Friday, March 2, 2007

And Yahoo counsels us to respect intellectual rights of others !

The news of yahoo starting a Malayalam Unicode portal would have been something to make a pleasant day for me, had it come in any form other than of a plagiarism alert.

A Blog post by puzha.com intimating the lifting of poems they had previously published caused my first (and probably last ) visit to Yahoo’s Malayalam section , only to find that many recipe posts by Malayalam bloggers were also appearing there with yahoo’s copyright stamp sans credit to original authors. Most of the copied ones dug were originally published by blogger Suryagayathri, though other blogger's works were replicated too.

Many a blogger sent e-mails to yahoo questioning the content theft(as I understand from email responses published by them) and all received the same reply stating that Yahoo does not find itself responsible for the publications in question, since these are furnished by a content provider who may be contacted to air any grievance. However, the lifted contents were subsequently deleted from Yahoo Malayalam.

The question whether recipes are copyrighted was brought to many courts long back . There are plenty of legal opinions available on a Google search that will tell you while recipes aren’t intellectual property of any author, texts and compilations are certainly copyrightable – meaning someone just cannot reproduce a recipe published by Dr. McDougall word by word, though another one to make the same dish is permissible. Probably a vague point to moot in a court, my concern it not exactly on that.

Anybody who learned law of any country would find the disowning attempt in Yahoo's e-mail responses hilarious. Lets put it like this- you receive a purchase order from a company to supply something, do so in good faith and when you ask for payment, can the management tell you that the purchase order was not valid since it was signed by a clerk while the company’s Rule is that no purchase orders shall be issued by anybody below a manager’s grade? Answer is no, unless that rule was intimated to you before the purchase order was issued. The legal term for this canon is “doctrine of indoor management” which in simple terms mean an outsider is not required to know what the company’s internal affairs that are not communicated to them beforehand.

In the plagiarism issue, doctrine of indoor management makes Yahoo solely responsible for the contents it published, since there was no disclaimer of responsibility at the time of publication or later. Yahoo has to respond in the capacity of the entity responsible for the content of their website. Any other justification attempt will not hold water.

Related posts:
Ginger and Mango: Bloggers Protest Event against Yahoo! India - March 5th 2007
Desi Pundit
Kevin & Siji

Copyright Violations: March 5th 2007 - Blog Event against Plagiarism!

7 comments:

Inji Pennu said...

ദേവേട്ടാ
Whoever is posting new posts regarding this, could you provide your posts with links to copyrigtviolations.blogspot.com and link it must to vishwettans post or this event post of mine
Event

please. That way it will be easier for me to collect all snapshots of the participants and prepare an article on March 5th evening.

I have invited Yahoo PR to watch the show. Hence.

Also, linking is important for search. If you can give maximum links it would be great. All links etc are on copyrightviolations.blogspot.com

ഇത് പിന്മൊഴിക്ക് വേണ്ടി.

കേരളഫാർമർ/keralafarmer said...

In the plagiarism issue, doctrine of indoor management makes Yahoo solely responsible for the contents it published, since there was no disclaimer of responsibility at the time of publication or later. Yahoo has to respond in the capacity of the entity responsible for the content of their website. Any other justification attempt will not hold water.
കൊള്ളാം ദേവാ. യാഹുവിന്റെ പെജില്‍ പ്രത്യക്ഷപ്പെടുന്നത്‌ വെബ്‌ദുനിയായുടെ പേരിലാണെങ്കില്പോലും ഉത്തരവാദിത്വം യാഹുവിനു തന്നെ. യാഹുവിന് മാത്രം. അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ വെബ്‌ ദുനിയായെ യാഹു ചുമതലപ്പെടുത്തിയെങ്കില്‍ അവരുടെ പേരില്‍ അവരുടെ പേജില്‍ പ്രസിദ്ധീകരിക്കട്ടെ. പൈസ കൊടുത്ത്‌ കൊല നട്ടത്തിയിട്ട്‌ കൊലയില്ല് ഒരുത്തരവാദിത്വവും ഇല്ലയെന്നു പറയുമ്പോലെ ആയിപ്പോയ്യി ഇത്‌.

Radheyan said...

നന്നായി ദേവേട്ടാ

nalan::നളന്‍ said...

my take..
http://kulirkkattu.blogspot.com/2007/03/yahoos-wont-apologize-to-copyright.html

dhurvirodhi said...

here is my my post.

Achinthya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Achinthya said...

Shameless theft - give it a highsounding euphemism namely plagiarism,be it done by a high profile glittering star like Yahoo or a nindescript blogger, be it that of a spicy sambar recipe or a well-intentioned, well-researched article on the ill-effects of pesticide - will always be theft . That too of the cheapest kind. A small sound - yet I hope to add mine to the clamour for justice.

പിന്മൊഴിക്കടലേ , ഈ കുഞ്ഞിനെക്കൂടി ഏറ്റുവാങ്ങിക്കൊള്‍ക