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:
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.)