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Bruce Royce

RED MINI-MAG - Things you only thought you knew. Inside view, and RED SSD firmware

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RED claims they "invented" the RED MINI-MAG device (here: http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?147759-Cheap-third-party-Red-MiniMag-replacement-JinniMag&p=1649970&viewfull=1#post1649970)

And they developed their own IP and SSD firmware for it, and that RED MINI-MAG has significantly less card errors than other companies using even reputable generic media, (and so theirs is superior to a generic one) and RED spends millions of dollars testing, certifying and QCing every media they ship. (here: http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?147759-Cheap-third-party-Red-MiniMag-replacement-JinniMag&p=1649669&viewfull=1#post1649669)

Red claims the RED MINI-MAG device is made in USA. 

(footnotThis) is a link to Micron's response regarding RED claims for having a customised firmware on the RED MINI-MAG device.

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I don't think we ever thought the situation was anything different to that, did we?

P2 cards are four SD cards, for instance. Many companies have effectively repackaged commercial flash. I understand why they do it to a degree; they want to avoid being blamed for problems created by poor-quality storage, but as the general standard of NAND flash devices gets better and better there is less and less justification really.

P

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11 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

I don't think we ever thought the situation was anything different to that, did we?

I think the issue here is the deception and the fake outrage from Jarred Land. If it wasn't so obviously hypocritical, it might be easier to sympathize.

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So, what about "we invented" part? or "we developed our firmware"? or being unlike "other companies using generic media" part?
And what about the false capacity? (the capacity manufacturer states is the Max. LBA Unformatted, so don't give me formatting story)
What about "MADE IN USA" so they can unfairly take advantage of Buy American Act (BAA)?
What about saying this is patented (generic SSD in a box is patented?!!)
What about claimg Red write VERY differently on a card than a normal SSD is programmed for?
What about making false monopoly? Hurting third party businesses?  Abusing trust of their own customers...

You are not seriously suggesting all these are expected and fine. Are you?

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2 hours ago, Bruce Royce said:

You are not seriously suggesting all these are expected and fine. Are you?

 Phil's point is that RED are not the first manufacturer to have repackaged off the shelf components into a proprietary format, and they won't be the last. I agree that it's very annoying, and I find Jarred Land's deliberate deception and pretend outrage rather distasteful, but it's not surprising.

From reading some of the rest of the thread on REDuser, it seems you have a vested interest in this argument, so in the interests of transparency, perhaps you could explain your reasons for posting this here.

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I think the important thing to consider in the context of Red's rather shrill complaints about this is what the purpose of intellectual property rules actually is.

The reason we allow people (limited) exclusivity on their inventions is to encourage inventions. 

Does Red's storage system represent a particularly useful innovation, embodying any new discoveries or novel techniques?

Not really. It's a flash card. Lots of manufacturers make flash cards that could do much the same job. There's something to be said here about the more general problem of patent law and the behaviour of companies that use it. I wouldn't go so far as to call this patent trolling, particularly, as they're not trying to stop people making flash cards in general, but it might be a case of patenting a design which only exists for the purpose of making the design patentable.

That doesn't encourage anyone to do original or useful work. It encourages people to spend more money on patent lawyers than they do on R&D. It's profoundly counterrevolutionary in terms of what intellectual property law is supposed to do. In the end, it retards progress.

Legal professionals might make other arguments, and big expensive productions will always be cautious, which is completely understandable. In my view, though, something as simple as a flash card is something that should quite reasonably be open to competition.

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I don't know how I missed this before 🙂 They're up to episode 4 (available on YouTube) and episode 5 is in the pipeline.  I found it very entertaining viewing. I always thought Red were full of it with regard to who actually made their sensors and other equipment, and this confirms it.

But the big question remains: Why?!!

All the major manufacturers of electronic cameras seem to have no problems revealing who actually makes their sensors, and I could fully believe an outfit such as Sony could plausibly make their own.

Meanwhile, Apple are still haven't given up on overturning the Red "RAW" patents
https://petapixel.com/2019/08/19/apple-goes-after-red-over-keystone-raw-video-patent/ 

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I got as far as the end of his rather haphazard analysis of the first two contractual paragraphs, about firmware licensing.

As I suspect most of the people reading this will be aware, in the increasingly distant past I've voiced some fairly negative opinions of Red. I've long been unimpressed with what their cameras are (or at least were) capable of and the behaviour of the company, particularly its ability to make good on early claims of specification and performance. The forum threads cited in links above show senior company people shrieking like schoolchildren that someone's stealing a valuable innovation when, in my view, little or no actual innovation was involved.

I am not particularly inclined to be charitable toward Red.

Even so, quite a lot of the first two paragraphs he discusses is is a pretty normal, boilerplate software license agreement. Outside of software, similar things often hold. No film manufacturer is ever going to be willing to warrant the cost of reshoots if they ship you some duff negative and that probably isn't completely unreasonable. Still, it has been pointed out in the past that many software license agreements are in fact highly unreasonable  - for instance, if a laptop burns my house down and kills me, I'd like my relatives to be able to sue the company. Some license agreements attempt to wriggle out of that sort of liability and as such have been described as being, probably, in many jurisdictions, and in the very strictest sense, not actually enforceable. Unfortunately, it'd cost you a blockbuster budget in lawyers to establish that, and software companies get to win because they're rich, not because what they're doing is correct.

I wouldn't want to hazard a guess as to whether that's the case with Red, but the issue of arrogant unilateralism in software licensing is not a new complaint.

P

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