It looks like camera sling maker CarrySpeed is calling it quits for much the same reason that Luma Labs shut down the Loop. Their website is shutdown and from what I’ve heard, the reason is that the cost of defending themselves from Black Rapid’s patent claims was prohibitive. This for a …
CarrySpeed is the company from which I bought my camera sling. The plate connector was a little chunky, but I felt secure that the plate wouldn’t slowly loosen and put my camera at risk of falling to the ground.
I had considered the Luma Loop before I settled on CarrySpeed, and I loved it’s lean look, but it didn’t make me feel secure, and I wanted a plate that would also allow me to connect my camera to a tripod without having to dismantle it first.
Black Rapid’s were also on the list, but I felt they were charging more than I was prepared to pay and their shipping charges meant that I would be paying more on shipping than for the product itself.
As Duncan says, it should be up to the market to decide what they want to do. I understand a company needing to protect its patents, but at the same time, Black Rapid are not revolutionaries in this area. People have been DIY'ing similar solutions for decades, possibly since the invention of the gun sling (or even before) which the concept is very similar to. You can see records of these being used in the wild with instructions being sent around for years before Black Rapid started making them.
And it’s not a case of tall poppy syndrome. I completely agree that it’s a case of litigating over a patent that should never have been granted.