Reminder: Promotions Using IPVM Are Never Allowed

Anyone who uses IPVM to promote a manufacturer or product is absolutely unauthorized. We never, and will never, allow anyone to use IPVM for promotion in any form.

If you see someone doing so, please report them immediately to or use our contact form.

Why No Promotion

(1) Promotions are rightfully associated with payoffs -- That the promoter does not actually believe what they say but are doing do because they are being paid to do so.

(2) Promotions typically distort the position being made, with incomplete information, omitting negative details, using out of date information, etc.

(3) It causes rivals of the company doing the promotion to fear / worry that the source is biased / on the take from the promoter.

This is modeled after Consumer Report's No Commercial Use Policy.

Can't Force Someone To Be In Your Promotion

Over the years, we have heard from a few bizarre manufacturers who opine "Well, if you say something positive about me, I have the right to do whatever I want with it." WRONG.

It's called personality rights / right of publicity, which allows companies and individuals to control how their identity is used commercially.

Again, we have never, and will never, allow anyone to use IPVM for promotion in any form. If you see someone doing so, please report them immediately to

Curious, what if a manufacturer wanted to respond to something negative that you openly published? Is that O.K.?

I have no problems with anyone responding to criticisms, presumably though they would not run that in a promotion, for the simple reason that almost no manufacturer wants to publicise negative press.

Thanks. Someone just alerted me to yet another Samsung distributor promotion - unbelievable. I have already notified the company to take it down.

Please keep reports coming - or use our contact form.

What about an integrator siting something from your site in a presentation for a client. Such as "in a recent survey of over 80 integrators, it was found that the most common retention rate was 30 days".

That's fine. The difference is that it is not product specific, unlike a Samsung distributor saying "IPVM says Samsung is ...."

John, is your position that as long as IPVM is not directly mentioned you are okay with your research being used in promotions? I wonder if this puts you on a slippery slope with regard to your automatic copyright rights. I can see the desirability of someone saying, "The leading industry independent testing authority says...". Having established your organization as a recognized source of independent information people are interested in quoting you as an impartial source., Are you forbidding the mentioning specific brand names like Samsung if you will allow the more generic "leading independent testing authority"?

A secondary question would be your stance on self promotion citing my IPVM Camera Certification.

I was looking up information on a camera or a dvr/nvr online the other day and I do recall your company popping up along side their information, unbidden. I will, if you like, try to backtrack to the specific site.

Timothy, promoting one's certification is fine. We even have an IPVM Certified Professionals Directory to showcase who has passed.

I do not support manufacturers using tricks to get IPVM into their promotions, like "a leading source says we are the best camera ever," and I have asked manufacturers to completely leave us out of any promotion they do.

I think most manufacturers accept and appreciate this, especially since we are applying it universally to all manufacturers and are not using this as a technique to push them to pay us for promotion (like is commonly done).

btw, if you find that promotional use, please let me know by comment or email (

This is one of the most dumfounding promotional uses I have ever seen, posted on an Australian distributor's website:

They really could not figure this out? Or they couldn't imagine that maybe a publicly available webpage would be found?

I've taken immediate steps to rectify this.

DMCA style? Do you think the process is fair? Ever been on the other side?

Have I ever been on the other side of using a document clearly marked "No Sharing, No Promotion" with my name listed on?

No, I have never done that.

What would you suggest be done?

What would you suggest be done?

Takedown, of course!

I am asking because from what I have read it is quite an expedient process, involving determining the hosting ISP and its takedown agent, and e-mailing said agent the link to the offending material who verifies that the material exists and then blocks the content. All without the offending website being notified til after the block! Specifically a question is how quick does it happen, hours, days?

Have I ever been on the other side of using a document clearly marked "No Sharing, No Promotion" with my name listed on? No, I have never done that.

Ha! You know that's not what I was asking... I meant have you ever been on the other side of a DMCA takedown in general, rightly or wrongly. You don't need to answer of course but I think its a fair question considering you have member posted content, some of it rich media, on your site that I doubt you have the resources to clear for copyright in all cases before posting AND apparently there is little checking done besides verifying that material exists on the alleged offending site.

So it would seem entirely possible that a industry copybot could happenstance upon a copyrighted video clip on one of the "open to public" discussions and poof! Regardless of fair use. Or am I reading too much WIRED magazine?

We have never received any DMCA takedown requests. Member posted content is rarely a problem in terms of copyright. Once in a while someone copies a whole article but I'll immediately replace that with a short excerpt and a link to the original source to stay within fair use.

The copyright aspect is secondary to promotional use. Using IPVM in marketing is what causes real problems for us, because it gives the impression that we endorsed it / granted permission / are getting paid / etc.

My main approach is to reach out to the manufacturer to put a stop to it. It usually works because people realize we have both the laws and ethics on our side. However, sometimes we need to take stronger action, e.g., Avigilon, Is This Ethical?

So just this past week I bid some Axis Lightfinder cameras for a poorly lit parking lot. When I called to check the status of my bid the customer informed me I was "way too high". After some prodding he told me they were about to accept a Hikvision camera that did terribly in your low light test. Of course, the Hikvision spec sheet said "0.01" lux, vs Axis's "0.02" lux. I tried explaining that those numbers were meaningless, but the other bidder was arguing his cameras were "great in low light" and he had those spec sheets to "prove it".

Then he dropped the real bomb - he was "saving almost $200 per camera" with the other guy... My recommendation sells for $650 more at ADI... Not only were the being sold an inferior product, but being gouged for the privilege.

I shared a link to the low light test with them along with links to online pricing. They are reconsidering. Did I run afoul of the usage policy? I did not share the content of the test - just a link.

James, sharing links is fine. And I also recognize that people should be able to say what they want to say in person.

The thing I am trying hard to prevent is this tactic of posting an IPVM report on the Internet, then using it in a mass market campaign.

Just to put a dull edge on the line between promotional and not, dish on whether you believe the following purely hypothetical situation is ok or not:

1. IPVM reviews 10 manufacturers of X device, manufacturer A clearly dominates.

2. Right after that, manufacturer A's news letter contains a notice like so:

IPVM Members are reminded that independent additional information regarding X may be found on that site.

Members are reminded to utilize their subscription to go look, and non-members can only assume it's good news or why would it even be mentioned...


Purely information announcements, like "IPVM did a shootout of low light cameras, including our CrappyCam MagicLamp" is fine.

The problem is that manufacturers typically take one quote or one image out of context and make it seem like we are endorsing their product.

is the manufacturer a certified grad or not, with the right to mention ipvm on their website?

George, yes, anyone who is certified, including manufacturers, can list they are certified. Certifications are per person, not per company. It's OK to say Carl Rogers, CrappyCam Tech Support Manager is IPVM certified. It's not OK to say CrappyCam is IPVM certified, as we certify individuals, not companies.

Btw, we had an issue this week with Uniview who illicitly ran a PR campaign featuring our test results and using an image from our test report.

We immediately demanded and they have been removing any reference to IPVM from their PR / posts / marketing. I have also banned them from accessing IPVM for the time being.

If you see any from them or anyone else, please let me know immediately because we treat removing this with great urgency. Email me

This one's too close to call:

Thanks, I just asked them to modify that to make it more neutral.

[Update: Angelcam changed this.]

So, I think I'm on the right side of the law, but I want to be sure.

Customer: How good is your camera?

Me: Flippin' awesome. Check out this review on IPVM.

Customer: Sweet.