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Andrew Reid

RED respond to Apple in compressed RAW patent battle

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8 hours ago, tweak said:

Zcam would, 100%.

I was referring more to the major players. 

1 hour ago, Shaocaholica said:

Not everyone will have the same optimistic view of a winning scenario.  A win for an observer may as well be a huge perceived loss in both income and reputation for either party.

Yeah, in a battle between Apple and Red I'm not sure any of us win. It may open up compressed RAW for most of us, but giving Apple even more control and dominance makes me uneasy. 

1 hour ago, etudiant said:

Don't think so.

Apple is hugely bigger than RED, if they lose, it is only bit of money.

RED however is fighting for its life, a loss would almost certainly decimate the enterprise value and make an outside takeover vastly more likely.

Which may be Apple's intention. I know some don't think they have any interest in a camera company, but they're making moves in the streaming market, which ultimately leads everyone into producing their own original content. Apple looking to gain a foothold into the cinema industry isn't unrealistic. 

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1 hour ago, Lars Steenhoff said:

Red does not need a patent to make the cameras.  so there will be no problem for red if they lose the patent, they can keep on making the same camera as they did before.

And they can keep making money.

While true, a lot of revenue would be lost by the influx of third parties that would be able to release accessories that Red was once able to sell for thousands of dollars. 

Those Mini Mags that started this I can almost guarantee have a significantly higher profit margin than their actual cameras. Those cameras need those "proprietary" accessories to function, and are a huge part of RED's business. 

RED cameras were designed that way for a reason. Creating your own ecosystem, while using patents and legal threats to keep others from selling third party products, wasn't an accident. 

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1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

I was referring more to the major players. 

Yeah, in a battle between Apple and Red I'm not sure any of us win. It may open up compressed RAW for most of us, but giving Apple even more control and dominance makes me uneasy. 

Which may be Apple's intention. I know some don't think they have any interest in a camera company, but they're making moves in the streaming market, which ultimately leads everyone into producing their own original content. Apple looking to gain a foothold into the cinema industry isn't unrealistic. 

As of now REDs loose patent is blocking an industry from going ahead with their own compressed RAW solution.

If the patent falls, everyone in the industry will be able to move ahead with their compressed RAW solution of choice. Apples codec - although a heavy force - is only being one of many.

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2 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

I was referring more to the major players. 

So was I, Zcam are a major player IMO. (I mean if your camera is better than the "major players" and costs less, then you're a "major player" in my book :) ).

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Rumour has it that the top of the line iPhone 11 will be called iPhone 11 Pro. Maybe Apple wants to put ProResRAW in it as part of its "Pro" moniker? Having to pay a license to RED on a quadzillion iPhones would mean millions of dollars. Apple doesn't want to do that year after year.

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1 hour ago, DmitriZigany said:

Rumour has it that the top of the line iPhone 11 will be called iPhone 11 Pro. Maybe Apple wants to put ProResRAW in it as part of its "Pro" moniker? Having to pay a license to RED on a quadzillion iPhones would mean millions of dollars. Apple doesn't want to do that year after year.

Yes, I think this has to do with compressed RAW on camera phones as well as ProRes RAW in the industry as a whole.If Apple wins, they win big. with compressed RAW into their cameras with no royalty fees and promote ProRes RAW in the cinema industry, which btw they have a really fast and accelerated $50,000 mac they would like to sell you! 🤣 IF they lose, they probably pay a settlement fee and perhaps bully RED into negotiating a licensing fee to make the lawyers go away. They've done a cost analysis on this. It's interesting times!

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2 hours ago, Display Name said:

As of now REDs loose patent is blocking an industry from going ahead with their own compressed RAW solution.

If the patent falls, everyone in the industry will be able to move ahead with their compressed RAW solution of choice. Apples codec - although a heavy force - is only being one of many.

I don't disagree that it's preventing innovation, but what's the most likely outcome here? Apple cementing itself even further. We're exchanging one greedy overlord for another. 

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51 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

I don't disagree that it's preventing innovation, but what's the most likely outcome here? Apple cementing itself even further. We're exchanging one greedy overlord for another. 

Yes that is one outcome. 

But say Apple turns really greedy over lord and adds 3 zeros to what ever RED is charging. 

As the compressed raw market then would be open, one by one would move away from Apples PRRaw as they could not afford it. Because Apple would be over charging on an open market with many other solutions. Both free and proprietary ones. 

Apple have nothing at all to benefit from that.

Today all the options we have are all neutered one way or another. With one greedy over lord. 

Is that a better situation?

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47 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

I don't disagree that it's preventing innovation, but what's the most likely outcome here? Apple cementing itself even further. We're exchanging one greedy overlord for another. 

RED can still sell cameras with REDCODE.

ARRI can still sell cameras with ProRes, ProRes RAW or cDNG.

Any manufacturer can release a camera with compressed RAW.

Sigma can release the fp with cDNG and ProRes RAW internal.

Blackmagic could expand BRAW.

Apple is seeking to invalidate the patent. They aren't taking control of it.

Then the market will settle the rest. 

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All that can indeed happen, plenty of room in the market for everyone. But it would be foolish of RED to not enforce their legal rights where there's millions of dollars involved in potential licensing fees so I can see why they are engaging Apple in the patent dispute. In the smartphone industry as well this happens all the time, and they can all sell their similar technology but somebody needs to sort out the economic side, and that's what the US patent office is for I guess.

Personally, as a filmmaker I just want everything for free :)

Come on Nikon hurry up with that internal ProRes RAW for $1.5k

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21 hours ago, Shaocaholica said:

Why doesn’t prores have a license free open source alternative?  It’s not that complicated of a feature set.  Any of the major camera makers could roll one out pretty easily.

There is. It's called FFMPEG. Selling cameras with unlicensed Prores is risky business and no one wants to mess with Apple.

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6 minutes ago, Savannah Miller said:

Are you suggesting someone develop a new prores-like codec that is NOT prores?

Yes but why hasn’t it been done in the decades since?  It’s not a complex codec.  If Apple asks so much for it why not just roll your own and make it free.  I guess Apple prices their licensing just below what the development and maintenance costs would roughly be?

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13 minutes ago, Savannah Miller said:

Why doesn’t prores have a license free open source alternative?

The best I can say regarding that concept.  Open source is rad and it works in some circumstances.  Specifically some companies who have provided open source code that has become popular are funded by profits of their other endeavors or occasionally funded by "the people" or a horde of individuals involved.

When it comes to codec development, optimization, broad adoption, and deployment you are looking at things that take a fair bit of time, effort, and money.  Making a bulletproof codec isn't that easy, same for the SDK required.  It's not as easy to make something "free" when all of it costs something to produce.  Good programmers are $$$,$$$ a year, a few great ones higher than that.  You can get it done on the cheap for sure, but it would be a real hard sale despite being free if there's no deep support behind it.  The first several years of a codec being out there are really days of sink or swim.  

Case in point.  Whatever was the case and journey with BRAW on the BMD side of things, one thing a lot of people forget is nobody on the software side was truly supporting or funding hardcore development to keep CDNG relevant even outside of patent concerns that were hinted at.  Adobe removed it from the LAB in 2017 as well as general support in their own software due to performance issues and perhaps even due to BMD competing in the NLE space now.  Really won't ever now the full story there.  At least with partially debayered BRAW they have an ecosystem they can control, update, and innovate towards at their own pace.  So many were grumpy about BRAW taking over, but every post house I've ever been involved with had very negative things to say about CDNG in terms of workflow along the way.

FFMPEG is indeed unofficial ProRes, it's one of those things.  There's been several paid for plugins that no longer exist even that tapped into that because whoever went after them.  I'm sure a few pennies from a monthly Adobe subscription these days goes towards an Apple ProRes license now that it's supported fully on Windows via CC.  But it costs coin to do it right.

ProRes was actually done well.  DNxHR, though a bit late to the party, similar.  It became easy to deploy via SDK and everybody had hardware that can support decent playback.

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Open source = socialism ;)

I agree it works for certain things but it can end up with a race to the bottom just like people on YouTube giving away all their knowledge for free - some has to be paid, otherwise, how do you invest the money back into making more?

What I think Blackmagic are up to is interesting, regarding the Pocket 4K and 6K - it's almost like a loss-leader for Resolve - How can Blackmagic make any money whatsoever on the prices of the Pocket cameras, especially the 4K? So why does it exists, what business purpose does it serve? Most likely it exists to further the adoption of Resolve and feed into their ecosystem in the pro world.

Would RED be open to licensing REDCODE to companies like Panasonic for an S1H-style camera, or is that never something Jarred, Graeme, Jim et al have considered?

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34 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

How can Blackmagic make any money whatsoever

BMD makes a considerable profit from the support hardware that drives much of the broadcast, filmmaking, and streaming industry.  Though their cameras sell very well, it's the other products that actually truly drive their business.  I have two fist fulls of Decklink products, I have no idea how many little converter boxes, and about to pull a trigger on one of their newer boxes.  Good products with a handsome markup, sometimes very, very handsome.  But this allows for the continued ecosystem of low priced, decent value cameras while also keeping Resolve "free" or extremely cheap to purchase.  BMD couldn't just be a camera company without those other products, the profits from their other activities is what actually led to them being a camera company.  

Don't know about licensing REDCODE or anything, but rather publicly there's been some sort of interactions between Sony and Atomos along the way, we just don't know the details or even results from whatever transpired.  There would likely be a cost/value assessment for licensing any tech, but if you've got something good that makes you unique, it would be tough to fork that over to a competitor without a kings ransom I imagine even if you were to entertain the concept at all.

To be profitable on YouTube, and I mean actually making decent money, it requires building a brand and presence.  Figuring out your genre, angle, and executing it well is key.  Sticking to the tech side of things when you look at a guy like MKBHD for instance, he started out making fairly amateurish looking content.  He had the energy and talent, but not the polish and experience.  He kept at it, grew, and locked in on what made his content good, invested in areas of production value, and is now a well oiled machine of content generation and in turn has become a brand all his own.   Same for Pewdiepie (though it's certainly sometimes quantity over quality with some of that content), Neistat, etc.  Those are all personality channels that have led to individuals as a brand.  There's other entities who have really popular channels with variety content and all that.  Buzzfeed comes to mind and they are full studio producing content at this point.  It is at the end of the day about making good content if you want to gain an audience, gaining that momentum, and keeping at it is pretty hard if you are doing weekly or even daily work.  Keeping the quality of the content consistent is another hurdle for sure.  At whatever point, there's a saturation level where your videos from past to present have lots of views and will continue to do so forever, so you in essence are building a library of material that can make you income for a long time, which adds to the monthly payout.  That's outside of any sponsorship or side gigs any of these peeps might have.  Neistat is a filmmaker and occasionally does jobs for instance outside of the bazillion other things he's up to.  And he's kept his energy up and even opened up about that struggle and pressure from time to time.  It ain't easy once you've got some traction.

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Nice to see you Phil here around : ) Let's help Jarred and Andrew (disclaimer: I love these two guys and what they're doing!) to put both on track to keep going in peace and serve even better our community? (E : -)

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