In an ongoing dispute over whether KesslerCrane's upcoming CineShooter motion control head will be "ripped off" or not, eMotimo has responded to Kessler's response to the allegations.
After reporting on the recently announced KesslerCrane CineShooter motion control head, some users have pointed out that eMotimo's ST4 motion control head looks very similar to the upcoming Kessler CineShooter head.
KesslerCrane responded to the allegations in an email from CEO Eric Kessler to us – CineD reported here.
Now the founder of eMotimo – Brian Burling – has published an article on eMotimo's blog to clarify his view of the matter.
Emotimo replies indirectly to KesslerCrane
The Burling article states that all providers mutually influence each other, but add a tinge in the direction of Kessler:
As a hardware manufacturer, we expect to be copied, imitated, and ripped off, just not typically from the Midwest or from the United States as a whole.
He then continues to list similarities between the heads of the eMotimo ST4 and the Kessler CineShooter and suggests comparing the two heads visually:
- Nodal or L Design – yes and of course eMotimo didn't invent this
- Has the brain and the multi-axis controller built into the pan / tilt head
- The external motor FIZ connectors are low and are located on the right surface of the base
- It has a Vmount / Gold Mount plate option to power the vertical rocker arm surface with internally wired power
- There is a user feedback screen on the bottom of the base
- It has a 4 or 8 way joystick to control menus and on-screen navigation
- Uses an Arca-compatible clamp with a forward locking button on the tilt axis
- Uses a pan arca plate attached to the pan axis for attachment to sliders and tripods
- The camera support system consists of two parts with a one-way dovetail on the vertical surface and a two-part dovetail on the horizontal surface
Based on the physical similarities, he comes to the conclusion that Kessler made the same (or very similar) design decisions as eMotimo when designing the CineShooter with his ST4.
Emotimo: What Kessler did is definitely legal
Burling believes that this may be either:
Kessler sat down and deliberately took these combinations of design elements out of the ST4 and was simply not creative enough to mask them with a unique shape.
Kessler independently conducted a form study, mood board, and user test, and spent a lot of time figuring out why all the elements should be where they are and why they should be there, and developed the same concepts as eMotimo.
Burling explains that both ways are legal, but emphasizes that disgruntled eMotimo users deserve an answer from the company whose loyal customers they are and that they defend so emotionally.
It's best to read Brian Burling's post yourself if you're interested in the controversy. We at CineD will not make judgments because we are neither lawyers nor patent specialists. However, it's fair to add Emoticim's response to KesslerCrane's response to the allegations.