Orange County Business Journal

Red Files Lawsuit Against Arri, Bravin in Email Hacking Case

Kari Hamanaka Friday, December 23, 2011

Irvine-based Red.com Inc., which does business as Red Digital Cinema Camera Co., alleges it was a victim of email hacking, according to a lawsuit filed Dec. 21 against another camera manufacturer and a film industry executive.

Red Digital was started by Foothill Ranch-based Oakley Inc. founder Jim Jannard.

The company’s digital cameras have swiftly gained popularity among filmmakers and other camera users. Its credits include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Social Network, and the not-yet-released The Hobbit.

The lawsuit follows a plea agreement in September by Michael Bravin, a former vice president of market development for digital cameras at New York-based Arri Inc., a subsidiary of German film equipment maker Arri Group. Bravin admitted to accessing a computer owned by Burbank-based camera and production equipment company Band Pro Film & Digital Inc.

Bravin, a former chief technology officer at Band Pro, somehow obtained the user name and password for Band Pro Chief Executive Amnon Band during his employment.

Bravin left Band Pro in late 2009 for Arri. He continued accessing Band’s emails while at Arri, according to the plea agreement.

Red contends that Bravin’s unauthorized use of Band’s email account gave him access to electronic conversations between Band Pro and Red executives, including Jannard.

The lawsuit against Bravin and Arri alleges unfair competition, invasion of privacy and false advertising, among other complaints.

Red and Band Pro had been in discussions on a joint venture, with detailed information about the inner workings of Red’s cameras, specifically the Epic, shared in those emails, according to the lawsuit filed earlier this week.

Red’s lawsuit alleges Bravin used information from those emails to give Arri a competitive advantage with its Alexa camera, which was released in 2010 and is seen as a direct competitor to Red’s Epic.

The lawsuit also accuses Arri of false advertising in ads that pitted its cameras against Red.

Red alleges statements made in the ads about its cameras were false, including a line that the movie I Hate You, Dad was filmed on an Alexa. The movie was shot on a Red camera, according to the lawsuit.

Red is seeking unspecified damages, a permanent injunction to stop the ads from running and any Arri profits that resulted from Bravin’s actions.