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Knowing source of content is becoming tough

Some times we can see the same picture in different newspapers with the name of different photo-journalists. At the beginning of my career one day I had selected a photo from our in-house photo journalist and next day I found the same photo in an another newspaper. Our photo journalist admitted that he had collected that photo from one of the members of his photo journalists’ association. When I had informed the matter to my News Editor he advised me to forget the matter. No correction or explanation was published about this issue. I also understand that only a few people of Bangladesh read more than one newspaper. So they will not be able to find out the similarities. If the real owner of the photo does not complain about this it is not a matter at all.
Now in present Bangladesh it is easy to get current photos in several websites. News websites are also publishing photos. But to know the about the real owner of photos is becoming tough day by day. As a participant of Multimedia and Online Journalism course of IIJ I was taught about the issue of license or ownership of published contents. I had come to know at the classes of our trainers Peter Berger and Claus Hesseling how illegally I had used the authorized photos in the national daily newspapers. When I had told this to my colleagues they had not thought it important. Some of them also told me that if I take any photo or article from any foreign newspaper and publish that in online edition it may be identified by them. But what is published in a different language that may be tough to find out. Another thing is that most of the Bangladeshi newspapers’ online edition and printed edition are different in the sense of photos. People can not see all photos of printed editions in the online editions. Bangladeshi newspapers are selecting famous articles from foreign newspapers and websites. They are translating those in Bangla and publishing those. I have never heard to take any permission from those websites or newspapers.

I was searching for the photos of a Bangladeshi seasonal flower to wish my friends at the first day of our rainy season. I requested one of my colleagues for the photos and she instantly advised me to collect from website. I asked her again whether it is legal or not. This time she did not give me any specific answer. She also told me that as a photojournalist she is taking photos everyday. She becomes astonished when she finds her camera’s photos are frequently being used in several websites and other newspapers. I selected a photo of flower and uploaded that in my facebook wall. Several hours later I found the same photo in the first page of a national daily newspaper. There was no caption or credit line about the photo. As if it was their current photo. Unfortunately that photo was several years old. The girl who was holding the flower in the photo has become almost adult. So far I know that no body had reacted against that.
Last week I have found the photos of Berlin fashion week at the weekly magazine of one of our prominent English national daily newspaper. There I have not got any idea about the owners of those photos. No credit line was there. It seems that the media house had sent photographer to take those photos. But I have found those photos in different photo websites. That means they have taken the photos from the website.
This week a Bangla national daily newspaper has published the sketch of American First Ladies in their Post-editorial page. The media house has admitted that they had collected this form the online edition of The New York Times (nytimes.com). I have found that it was published under the title of ‘Strands of American History’ (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/07/04/opinion/20090704_opart.html). When I have checked the Frequently Asked Question sections of the nytimes.com, I have found that to use the New York Times Content we need permission of The New York Times. The New York Times better can say whether they had given permission to that Bangladeshi newspaper or not. Now if any want to see the sketch which has been published in a Bangla daily newspaper it will not be possible for them. Because the newspaper has published that in the print-edition. They have published only the caption of that sketch at their Online Edition (http://samakal.com.bd/details.php?news=23&view=archiev&y=2009&m=7&d=12&action=main&menu_type=&option=single&news_id=3282&pub_no=42). Those who want to work by respecting the license of the content they think that no body has asked explanation about publishing content with out permission. They have never heard about any legal actions.

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July 14, 2009 - Posted by | Media

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