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We discuss the analogy of the behaviour of films and drops of liquid on a rotating horizontal cylinder on the one hand and substrates with regular one-dimensional wettability patterns on the other hand. Based on the similarity between the respective governing long-wave equations we show that a drop of partially wetting liquid on a rotating cylinder undergoes a depinning transition when the rotation speed is increased. The transition occurs via a sniper bifurcation as in a recently describeddoi:10.1017/s0022112010005483 fatcat:t34einifefhqtpbxeiu3fah5la