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
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