Stealing works from writers/photographers and contributors from online to newspaper and the printed media- The new menace


08/10/2010 by The Sorcerer

Plagiarism is a criminal act and downright wrong no matter what. Its being done by many from an everyday surfer to even the best of intellectuals. If piracy is a crime, so is plagiarism.

This is a very recent event where Stuge, a member and one of the resident photographers of erodov forums had his work robbed by an advertisement agency for the Commonwealth games recently.You can see the series of comments/rants/”defense” from an assumed guy from the un-named Ad agency over here.

Before you say just about the second watermark, it is added later on after the fear that it might be stolen (but yeah it still got stolen). It was because of stuge’s effort to post this on multiple forum, website, twitter, facebook and putting on media channel/newspaper/website twitter and facebook accounts he was finally contacted. There is still no clear about the compensation but this just about proves my point. It will be even downright wrong if money is simply accepted and the name of the advertising agency is not publically exposed. If construction agencies are blacklisted by the goverment for substandard job, so should advertisement agencies. Being the commonwealth games event is all the more reason that it should be exposed to the best way possible (hence the effort to write this post) as it shows the current situation of how the contributors are robbed by commercial agencies, giving a bad name for the local printed media as an easy access to steal online content.

I am not sure many will do this but its best if every starts to share and blog about this just like how people like Saurav Sabnis wrote about IIPM. We protect and highlight the issue of one plagiarised article, many will benifit as commercial agencies will be careful and even skeptical to steal online content and put up in the printed media.


Its extremely difficult to protect your online content unless you want to put a HUGE logo bang in the middle or put your written content in the form of an image file. We’ve seen how those clippings/expose look especially when news channels put those horrible multi-coloured “exclusive” sticker bang in the middle (there was a time they used watermark and still do, but plagiarists have their own way of destroying such watermarks by further degrading the quality of the content. People like us do it for free. There are also many who have spent a lot of time, money and resources just to get it right for the good of the people. Its as it is sad that many of the reporters/writers in many ‘respected’ media are idiots who don’t have any ethics and present news like a salesman or a producer of a commerical series/movie (still he/she is a salesman).

My request to the readers who also contribute their content for free not only to use watermarks on places that can’t be cropped easily, but to start adopting the use and implementation of creative commons license– especially for written content, even in the forums. For the writers/contributors who have doubts if this is valid in India, can refer to this.

Edit (09-10-10): If you need proof that its the same picture, if this video doesn’t prove it, nothing will. (Credits to Shripad- excuse the mx518 and the “Holy-Canoly fans :p)

Here’s the pic if you can’t see it for some reason:

Stuge updated the thread saying that he got the compensation via cheque and a letter. No word on the compensation (its cool, best if no1 knows or else our great economists will have another debate) but no name of the agency is given yet. If he did- I will put it up here. If not, well, I guess every man has a cost to be silent.

Update 10-10-10: The agency responsible for this “incident” is Quantum Communications. According to AFAQ and I quote:

JWT, Mercantile Advertising and Quantum Communications have been entrusted with the creative and media duties for the CWG’s Delhi episode; the agencies will look primarily at brand building multimedia such as television, print, outdoor, radio and various on-ground activities. MindShare will look after the media duties from JWT’s side; Quantum and Mercantile, which are full fledged agencies, offer media services as part of their portfolio. Idiom, a design agency, has designed the logo and is responsible for the look and feel of the brand that is being built around the CWG.

Its best if people start watermarking their screenshots/photos. This way people who YOUR pictures/screenshots from forums, websites, photo-hosting sites like flickr, etc. will be reduced dramatically.


2 thoughts on “Stealing works from writers/photographers and contributors from online to newspaper and the printed media- The new menace

  1. Kranthi says:

    I did read about it man ,its a shamefull act by the ones who have done it

    Plagiarism is a PITA being a student at Univ 😛

  2. […] Times of India steals photos from Divyesh Sejpal’s flickr account- but this ain’t something new. This story is no different from a particular guy a year ago when Times of India Delhi Edition displayed a stolen picture for Commonwealth games promotional ads…. […]

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