Techie alleges Copyright violation by News Portal

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Tvm: An IT professional working in Kuwait has alleged Copyright Violation with the unauthorised use of his work by the leading Malayalam news portal, Manorama Online. The photograph takes up the lead banner space on the news portal’s special coverage page of a popular Christian convention in Kerala which began on Sunday. Noble Mathew, a native of Chengennur in Kerala, had uploaded the photo on Wikipedia and Panoramio.

In an email to Kerala IT News, Noble said, “Manorama Online has published a picture copyrighted by me along with an article on Maramon convention on February 13, 2011. The photo shows a panoramic view of the convention pandal and its surroundings. As a leading publisher with integrity, they should have verified the authenticity of the photo’s owner and at least shown the basic courtesy of mentioning the source and the photographer’s name with the picture”.

Noble had taken this photo in 2008 and published the same on Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License which clearly says that one must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor while having the freedom to copy or adapt the work. Four articles on Malayalam Wiki use this photograph. He is a regular contributor to Malayalam Wikipedia since Auguest 2007 and has several articles, over 300 photos and about 2,400 edits to his credit. The Malayalam Wiki had only last month crossed the one million edits milestone. The same photo on Panoramio, a community-powered site for exploring places, was also selected for Google Earth also.

Anil Philip
Kerala IT News

Update (Feb 15, 2011)

Manorama Online has regretted the mistake and the inconvenience caused. They have removed the image with immediate effect.

Editor’s Note:

It is very unfortunate that a leading news portal like Manorama Online resorts to such practices so often. Kerala IT News also has had several similar experiences of Copyright violation with them involving the use of our content without permission. Even after taking up issue with the Senior Management, they never bothered to give us the credit or even tender an apology. It is really bad that they encourage such unethical practices. The fact that a copyrighted photo was used without permission and that it went live when it was not supposed to, as mentioned in their reponse, speaks of the poor processes in place in the organisation.

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