Online copyright violation is quite widespread. Some do it in ignorance of law; the others with just a callous attitude of “no one’s gonna sue you back!” But is it fair to use someone else’s work as your own? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate if you just attribute the work to its original creator, not because it is legally mandatory, but because it is their moral right to have an attribution? It’s an age of Creative Commons. People are open enough to let others use their work for free; isn’t it the responsibility of the media users to give the attribution at minimum? It takes nothing, but people don’t even do that little thing!
A local news site “Nagpurpulse” has used one of my Wikipedia photos on their site without any attribution. I asked them in a comment to attribute the photo to me; they didn’t. They didn’t even reply the comment. I tweeted them; no reply. Then, I wrote a mail; no reply again! It has been 15 days now I have gotten no reply from them. Now, I am free to work in my way. Though I am not going to play dirty, I have no respect remained for those who “do not care!”, and now I do not need to care about their “online reputation.”
Here, I am releasing the mail to public:
August 1, 2012
This is my second mail to you regarding the copyrights of a photograph used on your site (http://is.gd/ngprvr). I have already brought it to your notice, and twice, that you are using one of my photographs on your site illegally. I had also suggested you to attribute this photo to me as soon as possible or to take it down. You seem to have taken it too lightly.
Rashmi Priya, the author of the said article, seems to be a motivational speaker who teaches people about blogging, etiquette, etc. It is hard to believe that someone who teaches people online etiquette can behave such irresponsibly; it is hard to believe it is just because of ignorance.
I really appreciate your efforts to run a site devoted to Nagpur and its issues. I appreciate you for using appropriate photo content to your posts, but the photos you use from net are the intellectual property of those who take them. I hope you understand the importance to adherence to the laws regarding intellectual property. Apparently, you took that photo from Wikipedia. I hope you understand that Wikipedia photos are free to use, but only given you follow the conditions made mandatory in the license. The said photo is licensed under CC-BY-SA. It states that you are free to use the photo only under the conditions that you attribute the photo to the original author and that you release it under the same license. This means that you MUST attribute the photo to me and MUST release it under CC-BY-SA, certainly not “All Rights Reserved” that’s the standard license for you site.
So, take it mandatory, I want you to attribute the photo to me as “Image Credit: Ganesh Dhamodkar (CC-BY-SA).” This must happen with immediate effect. I don’t want you to make me to take grave steps, and in that case only you will be responsible for it. This is the last chance for compromise; hope you understand the seriousness of it.
I know it won’t make much difference to the pachyderms. God bless them!
P.S. Check the PDF version of this letter here. I have tried to embed a Tweet button in PDF.