Copyright Violations

To protect Copyright Privileges of Bloggers, To Document incidents of illegal content theft from Blogs.

Friday, May 30, 2008 – The new wave of plagiarism from blogs

Blogger Saji noticed that a number of blog posts including his were used without permission by and he notified kerals and put a post regarding this to notify others. There were around 300 blog posts that were copied without permission.

Following this Anilshree put a post supporting Saji's findings to attract more attention to this major issue. Though none of AnilShree's posts were copied, he wanted to gather more support for this issue. Bloggers who found their content on were outraged and as the first step, sent an email to

When informed that there was no response to Saji for 4 days, a support ticket was sent asking them to take down the contents or it will be reported to hosting provider or Google Adsense.

To this a very rude abusive reply was shot back from their Director Mr. Shiv Kumar.

Later an array of mails and threats, phising attempt, and even a forging email were followed from Chris, Ajay, POP, Shiv Kumar – all employees or owners of Anilshree was too warned and threatened by of consequences and was forced to take down his post.

But most other bloggers stay put. Strangely, whoever complained was banned from accessing site too, in order to conceal evidence of fraud.
Bloggers complained to (, the hosting provider for and to Google Ad sense which clearly states they follow the DCMA guidelines and will not allow adsense on copied contents. started to realize things were getting serious and started to remove the content and informed a few bloggers about it.

However they wanted (or rather ordered) to take down the posts of bloggers when the posts were removed. This is not necessary as blog like any other medium is protected under freedom of speech. When they were informed of posts were removed, bloggers put posts updating the status of their individual case.

Even then, more bloggers received threats and in form of fake legal notices. Some emails even claim to have photographs (a clear case of cyber stalking) of bloggers and addresses. Have no idea what is going to achieve with such kind of tricks which is going to land them up in more trouble.

These are the bloggers posts whose contents were stolen and put posts on this Issue:

1. Aravind
2. Thulasi
3. Valyammayi (Around 25 of her blog posts were lifted)
4. Kannus
5. Saji
(Saji with screenshots)
6. Peringodan
7. Mayoora (Update)
8. Satheesh KM
9. Agrajan

Bloggers who are joining the protest as a good will gesture.
10. Cibu
11. BlogBharti
12. Njaan
13. Daly
14. Pramod
15. Anchalkkaran
16. Reshma
17. Bhoomiputhri
18. Inji Pennu
Email header forging
19. P.R
20. Idangal
21. I Report by Malayali

What do the Bloggers want?

Most bloggers are satisfied with their content being taken off the site. They are not even asking for a public apology. Yet, the threats and harassment continues.

Some bloggers are getting ready to sue the company for copyright infringement and cyber stalking and other harassment.

Details about

Their whois records shows is served from a site for pornography.

Their company registration address shows:

Groups, Anashwara
Anashwara Groups LTD
8564 Green ford ct
Srinagar, 659874
565499874 Fax --

Anashwara Groups - Suite 27,
Nehru Park Way,
Srinagar 190 001,
Jammu & Kashmir, India

Anaswara Groups
87a Topui Road
Srinagar, Jammu Kashmir 65598, ,
Phone: 6659874556

Anashwara group also owns a website with Illegal Malayalam movies, which was already caught once by the police.

(More posts will be added as the issue continues. Please leave comments if you want your post to be added)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

FAQ - Copyright Violation by Yahoo

A brief History

  1. Yahoo India launched a multi-lingual portal for seven of the Indian Languages.
  2. While browsing through the portal bloggers spotted around 8 instances of plagiarism by Yahoo! India. They were primarily poems, articles, recipes written in Malayalam copied to Yahoo! India's new Malayalam portal. Poems which another web magazine ( remunerated the authors and published it on their online magazine were copied into Yahoo's portal pages.
  3. Yahoo! India Portal had a copyright violation report page, with the Yahoo! Inc email and mailing address. After complaining to Yahoo! Inc, they redirected bloggers to Yahoo! India and Webdunia, causing the bloggers to run in circles. These games were played for about a month. Yahoo! India even denied any incident of plagiarism or copyright violation prior to March 5th Protest.
  4. However, as soon as the complaints were made, Yahoo deleted the copied content. But an acknowledgement or a proper apology was missing.
  5. Yahoo! India shared personal contact details of the bloggers who complained by emails, to a third party (WebDunia), without permission from bloggers.

List of Evidence (updated periodically):

  1. 2007-Mar-29: 1 instance of content theft, by which a photograph from India's leading National Newspaper "The Hindu". Picture from The Hindu. Yahoo stolen picture screen shot.
  2. 2007-Mar-29: 1 instance of content theft, by which a photograph from India's leading newsportal Picture from Yahoo stolen picture screen shot.
  3. 2007-Mar-29: 1 instance of content theft, by which a photograph from a very popular online recipe site Picture from Yahoo stolen picture screen shot.
  4. 2007-Mar-29: 1 instance of content theft, by which a photograph from an online recipe site, Picture from Yahoo stolen picture screen shot.
  5. 2007-Mar-29: 1 instance of content theft, by which a photograph from an online business site, This picture had a watermark, Yahoo even copied the watermark. Picture from Yahoo stolen picture screen shot.
  6. 2007-Mar-15: 1 instance of Hindi poem was stolen by Yahoo India without authors knowledge or permission. Article in Hindi.
  7. 2007-Mar-13: 1 (one) instance of content theft, by which a photograph from Sailu's Food was stolen by Yahoo India. Yahoo stolen picture screen shot. Yahoo India cropped this picture, and used it in a Gujarati Page elsewhere.
  8. 2007-Mar-13: 1 instance of content theft, by which a photograph from Saffron Hut was stolen by Yahoo India. Yahoo India cropped the picture and used it in a Hindi Page. Yahoo stolen picture screen shot.
  9. 2007-Mar-13: 1 instance of content theft, by which a photograph from Shilpa's blog was lifted and used by Yahoo India on a Kannada Page. Yahoo stolen picture screen shot.
  10. 2007-Mar-13: 1 instance of content theft, by which this picture from Anita's post was cropped and used by Yahoo India to further "glorify" the theft from Kariveppila.
  11. 2007-Feb-05: Nalapachakam, chintha , moonnaamidam . Nalapachakam, entire blog was eaten up by Yahoo. Literature from Chintha and Moonamidam. Unfortunately, by the time people were notified, Yahoo removed the contents.
  12. 2007-Feb-05: 6 instances of content theft committed from Kariveppila blog. Post in Kariveppila blog.
  13. 2007-Feb-02: 1 instance of content theft committed, by which a poem from was stolen by Yahoo India. Post in

(Thank you Valli from China, a non-blogger but an avid reader of Mahanandi, who brought forth many evidence for this post)

How did bloggers expect Yahoo to handle the issue?

  1. A written apology from Yahoo to be sent to each blogger whose content was stolen (hereafter referred to as affected blogger).
  2. If a specific affected blogger demands monetary compensation for his/her work, Yahoo should honor that as well.
  3. If a settlement is reached between an affected blogger and Yahoo, the affected blogger should be allowed to make the details of settlement public if he or she chooses to do so.
  4. Such a settlement, if reached, between an affected blogger and Yahoo, would mean that the matter shall be construed as resolved amicably and no claim shall be made or caused to be made by either of the involved parties in future in this regard.

Why did bloggers refuse to talk to Webdunia?

Blog contents were found on Yahoo's domain. Evidence for affected bloggers were only on Yahoo's domain. Yahoo owns the portal. Therefore, any official apology should come from Yahoo! India - not from their contractor (WebDunia).

Did WebDunia try to contact the bloggers or solve the issue?

Though Webdunia was never directly contacted by any affected bloggers, WebDunia obtained bloggers' contact information presumably through Yahoo India without the consent from the respective bloggers. WebDunia tried to influence the bloggers by offering money without a public apology, if bloggers retracted the complaints. These routes were unacceptable to the bloggers. When everything failed, WebDunia tried to create a public discussion mockery by creating a vague Wordpress blog with no name or address. They did not even host this on their portal. This 'discussion' failed miserably as no bloggers participated and bloggers called their bluff.

How did bloggers protest?

Around 150 bloggers voiced their protest by publishing posts simultaneously on March 5th. Many drew interesting cartoons also. Event details which has the collection of posts, excerpts and cartoons.

What happened after March 5th? Did Yahoo apologise?

Yahoo (sort of) apologized without naming the bloggers or their blogs. They played with the media giving out statements that they will be apologizing, but they kind of did a half-baked apology, apologizing only for non-attribution. Bloggers had stated many times, issue is not about attribution but it is only about copyright violation and stolen contents. The apology was put in Malayalam in the recipe section under 'continental' (whatever that is).

Why is the apology appeared on Yahoo's Malayalam portal not sufficient?

There were following problems with the apology:

  1. Yahoo didn't send an apology to the affected bloggers through email or postal address.
  2. Statement of apology didn't specifically mention the name of the affected blogger(s) or the blog(s).
  3. It was not visibly linked anywhere from the portal.
  4. Yahoo was constantly moving the apology page in the portal - may be to prevent link information being spread through email.
  5. The so-called 'Apology' appeared just in Malayalam portal whereas their malpractice is spread over several languages.

Why is WebDunia blamed now? i.e. after March 5th?

When content plagiarising was spotted, there were no indication that Webdunia was the contractor who supplied the contents from blogs. After bloggers protest on March 5th, Yahoo! made a public statement that Webdunia is the contractor who supplied the copied content. After the 'apology' statement on March 9th, Yahoo's contents had a footer that said, 'source: webdunia' under each article in the portal. From that day onwards, Yahoo! and Webdunia were considered co-defendants in this copyright violation.

After the protest on March 5th, were there any other incidents of copyright violation?

Yes. After March 5th, when the issue got public attention, many bloggers came forward to report more violations. Pictures and other literature were reported stolen from couple of blogs and even poems of contemporary authors were lifted without any consent from the respective parties. Details:

  1. Food pictures were copied from various blogs. Yahoo! removed the copyright statements and watermarks from the pictures. Some pictures were tilted and modified. Criminal intend is evident here.
  2. Yahoo! copied pictures from Telugu food blogs and used them in their Gujarati portal. Possibly under the impression, a Telugu speaking person would naturally not visit a Gujarati language portal.
  3. Another incident of copying a Hindi poem is also reported.
  4. See List of Evidence (at the begining for updates).

Will there be a lawsuit?

A court case is very much likely to erupt any time. It could be a class action suite or it could even be individually filed. Since blogs are ultimately individual entities, any affected blogger could proceed through a legal movement, depending upon his or her own motivation and urge. As the malpractice seems to take different counts, a possibility of filing a case (and the chance of it being a successful one) are getting enhanced as the time goes by.

What is the validity of legal action? Some say recipes are not copyrighted?

In recipes, listing of ingredients is the only thing that is not copyrightable. Similarly, news is not copyrightable. However, if there recipes written or news reported has any form of literary expression, then they clearly come under copyright laws. Please refer this article from SPICYIP blog.

CIOL writes in detail about copyrights in India, in this article: Press Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V for trouble

Excerpt from the article:

It is about giving expression to an idea in an original form,” says Pavan Duggal, Supreme Court lawyer and a Cyber Law expert. “For example, there is no copyright on a love story, whether Premchand or Shakespeare write it, but the style of delivery. In other words, the output can be protected. Anyone found guilty of infringing copyrights are liable for civil and criminal charges and can claim for compensation.”

Dr Sebastian Paul, an advocate and an expert on copyright issues, echoes the similar view and says that no stranger can make use of content in any manner without the explicit permission of the owner of the site. “It does not matter whether it is printed matter or a website or a blog,” says Dr Paul, who is also a Member of Parliament from Kerala.

Was there a Press coverage?

Media has given a good coverage so far. Please visit collection of media reports and other links at CopyRightViolations (this) blog.

How to obtain information about new developments regarding this?

Please visit this blog (CopyRightViolations) for updates.

How can I help?

  • As a blogger, you can post an article about the incident on your blog with appropriate links. If you have a popular blog it would immensely help to spread the word. This affects the entire blogging community, future existence of blogs.
  • As a lawyer, you could leave a comment on advising us bloggers about possible legal options and implications.
  • As a journalist, you can expose such undermining and illegal actions perpetrated regularly by multinational conglomerates.
  • Or drop us a line and tell us how you can help!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yahoo's Content Head Fired?

Agencies and bloggers report that Yahoo's Head of Content Ajay Nambiar and Head of Entertainment Niyati Sen Gupta had left Yahoo! India. There have been conflicting reports about the resignation of these top Yahoo executives.

AgencyFAQs reports:

While both Yahoo! and Ajay Nambiar insisted that the recent departures had nothing to do with the content controversy, it’s no secret that the headquarters at Santa Clara (California) was seeking to upgrade content from India. In fact, the top brass at Yahoo! – including Nambiar – recently went to the global headquarters to discuss the issue.
Read complete story.

Related links:
  1. Sify files case against Yahoo India Managing Director
  2. Exodus at Sify
  3. Yahoo MD, executive get bail in Sify case

Recipes are copyrightable in India

Mrinalini Kochupillai with SPICY IP says "In India [...] there is no law [...] that prohibits copyright protection from being granted to recipes."

In Govindan v Gopalakrishna (1955 – case relating to compilation) (quoted in Burlington – discussed below), it was held that even if the amount of originality in a compilation is very small, the same is protected by law and no one can appropriate the result of another's brain, skill or labour even in such works. Arguably, if a small creative input in a compilation is copyrightable, a recipe, particularly original instructions in a recipe will certainly be copyrightable in India.
Read the complete story here:
Yahoo! In Hot Pickle

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Yahoo! India Caught Plagiarizing... Again!

Amit Agarwal at the Digital Inspiration reports that Yahoo! India hasn't stopped what they do best: plagiarizing blog posts.

In the lastest episode; Mr. Agarwal says:

For instance, this poem on Yahoo! website was written by Ramdarsh Mishra, a Delhi based poet. When contacted over phone by another blogger, Ramdarsh confirmed that neither Yahoo! nor WebDunia (Yahoo's content provider) had taken permission before publishing his work on Yahoo!'s website.

Dhur Virodhi, who is actively tracking the story, has listed several instances
where even the author names are missing from the poems published on Yahoo! Hindi website.
Read the complete story here.

Related News:
  1. Indian bloggers: more copyright violations by Yahoo
  2. Yahoo apologizes to Indian housewife
  3. Yahoo India Hit With More Copyright Complaints
  4. Yahoo's Indian Portal Apologizes For Plagiarizing Local Cooking Blog
  5. Yahooliganism
  6. INDIA: Yahoo says sorry for plagiarising cookery notes
  7. Bangalore: Bloggers accuse Yahoo of plagiarism
  8. Indian Blogosphere: The Fight Against ‘Yahoo! India Plagiarism’ is Not Over!
  9. Yahoo, India aplogises to Blogger
  10. Yahoo India Hit With More Copyright Complaints
  11. Yahoo India Hit With More Copyright Complaints-PC World
  12. Yahoo says sorry for plagiarising cookery notes

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Instances of Content theft by Yahoo India

6 instances of Content Theft they committed from Kariveppila blog. Sample screenshots below:

1 (one) instance of Content Theft they committed, by which a poem from was stolen by Yahoo India. (Screnshots: Original Page and Stolen Page in Yahoo's Domain)

1 (one) instance of Content Theft from Nalapachakaam, on Chicken 360.

1 (one) instance of Content Theft, by which this picture from Anita's post was cropped and used by Yahoo India to further "glorify" the theft in item 1. (Screenshot below)

1 (one) instance of Content Theft, by which a photograph from Shilpa's blog was lifted and used by Yahoo India on a Kannada Page. (Screenshot below)

1 (one) instance of Content Theft, by which a photograph from Saffron Hut was stolen by Yahoo India. Yahoo India cropped the picture and used it in a Hindi Page. (Screenshot below)

1 (one) instance of Content Theft, by which a photograph from Sailu's Food was stolen by Yahoo India. Yahoo India cropped this picture, and used it in a Gujarati Page elsewhere. (Screenshot )

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Yahoo and Webdunia - The inside story!

It is a little amusing, amazing and agonizing to see how the corporate world looks at the blogs and bloggers as silly little creatures which they can play with, manipulate and crush at their will.

As we know, on the issue of plagiarizing contents from Malayalam blog world to startup the so-called revolution of the language portals, Yahoo somehow still takes the 'That's not my kid' attitude. It has been a point-the-finger-at-him game all the way, where the bloggers were taken for a ride. We feel that it was an attempt to see if they can disorient the sense of direction among the blogging community. Despite Yahoo's stand on the issue being obscure, it was interesting to see the company called WebDunia, who claimed at that point of being the "content provider's " for the corporate giant(s), without being named anywhere, getting their back burned for this.

WebDunia scrambled and tried their ways, showing their faces from the happy to the sad to the bad, lest they could fail. Days flew by, the words flew by and the issue remained unscathed and colorful. A few of the blogger friends became scapegoats in the crossfire. It was a sad site to watch, where brothers and sisters standing against one another, fighting with the mighty words, whose wounds are hard to heal. On a glance, it may seem ironic that the corporate friends still made money as they used to do and the friends couldn't talk to each other anymore. Dabble they did in the chorus we sung, but the hand wasn't strong enough to slay the wave.

Bloggers appealed to the community for a protest on March 5th, and then from nowhere appears an email from WebDunia to some of our blogger friends 'inviting' them to take part in a 'discussion' on march second on a blog and not in the so called portal they run.

Is this a coincidence? The history makes us to believe the other way. Despise have we taken ever since, to believe in the good sense and it has taught us to look at their act in distrust. The more we ponder, the more the questions un-answered.

The question that needs an answer is,

"Why public, whilst the issue in question has not been settled among the parties?" The only reason we think off is to let the hands to try break the wave. We believe that WebDuniya and Yahoo are well aware of the power of blogger unity and the long term impacts it can make to their corporate future. They are desperate to get this movement to fail with the reputation at stake.

They may want to divert the attention of the bloggers by the age old British ploy – "Divide and rule". That's what they did when they tried the drama by employing the friends of the blog world to speak for them. That's what they did when they played the forcing game on people involved.

Why would it not be taken as another ploy of the same order this time? Why would we assume good faith, when the faith was stabbed to death by their deeds? Why invite a handful of bloggers, while it was appropriate put up an article in their own site and invite readers? There are a lot more whys and whats that seek eternity and reasonable answers.

It is an appeal to our friends who were hurt in the cross fire to stand together on one side of the line and lets set things right Once and for all! We were together, we should be together and we need to stand together arms-in-arms to move forward. I believe we have enough trouble in real life and wouldn't want to fight over.

Please Join us on March 5th to protest against Yahoo's plagiarism.