Hindustan Times steals a blogger’s photograph

One hears of bloggers infringing copyright but have you ever heard of a major “reputed” publication stealing a blogger’s work? Well, here is an instance. I got a shock to see that a reputed newspaper like the Hindustan Times had stolen a photograph of mine. I say stole because I have not been given any credit for the same. This newspaper is a commercial entity and therefore has no right to publish anyone’s work without payment and acknowledgment. If this photograph had been used with acknowledgment and for non-commercial use I would have said nothing. But this paper with so many photographers at its beck and call has the temerity to steal a photograph of a blogger who makes no money from her work!

Here it is as it appeared on the middle page of the newspaper below Rajdeep Sardesai’s column. The headline of the article caught my eye as I am interested in the subject and in fact have written on tuitions. I wanted to check if the writer has stolen my work…I have come across some such instances…and well, I discovered that the article is original, but the photo is mine! I took it out near my house and have used it on this blog. The only reason I saw this picture is because I subscribe to Hindustan Times. Did they think that because I am a Mumbai blogger I wouldn’t find out? Here is the article in which the photograph taken by me appeared – in today’s Mumbai edition:

copyright violation

copyright violation2

copyright infringement3

I have used this photo in this article of mine titled Impact of coaching classes on a nation’s psyche on my own blog. And I can easily prove that the picture is mine because I had cropped the picture. I have the original picture with me which is much larger…and well the larger picture also means a high resolution one. There is no way they can try to cheat me!! Well, I am writing to them too…but my past experience with newspapers is not leaving me hopeful. There is a newspaper I used to write for which stole my ideas but when I protested (I even met the editor) she gave me sweet talk but no compensation. I let it go as I had been writing for the newspaper (as a freelancer) for 2 years. So I know that big newspapers do this kind of thing, but it’s difficult to prove it.

The best way to publicize this is for other bloggers write about this. I would really appreciate if they did because up till now the Hindustan Times has not responded to my letter. I have written two letters to them and a few days ago complained to the Press Council of India. They have not acknowledged recieving my complaint. Hopefully they did receive it as it was sent to the both the email id’s given on their site (one of them bounced back but the other went through).

(This post was first published on my own blog here.)

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5 responses to “Hindustan Times steals a blogger’s photograph

  1. i read about this in ish’s blog. extremely unethical of the newspaper! and this isn’t the first time they stole something from you too, as you explained above, which makes this crime even worse. i hope the press council of india will take action. good on you for spreading this injustice; at the very least even if you didn’t get the justice you deserve (credit and compensation for your previous article, as well as the photo) you’ve exposed the true credibility of this newspaper. a blog has international readership and posts can be easily searched through search engines, no matter how old; i wouldn’t be surprised if people would stumble upon your blog through this post.

  2. Thanks Sulz! Actually this is the first time, but that is bad enough!! I am just re-posting this here because Jyotsna (who has also had similar problems) because we want this blog to be a place where we can all talk about plagiarism.
    Yes, even I agree that this is the only way is to shame these people who call themselves a national newspaper! Over a week has passed and they have not bothered to reply to my complaint letter. I don’t know what exactly to do now…how to take this forward as the HT people don’t want to talk to me!
    You have a wide readership Sulz, can you mention this blog to people? You see, we want committed members to join in too and we will post anyone’s plagiarism complaint. We want to create awareness about plagiarism. There are many international sites like this, but none from India. I know you don’t live in India but this is not an India-only site as such.

  3. Nita – Its sad to see HT do such stuff. When I was a new blogger (I still think I am) it was easy for me to google stuff and add it in my blog until I realised its not my stuff and it may be a copyright issue. But that’s me, a new blogger! HT, a national newspaper doing something like this is totally not tolerable and I hope you get the justice you deserve! All the best, I am with ya!

    Keep writing, keep smiling and stay healthy,
    ~RJ

  4. Thanks RJ for your support. Yes true what you say, there is no excuse of HT to behave the way they did.

  5. Pingback: The Expansionist Meme With Some Link Love « bloggerdygook

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