Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Copyright Violations - Blogger's Heartache & Headache


Last year, I was invited to sit on a panel discussing the issue of copyright at a bloggers and social media conference in Singapore. Much as I am honoured by the invitation, I regretfully declined.

I explained to the organisers that I have nothing useful to contribute to the discussion. You see, I have a very passive and resigned attitude towards copyright infringements at that time. I was resigned to the "fact" that there is nothing we could do when our content is taken without permission by others. As I didn't want to influence young bloggers at the conference with such a helpless attitude, I have no choice but to decline the opportunity.

So, I just sat in the audience when the panel discussed "copyright". At the end of conference, I went away with the conclusion that "copyright" is the privilege of people or organisations with the financial clout to engage lawyers. For the rest of us, independent "small time" bloggers, there is really not much we can do. "Suck thumb" as they say in the Army.

Initially, I have been writing privately to the people who used my work without my knowledge. My private messages were always ignored. I concluded that it was just a waste of time and energy, which I would rather use to create more blog posts.

And, so that was my approach during the last 3 years.

Every so often, I will stumble upon another website using my photos and text without my knowledge. I will just take a deep breath and sigh a sigh of resignation, and just scroll on. I do my best to just forget about it.

Pretend I never saw it. Pretend nothing happened.

But, this happens more and more often, as more and more such sites churning out torrents of "viral lists" come on the scene.

Recently, a friend shared a viral list by Goody Feed titled "10 Best Zichar Stalls in JB that you should try at least once in your Lifetime". The Goody Feed post was shared over 8,000+ times on Facebook within days.

The Goody Feed post used 5 of my photographs without my knowledge. However, I am uncertain if their text was a paraphrase of my work.


The top is the Johor Kaki text (date: 11 Oct 2012). The Goody Feed text is below (date: 21 Jan 2016). They look different.

These things have been going on long enough. I asked myself, what good can come out of this situation?

I decided to blog about the Goody Feed post.

Click on photo ^ to view blog post ^

In it, I pointed out where my copyright has been violated but more important, I added more content to the Goody Feed post so that the stalls mentioned can get even more exposure.

Johor Kaki blog was set up to provide free publicity for hawkers who do not have the means or savvy to make use of social media marketing. I am just giving hawkers a helping hand. So, my "Goody Feed" post furthers this purpose.

Two days after my post, Goody Feed emailed me to apologise and have taken down all the Johor Kaki photos used without my knowledge in several separate (all) Goody Feed posts.

I am grateful for this outcome as in the past, the sites concerned will just ignore my private messages to them.

I am sharing my experience here in case it may be relevant to fellow bloggers.

I am eager to hear your experiences and views about how you deal with copyright infringements involving your blog. Sharing is caring.

Thank you and blog with passion! :-D

Date: 16 Feb 2016

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.


  1. It's such a shame this has happened to you. I think they should compensate or own up for using your post without permission. If they have over 8,000 shares that definitely adds up to their traffic which they are using to monetise.

    1. Thanks Nicholas. I am concerned about how such sites impact blogging as a whole. This will discourage original content producers who see their hard work, only ended up as raw material for others' "viral lists". I consider this matter closed with Goody Feed as they have taken down my photos used without my knowledge.

  2. I facing same issue repeat and repeat again.
    1. For those fanspage stealing my artwork, i will report to facebook. But that page already get the effect and fans, the only things can do is those artwork remove by Facebook.
    2. For those appear at others blog, report to google and google will remove their content if their blog under blogspot.
    3. For those appear at rakyatpost, Circle01....etc, is the most problematic and mostly nothing can be done. We still can report to google and google will remove it from search engine and it not going to be found through google search. But it still can share through Social media, this is the most headache and geram things.....sigh....

    Bloggers post seems like become no value as public more prefer those "compilation" or "懒人帖"(lazy post?)...and market appear more and more this kind of website. Even merchants more prefer them than bloggers....

    1. Thanks Jazz. We share the same pains. Don't be disheartened. Keep up your good work! Meanwhile, we continue to support each other and find better solutions to widespread copyright violations. I am sure it will get better as people slowly respect intellectual property like they do in Western societies today.

  3. Thanks for sharing your opinion. I am okay if the website actually credits me. Some are just too much that they will clone away my watermark, and even worse, they add their watermark on my work!

    1. Thank you Sin Yee. People who have asked my permission to use my photos knows that I give it readily. So, it's quite puzzling why the "viral" type sites do not ask for permission. Hope someone who knows can enlighten us.

  4. Dear Tony,

    Perhaps you should name and shame the guilty websites in your blog if you have proof that they are violating your copyright. Put up the evidence like you did in this article, and let the court of public opinion, which is free, decide on the outcome.

    keep up the good work and din't despair.

    1. Thank you for your suggestion. This post is something I wish I will never need to do again. I just love to blog about food and stories of people and places behind it.

  5. Well, I had my content especially photos taken without permission and used on commercial value, advertising and event political propaganda. All I did was to report to FB, email the person, ask friends to report as well AND to blog about this incident. People tends to continue bully us if we remain silent, but once we started taking action, they might back off someday and do the required payment especially when they are such huge company using it for commercial value. You may read bout my incident here:


    I am glad you took action to ask them remove it bro, or give proper credit and linking if it is not for profit. Cheers!


I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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