November 5, 2013 by absolutemotion
Many of you who were at NAB this year had the chance to meet Sean Mullen and hopefully visited his Rampant Design Tools booth at the plugin pavilion.
Sean is an outstanding graphics and effects artist and was one of the original designers at Digital Juice. If you ever used clips from the Compositors or Motion Designers Toolkit series, that was probably some of Sean’s work.
Sean left Juice a few years ago and founded Rampant Design with an eye on quality. His Rampant Design Tools discs are really the gold standard in their segment of the industry and his dedication is evident in every DVD he creates.
As some of you know, Sean and his small company are currently under siege by his former employer, Digital Juice.
Back in the day I had mixed feelings about Digital Juice, but there is no doubt their products are widely used. These days the former Florida based company has outsourced their operations to India, where rather than innovate has decided to package knockoffs of their competitors products. And while I don’t like it, I recognize it’s not an uncommon (if not shady) practice.
But in Sean’s case, Juice isn’t just creating cheap knockoffs– they in fact have been stealing much of Sean’s work outright. The ideas, the presentation, the product names are nearly all direct ripoffs. But why stop there? Juices’s Indian “designers”, maybe figuring no one would notice, even stole some of his clips and repurposed them as their own (watch this short video for an example: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nWbSJYkSG0>).
Sean’s company, like many of ours, is very small– basically it’s he and his wife. They work harder than anyone I know to provide truly useful post production tools and don’t cut any corners.
Digital Juice on the other hand is a large well established brand– with deep pockets for attorneys. I would imagine Sean is defending himself against Digital Juice, and yes he is in the right. But by DJ having moved to India, this would now be an international intellectual property and copyright infringement case and as such is both murkier and much more expensive.
Bottom line is Sean is being crushed by Digital Juice’s theft and they seem to trying to run him out of business.
This is reprehensible behavior by a well known brand feeling threatened by a superior product from a smaller competitor (and they’ve done this before– check out this video <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqlTXYGx-3A&feature=share>)
And they haven’t stopped. Juice continues to brazenly knockoff Rampant’s products practically as fast as Sean puts new ones on the market.
This really has to stop. I’m asking everyone to spread the word on this and if at all possible support Sean by buying some of his incredibly useful products.
Sean’s site is www.rampantdesigntools.com.