The newspaper DNA (Daily News and Analysis - http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore) seems to have involved in not verifying its sources of photographs and having used my photographs (does this amount to plagiarism? I think it does) after it carried some of my pictures in the 'After Hrs' section of its newspaper on 31st January 2009, which I had taken at the IIMB Yamini 2009. It is good that they covered the event but they should have cited/verified the sources of the photographs. In all probability they or their sources just picked up the photos from my blog, with the belief that no one would notice anyways - seems they could not escape as luck would have it, I spotted them in the DNA paper on Saturday. It was early in the morning when as I flipped open the last page of the supplement that I was stunned to see my pics, which I was able to recognize immediately - however there were no credits anywhere in sight!
Please check the photos below from the e-paper version on their website (All 3 photos under the TREAT OF THE MELODIES heading on the left hand side are from my camera - a Nikon S10 taken on 25th/26th Jan 2009 - and have been cropped) and my previous entry covering Yamini 2009. The photographs are exactly the same and I don't see any reason for doubts (I cannot think of the same angle, the same pose and everything else resembling my photograph and yet the photograph being taken by some one else in real time at the exact time - these are exactly the photos I clicked!!). The clinching evidence is the first one in this image - now compare it with this image - observe the silihoutte of heads obstructing the view of my camera are also in exactly the same positions. Essentially boils down to the fact that the DNA newspaper used my photographs - without permissions and without publishing due credits! Doesn't this amount to plagiarism?
Would like to know your views on this - use the comments link below to leave your comments. Even after two mails to editoronline[at]dnaindia[dot]com email ID I have not got any reponses from their end.
Click on the image below with the highlighted section in red - it has the three images:
(All the images above have been captured from the DNA e-paper website - http://epaper.dnaindia.com - Bangalore section, After Hrs section dated 31st January, 2009)
PHOTO PLAGIARISM UPDATE - Feb 04, 2009: Called up their number and I spoke to a DNA executive and placed my demands. I was also told that their people would get back to me. Nobody called back. Second time I called up in the afternoon and spoke again with the same and extremely courteous sounding lady, some positive noises were made and then they are yet to get back with concrete details. Given the fact that three (3 not just one) digital images were taken and was subsequently published in the paper and this paper was sold (naturally for commercial purposes) the gravity of the situation is much more serious and damaging.
The DNA folks have been rather courteous and professional in their behaviour, and have accepted and apologized immediately within 24 hours - although I must add that the copyright infringement is a serious offense and they should be aware of it under Section 63 it is a punishable offence and damages of upto 2 lakhs and 6 months imprisonment is possible if an FIR is filed.
They must cease and desist from such unprofessional behaviour given that they are an established media house whose Ads you see all over the place - such incidents will only tarnish their own reputation.
Today evening I was sent a mail to the tune of:
Dear Shamit Bagchi,
We have taken note of your observation and would like to inform you that it was just an error and therefore apologize for the same. Since this was an error, we will be carrying an apology with a photo credit in After Hrs. Henceforth, we will seek your permission before publishing any material from your blog and reveal the source of the information.
Thanks and regards,
Editor, For After Hours.
Although the just an error thing seems lame and funny, I wish all the very best to DNA ahead!! Being a subscriber to their paper I hope their reporting standards only improve.
Let's see what they do ahead - and stay tuned for the credits/errata etc.
PHOTO PLAGIARISM UPDATE - Feb 06, 2009, Friday: Three days have gone by, but no apology or photo credits - not only do these guys involve in online theft they seem to be far away from truth too! Sweet and pleasant words on the outside, something very different on the inside, these guys lack professionalism it seems very clear now. Guess the gumption - they are refusing to even speak nowadays; with the receptionist informing me they are not available or busy in some meeting. Pertaining to the plagiarism itself, having claimed acceptance and suggesting an apology/photo credits is not sufficient - conveniently claiming an error as if they are not aware of the legal consequnces, absolutely irresponsible approach. Apparently even freelance photographers are paid for their photography, so the fact that my photographs were stolen (online theft) and sold as part of the newspaper, the basic courtesy of compensation should have been extended. I could have put a legal notice but have desisted from such a decision. No clue when the photo-credit/apology will be published.
By the way the KK concert during Unmaad @ IIMB yesterday was just amazing with serpentine crowds, loud music and cheering fans - a great evening it was indeed!