Blog’s Content Theft by a (so called)Leading Newspaper

Before you read any further, please make sure you have read this article of “A Wide Angle View of India”.

Yes, You read right. A so called Popular News-Paper stole an Image from a bloggers article.
I could have written about this earlier but I was waiting for Nita (writer of “A wide Angle…”) to get a response from the News Paper (Hindustan Times) who stole a photograph from her article and printed it without any payment, permission or credit. Thats a serious thing. Some people are saying that “its just a photo.” But for a blogger who never tried to gain any financial benefits from her blog even its quite popular, its a serious thing. She works hard for giving her readers insights on different subjects which are socially important in India. She could have earned much money if she wanted to. But No, she is still writing for sake of readers.
Many bloggers have taken the initiative and everyone has written about it. There are many cases like this which need to be raised. If you are one of them, please don’t hesitate to protest.

You can do following if your content is stolen:

  • Write to the editor/owner/writer of the website/newspaper/any media (who has stolen the content) and tell them to remove it or ask them to give proper credit (and money if you want).
  • If you do not get a proper response, you can complain to Press Council of India. Read their guidelines here.
  • Ask blog world for help if you are a blogger. People out there will certainly guide you if you are really facing in-justice.

For Prevention:

  • Get a CC (Creative Commons) License for your work.
  • Put a copyright notice on your website.
  • Try to find out sites who are hot-linking your images which eventually eat your bandwidth.

There are many preventions and these are just basics.

Keep your eyes open and be ready. Constant Vigilance!!!

Update: Till date, The Press Council and other are just ignoring Nita.

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24 thoughts on “Blog’s Content Theft by a (so called)Leading Newspaper

  1. Heh, Constant Vigilance is so Mad Eye Moody!

    The Creative Commons license doesn’t do much. It’s not really an authority for one. Same with a copyright notice. When someone is using it, they won’t bother about any copyright notices. They know only too well that there’s a bright chance that you won’t come to know, and if you do, you’ll not do much but sulk. They know it’s probable that you won’t go wasting your time trying to get them to admit their fault.

  2. Ish, I thought about this before writing, but it still makes a difference if content is being used for commercial purpose and we find out about it.
    Lets see what happens to Nita’s case, I hope she gets some justice to her hardwork.

  3. I agree with Ish. The CC is there just for show and that’s why I removed it because it can in fact give a license to those who don’t want to use it to use it! I know that’s a strange way of looking at it! Anyway, it doesn’t stop the chors!
    Thanks for writing about this. Today I finally complained to the press council, this morning. I wonder if they will reply. I wrote to the HT again and lets see…!

  4. //Try to find out sites who are hot-linking your images which eventually eat your bandwidth.//

    Can u provide the a link to check that? I had found one but I didnt bookmark and history got deleted.

  5. Nita,
    Ok But I like CC 😀 and now you and Ish find a good way for us 😛

    Same happened with me, thats why I haven’t given a link. But will find it out soon and let you know.

  6. hey that sucks. I havent seen a newspaper do that over here, but I think thats mostly because bloggers are regarded as “haywire”, amatuer journalists by the mainstream press on this side of the pond.

    For the record who do I send the hatemail to?

    Lemme know and have a great day!

  7. Look what your comment made me do! 😀 I’m checking out your blogs from work, when I should be working…LOL.

    Anyway, seems like I’ve missed a lot. Really shocked to read that a reputed newspaper like Hindustan Times did this. It’s flattering in a way that they had to come to blogs to get relevant pics. But still…theft is theft.

    Nita- You can edit your pics to include a signature at the bottom right/left corner OR use a watermark. The watermark kind of spoils the pic, but it is a good way of preventing future theft. Please let me know if you hear back from the Press Council. This is a very serious issue and HT should either pay you or issue an apology note, at the very least.

  8. Ruhi, they can crop the picture to avoid the copyright. But watermark is a great idea, but then like you said it spoils the look.

    I guess now we have ‘BLOG(Content) PIRATES” in making. we have to stand together to avoid piracy.

  9. Sadly, in these cases, CC licensing will not help much as anyone willing to infringe upon an all rights reserved photo will not think twice about infringing on one with a more liberal license.

    The best protection for images on the Web right now is visible watermarking. If done well, it can balance visibility with usefulness and both deter this kind of misuse without causing undue stress on the viewers. It isn’t easy, but it can be done.

    In this case, I hope the matter is resolved well and I will be following it.

  10. CanOpener aka Robert
    We are not sending any hatemail to anybody yet, but I will surely let you know when we plan to 😀

    Ohh my god, what a lucky day. I am speechless, I am … err ok enough.
    You have missed many things and it will take much time to recover once you come back to your real virtual world 😛

    Ruhi and you are right, Watermark kinda spoils the picture. But if you are publishing a good and IMP photo then you should bear the spoiling rather than facing the theft.

  11. Jonathan Bailey
    Thanks for comment. I am thinking of experimenting some of my pictures and try variations of watermarks. If I find any effective way, I will publish it here.

    thanks for the link. 😀

  12. Nita – I have an idea. Can’t you write to news channels? They will erupt in your house. Maybe this would get the newspaper’s attention??
    p.s. – It would be great to see your interview on CNN-IBN. 😉

  13. Its really difficult to keep a track on these things. But yes, if it is only a case of photograph, watermarking is the best solution. But what about the contents (writings?) Wont it be very difficult for us to find out.

    And though i am writing this comment as a pro, if you check my blog ( you will see that all the photographs are with out the watermarks. I think i should start working on it.

    @ suda, great post. adding yo on my blog roll.

  14. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll. Tried watermarking my photographs. Didn’t work out well. I should try harder and get a better software…

  15. I am reading these comments only now as the last few days have been pretty hectic.
    Thanks to all of you guys for your support.
    Well till today no response from them but I managed to send another letter to someone we know in HT and he said he sent it to the editor. That happened today or I think saturday.
    Ruhi, I am too lazy to make a watermark! And then I think isn’t it too late coz so many of my photos are already on the net.
    Amit, I was visualising what you suggested and I was terrified. Publicity like that will terrify me!

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