Is it a matter of pride or a case of plagiarism – this was exact thought that came to my mind when on 18th august morning I saw my ‘Independent India’ image in MTV’s latest National Anthem video on Television.
Original MTV -jana gana mana video -
After photo plagiarism case MTV India deleted previous videos, edited & uploaded new video http://www.mtvindia.com/newsense You can easily see the difference- so many images including mine was stolen by MTV.
I tweeted to MTV India and @MTVindia replied saying they are asking their production team & till then I stay a happy bunny!
STRANGE, I never got a response back after that. Instead, they deleted the tweet response, videos from MTV India website and their your tube links etc within in an hour. And 3 days later, I now see a new video, which does not have many images (including mine, which means other photos were also picked up without permission) – and the same video is on the Television and the Internet.
I kept writing to MTV on twitter and also I wrote an email to Viacom 18 COO, Rajesh Kamat (Viacom 18 channels are Colors, MTV etc). But I didn’t get any reply.
People at Twitter / Facebook started suggesting me to send a legal letter to MTV for the same or talk to someone from media but when I tried contacting media like IBN (which is part of network 18), I didn’t get a reply.
The only option in front of me seems to be taking a legal route. In a country like ours, it is however a lengthy method to ask for credit and compensation by going to the court. However, I am tempted to do that not because of the wants for credit but also to spread awareness amongst other people of the illegal and unethical doings of these large companies. This photo steal case is 2nd for me, but there have been umpteen other cases like this which have happened with my photographer friends.
Through this blog, if there is one thing I want to do – it is to spread awareness amongst such media companies and their employees who routinely pick up pictures and content from internet without realizing that not only is it unethical but against the law as well. Perhaps it is their supervisor / seniors who don’t tell them about these basic work ethics!
When MTV India, a youth music channel, picked up my image and few more images to use in the national anthem ‘jana gana mana’ video, they probably searched for ‘india independence day’ or something similar and selected few good images and used in videos for which they spent few thousand dollars. This was all done and televised on TV without realizing that they had done a grave mistake of using images for which they did not have the copyrights.
Another bad ethical practice by MTV was them initially replying to me on twitter without understanding the consequences, where they later deleted video from website and Youtube and also deleted the tweet. They did not do the basic thing that they should have had done at the earliest was to handle this case of plagiarism in a mature way by immediately apologizing. Given what it was used for, I would have given my image for free but what eventually happened gave me a sad impression about MTV and seniors.
For saving few thousand rupees, MTV will carry a stamp of ‘pursuer of plagiarism’. They could have easily handled this more gracefully, but they ended up spoiling it and become the bad icon of the year!
I am hurt not because my ‘ Independent India ’ got stolen by MTV but for the shameful act of they trying to remove the traces of their wrong doings from the Internet. Poor MTV, you just become ‘plagiarizing icon of year, 2010!