Petty theft

It is a kingly jest when kings hold out their palms to beg. However, when you weild as much influence as a king, and yet steal from the common man, you are nothing more than a petty thief. More so when you claim to report the unbiased truth, but don't have a conscience of your own. Yes, I'm talking of unacknowledged filching of images and text from bloggers by the mainstream print media in India.

It is funny, really... how these newspapers get away with it. Look at the recent example from Shrinidhi's blog: they just posted it there with no acknowledgement of the source. From a respectable newspaper, you'd expect permission to copy, and some negotiation for monetary compensation. Unfortunately, the Slimes of India believes that they at a higher state of spiritual enlightenment than any respectable newspaper, and hence "Raam naam japna paraya maal apna". After all, the advaita philosophy preaches the Oneness of all creation, and hence the Theives of India don't need to bother about copyright: whatever is yours is mine.

However, if you want your daily dose of laughter, consider this excerpt from Twilight Fairy's blog:
I immediately called up the editor of this supplement - a lady called Poonam singh - who said she will look into the issue. I wrote about 3 mails in all, asking for (a very meagre) compensation for the damages done as well as credit. For one, I never got a response in written - but of course that would mean acknowledging the theft. When I called up, I was told that it is common practice to “use” free images from the net! Flabbergasted at the audacity of this all, I clearly asked whether TOI staff was blind or illiterate to not be able to make out the clearly written statement on my flickr stream and my copyright license, both of which stated that my images can NOT be used without my explicit permission - ALL rights reserved. This is plagiarism in its full glory. Not only this, on asking for compensation, Ms. Poonam singh clearly told me that as a next step I could even go to lawyers and that this case will then be forwarded to the legal department of TOI.

Hence, bloggers, please keep an eye out. Not just images from your blog, but things you've published on your flickr stream or picasaweb can be just "lifted" by any of the newspapers. Even whole passages of posts... you never know. And the fact that you haven't yet been a victim (or at least not that you know of) might just mean that you're next in line. Look around in the blogosphere and you'll find other dailies doing this as well. Shame on you, really!

Comments

  1. Shame on them. I've updated my blog with recent updates in this matter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've also written on this issue.

    Take a look.

    ReplyDelete
  3. U shd probably send an email to other rival newspapers. and to people at dna.com/youthcurry etc., They might take up your cause..

    ReplyDelete
  4. Shrinidhi, yes, and in view of the recent reply, yaay to the newest medium of communication --- yaay to bloggers! :)

    Hari, yes, good job!

    Anonymous, yeah good suggestion but unfortunately the email to the editor bounced -- mailbox full. I guess they don't really pay heed :)

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  5. Hindustan Times stole from me some time back, and they have not bothered to reply to me. Not even the Press Council has bothered to reply!
    http://nitawriter.wordpress.com/2008/05/30/a-major-indian-newspaper-steals-a-bloggers-photograph/#comment-109524

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  6. Nita, yes I know... have visited that page. You should try doing all the stuff Shrinidhi did... it worked!

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  7. Sorry I'm late but here's my post on it! http://myalpinepath.blogspot.com/2008/11/theft-in-times.html

    ReplyDelete
  8. Alpine path, thank you for writing anyway. Will read and comment.

    ReplyDelete

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