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Times of india copies my photograph without credit
Sep 27, 2008 07:53 AM 4708 Views
(Updated Oct 13, 2008 05:07 PM)

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This is to bring to the attention of the world that India's leading publication house, Times of India has comfortably lifted an image from internet and has published it without giving any credit.

Incidently it happens to be a photo I had taken few months back (16th Feb 2008). Those in Chennai are requested to have a look at yesterday's (26th Sep 2008) Times Of India, Chennai Edition, page 5. There is a small photograph of white Accent, Chennai's Police patrol vehicle.

If you can't grab Chennai edition of today's Times of India, here's a image taken from their epaper (link-go to page 5.) Photo you see in the article is very small in size hence can be painful to compare. I'll try to scan the newspaper report for a better image and add later.

I'd clicked this photo few months back at Marina beach and had uploaded it to my blog. Some users have referred to this image in some forum discussions also and incidently, if you search for Chennai police car in google, this image comes first.

This image was first published during Feb 2008 in my post titled "Running for Traffic Awareness" High resolution image of this can be found below:

Now TOI has simply lifted it and used it for a related story, without giving credit to the photographer. I would have ignored it if some unknown person had done this, but India's reputed newspaper, Times Of India also resorting to cheap copy paste approach is extremely disappointing.*

This is a lesson for myself and others that we need to be more careful about our intellectual property. In fact many bloggers have been victims of this plagiarism- Yahoo content provider WebDunia was repeatedly accused of lifting recipes from blogs. Top travel blogger Mridula had to fight with airline authorities as some of her photographs were published in in-flight magazines, without credit.(I couldn't locate that exact post-Mridula, if you're reading this pls give the link to that post) More examples of mainstream media lifting images from blogs without credit can be found in this post

Is there any foolproof mechanism to protect our IP from being lifted for free? Adding watermark may not work, as it can be edited in photoshop and changes will be near impossible to ascertain when image is published in small size. Another way is to ensure that original full resolution is never uploaded to internet. This can help proving your ownership in case of dispute.

Many other photos that I have clicked and uploaded, those of BMTC and MTC Volvo buses and many other pics are also topping search engines in image searches. Guess many would have copied them also...

I may not be able to pursue a legal battle against TOI and I suspect emails may go unattended. Let me explore what I can do.

Any assistance, suggestions are most welcome

Update: TOI has issued a clarification in their 8Th October issue (Chennai edition) about the incident, apologizing for the same and giving me due credit.

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