Red Digital Cinema Sues Arri in Federal Court

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Thu, 01/12/2012 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

In a story that has been widely reported Red Digital Cinema has sued Arri and former Arri employee Michael Bravin. Red claims that while at Arri Bravin hacked into the emails of his former employer Burbank reseller Band Pro Film & Digital which was discussing possible joint ventures with Red. Bravin and spokesmen for Arri and Band Pro all declined the opportunity to comment for this article. Red did not respond to my request for a comment. In or about December 2009 Bravin resigned at Band Pro and in January 2010 he joined Arri. Red is informed and believes and thereupon alleges that Bravin was employed as vice-president of market development for digital camera products and worked out of Arri's Burbank office the complaint states. Bravin without permission and unlawfully accessed and/or copied thousands of emails from the Band Pro server including emails from Red personnel specifically including Jim Jannard. Red is informed and believes and thereupon alleges that Bravin's purpose in reviewing these numerous emails on a regular basis for a over half a year at the same time Arri was attempting to launch its [Alexa] camera was corporate espionage and an effort was to gain confidential proprietary information regarding competitors including Red to provide Arri an unfair business advantage against its competitors including Red in bringing its Arri Alexa camera to market the complaint states. In August Bravin was indicted with computer fraud and email hacking and has since pleaded guilty to illegally accessing Band Pro's email server in a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office. During December 2009 and July 2010 Bravin used the forum to make disparaging remarks regarding Red and encouraging viewers to instead look for and purchase the Arri Alexa camera. Among other things Bravin falsely asserted that the Arri Alexa camera was a superior camera to the Red Epic camera and otherwise attempted to encourage Red users to use the Arri camera and divert sales from Red according to the complaint. The complaint also accuses Arri of false advertising and alleges that the movie I Hate You Dad was shot on the Alexa when it was in fact shot with the Red. Red is reportedly seeking unspecified damages.