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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Red Digital Cinema: Corporate Espionage or Run-of-the-Mill Theft?

The Orange County offices of Red Digital Cinema were broken into on September 24th; among the things taken was a prototype of Red's first digital cinema camera, expected to hit the market in 2007. The OC Register has the story:

    The list price for RED ONE cameras is $17,500, compared with $100,000 for competitors' models. Initial production of the camera is scheduled for early 2007, according to the company's Web site.

    A Red Digital employee arrived at work shortly after noon Sept. 24 to find the office's front window smashed and hundreds of thousands of dollars in camera and computer equipment missing, [a sheriff's spokesman] said.

    A prototype for RED ONE, computer files relating to the camera's imaging sensor and four other pocket camera prototypes were among the missing items, Amormino said. A 50-inch plasma television, a 30-inch monitor, an Agenieux camera lens, an HBX 200 camera and several laptops were also stolen.

    The total property loss was $332,200.

    Sheriff's investigators are trying to determine whether Red Digital was the victim of industrial espionage or run-of-the-mill thieves. Several other neighborhood businesses have had their windows smashed and property stolen in recent weeks, investigators said...

My bet is that this was your standard break-in... but the possibility that it may have been a rival trying to spy on Red has more PR value, of course.

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