Honored or Belittled??

Word Count: 678 | Estimated time to read entry: 7 min

A few days ago, I received a comment from PaGaLGuY on my entry on Tapmi hostel life. I followed the link posted on my blog and was surprised/amused to see that they had decided to use one of my photographs on their site’s notification section. I also noticed that my name, hyperlinked to my blog entry, was specifically mentioned on the very top of the page.

I soon realized that the mention wasn’t very glorious after all. For one, PaGaLGuY didn’t quite think it necessary to ask/inform me before using the snap. The article appeared on PaGaLGuY on Aug 25 and the comment appeared on my blog only on Sep 5. Even then, it was a callous intimation conveying their action of having already used the snap instead of seeking permission.

For some reason, PaGaLGuy (wrongly) assumed that a post factum mention of my name/blog URL in exchange for the usage of my snap is sufficient enough to honor me. They also (and wrongly again) assumed that I would refuse usage if asked and decided to go ahead without my prior consent.

Now I wouldn’t want to get into the legalese of such usage (I can if I want to because I clicked the snap myself and I have uploaded it on my Flickr portfolio, the very act of which reserves my IPR on the snap under the ambit of Creative Commons), but a few things seem quite funny and worth a mention.

For one, the room in the pic was the dirtiest room in the whole of TAPMI men’s hostel – sorry Ashwin and Rohan 😀 In fact it was at its ‘dirty best’ just before the final packing and that was the very reason for my shooting it. It took me a hell lot of photoshopping to get it to the form it is currently in. It is strange that such a snap went on to represent TAPMI notifications on PaGaLGuy! Ashwin, Rohan – you have made TAPMI proud and this certainly calls for a round of ‘Lime Juice’ 😛

Secondly, the hostel premise has changed and the one shown in the photograph has been occupied by another institution in Manipal. In other words, it is definitely not relevant to the future batches that will step into TAPMI. Perhaps this snap or even this would have been a better fit – and yea PaGaLGuy, it is gratis in case you wanna use it now. 😉

Lastly, we now know for sure that there is not a single TAPMIan working at PaGaLGuy. It is quite inconceivable to think of a full-blooded TAPMIan forgetting all that rigorous citing, referencing and cross referencing training; especially not after most of our assignments running into a page or two but the appendix running into 30-odd pages, full of exact references, citations, foot notes and perhaps even the fingerprints, retinal scans and butt marks of the original author, whose works we chose to use in our assignment.

Perhaps, the only imaginable benefit from this whole episode is that those keeping a tab on TAPMI updates on PaGaLGuy will now want to read my blog. They might thereby stumble upon this entry, read the rigid rules at TAPMI and freeze to their bones. Of course, with the coming of the new management at TAPMI the rules also might have changed but they won’t know that until they have read this line and by then I would have already had my fun. That is the only imaginable benefit – I will get some cheap thrills by petrifying them for a while.

And in case the rules at TAPMI haven’t changed with the coming of the new management then the TAPMI faculty may site this “improper referencing” example in class to make things all the more clearer to the next batches, if PaGaLGuy doesn’t pull off the page in a haste. 😉

——

PS: If and when PaGaLGuy recruits a TAPMIan (s)he may come to me for fingerprints, retinal scans and (if the interviewer is a really pretty gal) my butt prints as well 😛


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16 Responses

  1. The rules are not as rigid as they used to be at TAPMI… actually, there seem to be no rules now. Lucky junies!!!
    TAPMI cannot be TAPMI without the rules… and yet… I hope this means there will be focus on “being yourself” and not conforming to general thinking.

  2. I’m hearing this Flickr thingie a lot. Pics being frisked by media mostly without consent. And I have no clue how that can be stopped !
    And a website called PagalGuy, huh ? OK !!

  3. Hi, I work at pagalguy.com and while putting together the TAPMI notification I came across the picture in question. I think it’s a great picture and being from Manipal myself (I’ve graduated this year from MIT), I thought that the picture was a good representation of Manipal life.

    I don’t really think that the stringent cross-referencing which you’ve mentioned really applies to this case. Nevertheless, if you do object to the use of the photograph in question then we shall replace it. Please do intimate pagalguy.com about how you stand on this issue by sending in a mail to editor@pagalguy.com.

    Cheers,
    Harsh.

  4. @Harsh Maskara-

    I had an inkling of a doubt that you might have been the one to post that pic because when I landed on the home page I noticed your byline on one of the articles. I also remember meeting you when you requested I judge one of the Revels event a year ago and again during the photography workshop. Am I right?? 😀

    Regarding your (uninformed) opinion on ‘stringent cross-referencing’ being inapplicable in this case and also your question regarding my take on your usage of the snap here onwards, I think I already made it clear on my blog. The whole entry was exactly on that!

    Seeing that you have missed it, let me reiterate that I am not pin-pointing the referencing aspect. I have mentioned in the very first paragraph that you have cited my name and hyperlinked my blog URL at the very top of the page. What I took exception to was your act of not informing me prior to the pic’s usage, which is a matter of ‘courtesy’ especially since you are my junior from MIT! (I graduated from MIT in 2004) 😉

    I have gone one step further and given you a few alternatives that, IMO, would suit your page much better than the one you chose to, well, what shall I say…seize?? Kindly note the word ‘gratis’ in that paragraph and that should certainly give you an idea about my “objection” to its usage.

    And boy! Providing that email id was certainly the crowning part. You really didn’t expect I would mail you out of sheer ‘courtesy’, did you???? 😉 😉

  5. hmmm storm in your tea cup aye……….well well seem to have stirred quite the hornet’s nest with your blog entry.

  6. Dude….mayb u shld take a session for the freshers in TAPMI this yr bout de imp of referencing…….n in case de fail to appreciate it….u can comfortably say de best u can…….BEEF

  7. Watermark all the images so that no one steals them.

    You can see this link: http://blog.twilightfairy.in/2008/09/01/toi-believes-flickr-is-for-flicking/

  8. @Manasa-

    Well, i do watermark them on flickr. This was a thumbnail sized version so it aint visible.

    and that link you provided is great! Commercial users should think before they flick.

  9. hey nice post hriday!
    all that stringent referencing and after affects of non referencing feel so amusing today and yes I am indebted to Tapmi for teaching me that..
    BTW I am disappointed with Pagalguy as they seem to try to give a peep into the business institutes ,..while omitting one of the most imp. thing- ethics.
    We know anybody wont refuse usage of their IPR material for such a noble cause but the right still remains with the author who needs to be intimated.. and the justofication from the pagal guy member is truly an EXCUSE!!

  10. Hey Hriday, thanks for commenting.. well legally I am not sure whether pagalguy.com did something incorrect or not since they gave you back a link and credit.. however even that should definitely be done with prior permission. And ethically speaking definitely permission is to be sought before you use something.

    It does not rest upon the user of this picture to evaluate how important it is to you or what its monetary value would be in order to assume its availability because it’s somewhere on the net.

    Thanks for posting my link here Manasa

    BTW I have lot of updates on that issue and would post them soon to my blog.. it’s a moral victory of sorts.

    🙂

  11. The site pagal guys has ads if I am not mistaken. So money is being made by them and your photo is contributing to their coffers. Even if is a little, commercial use is something that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

  12. @ Nita-

    That was exactly my grouse. otherwise it wud have been ok.

  13. hey long time…no new post!!

  14. @ rt-

    Sorry! 😛 been very lazy of late. coming soon….

  15. Most websites do this kinda of action. What I suggest is use a Copyscape banner on your website. There by letting others know that your content is copyrighted and original. If they still do copy it you can get them sued

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