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

Monday, February 12, 2007

Yahoo! India violates copyrights!

Yahoo! India, an Indian subsidiary of Yahoo! Corporation launched a new Malayalam (Indian Language) Portal recently. While browsing through the contents, couple of Malayalam bloggers were shocked to find their published content (blogs that were protected under Creative Common Licensing rights) were smoothly lifted and placed on Yahoo! India’s portal.

Obviously, the bloggers were never contacted before this violation. A Malayalam recipe blog by blogger ‘Surgayathri’ had to suffer the major violation even though her blog is protected under Creative Common License. Other than Kariveppila blog, Yahoo! India stole contents from another web magazine (Puzha.com) too and from some other Malayalam bloggers.

If one checks the Kariveppila blog, prima facie evidence shows this whole thing was done on purpose since it was not a simple copy paste.

1. The pictures of the recipes were changed while using on the portal.
2. Some of the paragraphs were moved down and up on the recipe
3. Some sentences where structurally changed a little bit.

Since this is a Malayalam blog, a translation of the contents is shown here in English for a wider audience:

Six of her recipe posts were copied word by word. This is one of the example.

Recipe name: Erunellikka (This is a gooseberry pickle)

Recipe from Kariveppila post:
As the first paragraph, she writes about a common Malayalam language idiom “There is an idiom which says, older people’s wisdom first it might be taste bitter, then it will taste sweeter. Gooseberry is one such thing which reminds us of that and gooseberry is full of Vitamin C and is very good for you health

Yahoo’s Recipe Post for Erunellikka:

The first paragraph starts with the same lines.

There is an idiom which says, older people’s wisdom first it might be taste bitter, then it will taste sweeter. Gooseberry is one such thing which reminds us of that and gooseberry is full of Vitamin C and is very good for you health

Second paragraph, she mentions about how we can pickle gooseberry and or even eat it fresh. This is not there on Yahoo! India’s site. Instead they have listed the ingredients.

Now, she writes how to make the pickle.

She starts her sentence with “To make gooseberry pickle, wash the good gooseberries, take water in a vessel and boil the gooseberry thoroughly. It should be cooked well so we can remove the seed from inside. There is no need to cook it longer, only until the gooseberry turns soft. After it is cold, we can remove the seed inside.”

Yahoo! India’s Recipe post for Erunelikka just copies that keeps as their third paragraph.

From Yahoo! India’s Recipe post,

“To make gooseberry pickle, wash the good gooseberries, take water in a vessel and boil the gooseberry thoroughly. It should be cooked well so we can remove the seed from inside. There is no need to cook it longer, only until the gooseberry turns soft. After it is cold, we can remove the seed inside.”

Next she writes about, how to do the rest of the pickle making.

She writes, “Take a saucepan and heat oil, sauté urad dal, then mustard, then red chilies whole, then sauté curry leaves, then add cooked gooseberry with salt. When the sautéed gooseberry becomes dry, add red chili powder and mix. Add asafotedia. If you are adding pickle powder instead of red chili powder, adding salt in lesser amount would be enough. No need to add asafotedia also then.”

Yahoo! India copies this without a word missing and writes the same.

“Take a saucepan and heat oil, sauté urad dal, then mustard, then red chilies whole, then sauté curry leaves, then add cooked gooseberry with salt. When the sautéed gooseberry becomes dry, add red chili powder and mix. Add asafotedia. If you are adding pickle powder instead of red chili powder, adding salt in lesser amount would be enough. No need to add asafotedia also then.”

Note: How can the recipe writer at Yahoo! India think about the same pickle powder what Suryagayathri thought about? Very, Strange! Isn’t it?

Now, the blogger writes about another method to make the same pickle.

Yahoo! India too has the same sentence.

She starts the second method of making the same pickle by writing.
“We can make this pickle in another way too”
Yahoo! India too does the same “We can make this pickle in another way too”

She explains in detail “Take oil in a vessel and heat; add the gooseberries which are washed and wiped thoroughly to this and sauté well. Take off from stove and remove the seed. Add salt and keep aside”

Yahoo! India has the same paragraph which translates to,
“Take oil in a vessel and heat; add the gooseberries which are washed and wiped thoroughly to this and sauté well. Take off from stove and remove the seed. Add salt and keep aside”

Her next paragraph says, “Heat little bit of oil in another vessel, add urad dal, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and sauté. Add salt and add the gooseberries. When it is dry, add red chili powder and asafotedia and mix well. Or use pickle powder”


Then the blogger writes in the next paragraph, “One should be using gingelly oil for this purpose. Initially fried gooseberry is better than boiled gooseberry”


Yahoo! India has the next paragraph the same way, which translates to,

“Heat little bit of oil in another vessel, add urad dal, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and sauté. Add salt and add the gooseberries. When it is dry, add red chili powder and asafotedia and mix well. Or use pickle powder”


Yahoo! India adds the last paragraph to this paragraph and has the same sentence and even the same tip too “One should be using gingelly oil for this purpose. Initially fried gooseberry is better than boiled gooseberry”

Writing the same recipes is not a common thing at all. But recipes copied word by word, sentence by sentence as you have seen above is a clear case of copyright violation.

There are five more recipes copied the same way from the Kariveppila blog.

Why do multinational million dollar corporations behave like this? Is it because they are sure individual freedom need not be respected?

Yahoo was contacted and they silently removed the pages without even acknowledging the violation or replying to the blogger. Don't they at least owe her an apology?

Below are the screenshots from Yahoo, if you can read Malayalam.





More screenshots...

Notes:

  1. View a Lawyers opinion about this theft.
  2. Related news item on Kairali Europe

4 comments:

കൊച്ചുഗുപ്തന്‍ said...

it is really shocking to know that this problem is still remaining unsolved ...

Ralminov റാല്‍മിനോവ് said...

Yahoo! owes an apology to SuryaGayathri. It is better late than never. Admitting the mistake graciously is the wisest decision.
Whether the content was provided by someone else doesn't protect Yahoo from being so irresponsible.
Its like saying "Sue the junior programmer who wrote code" when a software company is sued for content lifting.

Regards,
Ralminov Rosnovski

Aniruddh said...

And one of the 'changed' pictures was lifted from my blog, it seems!
http://madteaparty.wordpress.com/2006/08/15/simple-potato-curry-from-the-fields-of-western-up/

Anita

വിശ്വം said...

Hey!

Do you know Who is linking to this blog now?

None other than Register.co.uk!

Cheers!