ONVIF Affirms No Policing, Abuse Away!

By: John Honovich, Published on Apr 08, 2014

Surely you have gotten emails or seen brochures from crappy companies who claim to be ONVIF conformant, even though they are not found on the ONVIF official list [link no longer available]. Or worse, two 'officially' conformant products have failed to work together.

You may wonder to yourself, "How can this be?"

And the more skeptical of you might even think, "Why would ONVIF allow this? Are they just uninterested in policing or protecting their own standard?"

Alas, you would be correct and here it is from the Chairman himself.

In the video below, ONVIF's chairman declares that "ONVIF is not a policing organization", seeing themselves "as an enabler" who "want(s) the industry to manage that in the best possible way", including becoming observer members to test ONVIF conformance themselves. 

This is absurd. If ONVIF wants a solution that the market trusts, it has to police ONVIF claims and 'enable' an offering that industry people can rely on, without having to become members and run their own tests.

What is worse is that this is clearly ONVIF's approach and not a misstatement. These problems have gone on for years and they seemingly do nothing about them.

Conspiracy Theorists

Conspiracy theorists like to claim that Axis is sabotaging ONVIF on purpose. And when the ONVIF chairman / Axis employee [link no longer available] makes such an incomprehensible statement, it does engender doubt.

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Could you imagine if we asked him the following, "Hey, I am going to counterfeit the Q1614 and just slap the Axis logo on it. What do you think?" Assuredly, his answer would NOT be to emphasise that Axis refrains from policing its intellectual property and trademarks.

Observer Members Responsibility

In the video, ONVIF's chairman emphasizes the role of the observer member, a newly created tier [link no longer available] where for $500 you get access to the ONVIF conformance test tools (note: IPVM was the first observer member). However, the test tool is cumbersome to use and time consuming to run, with results cryptic to outsiders, often indiscernible without in-depth knowledge of the specific camera under test (see our full ONVIF test).

ONVIF's Responsibility

ONVIF has to police its brand and conformance claims if it wants people to trust them. And while ONVIF generates high interest, it is also broadly mistrusted because of integration problems that are certainly compounded by its laid back attitude to manufacturers abusing ONVIF conformance.

6 reports cite this report:

ONVIF Video Surveillance Tutorial on Jan 29, 2019
ONVIF is well known within the surveillance industry as an interface to connect IP cameras and VMS systems. However, new users may find it...
ONVIF Chairman Criticizes Low Cost Cameras (Also, He Works At Axis) on Jul 12, 2017
ONVIF Chairman Per Björkdahl [link no longer available] has taken a strong public stance against low cost cameras that are 'much more vulnerable to...
You Cannot Trust the ONVIF Chairman on Jul 17, 2015
A fascinating question: Can you trust salesman? Posed SourceSecurity. Unfortunately and ironically, the ONVIF chairman [link no longer...
ONVIF Defends Unauthorized Austin Powers Promotion on Apr 29, 2015
ONVIF won "Worst ISC West 2015" showing for their Austin Powers and Dr. Evil exhibition. But ONVIF is defending the legitimacy of their...
ONVIF Launches Enforcement Campaign on Aug 13, 2014
Dozens of manufacturers abuse ONVIF conformance, as demonstrated by IPVM’s recent ONVIF faking directory. Campaign Launched Now, ONVIF has...
Falling Down: The 2014 Mid-Year Guide on Jun 02, 2014
Falling down - the theme of the 2014 video surveillance industry. This is the toughest stretch for the industry overall, since at least the...
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