In a David vs Goliath lawsuit, California based company Red Digital Cinema sues Sony for patent infringement claiming that Sony's latest video cameras, F65, F55, and the F5, use Red's patented technology without proper licensing.
Jim Jannard, founder of Red Digital Cinema, pioneered the revolution of digital cinematic filmmaking when his company released the Red One camera in 2007. The Red One was the first digital cinematic camera in history that could shoot raw footage at 4K resolution which was comparable to the resolution quality of traditional 35 mm film used in big budget movies.
Peter Jackson with his Red Epic camera
Not only did Red's technology give independent filmmakers the ability to shoot digitally with cinematic film quality, it opened a door for them to own a digital cinematic camera for a fraction of the cost of owning or even renting a 35 mm film camera. Red's technology caused Hollywood studios to take notice. With the ease of editing digital footage and lower production costs, digital filmmaking started becoming the standard for filmmakers making traditional 35 mm film cameras obsolete. Since the Red One's release, hundreds of movies have been "shot on Red" (a term coined by Red.com), the most recent being Peter Jackson's The Hobbit and Mike Webb's The Amazing Spiderman which were shot on Red's Epic cameras at 4K resolution.
Red's lawsuit demands that Sony destroy all F65, F55 and F5 cameras by issuing a cease and desist order.
In suing Sony, RED claims loss of sales, reduced business and profit, and that the general reputation of RED has been damaged as a result of the alleged patent infringements.
The three patents included in the RED Vs Sony Civil Case are 8,174,560: “Video camera” 8,358,357: “Video camera” and 8,175,560: “Method and system for tuning an antenna.” - Cinescopophilia
In Jim Jannard's own words:
In 2005 I started RED because the other guys had it wrong. Today, we look smarter than we did seven years ago even though our story has not changed. The only difference is that the other companies seem to want to ignore what we have done. I won't let that happen. - Jim Jannard on RedUsers.net
Jannard also posted the following message to Red owners explaining why Red started the lawsuit against Sony. The message was posted on RedUser.net on February 14, 2013:
#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.
#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.
Jim - as posted on RedUser.net[
On the same day of Jannard's post to Red users, Sony released their latest Justin Timberlake music video "Suit and Ties", directed by Academy Award nominee David Fincher and ironically shot on five of Red Epic M Monochrome cameras, the latest in digital film technology.
Watch Sony's latest music video of Justin Timberlake and JayZ which was shot on Red Digital's latest Epic-M Monochrome cameras
Read the details of the lawsuit at:
Red.com v. Sony Corporation of America et. al.