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Rotolight has unfavorable review video taken down with DMCA claim

By Anthony Thurston on July 30th 2013


One of the best parts about the internet video revolution in my mind is the availability of product reviews, not just in the photography world but in virtually every market. Just go to YouTube and search for whatever product you are curious about and you will likely find at least a handful of video reviews. Some might be good reviews, others may be bad, some indifferent, but that is the glory of the system. No matter how good the marketing is for a product you can see what other consumer’s experiences have been like and make your own decision. That is what makes the following story so irritating…

Den Lennie of F-Stop Academy recently did a product review/comparison video featuring the Rotolight Anova, Dedo Softbox, and Kino Flo Celeb in which he found the Rotolight Anova lacking. Rotolight took exception to this review and issued a DMCA takedown to vimeo who promptly removed the video from the site. He posted this video on facebook further explaining the situation…

As he mentioned in the video, this is eerily similar to the fairly recent GoPro vs DigitalRev situation in which a review was removed via DMCA even though no copyright infringement occurred in the video.

That is two cases this year too many of this kind of crap. I am all for the DMCA , but something has got to be changed here. There needs to be some sort of mandatory investigation by the hosting provider before anything is taken down. Even if it is as simple as the copyright holder saying “this is where they infringed” and then the hosting company checks to see that is accurate. But this taken down first, ask questions later crap is so wrong i am slightly surprised no one has pursued any legal action against hosts or companies that misuse the law like this.

What are your thoughts on this? Is Rotolight in the right here? or are they over stepping? Let us know in a comment below.

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Rotolight

    Rotolight have announced a new Range of Rotolight ANOVA V2 LED EcoFlood’s. Recently tested out on a shoot by BBC Lighting Cameraman/DoP Mark Langton here’s the video shot with a Sony F5 Camera on a controlled set and used with mixed traditional tungsten bulbs.
    Den Lennie checked out the New ANOVA’s at IBc 2013 and said “New @Rotolight ANOVA V2 is V impressive. Great Colour output. Look forward to using it. G8 upgrade for existing V1 Owners too”

    Den Lennie and Hollywood DoP Rodney Charters will be testing them out shortly. Check out Rodney Charters interview discussing the recent publicity and the new ANOVA’s

    Find out more about the Rotolight ANOVA upgrade programme

    BBC Cameraman Mark Langton recently independently shot with the Rotolight ANOVA V2’s on a controlled set; here’s the video with the results when mixed with traditional tungsten lighting

    For more info go to

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  2. Baer1

    After reading Rotolight’s ‘Official Statement’ I understand that the bad review was due to a defective product which is the fault of Rotolight’s manufacturing error. Although this could have been resolved in a more civil manner, forcing Vimeo to pull the video is disgraceful and heavy-handed and a bully tactic which is often reserved by larger companies.

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  3. Bill

    Rotolight has an official press statement on the matter:

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  4. Black Z Eddie

    They over stepped. And, Vimeo is a cowardly ass.

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  5. Philip Bloom

    Hi Anthony,

    Wondering why a frame from my Blackmagic review blurred was used to illustrate the pulled down video? I have nothing to do with the story which makes it odd to me (well other than supporting Den!)



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    • Anthony T.

      Just grabbed a video from my favorites on Vimeo and blurred it. Apparently not blurred enough if you can tell which video it was, haha. I can switch it out if its an issue.

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    • philip bloom

      nah that’s fine. just curious. wasnt even me who spotted it

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  6. Dirk Beichert

    I think manufacturers don’t fully understand yet, how much negative effect this has to them…

    Or hasn’t it? May it be that some of the readers see this behaviour and choose a different brand, but in the long run, they’re better of with having no negative reviews live?

    : /

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  7. Sush

    Is it DCMA or DMCA?

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