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:
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:
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.
President, Designated Agent
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.