List Of Manufacturers Faking ONVIF Conformance

Recall ONVIF Affirms No Policing, Abuse Away!

In that light, let's put together a list of manufacturers who claim to be ONVIF conformant in their marketing / sales material but are not listed on ONVIF's official product directory.

UPDATE: THE LIST

Here is the list:

  • Aventura
  • Blue Iris
  • Cantonk
  • Censee
  • Cisco
  • DragonEye
  • Eagle Eye
  • ELine
  • Foscam
  • Golbong
  • IC Realtime
  • Interlogix (NVRs)
  • I-View
  • Kentima (Ethiris VMS)
  • LaView
  • Linear
  • Longse
  • Kiwi Security
  • TT 'Intl
  • Vitek
  • Winic

We have deleted a number of manufacturers from the list who have since became ONVIF conformant.


Leading off, Chinese spam legend, Cantonk:

And here's another spam email this morning, with the subject header touting ONVIF:

No ONVIF support on ONVIF site.

Oh god......is ... is that.... is that Comic Sans.... in an advertisement....?

Rogier, you might be on to something. Maybe that's there way of saying that they are just kidding about having ONVIF support :)

One of my favorite fonts is "I Hate Comic Sans"

From the first page of a Google search for "ONVIF Conformance", Golbong claims ONVIF conformance in a video but not listed at all.

Just off the top of my head from products we've tested in the past 6-8 months:

All of them claiming "ONVIF support" (I guess it's clever that they didn't say "conformant") but none of them working even close to properly.

Btw, Foscam is listed as an ONVIF member, under 'Shenzhen Foscam Intelligent Technology Inc,' however, they have no products listed as conformant in either profile or archived sections.

Linear touts that "All IP cameras are ONVIF 2.2 Profile S compatible" but no listing on ONVIF.

Presumably, Linear is OEMing / re-labeling it from those cameras from someone else. That manufacturer may be ONVIF conformant. Of course, even that practice is against ONVIF rules.

Actually it's only against the rules if the company that is OEM'ing isn't also an ONVIF member. If Linear were an ONVIF member, I believe the ONVIF conformance passes through.

That's not our understanding based on asking this question directly to ONVIF.

Related, how does a user know if a product is 'covered' because its an OEM? And I thought our heroic OEMs talk about all their custom development they do and that it's not just them slapping a label on someone else's camera :)

It's certainly against the rule. See section 4.5 of the ONVIF Conformance Process Specification v3.0

4.5 OEM products
Any Member reselling an ONVIF conform product under a different brand or product name shall complete all the requirements of the conformance process as if it was a totally independent product.
The Member shall not reference to another Declaration of Conformance (DoC) to the ONVIF Office.

Important to note, we are only looking for companies with no ONVIF listing at all. If you included companies / products that are on the older 1.x version that are far less likely to work, this list would be far longer. See: ONVIF Archives 1000+ Products

Cisco!

Chris,

Actually, no Cisco products are listed at all (neither on the profile nor archived sections, though Cisco is an ONVIF member).

However, Cisco has been marketing ONVIF support since at least 2013 (see e.g., Cisco ONVIF camera release notes).

Yes I know. We are dealing with a school that has Cisco cameras and I wish I didn't put up my hand to offer to help. I'm surprised that Cisco hasn't said that they own ONVIF!

Chris, I hope the school is not using Cisco's Broadware which they have renamed the software to conceal how bad it is since they bought the company.

Ed, Cisco says that in their most recent version that the VMS was written from the ground up and no longer uses the ancient and much reviled Broadware code/ architecture. See: Cisco Surveillance Strategy Shift

I think my biggest concern is that back in my day "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" whereas it seems the modern version of this is that "nobody ever got fired for buying Cisco". In the majority of cases, these schools are ill-equipped to make decisions about the real players in our market so their default position is to trust Cisco. I have one Customer who said that if Cisco made a lawn mower he would buy that as well!

I think Cisco has a duty to the massive market it dominates to ensure that it lives and dies by the open system standards that we all rely on. If our schools are unknowingly being locked into the Cisco Physical Security world, then I believe that is a flagrant misuse of market dominance and I sincerely hope that Cisco proves me wrong by fixing their ONVIF status immediately.

"I have one Customer who said that if Cisco made a lawn mower he would buy that as well!"

Lol, that's funny. 5 years ago when Cisco was spending a lot of money and effort trying to get into surveillance, their lead surveillance guy said the same thing:

"Once we've gotten to that point [a customer buying Cisco routers, switches, security and VoIP], we know they'll buy anything with 'Cisco' on the box."

However, he's gone and Cisco has long since realized that it's a lot harder to leverage brand loyal buyers in surveillance.

I totally agree. The trouble is that here in Australia many schools are buying surveillance equipment for the first time. To them "brand loyalty in surveillance" is Cisco by default. Is this really the route we want our schools to travel?

Here's another: LT Security. Just got an email from them with ONVIF logo / promotion in the center.

Also, claims ONVIF and PSIA conformance for a whole slew of its cameras.

Interestingly, they are ONVIF members but have no cameras listed as conformant either on the profile or archived sections.

In fairness, though, they should be covered by Hikvision, right? ;)

John, thank you for bringing this to our attention. Our product has been approved by ONVIF. We will continue to do this for our new coming products.

LT Security

Email from another company this morning, "TIHIVISION", boldly claims ONVIF support for all its cameras:

None found on ONVIF site.

John,

What does it mean when a company is listed on the ONVIF site but no products come up when plugging in all relevant info? For instance, we are attempting to test a Vitek VT-PTZ220NP PTZ and, although IndigoVision's "ONVIF Configuration Tool" sees the camera, it never appears in the "Visible Devices" list of IV Control Center.

On ONVIF's website, entering Axis with no "Product Name" yields a bunch of hits but doing the same for Vitek Industrial Video Products yields nothing.

It means they are members of ONVIF but have no cameras that have passed conformance testing and been submitted to ONVIF.

Here's another company in that situation:

Of course, unlike Vitek, we don't make or re-label cameras.

I double checked Vitek under profile and archived sections and they have no cameras under either.

However, Vitek actively markets ONVIF conformance, touting that Vitek "ENVI Series IP Products are all ONVIF standard in addition to their direct integration with some of the industry’s leading brands."

Add Vitek to the list.

How does that work? I would assume they have to submit conformance tests to ONVIF to obtain a certificate. Can a device manufacturer actually produce devices that are ONVIF conformant but not submit conformance tests?

What I'm getting at is if a camera, for instance, is ONVIF compliant/conformant but is not listed by ONVIF, is that necessarily bad? Or the reverse: is it possible to obtain ONVIF compliance certification and not interact with other ONVIF devices, either by fudging the self-testing or perhaps a firmware revision loses its ONVIF conformance?

It seems to me that ONVIF either needs to put some "teeth" in their certification process or at least point out companies who wrongly claim conformance.

By definition, a device cannot be ONVIF conformant unless they submit conformance tests to ONVIF.

It is possible that a non-conformant ONVIF device can work. However, in our testing, the probability is much lower for devices that are not listed on the ONVIF list than ones that are.

Anecdotally, what I've found is that devices which claim conformance but aren't listed tend to work with ONVIF 1.x VMSes much better than Profile S VMSes. Connecting some of these cameras to Exacq or Genetec, for example, I've seen it be bad enough the server will crash. Connect it to Video Insight? Streams just fine. The difference is version.

So I suspect there's something in the Profile which is more complex and malformed coming from the camera, which 1.x clients aren't looking for. Unfortunately, neither the official test tool nor ONVIF Device Manager will pull enough information from these devices to clue me in on what, exactly, is the issue.

Here is another email from a vendor with no ONVIF listings:

Not only do they tout ONVIF, it is their top selling point.

I have to say ONVIF is bizarre. An organization founded and largely funded by big manufacturers that empowers low end ones to use their branding to undercut incumbent's own sales. Smart piece of business.

Do you think these companies falsely claiming compliance are paying some sort of licensing fee to use the ONVIF name? Otherwise why aren't some of the larger ONVIF manufacturers going after these guys? I get not even bothering trying to go after the Chinese because good luck with that, but all these companies aren't Chinese are they?

Ross, my understanding is that ONVIF only allows you to label products as ONVIF if they have passed the conformance test and have been officially submitted (i.e., added to the profile or archived online directories).

I know of no way to license the ONVIF name on one's products without officially conforming. Indeed, if there was what would be the point of anyone conforming?

As for the Chinese manufacturers, a number of these are fairly big / prominent companies.

So how long before companies start touting "Actual Conformation with ONVIF" or "Don't be fooled by false ONVIF certified cameras" in their ads. At the moment it is obviously buyer beware, but something has to give. Either the ONVIF group loses all credibility or they start to clamp down.

What do they actually say about all this?

In the ONVIF Abuse post, an ONVIF representative responded that they do follow up / take action on a case by case basis. We asked for specifics / numbers / examples and I do not believe that was ever provided.

ONVIF Response:

John, you are correct that a manufacturer can only claim conformance if they are a member and have had a Declaration of Conformance accepted by the ONVIF office and posted on the Onvif.org website.

So I just did a google search for 'ONVIF camera' and got some pretty interesting results. Basically the first three products I found via that search were from 3 companies not in the directory...LOL.

Companies were Laview, Escam, and Zoneway.

Grandstream lists the GVX-3504 encoder as ONVIF Compliant. It does not show up on the official product directory. Grandstream actually lists a fair amount of product as compliant that does not show up on the ONVIF site and some that actually is.

This cheapens the ONVIF branding. Much like how HDCCTV vs HDcctv vs hdCCTV vs (fill in any derivative here) destroys any of the HDcctv Alliance's credibility.

Undisclosed A,

I don't think the HDcctv Alliance has any credibility anyway. ;-)

Pardon, sir, If you don't mind me askin Carl, what'all happened 'tween you and them alliance fellas that turned you more bitter than barley? Y'all get stuck with some hokey cameras? Or did 'em just give y'all a proper hogwashin'?

Long story so I`ll boil it down to two words: Todd Rockoff.

[IPVM Editor's Note: This is about ONVIF. Any further comments on HDcctv in this thread will be deleted.]

The issue I have with Onvif is not the lying about being compliant, which is still a major issue, but the camera manufacturers saying they are 2.0 or 2.2 or Profile "S" compatible and only being a subset. I work for a VMS company and we routinely take over systems of others. When we look to see what cameras are installed we need to take careful notes of the camera manufacturer. Often times, I take the information provided to me from authorized dealers to put together quotes for them. They tell me I have some Axis, I have some Sony and Samsung. Don't worry, there all Onvif compatible. Getting video to stream is a small portion of compatibility. What about motion based events, or audio? Some companies may or may not complete all the items within a certain version.

We often hear "You told me it would work" and 90% of the time it does, however, each customer is different and has different uses for their cameras, creating issues for the VMS companies. You think you could say "Go talk to the camera guy", but unless the camera guy is selling a new camera, he's not that excited to help.

Are you Onvif Compliant if you stream Video but not audio? Or you have implemented on 2 camera motion detections instead of 6? Well, according to Onvif you are, or the manufacturer of the camera can slap on the logo and say it is.

As a salesperson, we want this to work and we're not saying anything to get the sale, but Onvif has created the custom Codec issue all over again.

Well, Aventura has "ONVIF compliant" sprinkeled all throughout thier 2014 SECURITY SOLUTIONS CATALOG.

I could not get them to pull up at all in the ONVIF search. Same thing with a bunch of Samsung Techwin cameras I recently procured.

But... the tool on the ONVIF website is not very good. So, either ONVIF does not maintain their database well, Aventura and a lot of newer Samsung cameras are not really compliant, or the ONVIF search tool is beyond my technical ability to use.

Either way. Shame on ONVIF for not policing their certification. They will only hurt themselves in the long run.

Undisclosed B, Aventura is listed as an ONVIF member. However, when searching for Aventura conformant products, none show up under profile nor archived.

As for Samsung, they have ~36 products listed under profile and ~52 products listed under archived (there is likely some overlap of the two). That said, Samsung clearly has a lot of cameras officially conformant.

I really don't care if somebody bought legal rights to flash an icon. I care if the implementation works reliable. Imagine a world where you drive up to the gas pump and have to look up your make/model/year/configuration of car to figure out if the pump will connect to your car. If Exaq has to list vendors it's done Onvif with, it still isn't fully baked.

It should be possible to pick up two random implementations and connect them. As it is, you can download the open source device manager and puzzle over it's response vs. your VMS' response to any given camera. And it might work, I guess. And it doesn't seem to correlate to how big a fish you are in the Onvif fishpond.

The theory is that at some point the population of functioning interoperable implementations makes this whole game irrelevant. Nobody goes to TCP/IP interop events any more, it just works because people have figured it out.

Sure, vendors who lie on their web sites are doing bad things. If the market is tolerating that then the market's broken.

Rodney,

Imagine a world where you drive up to the gas pump and have to look up your make/model/year/configuration of car to figure out if the pump will connect to your car.

That is happening right now, at least with electric cars. Tesla is attempting to get the industry to standardize on their "Supercharger" system but speculation is that many EV manufacturers will not want to use their proprietary technology, despite Tesla giving it away for free.

And by the way, that TCP/IP evolution, which is the same evolution USB had to go through, will happen with ONVIF (or something like it) after enough time has gone by.

Today it's 3X better than it was 4 years ago, and in another 3-4 years we probably won't even talk about ONVIF anymore, because everybody will have figured it out and it will just work.

Here's my experience. When I was with a previous employer, we would regularly test cameras that were declared "ONVIF Compliant" by various OEM/ODM manufacturers, and they would regularly fail internal testing. When we queried the original manufacturer, they would point to the fact that they had tested their product on the original ONVIF 1.x tool. If you know anything about that first generation test tool, you know that it was relatively easy to make a product pass that test tool, but still be completely unable to negotiate with other ONVIF compliant devices or software.

Further, if the base firmware that passed ONVIF 1.x was present in their subsequent products, they would carry that Compliance declaration forward to future generations of products without even running them through the test or publishing those part numbers or test results (because there were no test results) with ONVIF.

Finally, it's important to note that while the test results can't be faked per-se, it's on the honor system that the report being submitted is for the part number that was actually tested. The ONVIF organization does no independent testing to validate the manufacturer's claims.

In the testing I mentioned above, none, I repeat NONE (0%) of cameras that the manufacturers listed as "ONVIF Compliant" could pass the 1.x tool that the R&D team still had use of, and of course failed passage of the current generation of ONVIF compliance tools. These were predominantly no-name Asian manufacturers though some reputable Asian manufacturers were also tested with the same result.

The net net is, you cannot believe the ONVIF logo appearing on pretty much any Tier 3 Asian manufacturer today, as well as some of the Tier 2 manufacturers aren't legit. There are even a few Tier 1 manufacturers that may have tested their product and passed and submitted it to ONVIF, but whos products would fail any follow-up ONVIF compliance testing.

ONVIF compliance listings today are no more reliable than lux ratings on camera data sheets.

Scati ?

At least I can't seem to find anything on the ONVIF site. Pardon me if I missed something.

They got more than one camera advertised as ONVIF (http://www.scati.com/productos/detalle.php?id=2).

I have already heard that their systems can even provided a ONVIF Stream, as in a Network Video Transmitter.

Edit: Found 1 - SiC-3601N-EXF

(Sorry, this wasn't meant to be a reply....)

ONVIF Official Response:

Thanks for highlighting the problem of false claims of conformance you have seen. This is an issue ONVIF is taking seriously, and will be reviewing the information shared here and taking the necessary steps to communicate with any manufacturer that is found to be making false claims.

We recognize it is very important to the success and credibility of ONVIF and the profiles and specifications that are created that false claims of conformance or membership are not only discouraged but effectively managed.

As another commentator already noted the outline for dispute resolution is outlined in Annex C in the Conformance Process Specification found here.

With the new Observer member level launched this year we are starting to hear some great feedback from the new members who fall into this new class that is targeted at system integrators, consultants, media and other non-product producing entitites.

The VMS company who emulates / fakes Milestone's identity - Milesight - is also faking ONVIF conformance.

They are an ONVIF member and they actively market ONVIF conformance but no listings under either profile or archived.

On a related amusing note, a Google search for "ONVIF VMS" returned Milesight ahead of Milestone.

John,

We found that you have a misunderstanding on Milesight.

  1. You can easily download Milesight VMS to test whether it’s ONVIF compliant.Milesight technical-support staff will address any question from you:support@milesight.com

Please download from Milesight Web.

We believe that any judgment bases on using the product.

  1. Milesight specializes in IP camera and we offer customers VMS for free, so it’s really unnecessary to fake Milestone’s identity. But I have to say it’s embarrassing with a similar name of Milestone.

Every single enterprise cherishes their reputation including Milesight, where we take hard at our product. We highly recommend you to eliminate this misunderstanding on Milesight.

Aviva,

You fundamentally misunderstand how ONVIF conformance works. As ONVIF themselves explained above, (1) you need to be an ONVIF member, (2) your products need to pass the official ONVIF conformance test process and (3) it must be submitted and listed on ONVIF's site.

You need to do all 3 to be considered conformant and to legally use ONVIF's trademark and brand.

Milesight appears to meet none of these requirements. If I am wrong about any of the above, please explain why, with appropriate references / proof.

John

Milesight VMS merely offers a simple management program of IP Camera, which was positioned to be ONVIF conformant. From this point, Milesight VMS can fulfill most ONVIF requirements. It’s able to integrate with other IP Camera through ONVIF.

In my opinion, ONVIF supports a very broad range of functionalities. Their specification map outlines various services ONVIF supports. On the market, most manufactures do not completely meet the standards, but trying to get closer to.

Did you ever test the Milesight VMS? If you have any question, feel free to contact us.

Aviva,

You completely ignore the fact that your company is totally violating ONVIF's rules and now are you essentially flaunting it.

For the last time, do you understand that you are not allowed to claim ONVIF conformance unless your company is a member and has submitted results to the ONVIF official conformance test?

Take down your ONVIF marketing claims immediately.

Aviva,

I've tested it and I couldn't uninstall it fast enough.

I think you guys need to use the discovery code that ONVIF Device Manager uses.

BTW, you should also hire someone who understands English well enough to provide meaningful error mesages.

7 other VMSes marketing ONVIF conformance but listed neither on profile nor archived:

  • Kiwi Security
  • Aventura (same issue with their cameras)
  • Mirasys (who is not even listed as a member though has been marketing it for years) Mirasys has resolved
  • Blue Iris (claims to have recently added ONVIF but no ONVIF membership under their name or company name - Perspective Software)
  • Ksenos (ONIF member, markets ONVIF conformance but no listed products)
  • Interlogix (has lots of ONVIF conformant cameras but also markets ONVIF NVRs that are not listed on ONVIF)

This was simply from a 20 minute Google search for "ONVIF VMS". I am sure the people at ONVIF are just as good at Googling as I am.

I'm curious how different companies seem to use their product's relationship to ONVIF with slightly different wording...

For instance, what is the difference between ONVIF Compliant, ONVIF Conformant and saying all ones cameras are ONVIF standard?

Which is the 'official' term that the 'good guys' use vs how the 'bad guys' try and break off a piece of the groups name recognition?

Even if the bad guys are using one-off terms in an attempt to skirt the legalities of co-opting someone elses branding, I can't see how they can actually use the ONVIF logo itself without being liable for infringement.

They should hire Rocky.... he used to threaten litigation if someone said publicly that they had two HDcctv devices that wouldn't work together. :)

Note: Being a member of ONVIF, but having no cameras listed in any profile seems to indicate a high likelihood that you might be OEMing others' cameras (cough LTS, Laview, etc)

"For instance, what is the difference between ONVIF Compliant, ONVIF Conformant and saying all ones cameras are ONVIF standard?"

So the defense of the faking manufacturer is "Hey, we never said we were 'ONVIF conformant.' We just said we 'support ONVIF', which is different."

On the one hand, that's pretty ridiculous. On the other hand, I could see companies trying that.

However, if allowed, it trivializes ONVIF 'conformance'. It is clearly against the spirit of the rules and, I would hope, explicitly denied.

What about cameras that are not ONVIF compliant straight out of the box but can be obtained with a different firmware that is ONVIF compliant? Would that meet criteria?

Carl, the ONVIF process is to test cameras with specific firmware. So let's say you had an older Axis X123 with firmware 4.0. Then Axis conformed and submitted X123 with firmware 5.0. You could then upgrade your old X123 to the new firmware and it would be conformant. It also should work just as well for ONVIF integration.

John,

Perhaps I'm a little dense so correct me if I'm wrong. You're saying that ONVIF-compliance is firmware-specific? So manufacturers' firmware must be submitted for each upgrade? I'm not certain I can find that info (at least not easily) on ONVIF's website. For instance, I looked at an Axis P3354 on ONVIF and it is listed as Profile S and the ONVIF page says "Version Number 5.40.17". I assume that is the firmware version?

Since that is the only listing for the P3354 I can find on the ONVIF site, all I can assume is that only firmware version 5.40.17 is conformant. Axis Support apparently has firmware for that camera but I can't tell for certain, not having a login and password. Still, I don't see multiple firmware versions listed as ONVIF-conformant.

Am I missing something?

Not exactly Carl. Yes, ONVIF compliance is firmware-specific, but when a manufacturer updates its firmware, it only needs to retest if it changed the ONVIF portion of the firmware, otherwise it carries forward. However, if that manufacturer introduces a new camera model, they would need to retest, even if that camera uses the same firmware on another camera already registered with ONVIF.

For the Axis P3554 example, here is the P3354 ONVIF detailed conformance page listing the firmware tested. It's tricky to find because of where it's linked on the results page, e.g.:

You also need to add the ONVIF user under System Options -> Security -> ONVIF, and make sure that the ONVIF service is enabled Advanced -> Plain Config then Select Group -> WebService, and Save.

LT Security is listed on ONVIF site.

Undisclosed F, you misunderstand how ONVIF conformance works.

Yes, LT Security is listed on the site as a member. However, as we noted above "They are ONVIF members but have no cameras listed as conformant either on the profile or archived sections."

You have to have individual products tested and submitted for conformance. You can't just become a member and claim your products conform simply because you are a 'member'.

John, thank you for the clarification. Being a ONVIF member also required to pass the conformance test. As I mentioned in the previous post, our product has passed the conformance test. Thank you.

LT Security

This may take the award for best ONVIF misrepresentation:

Of course, I-View is not listed as an ONVIF member and has no listed conformant products. This is from yet another spam email.

At this point, it's fairly safe to conclude that the cornerstone of marketing for no-name companies is faking ONVIF conformance.

Here`s a rather ballsy company: http://www.elinetechnology.com/definition/1245444-onvif-open-standard-compliance.

Sorry for the numerous edits. I guess IPVM and Chrome don't play well.

eLine's IP cameras are fully compliant with the ONVIF standard, ensuring compatibility with software and hardware from over 200 companies like Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, and Cisco.

The Cisco name adds a certain panache...

eLine has all the characteristics of a re-labeller. US company, only been in business 5 years, but has dozens of products including analog cameras, network cameras, HDCVI cameras, DVRs, NVRs, cloud offerings, etc.

And, no surprise, not a member of ONVIF, no listed products.

Not to start an arguement or be flipant, but the point of all this is?

Without mandated standards by some Government agency with the authority to enforce a law, these standards are meaningless. I appreciate everyone's passion, and I share your interest in helping the industry in every way possible, but we are all just barking at the moon here. There are no existing standards, no enforcement and until such time, no penalty for misrepresentation.

Mark, I respectfully disagree. Not everyone has had the time to fully vet the integrity of the claim of ONVIF conformance. Some would take the stated promises and goals of ONVIF at face value, particularly end users and novices, if discussions like this did not occur. I think this has served as an eye opener and been educational for many to some degree or another unless you are someone who already took the time to do lengthy investigational efforts already.

Think of it this way... would we have had such a bad market crash if there had been more open critical discussion groups to objectively analyze if “Super Duper Safe High Payoff AAAA Plus Fund” really was a good investment?

Don't get me wrong. I see the value in the discussion and the information. The overwhelming majority of customers will never see it, and some will not care until it is too late. Then they will be frustrated and lump all of us together. With a legal structure, there would be no cause for concern and no blame. There was a discussion earlier this month about the value of integrators - are we being commoditized? This is the value. Education. I agree with the point of the discussion 100%, but my point is how many look at these discussions, and who takes them seriously? Not many I am afraid.

"my point is how many look at these discussions, and who takes them seriously? Not many I am afraid."

An ONVIF representative called me directly to talk about this. Then they posted multiple responses here, including:

"This is an issue ONVIF is taking seriously, and will be reviewing the information shared here and taking the necessary steps to communicate with any manufacturer that is found to be making false claims."

Beyond ONVIF taking this seriously, this discussion has over 3000 reads in a week, including by senior people at nearly every manufacturer as well as lots of large integrators, distributors and end users.

That a lot of industry people read this and see a long list with concrete evidence will go a long way in motivating them to do something.

The point of this is that if ONVIF enforces their standard and applies penalties, the probability of integrations working will be much higher.

Manufacturers need to know that ONVIF cares about it working and that they will be proactive about denying the marketing benefits of using the ONVIF brand to those that do not.

End users and integrators benefits from knowing that ONVIF is actively shutting down manufacturers that are not following the rules.

ONVIF has legal rights and market power. Legally, they have a trademark which restricts who and how others can use it. They also have brand recognition that manufacturers want to leverage (see all the ads above). If ONVIF enforces their legal rights and their own rules about using the ONVIF trademark, they can make a difference.

What we are trying to do is motivate ONVIF to take responsibility.

You used the word "if". That is my point exactly. They don't care enough to enforce. That is obvious. I give that group credit. They can read and they know this is going on. They simply don't bother to enforce their standards or take action with penalties. Without some rule of law with some teeth, it is merely litigation they cannot afford. Onvif is not a part of any government that I know of. They don't have a budget or agents for enforcement. They have to use a carrot because they have no stick.

Again, don't think that I don't see the value in your premise. I do. It causes us all who are serious about our profession significant consternation. But to what end? All we can do is run our companies honestly (the real value of the post), and do our best to educate our customers.

"They don't have a budget or agents for enforcement."

Incorrect. ONVIF does have money both from the dues that members pay and from the manufacturers who have invested millions by providing their senior managers and engineers to working on this, free of charge.

On the dues side, here is what it costs:

ONVIF has $1 million in annual revenue. They report 21 full members - that's $420,000 there, 17 contributing members - another $170,000 and 422 user members - add another $422,000.

Again, ONVIF does not pay for the senior manufacturer people who work on committees, that's provided free by companies like Axis, Bosch, Sony, Pelco, Genetec, etc., etc.

This is clearly an issue of priorities, not poverty.

Without taking this too much further (work bekons), one million hardly gets the job done and you know it. It could easily cost 10's if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to litigate one case, and you could just as easily loose. I have not seen their budget, but my guess is there is no line item for "litigation" or "enforcement". They would have already used it. I don't know of one case (maybe someone else does) where they have taken the time to enforce their own policies.

On top of that, you questioned just one manufacturer and got an answer that was essentially nothing. Without laws and a way to enforce them the result is chaos.

Again, the value is to those that take the time to read these articles. When a manufacturer (or rep) comes to see me, I don't even ask about Onvif. To me, their answer is meaningless, and I just assume they are lying until I do a test.

Mark,

It's a simple, low cost process:

  • ONVIF sends a stock cease and desist letter to each manufacturer. Many will respond immediately as they know they are in the wrong.
  • If they take no action, ONVIF files a DMCA takedown request to their web hosting provider, to get their websites shut down. For example, Milesight is a Chinese company but their website is hosted in LA. Easy process.
  • Anyone who takes no action and whose website is not shut down because of this, ONVIF can issue a list of manufacturers who are knowing violating ONVIF policy, just like manufacturers publish resellers who are unauthorized dealers.

All of this can be done against dozens of manufacturers with $10,000 or less. No need to actually go to court.

Also, this is revenue generating as it will require each company to pay minimally $1,000 annually to be a member.

But, the bottom line, using someone's trademark in advertisements without permission is an open and shut case, that can be dealt with very inexpensively.

I understand the process Jon. Why haven't they already issued such a list? Why haven't they done anything?

So, if anyone knows, how often has Onvif actually done that, and it has had the desired effect? Perhaps someone from Onvif would like to reply.

Mark, now you've contradicted yourself. First you said,

"It could easily cost 10's if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to litigate one case, and you could just as easily loose."

Now, you've flipped and agreed to my counter-argument that it would not take much money and they would most certainly win.

ONVIF needs to be motivated. Let's see if this does it.

No more comments from you, Mark. You've made your point.

Sending a letter is not litigation.

Again, I have a ton of respect for your opinion and your information. Hell, I pay to be here.

Sending a 'cease and desist' letter is the first practical step in such litigation. And in cases of trademark infringement, there is little gray area. If ONVIF tells a company they do not have permission to use ONVIF's brand in an advertisement, the company has no real defense.

Do they also charge a fee to test conformance of a given product? Is there revenue from that portion as well?

No, no fee to test ONVIF product conformance. Just the annual membership fee.

"Without mandated standards by some Government agency with the authority to enforce a law, these standards are meaningless."

Disagree. It's not the standards that need policing, it is the companies making false advertising claims.

What would happen if these same companies claimed that each member of their staff was 'IPVM Certified' in their marketing? Think John would allow that to stand?

There already exists a government agency with plenty of enforcement capabilities for companies making false advertising claims in the U.S. - it's called the FTC.

I have been on this planet for a long time. If I were in charge of the FTC there would be a desk full of work every day. But they have limited resources and this is not a matter of immediate public safety. This is a matter of buyer beware. They are not going to take any meaningful action or they already would have. They have the grounds, just not the interest. Like every other entity, they have to put their resources where they will do the most good.

No need for standards? I respectfully disagree. We did not have this mess with analog. There were standards. They were clear cut. That is what is missing now. Clear and concise standards. I see no agency now or on the horizon looking to get involved. That ship, I am afraid, has already sailed.

And again, reasonable people can disagree.

"They are not going to take any meaningful action or they already would have."

The FTC is not all-knowing and all-seeing.... And how would the FTC even know that these companies are infringing on ONVIFs standard unless ONVIF lets them know? (i.e. file infringement claims/cease and desist orders, etc).

Who said that there is no need for standards? ...not sure who you are disagreeing with on that.

'ONVIF compliance' (indicating a meeting of a set standard) is the thing that is being compromised and co-opted. ONVIF is the entity that needs to step up and protect the value of being able to say something is 'ONVIF compliant'. That ship, I am afraid, is still tied up at the dock.

"Who said that there is no need for standards? ...not sure who you are disagreeing with on that".

With all due respect, you did Marty.

In your first response: "Disagree. It's not the standards that need policing, it is the companies making false advertising claims".

My question again is, what standards? There are none that I know of. How many versions of Onvif are there?

On a similar, but unrelated note, I found a really nice wireless alarm panel by doing some research. I like it a lot. It has tons of nice features. But it is not listed by any listing authority here in the US so I won't represent it. The company (UK) does not actively choose to market here. They understand.

Guess who does sell it here in the US? You guessed it. Hawkeye. The manufacturer knows it. They opt to do nothing. The customers don't know the item has to be listed. AHJ's will likely never see it.

That is a case of a law that does exist, administered through local building codes, and no one says a word, and as long as the money flows, no one cares. Apathy and ignorance.

Just found this one this morning: Kentira's Ethiris VMS.

They claim:

"Ethiris is scalable and supports a wide range of individual camera protocols as well as the general ONVIF protocol."

But have nothing listed as conformant.

Official ONVIF Response:

ONVIF takes the protection of its trademark and copyrights very seriously. As an member driven organization, we realize we have a responsibility to all of the members and indeed the industry as a whole to act when infringements of trademark or invalid claims of conformance are highlighted. Not doing so would put at risk the clear value that ONVIF brings to the industry.

Thanks to IPVM and the participants of this forum, we can see the heightened need to have a dialog with those manufacturers identified here that may be unaware of the exact infringements they are making, and to educate them on the correct methods and processes to follow in order to advertise their products as conforming to any of the ONVIF Profiles.

In addition to responding to the specific accusations we see listed here, we are now actively looking at more creative ways to more closely monitor and protect ONVIF's copyrights, trademarks and logo's more proactively on a more permanent basis. This part of the internal dialog is in its infancy, but we felt it was worth sharing to underline how seriously this issue is being taken.

As a member driven organization, we rely on the full participation of our members to assist in the development of the correct processes and procedures for all aspects of the alliance. The new observer level membership is a way to have a greater level of involvement. If any of the participants here or readers of this website so desire, I would encourage them to contact help@onvif.org to find out how to get more involved.

Longse, another of our favorite spammers, also claims ONVIF support on all cameras:

In time, ONVIF may one day turn into a "real" standard. For now, my vision is that ONVIF is only a set of guidelines the manufactures may or not follow completely.

Unfortunately, nowadays, many ONVIF cameras have to be tested first…

Gents, I noticed that Vitek's logo is on the ONVIF site, now. I did not dig further to see if product was listed.

Vitek's logo has been on the site for a while. That's not the point. The issue is that their products are not.

As we already explained above:

"[Vitek] are members of ONVIF but have no cameras that have passed conformance testing and been submitted to ONVIF."

If you are going to submit a comment, be responsible and spend the 60 seconds to verify if their products are listed or read the previous comments first.

This one made me laugh myself silly.

Though, TECHNICALLY, their ONVIF claim is true. Dummy cameras work 100% perfectly in an ONVIF environment with no issues whatsoever. If anything, they're the only type of camera with a 100% ONVIF Compliance guarantee :)

The company name weenosee still makes me chuckle :)

I have to wonder why a manufacturer would pay the appropriate fees and join ONVIF but not get any devices listed as conformant. Is it possible that they submitted the appropriate paperwork but used an older tool for testing? If so, does ONVIF make an effort to inform the manufacturer of their faux pas or is it up to the manufacturer to dig further?

The reason I'm asking is that I have heard from the factory rep of one of the manufacturers that is listed but has no devices saying that the factory was told by ONVIF that their devices would be listed but they never were. Apparently they tested with an out-of-date tool.

Yes, third-hand info but a definite possibility for at least the manufacturers who are members but have no devices listed. Granted, it is up to the manufacturer to use the correct tool but I would think ONVIF would also be a little more forthcoming.

I have to wonder why a manufacturer would pay the appropriate fees and join ONVIF but not get any devices listed as conformant.

For me what's makes it stranger is the fact that these cameras must have at least minimal, if not more ONVIF functionality, since that is typically the only way they are accessed. It suggests that its harder to figure out the certification tool than to build-in the basic functionality!

And from other comments it does sound like the tool is difficult to use, so if the mfr is a ONVIF member and the camera 'works' with ONVIF devices in the real world, the mfr. is just going to ship first and answer questions later, instead of waiting for the cert.

ONVIF doesn't jump all over these no-product members for a couple reasons:

1. There (as far as I can see) no per product fee charged, so no money lost, as long as they are members

2. Members can simply self-certify at will. And so if 'forced' by ONVIF they will do just that, and then you have the arguably worse situation where the declarations are worth less if not worthless.

3. ONVIF feels some culpability for not providing easier tools and better processes.

Why don't the non-product members just self-certify then? I believe they will if pressured, but the reason that they haven't so far is because they don't need to!

Here is what the rules are for $500/yr observation members regarding logo usage:

So members can use the first logo, even with no product! Whether its ethical to use it in every product box is another story...

Here in Australia we now have Cisco beating its chest claiming "full ONVIF membership" while it seems they have made no attempt to go through the certification process for any of their products. This wouldn't be the first time that Cisco has used their cheque ("check" for you US-based members) book to circumvent a certification process. The trouble with this is that size usually wins and here are my thoughts on where I think we now stand:-

  1. Cisco is a big company with magnificent brand presence. For many companies who have no experience in this field, Cisco is an easy decision to make.
  2. ONVIF benefits greatly from having Cisco as a Full Member and I would be interested to know if Cisco obtained favourable rates for their membership as a result
  3. Even though Cisco has very deep pockets, they have a lot of catching up to do so buying full membership was strategically a very easy decision to make from both a brand and generic marketing point of view
  4. In terms of product development, Cisco's initial focus will be to get product out the door and worry about ONVIF certification later (if at all!)
  5. I doubt that ONVIF will have the testicular fortitude to send "cease and desist" notices to Cisco regarding their misrepresentation of the ONVIF logo on their products.
  6. Cisco will make significant inroads into "greenfield" territories where they have dominant market presence with their core network products
  7. Cisco will grow exponentially in our market
  8. ONVIF will become less relevant

I have been in the IT business all of my life (nearly 40 years) and have seen Cisco do this before in other markets.

How ONVIF responds in the near term will determine the relevance of ONVIF in the future.

Chris, I have been no fan of Cisco but, when it comes to ONVIF, I am going to bet they just didn't know what the process is. They've had some changes over the past couple of years (e.g., Cisco Reboots Video Surveillance) and this got lost in the shuffle.

I am going to bet they read this and have talked to ONVIF since and will be rectifying it.

That said, here in the US, there was a lot of fear and angst about Cisco taking over video surveillance and they fell flat on their face. So ONVIF or no ONVIF, Cisco will likely have challenges in video surveillance throughout the world.

John, I hope you are right. If ONVIF posted a copy of their "cease and desist" notice to Cisco on this forum I would feel a lot better.

I recently raised this very topic at a conference and had a Cisco Integrator (the only one in the room) threaten all sorts of nastiness as a result.

I am a firm believer in what ONVIF represents in our industry. I just need to see some "teeth" in play to convince me that we will all be playing under the same rules.

Update Dahua does have products in ONVIF, my bad apologies to Dahua, members.

Yes, so Dahua does. Here's an excerpt from the Profile search that returns 93 matches:

ONVIF would really make searching easier for Chinese companies by removing their province from their names.

As for their OEMs, they have dozens and I bet no more than a few actually are conformant.

Let's call out IC Realtime, who likes to brag that they are a 'real' manufacturer, but is not even a member of ONVIF yet markets their products as 'ONVIF 2.0 Conformant'.

The real scandal is the VMS vendors shipping crap software that fails to use standardized interfaces. Beating up everybody who ships a camera doesn't change that. Whether or not OnVIF is a broken standard is a side-show. If there were 100 downstream OEM's using Dahua and it actually worked with a serious VMS product would you really care about what kind of money the OnVIF logo police are earning?

Ensuring compliance thru Education, Enforcement and Encouragement

Toughest talk excerpted from full statement:

ONVIF Launches Education, Enforcement Campaign to Ensure Product Conformance

SAN RAMON, CALIFORNIA. – August 12, 2014.

ONVIF... announced today that it is launching a proactive education and enforcement campaign designed to ensure that all claims of ONVIF conformance by manufacturers of IP-based physical security products are valid. The education and enforcement initiative aims to further protect the ONVIF brand and more preemptively monitor ONVIF’s copyrights, trademarks and logos on an ongoing basis....

“We recognize that the credibility of the ONVIF brand is crucial to the success of the standard and the organization going forward, therefore we take the protection of this brand very seriously,” said Per Björkdahl, Chairman, ONVIF Steering Committee...

“We encourage anyone who suspects a product of falsely claiming conformance to contact us at help@onvif.org.”

Please check

http://www.onvif.org/DesktopModules/ONVIF_VariousProduct/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductRevisionID=686&Date=634762892149520440

and

http://www.onvif.org/About/MemberList.aspx

and you will see that Mirasys was in process of upgrading itself from user to contributing level.

Thanks Jukka

Jukka,

I've removed Mirasys from the list.

Btw, your conformance test is from 2011 and is for Archived versiononly. When do you plan to support Profile S?

Might want to check on Empire Security

There has been a lull in this discussion, does anybody know of other cameras that are faking ONVIF compliance? We have a great list in the first post but are obviously trying to add to it.