Red Cameras and Industrial Espionage

An intriguing battle has begun between Arri, the world’s largest manufacturer of motion picture cameras, and Red, the popular new kid on the block that has won support from filmmakers such as Peter Jackson.

Red has accused Arri of email hacking and industrial espionage, and it appears they have a good case. Former Arri executive Michael Bravin has admitted to hacking the email of Band Pro chief executive Amnon Band between December 2009 through June 2010. According to Red, it went something like this:

– Bravin originally worked for Band Pro as chief technology officer.
– Jan 2010: Bravin left Band Pro and went to work for Arri as VP of market development, digital camera products.
– Dec 2009 – Jun 2010: Bravin accesses his old boss’s email. During this time, Band Pro was discussing a joint venture with Red, and a great deal of commercially-sensitive material was exchanged. Bravin gave this material to Arri, who used it to help develop new products.

Notably, the Arri Alexa camera was released in 2010 in direct competition with Red’s Epic. However it should also be noted that the first Alexa prototype was unveiled in February 2010, only about one month after Bravin joined the team.

Red’s lawsuit was filed December 21, 2011, in Orange County, Calif.

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