”. It is fundamental to recording high resolution images on camera to small media. It is brilliant. And it is no surprise that others have finally figured out (several years later) that the only way to get where they need to go is through this path. Hindsight is spectacularly clear.

So why even bother with this? Well, there are two sides to every story, and I firmly believe in covering both of them. If Sony has a statement (which would not likely be forthcoming about any details or opinions), I will share that as well. I’ve said a few times that I think the patent system in the United States needs some work, but if someone is granted a patent, it’s not up for the people to decide what’s right and what’s wrong — it’s up to the legal system. This is exactly what happened with the Litepanels case which now requires all infringing manufacturers to license the technology in order to continue making and distributing LED panels for film use in the United States.

What’s interesting about this case is that patent issues or licensing could be one of the reasons most companies have not tackled RAW compression in their motion picture cameras. Canon and Arri are both sending out uncompressed RAW to third-party recorders (and avoiding recording internally altogether), and Blackmagic, Digital Bolex, Ikonoskop, and Aaton are all recording uncompressed CinemaDNG internally to SSDs. CinemaDNG is an open format from Adobe, but recently they developed a compressed JPEG option for their stills DNG archive format. We’ll see if that finds its way into motion cameras and if that development potentially infringes on any RED patents.

Currently the only other motion RAW format that is similar to RED’s REDCODE RAW and is being used in cameras right now is GoPro’s CineForm RAW (both are wavelet codecs based on JPEG2000). I had read in the past that CineForm and RED had some sort of agreement, but it’s unclear where that stands right now. There are two digital cinema cameras that I know of recording to CineForm RAW: the 2/3″ SI-2K camera, and the Kinefinity KineRAW-S35 (which is not yet shipping in the United States).

If anyone else or someone from RED would like to add anything regarding CineForm RAW (or the case in general), feel free to share below in the comments.

What do you guys think?

Link: Patent lawsuit — REDUser

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  3. BBC to Lay Down the Law: Sony PMW-100 Will Not Be Certified

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  • On August 18, 2008, Red filed a lawsuit against the electronics company LG over its use of the name Scarlet.[35] Jannard accused LG “…of taking the “Scarlet” brand name from the camera company, despite RED’s denial of their request.”[36]

    On September 23, 2011 Jim Jannard announced that his personal email account was compromised by former Arri executive Michael Bravin.[37] A lawsuit against Arri was filed at the end of 2011.[38] James H. Neale, attorney for defendants filed a declaration in support of Arri’s opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Oct 29, 2012 saying Red has not yet identified the allegedly misappropriated trade secrets. Arri has produced nearly 3,000 pages of documents. Red wants all documents relating to ARRI’s development and marketing of the Alexa camera and to its efforts to compete with RED. He also claims that Gregory Weeks (attorney for Red) mischaracterizes the parites’ meet and confer discussions and their respective proposed resolutions. The evidence strongly suggests that RED’s purpoted trade secret claimes are a pretext for obtaining untrammeled access to the sensitive information of its competitor, ARRI. The plaintiff RED has provided nothing in discovery.

    On June 27, 2012 Red sued Wooden Camera, a manufacturer of third party accessories, for copyright infringement.[39]

    Red.com sued Netcast et all Sept 16, 2008 8:2008-cv-01030 Breach of Contract (alter ego)[40]

    Red.com sued Silicon for Breach of Contract June 9, 2010, case number 30-2010-00379482 Santa Ana Superior Court. Case dismissed.[citation needed] Notice to Share Holders, On June 9, 2010 the company was named in a lawsuit…Red.com alleges breach of contract, fraud and negligent misrepresentation. Last update to share holders; On or about February 2, 2011, the company received a proposed draft settlement agreement from Red.com. Subsequently, on March 3,2011, the parties entered into a settlement agreement, which was substantially different from the terms of Red.com’s proposed settlement agreement. The settlement did not result in any payment by the Company and accourdingly, did not have any adverse impact on the Company’s financial position, results of operations or cash flow.

    Red.com sued Wind River System for Breach of Contract,Fraud, and Negligent representation (service agreement) Nov 14,2008 Superior Court Snata Clara County, State of California. dismissed.[citation needed] Notice to share holders. On Nov 14, 2008 Red.Com filed a complaint against the company in the Superior Court of the State of California, Santa Clara County. The complaint assers causes of action against the company for fraud in the inducement, brach of contract and negligent representation in connection with services agreeement entered into between the company and Red in Jan 2006…..The company beleives that Red’s complaint is without merit and intends to defent this matter vigorously. On Jan 2, 2009 the company filed a cross-complaint against Red for breach of contract in connection with Red’s failure to pay outsatnding invoices and for breach of contract and conversion/trespass to chattels in connection with Red’s unauthorized distribution of Wind River VxWorks operating system to end users.

    Red.com sued Pixellexis August 2, 2011 over RedBrix Case Number 8:2011cv01155 On August 14, 2011 Pixellexis announced that it had ceased its operation and would no longer sell any products. Pixellexis went out of business. [41]

    Red.com sued Usability.pro et all.(alter ego) April 7, 2010 30-2010-00360802They countered sued 2010 Orange County Superior Court System.[citation needed] However, unbeknownst to Usability.Pro at the time of entering into these arrangements with Red.com, Red.com’s modus operandi is to hire outside vendors to perform valuable services, import the work product in-house, and then refuse to make all payments owned under the contracts and sue to recover whatever Red.com paid, asserting trumped up allegations of fraud and breach of contract. Red.com has failed to make good on promises it made to its customers to bring the Epic and Scarlet camera systems to the market in 2010. To cover up for its own inability to develop marketable products, Red.com launched a campaign to blame its own failfure on outside partners, designers and manufacturers with whom it contracted to assist in developing Red.com’s camera products. Rather than acknowledge and address its own shortcomings, Red.com’s approach to blame others rather than taking responsibility runs directly counter to the image it seeks to promote in the market as a self-reliant, visionary company that engages in “straight talk” with its customors.

    Red.com sued Uniqoptics,et all in 2010, 2:11-cv-03611-VFB-JEM Trademark (Lanham Act)case dismissed. [42]

    Red.com sued Uniqoptics et all in Orange County Superior Court 30-2010-00373507 May 2010, Breach of Contract, Fraud. Ongoing litigation

    Red.com and Landmine Media sued Andrew Reid and EOSHD (a blogger), on Oct 6, 2010 for Slander, Publication of facts placing in false light, trademark infringement, and unfair competition. Mr Andrew Reid changed in Terms and Conditions and case was dismissed. [43]

    Red.com sued Nightsky Hosting, Inc dba R3DDATA, Case No8:12-cv-00034-DOC-MLG Jan. 9, 2012.[citation needed]

    Red.com sued Epic Games May 5, 2008 8:08-cv-00494-DOC-An

    Red.com sued 24P LLC Sept 13, 2007 sacv 07-1013-jvs mlgx (counter claimant)

    WIPO CASES Brian Schoemholz et all Trio Films/Cine Red Compalint Denied Zimrat Goldstein from Ontario Canada Redcamfilms slu (complaint denied

  • There is no copyright on ideas, processes, systems! There is just copyright on specific work, on the particular execution of the idea, process, system!
    That is the foundation of the US Copyright Office, other copyright offices and of patent offices.

    If Sony has copied the raw compression in its particular execution from RED, it is a violation of copyright/ patent.
    If Sony or any other company or person does programm a raw compression – the same idea – with some different processes and systems, that is their right!

    Everyone can develop car engines, bulbs, car wheels, TV sets and so on. They were invented from others.
    It is only violation of copyright/patent, if it is copied 1:1 or is very similar in execution!

    Red doesn’t have the right to forbit others compressing raw files, if these others use the same idea of compressing raw files and execute it in some different way!

    If RED would be in the right with its forbiddance, than RED doesn’t have the right to write in letters and speak in a code named English language. It was invented and developed by others!

    But RED writes in letters and speaks in a code named English, but in his own words! Red has the right to do that, because RED does not copy texts from others! RED uses the idea of communicating speach, but executes it in his own way!

    OK?

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