In an ongoing argument about KesslerCrane’s upcoming CineShooter motion control head being “ripped off” or not, eMotimo has chimed in with a reaction to Kessler’s reply to the accusations.
After we reported about KesslerCrane’s recently announced CineShooter motion control head, some users have been pointing out the fact that eMotimo’s ST4 motion control head looks very similar to Kessler’s upcoming CineShooter head.
KesslerCrane has reacted to the allegations in an email by CEO Eric Kessler to us – CineD reported here.
Now the founder of eMotimo—Brian Burling—posted an article on eMotimo’s blog to clarify his view of the matter.
emotimo indirectly replies to KesslerCrane
In the article Burling states that all vendors influence each other, but adds a stab in Kessler’s direction:
As a hardware manufacturer, we expect to get copied, imitated, and ripped off, just not typically from the midwest or in the US at large.
He then continues to list similarities between the eMotimo ST4 and the Kessler CineShooter heads and suggests to compare both heads visually:
- Nodal or L Design – yes and of course eMotimo didn’t invent this
- Has the brains and multiaxis controller built in to the Pan/Tilt head
- The external motor FIZ connectors are low and on the right surface of the base
- It has a Vmount/Gold Mount plate option for power on the vertical tilt arm surface with internally wired power
- It has a screen on the bottom surface of its base for user feedback
- It has 4 or 8 way control stick to drive menus and navigation on the screen
- Uses an Arca Compatible Clamp with a front-facing lock knob on the tilt axis
- Uses a pan arca plate attached to the pan axis for attachment to sliders and tripods
- Camera support system is a two-part with a one-way dovetail on the vertical surface and a two-part dovetail on the horizontal surface
Based on the physical similarities his conclusion is that Kessler, when designing the CineShooter, came to the same (or very similar) design decisions as eMotimo with their ST4.
emotimo: What Kessler did is legal in any case
In Burling’s view that is possibly by either:
Kessler sat down and took those combinations of design elements intentionally from the ST4 and just wasn’t creative enough to mask it with a unique form.
Kessler independently ran a form study, mood board, user tests, and spent a ton of time figuring out why all the elements should be where they are and why they should be there and came up with the same concepts eMotimo did.
Burling states that both ways are legal, but emphasizes that upset eMotimo users deserve a response from the company they are loyal customers of, and are defending so emotionally.
It’s best to read Brian Burling’s post yourself if you are interested in the controversy. We at CineD won’t make any judgments, because we are neither lawyers nor patent specialists – but adding emotimo’s reaction to KesslerCrane’s response to the accusations is the fair thing to do.