Monday, June 29, 2015

Plagiarism woes and the songs of my life!





"Golmaal hai bhai sab golmaal hai!!!..."

This was the song that was ringing in my ears constantly since the last two weeks.

Do you wonder why?

One of my articles 'Love, Rotis and apinch of wisdom from a mother' on Womensweb was copied and shared blatantly online on Facebook, Whatsapp and Blogs without my consent. I was not even acknowledged as the author.

I had written the article originally for an Indispire prompt, where a mother writes an email to his son asking him to not laugh at the shapeless rotis that her daughter-in-law makes. It was a top post on Indiblogger. I then shared it with womensweb where I am registered as an author. It was published on June 16th 2015. There too it was very popular. The total number of page views on my article is now nearing 10,000 there. It was shared more than 400 times on Facebook and got more than 3000 likes.

I was pleased beyond words. Even boasted about it to all my friends and relatives. And then the Golmal began.

Some person copied it from the women’s web page and made it into a Whatsapp message. It went viral there. I got it from a friend in Dubai who forwarded it to me without knowing that I was the author. Another friend from Mumbai messaged me that my article was going viral on Whatsapp and that she saw it in 4 different groups in which she was member. A few others too told me the same.

I was still okay with it as it showed that the article was being loved and the message it conveyed was reaching more people that way. And mostly because Whatsapp is a very mad world. No one has any control over the things going on there! I couldn't do anything.

Then another friend on Facebook messaged me that a certain lady Manju Verma had copied the article on Facebook and that it was going viral. It was copied word by word from the article on the womensweb.in page. It has been shared on Facebook almost 30,000 times now. Check the snippet below.


I was furious this time. I tried contacting her, messaged her through Facebook but there was no response. Then I put up a status asking for help from friends to report the post to Facebook.

But Facebook merely told me that the post did not contain anything that violated their community standards. I was so miserable seeing that message. It just declared that anyone can copy our articles onto Facebook and pass it on as theirs.
( What does that even mean?!!)


The post is still up. But I have reported it to Women's Web and they have promised to take definite action.

Though the last two weeks were hard on me, I found out during this period as to who my well wishers were. I wish to thank fellow bloggers and writers Aathira Jim, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Ganga Bharani, Sreesha Divakaran, Jaibala Rao, Vishal Bheero, Sid Balachandran, Rekha Dyani, Sachin Prabhu, Simran Kaur, Jyoti Menon, Deepti Menon, Sundari Venkitraman, Dinesh Radhakrishnan, Gayatri Aptekar, Anmol Rawat, Sumeetha manikandan, Shrruti Patole, Rhiti Bhose, Bill Bartlett, Devika Fernando and many others for supporting me.

And a very special Thank you to my husband who commented on each and every place that he saw the article being shared, mentioning that it was plagiarized and that I had the copyright. You are a gem!

So the song has now changed to this!

Too na jaane aas paas hai Khuda!!! 

7 comments:

  1. This sucks. Plagiarism is just too rampant.

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  2. OMG, Did this really happen?! Ridiculed. :/
    But your husband is such a sweet man! Lucky you, Preethi! :)

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  3. I hope for everything to be well at the end of this ordeal.
    Good luck Preethi. :)

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  4. Thanks for the mention. Glad you have such a supporting spouse and awesome friends. I was scandalized when I first read how your work was plagiarized.

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  5. Facebook sent me the same message, that it doesn't violate their rules. But I gave the lady a piece of my sarcastic mind though.

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  6. Hi Preethi, first of all congrats for the post having gone viral.
    It's sad when you don't get the credits when the idea was yours and you crafted the story. FB probably didn't take action because the lady didn't say it was her story. And she probably didn't think of it as plagiarism or that she'd be offending someone if she didn't copy the name of the writer as well. For her, it just must have been a beautiful story she came across that she thought she'd like to share with her people, not knowing that attributing it to the writer was the best way to do it.

    But then again, these things are important to us, so we have make some noise and let people know that is the way to go. I hope nobody gets paid for passing off your work as theirs.

    I know somebody who'd been posting pictures of amazing looking places and I've wanting to tell him, it could get him into trouble for leaving out the credits but then he just stopped putting them up. :)

    Hey, congrats again on your book, Preethi. I'd like to read it.

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