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Guru3D Disgraced as it Steals Copyrighted Work from Benchmark Reviews

Category: Affiliate News
Posted: 07:57PM

In the fast paced world of technology sometimes corners are cut so long as it does not infringe on copyrighted work. In 2008 we saw a well known website, 3DGameMan, get caught stealing images that were the work of someone else and passing them off as their own. You would think with all of the negative exposure and lack of trust among the tech communities the incident caused, other sites would pay careful attention to making sure it would not happen to them. Well that seems not to be the case here.

Guru3D posted an article about the ProlimaTech Super Mega CPU cooler explaining the cooler and adding images to show off the product. No where in the article was there a source or link provided, acting like it was an original piece of work written and photographed by them. WRONG! Hilbert Hagedoorn, the owner of Guru3D, intentionally stole images copyrighted by Benchmark Reviews and then altered the images to look as if they were his. He made a big mistake however; and that was he did a piss poor job of trying to remove the Benchmark Reviews image water mark. To this point the infringed work has not been taken down and now Olin Coles is taking steps to remove the work himself by sending a letter to the hosting company for removal of the article.

The letter reads:

MediaServe Hosting
Hilbert Hagedoorn
Owner, Designated Agent

This message is to inform you that the website http://www.guru3d.com has infringed upon the copyright of Performance Computers, Inc, a registered corporation located in Nevada, USA.

 At 11:45AM on 08 July 2010 the work entitled ProlimaTech Super-Mega Heatsink CPU Cooler Debuts was published at http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10896&Itemid=22.

This article contains images property of Performance Computers, Inc. Two particular images have been used without permission:

· http://benchmarkreviews.com/images/reviews/cooling/Super-Mega/ProlimaTech-Super-Mega-Heatsink-Corner-BenchmarkReviews.jpg  
· http://benchmarkreviews.com/images/reviews/cooling/Super-Mega/ProlimaTech-Super-Mega-Heatsink-Bottom-BenchmarkReviews.jpg

All details of this article, text, and images were created by Olin Coles for Performance Computers, Inc., owner of Benchmark Reviews. Hilbert Hagedoorn and Guru3d.com do not have permission to use this or any other material generated by our company.

 Hilbert Hagedoorn for the website guru3d.com has willfully and intentionally violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by taking images and material from my company and using it to produce income without permission. They have altered the original copyrighted images and manually removed our watermark (although some portion is still intact). Guru3d.com has published their own story without credit given or sources listed. The infringing work is located here: http://www.guru3d.com/news/prolimatech-to-launch-super-mega-cpu-cooler/, with specific regard to this image: http://www.guru3d.com/imageview.php?image=24961.

Please find a PDF attached to this message to serve as proof of violation.

We respectfully request that you take immediate action to remove all copyrighted material from the website guru3d.com. Your prompt response will mitigate potential legal costs and prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1996.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Olin Coles
President, Designated Agent
[email protected]
Perfomance Computers, Inc.

CC: Hilbert Hagedoorn, Guru3d.com
BCC: Story Law Group, Reno, NV

To see the images that were stolen check out the thread over at Benchmark Reviews. I am interested on seeing if Guru3D removes the article or if this issue will go any further. It really looks like Olin at Benchmark Reviews is ready to take this to the end as evident by the BCC to a legal firm in the letter.

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slugbug on July 15, 2010 08:19PM
I'm pulling for Olin.
Bosco on July 15, 2010 08:59PM
Pretty crappy thing to do..... This stuff is becoming more commmon.
bilcliff on July 15, 2010 10:25PM
that was a surprise. wonder if there's any other articles they've stolen
Bosco on July 15, 2010 10:27PM
I bet we will all be looking now. Shakes head
Guest comment
PR-0927 on July 15, 2010 10:56PM
Did you guys actually notice that it wasn't a review? And honestly, not a big deal at all, IMO.
Guest comment
LOL on July 15, 2010 11:02PM
Its not a DMCA violation at all Fail @ benchmarkreviews
jlqrb on July 15, 2010 11:03PM
It doesn't matter if it was not a review. It is right (and the law) to not steal copyrighted work. Try letting the RIAA that it is no big deal. With all do repect.
jlqrb on July 15, 2010 11:04PM
Um that should have try telling the RIAA, but I seem to just have developed Dyslexia.
Bosco on July 15, 2010 11:44PM
It doesn't have to be a review. The point is it was BR's content and Pictures. Who said it had to be a review? Why go through the trouble of deleting the watermark thats called being lazy not to mention downright stealing. That is why watermarks our put on websites pictures for this very reason.
Fight Game on July 15, 2010 11:52PM
whats sad, is that you could almost perform your own review in the time it takes to try to copy someone else's. thought that site was somewhat reputable, not no more
Guest comment
Richi1 on July 16, 2010 12:08AM
I have had this same problem, myself quite some time ago with komplett store here in Europe, although my pictures were not watermarked at the time if you right clicked properties, the pictures info was website name. but a picture is a picture i took so i contacted them with an email and just told them if they were to use my picture I wanted them to use it via my site (using my address) and credit me for it. they did, so all was fine, removing a watermark though well thats another thing, I myself have had to nick a picture from lost data, but I got permission of the original owner. Personally I would help out another website if they asked as we all provide info and opinions on products that help make end users decide on a purchase (that’s what i got into it for) but hey i am small fry compared to some... Guru3D is a good site, but I have also spoken to Olin of BmR a few times via email, I would go as far as saying if they would of asked Olin for an original without watermark (and they would give credit to BmR) Olin would of allowed it. After all we are all human an capable of making mistakes like deleting pictures directly from our cameras card and not recovering them. Not something i would of expected from Guru3d, but i also would of expected Olin to contact them direct rather than making it public after all we are all here just to make the readers life easier in the wide wide world of choice of computing components and such.. Guru were wrong for not asking for help or permission on the picture, but BmR were wrong in handling of the matter. Yes angry should be a feeling, but also diplomacy should of been used... but that’s just my opinion.
slick2500 on July 16, 2010 12:47AM
That reminds me of that guy that made that website with stolen reviews from here, just complete copy and paste jobs.
SenitaL on July 16, 2010 01:44AM
Surprised as sometimes i go there for random driver downloads and it seemed to be a good site, meh didn't bother checking the forums though as OCC is my home on the Internet :P
jack_of_java on July 16, 2010 05:18AM
I have had several discussions with Olin Coles from Benchmark reviews personally. I had asked permission from him to write an article a couple years ago on flashing and overclocking my 8800GTS. This guy is an authentic "nice guy." The information that he gave me for the article (which I never published), was given without question. His only request was to cite the information and pictures I had used. He even gave me quite a bit of information of his own work in oc'ing that helped. For Mr. Coles to seek action against another website for posting his work without asking permission or properly citing the source is his right and should be upheld. I wish him the best of luck with this, and hope that the Guru3d website makes proper amends to fix this problem.
ClayMeow on July 16, 2010 06:15AM
I think that's the key right there...citing. Guru3D willingly and knowingly stole the photos and tried to pass them off as their own without citing Benchmark Reviews. They would have been better off using the watermarked images and linking back to Benchmark Reviews and I guarantee this wouldn't have even been brought up.
jammin on July 16, 2010 12:47PM
Indeed, just as we have done on our own front page (using the watermarked images and linking back to the original article).
Guest comment
Olin Coles on July 16, 2010 10:11AM
Thank you all for your support. It's unfortunate that he removed our watermark and fashioned his own story without credit, but he has complied with the original email request sent yesterday morning. I'm thankful that Guru3d has taken down the story and removed our images.
ClayMeow on July 16, 2010 11:41AM
Glad to hear this issue has been resolved. Hope you don't have to deal with something like that again. Thanks for stopping by and providing us with an update.
Guest comment
Stan Mercer on July 22, 2010 02:47AM
More amusingly: Benchmark Reviews Disgraced as it Steals Copyrighted Work from Smart Furniture http://wosblog.podgamer.com/2010/07/22/exciting-benchmark-reviews-update-2/

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