An Open Request To Bangalore Mirror: Stop Lifting My Content.


I put in a lot of my life and soul into this blog. That is no secret.

I also put in a lot of personal content into this blog. They have in the past led to OMGWTF sort of situations with people who knew me who I didn’t know. My kidhood/teenage/adultLife experiences, some of them with a liberal amount of exaggeration, some of them rather embarrassing, are all chronicled here.

And hence it is very important that I control the content of this blog.

Which is totally, totally impossible these days.

Because the losers at Bangalore Mirror keep lifting my content left, right and center. And publish my work in that infernal rag of theirs.

They of course mention the URL of this page as a safeguard against plagiarism accusations.

But. They violate the Creative Commons License my blog is under. Because it requires that my consent be taken before my content is used for commercial purposes. Newspaper, even of the Mirror variety, qualifies as commercial.

I also try to make sure my blog entries are grammatically correct, and have no spelling mistakes whatever, and I put in my best effort to not misuse case. The Mirror, in spite of having people dedicated to this task, somehow manage to screw the grammar, punctuation and spellings up. Heck, they can’t even do a proper CtrlC-CtrlV.

And I’m always respectful here. I don’t use abusive words at people. I even refer to Chetan Bhagat as Mr. Bhagat. In the Mirror however, it becomes a rude ‘Bhagat’.

I have previously taken offence at this sort of rude lifting of my content without my permission and even mailed an editor there. I got back an assurance that this won’t happen again:

Dear madam

Our editor Mr Sreenivas has drawn my attention to your objections to our publishing your blog entry which we carried in our newspaper on Oct 15. I appreciate the points you raised, regarding what is appropriate for a blog and what is appropriate for a newspaper. I must confess the fine distinction you made escaped us while choosing your blog entry, which we thought was witty and interesting. We wrongly assumed that what is already in the public domain of a blog is suited for the public domain of a newspaper; you correctly point out that a blogger may put it out in a blog precisely because he/she knows that not everyone related to him or her will read it. As for not seeking your permission, this lapse happened on our part because we assumed that Balanarayan had obtained your permission previously, and that would apply in general to what we chose to carry. We were wrong about that. I wish we had sought your permission first. We apologise for the the distress it has caused to you, and will ensure that we will henceforth seek your permission if we feel a particular entry is suitable for our column.

Thank you.
Subhash

The Balanarayan mentioned here is chuchap, who took my permission once before publishing my post a year or two ago in the Mirror (And who is currently not employed with Bangalore Mirror). And they say they assumed that I had given permission to lift my blog for posterity. Going by that token, shouldn’t they have stopped lifting my content when I expressed my displeasure at their doing so? They didn’t. They went on and flicked my Facebook post. Something I totally totally don’t want in a newspaper. And certainly not  in the Mirror for godsake.

And what stops these losers from ASKING? I have an About page, a contact form, and a comments section. Isn’t that sufficient for someone who wants to get in touch with me from getting in touch with me? How hard is it to write a comment, for godsake?

Initially when I started blogging, I didn’t much care about others lifting my content. Any publicity was good publicity, wasn’t it? But that was when I gave the printed word more respect than I do now. Now I don’t really much care about publicity, unless it’s getting me some work in machine learning. I don’t anymore have any writerly dreams to the extent I used to, because more important and exciting things grab my attention now. I do dream of taking a year off and writing that novel I’ve always wanted to put down to paper, but it’s not the most important ambition in my life at the moment. The only places I would work hard to get published in are places like this. I’m sorry, but my life has become infinitely more sadder that I don’t care about being published in a daily rag anymore.

Plus, I want more control over my content online. I can remove a post if someone says they’d rather not like it up on the Internet, and if I agree about it. I don’t want my words being under some third party’s control. Call me paranoid, but that’s how it is.

And heck, why am I even justifying myself. This is my blog. Rispect Mah Authoritah. Hang yourself before you even think of lifting my content.

PS: In other news, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake with its epicenter in Mexicali in Mexico was felt in Southerns California. I thought I was merely feeling dizzy due to an excellent lunch, when my roommate yelled out that it was an earthquake and we moved out of the house. It was pretty mild. We’re all safe. Though, Disneyland stopped its rides for a while.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
This entry was posted in Bangalore, Blogging, Priya's Travails, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to An Open Request To Bangalore Mirror: Stop Lifting My Content.

  1. harish says:

    If they lift from your blog so frequently, why don’t you become a freelance columnist for them? ondishTu duDDu kooDa koDabahudu. Naavu nODu, even after two years of ‘being on the internet(mindry.in)’, we still are shamelessly attention seeking-u. HaagirbEku.

    • wanderlust says:

      oLLe idea. tell the mirror folks i’ll be their ‘farin correspondent’. and my salary should be in USD. would be good, no? everyone is happy. neevelli shamelessu matte attention seekingu? you are the least attention seeking popular folks i know.

      • harish says:

        Ya ya, daalars only they should pay. Nee faarinu nODu. But your political views ashTu TOI friendly illa. Innoo more liberal aagbEku. adbiTTre ok. And yes, you need to make a few grammar mistakes.

  2. Vikram Subramanya says:

    Reminds me of those days when a pic of me some obscure ToI page would get me all worked up about. I would run around Bangalore with the page in hand announcing it to anyone who cared. Gone are those days of feeling special for no reason at all!

    Glad to know you are working towards JMLR. Good luck “Ms. Authoress”!

  3. dhaval says:

    I am pretty sure you should be able to sue them for some amount. Go for it..

  4. | Balu | says:

    Oy please do mention that I don’t work with BM any longer =D

  5. Devdas Bhagat says:

    @wanderlust Keep in mind that journalists are being laid off in the US. Also, salary is USD does not mean that the amount would match :).
    “I’ll be happy to pay you in USD, but the amount would still be an Indian salary.”

    • wanderlust says:

      Since I’m in the US, if my salary is paid in Rupees, I might lose some in buying-selling rates. Hence anyyyway salary in USD is preferable.
      And I don’t have as much of a concern about journos being laid off anywhere in the world as much as I do about software folks being laid off.

  6. S says:

    Shameless people! “assumed that what is already in the public domain of a blog is suited for the public domain of a newspaper” WTF.

    In fact, besides the ‘NC’ (Non-commercial) part of the CC-BY-NC licence which says they shouldn’t use it anyway, the ‘BY’ part requires attribution to you, not as “Bloggers” with just a URL. Though it’s another matter whether you’d be happier if they printed your name. 🙂

  7. buddy says:

    Apparently the TOI did not learn its lesson after the abyssmal failure of Mumbai mirror.

  8. Akshay N R says:

    Interesting…
    I had two of my posts in Bangalore Mirror when I was back in India. And both the times the same Balanarayana had taken my permission before posting it. However, that now brings me to the question: Has Bangalore Mirror flicked any of my posts after I left India the same way they have urs? They could have, as I have never bothered checking BM online all this time.
    But I would consider the occurrence very unlikely as my posting frequency itself took a major beating after leaving India. Still, the question remains unanswered though.

    • wanderlust says:

      you can crawl through the archives on Mirror for the past year to check. if you’re realllllly jobless, that is. 🙂

      • Aswin says:

        @Akshay Well, u can use copyscape.com to check if ur posts are published anywhere else on the internet.

        @wanderlust One of my favorite words from the language. First time on ur blog. Now reading thru other posts.

  9. Need a lawyer?

    Handsome. Smart. Cheap.

  10. nikhil naredran says:

    Sue them

  11. Kosha says:

    This should be taken out more publicly and embarrass them to the extent that they never even try to do this to any blogger.

  12. Sai Ganesh says:

    Did you consider using wikidpad as your private pensieve?

  13. Mirrors help the room appear larger, ideal for a small room in the house. They can also help to provide extra lighting in the room represents.
    Not only do you hold a big mirror. You can have several small mirrors and hang them together to create a wall feature.
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  14. prashanth says:

    I want to write something in bangalore mirror and get it published. How do I do this? if anyone knows…please help.

  15. Why am I not surprised? A couple of years ago, they published a full page article about my dad and cooked it up from one of my dad’s status messages on Facebook. They’d used quotes and everything and he had no clue until someone read it and called him. He didn’t have a problem because they’d written nice things though. He he.
    I understand how you feel. There’s no respect for privacy these days.

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