Clear And Present Danger Redux

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

In 1994 in the film ‘Clear and Present Danger’, CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel.

In 2012, in the sequel ‘Clear And Present Danger Part Deux‘ CIA Analyst Chris Riegel is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Crystal Display Systems that seems intent on stealing ideas, video and claiming product as their own.

Exhibit (a), (disingenuous at best), is their corporate web site (screenshot shown here to the right) that conveniently places a video of STRATACACHE’s patent pending transparent cooler door above their own text.

Exhibit (b) M’lud is the actual video. Watch or fast forward to 41 seconds and you will see a certain Mr Chris Riegel on the right hand side of the frame looking at his (wait for it) – yes his OWN PRODUCT!

Exhibit (c) is the headline that DID SAY up until recently ‘NEW transparent advertising Display fridge cooler‘. In the past 24 hours that text has been changed to read ‘Transparent advertising Display fridge cooler’ (the word ‘NEW’ has been removed).

Exhibit (d) is the text underneath that headline and video, we quote “Crystal Display Systems Limited has supplied its new transparent displays for a major blue chip “carbonated” water supplier to be integrated into its new drink coolers. This will add dynamism and advertising messages to an otherwise bland piece of equipment. These will be launched within the next few months across the UK and Europe”.

The video shown in exhibit (b) is clearly nothing to do with Crystal Displays at all – in fact (we don’t even need Mr Riegel to appear in the video) to know that it’s circa 2010 – it has a generation one door (the grey ‘surround’ gives it away) which STRATACACHE used in Q1 and Q2 2011.

Judging by the Nestle content on the door this (pirate) video was probably shot at GlobalShop in 2011.

The transparent cooler shown in exhibit (b) has absolutely NOTHING to do with Crystal Display Systems AND if Crystal Display Systems were being totally honest they would have (i) asked and gained permission from STRATACACHE for use of said video, (ii) clearly titled the video as something like ‘STRATACACHE’s Transparent Cooler System shown at GlobalShop in 2011′ and (iii) made sure that there were no patents pending on such technology before blatantly copying.

Again in the last 24 hours, the web site has been changed (nothing like being caught red handed for a last minute bout of attempted honesty) and the text ‘*Please note the above image / video is not linked to our project but is purely there to show examples of uses of transparent displays and we are in no way taking credit for the application’ in italics has been added.

Late last week Crystal Display Systems trumpeted the fact that they had supplied transparent displays to Harrods in London but with this kind of blatant plagiarism we find it hard to differentiate between what they claim to be theirs and what is simply the work of others.


9 Responses to “Clear And Present Danger Redux”

  1. Sierra Says:

    They say that plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery. That being said, how could you be so blatantly ignorant to copy someone else’s IP, call it your own and hope to get away with it? Can’t wait to see their installation! NOT.

  2. Nikk at Pixel Says:

    This sort of thing happens all the time – it’s stopped us publishing our brochures online nowadays, as we found people simply copied the text and pictures and used them as their own. We even had a competitor steal our web design a few years ago (we found their brief to a freelancer using google!). When everyone sees content as free and without protection, this I think is the unfortunate ultimate end point….

  3. Geof Jones Says:

    I think some people are so quick to get PR, Videos etc out there to get product launched they take what they can, where they can – The problem is they then brand as their own and try and get sales off the back of it.

    Our website, pics & videos have been copied by a competitor in Manchester – not only is it our pics, its my hand holding the projection materials – surely if i could be bothered i could claim copywrite for my hand – but why waste any energy on these people …

    Its the industries drive to make money in a saturated industry, and the quickest way is to copy ideas and concepts – something I agree with Nikk – we dont use web to sell/ promote half our stuff due to blatent copying from others.

    Copywrite in the UK is a farce, even putting Website disclaimers isn’t worth the effort – as who would waste time, money and energy taking these people to court.

    We will keep innovating and they will keep copying – but one day they will overstep the mark and our legal team will finish them …

  4. Chris Bartram (Crystal Display Systems) Says:

    Clearly one can only be disappointed with this ridiculous, inaccurate article and is never sure whether to give it the time of day, but due its use of dramatic misleading title down to the inaccuracies and comments bordering on libel we felt we had to reply to this bizarre article. The article does a disservice and devalues Dailydooh and its readership as it is quite simply lazy reporting and almost reduces this online publication to a form of gossip column, which is disappointing for all. But let me explain and try to bring some fact and reality to proceedings. One would expect better from Mr. Cotterill as we believe he is better than this.

    First point is Crystal Displays has not been contacted by Mr. Cotterill or any individuals in the above piece – surely the first rule of journalism is check your facts and talk to the source?! This has not been done which is poor. The accusation that we are claiming the product in the video is completely false as we mention supplying a carbonated water company (cannot mention the brand yet due to NDA, and we respect that) but the video is quite simply a number of video clips showing “examples” of the use of the transparent technology! Surely anyone with a grasp of the English language will realise THEY ARE SEPARATE ITEMS! Our question to Mr. Cotterill is “Where does it state conclusively that the ice cream freezer is our design? Most people know that carbonated water is NOT Ice Cream! May be an assumption has been made that there is a link, but as an old Boss of mine told me never assume otherwise you make an ASS out of U and ME! We cannot be held responsible if Mr. Cotterill has put 2 and 2 together and got 5!

    Point 2 is that although the title and the opening statement is dramatic it is actually incomprehensible as it gives the impression Mr. Riegel and the US government is at war with Crystal Displays but we have never had contact or communications with either at the time of publication, which is why this is incomprehensible and again lazy inaccurate reporting. I have read it 11 times now and still do not understand what it is referring to specific to Crystal Displays. The second rule of Journalism is surely clarity?!

    Point 3: The comment regarding our Harrods design and questioning whether we supplied this could be seen as potentially libellous as it strikes at the heart of our credibility and reputation which needs to be addressed. But rather than hide behind a poor article and simply publish without any real journalistic thought behind it the correct course of action would have been to pick up the phone or send an email if Mr. Cotterill does not like using the phone to check the facts or even call Harrods themselves to add some clarity and facts to the article. Publications are always asking for actual examples of commercial designs but when we send a legitimate one, we are subjected to such an unprovoked and false onslaught, and that is sad.
    It is a real shame that such unprofessionalism takes up so much time and us away from our actual business. Summary to follow ……
    In summary, we are afraid to say an inaccurate lazy piece of reporting littered with inaccuracies and unsubstantiated innuendo which could have easily been rectified with a little effort and communication, and discredits Dailydooh. We are shocked that an established organisation can make such an unprovoked and unsubstantiated attack on a small company and smacks of a Bully, when we only want to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. We apologise to anyone who is not happy with the video or the clips of the applications but feel strongly the attack in the article is unfounded and unfair.

    Consequently, we request a written apology from the Editor in Chief within the next 48 hours highlighting the FACTS that (1) we have not claimed any of the designs in the video to be our own; (2) confirmation that Crystal Displays is NOT in any conflict / war with the US government; and most strongly (3) the implication that we may not have supplied Harrods with the transparent Displays they have on Brompton road as this puts our honesty and credibility into direct question, and that is unacceptable.

  5. Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief Says:

    Dear Mr Buttrum

    Clearly you have been caught red handed attempting to pass off the work of others as your own (your attempts to re-word your web site in the last 24 hours not withstanding).

    Perhaps our ‘mistake’ as you see it, is our attempt at keeping the industry honest.

    You can read your ‘corporate’ web site anyway you like but it is clear to everyone else that you were attempting to infer that the video clip (still requiring permission to publish btw) was yours – otherwise you would have clearly labelled such clip as being STRATACACHE’s product, filmed at GlobalShop 2011 and given proper credit.

    Your ‘honesty and credibility’ were questioned the moment you decided to put that video clip up on your site, direct potential customers to it and NOT clearly label it as the work of others.

    With reference your last paragraph requesting an apology – I think you have got that all wrong, it is YOU that should apologise (a) to Mr Chris Riegel and (b) to the industry

  6. Jack Ryan Says:

    I hereby authorise the United States Navy to deploy the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) battle group to enforce a full air and sea blockade of the United Kingdom.

    While Crystal Displays denies having any ‘Weapons of Glass Production’ I will authorise airstrikes by Drones, Tomahawk Missiles and Stealth Bombers on the Crystal Facility as of 5 PM EDT today.

  7. Tom Clancy Says:

    Dear Mr Ryan, “Weapons of Glass Production”? The only ‘facility’ that three men and a dog outfit Crystal Displays probably have is the one you sit on. Should you wish to initiate any military response may I respectfully suggest the Navy Seals and oh, strike at dawn – that’s when the ‘facility’ is most likely to be in use – the morning after the evening before’s takeaway curry!

  8. Luis Villafane Says:

    Well, he got caught. Period. This will pass, we will forgive but not forget.
    This reminds me of something that happen a few years back.
    I was telling a client that we had almost completed the software installation on the London Underground. He was so surprised… Aparently, there were a few companies that were claiming the “entire project” as their own. Well, not exactly. They omitted on their webs that they only did a few parts of the project (some just hardware, some just one station, some a few LCDs). But when reading their website, it looked that they were responsible for everthing.
    So, this is not a first and will not be a last.

  9. Tony Bliar Says:

    I also authorise a strike as clearly they can deploy WMV’s within minutes.

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