Red versus Arri. In court, not the cinema.

Ooh, there's nothing like a bit of corporate espionage and cat-fighting amongst camera manufacturers to kick off the new year. Not content with seeing former Arri VP of Market Development for Digital Camera Products, Michael Bravin, done for computer fraud and email hacking, Red is alleging that he was engaged in unfair trade practices and the misappropriation of trade secrets - amongst other charges - too.

In September last year, Michael Bravin pleaded guilty to unlawfully accessing the email server of a third camera manufacturer, Band Pro Film & Digital, when he was in Arri's employ. After a bit of negotiation, he was sentenced to two years' probabtion for his misdemeanours.

Red, though, thinks that because at that time it was engaged in secret discussions with Band Pro about a potential joint venture, Bravin was also illicitly privy to sensitive information regarding Red's technology. Not only that, but he then passed on this information to Arri's Chief Technology Officer and its VP of Camera Products. Naturally it follows that Arri used this information to give its Alexa an edge over Red's Epic. If you ask Red, this puts Arri in the wrong.

There's more, too. Red is also claiming that Arri indulged in a bit of false advertising just before it launched the Alexa. It doesn't specify just what was false about Arri's claims, it all reads like standard PR to me, except that it said that the film I Hate You, Dad was filmed on an Alexa when it was really shot on Red.

My favourite claim, though, has to be that Bravin participated in discussion over on using a pseudonym (something's that's against blog policy) to slate the Epic and direct people towards the Alexa.

Red wants a jury trial to seek damages, disgorgement, restitution, and injunctive relief to cover all of these shenanigans.

In keeping with my proclivity to imagine corporate scandals and sagas as films, I was originally inclined to cast this one as a silent melodrama. The more that I think about it, though, it's a highschool drama, complete with cliques and foot-stomping.

(Headsup to Engadget and The Wrap)