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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Copying Rightly Durable Link to this BLOG
Copying Rightly

Rediff: Copy Wrong by Gopika Vaidya.

The article mentions of a Self-service Licensing page at Kamat's Potpourri. I've always encouraged fair use of our content, and I welcome the use of our pictures in blogs; credits and links are required, and no bandwidth theft please.

The writer of above mentioned article, Gopika Vaidya, in fact asked me many other very good questions, and I am providing my answers below.

Q: Is all the content you post on your blog original? What does it comprise?
A: The stories and comments I post are original. The links I post are sometimes borrowed. I use my blog to drive traffic to other contents on Kamat's Potpourri. I also write about my experiences and ideas I have had during the day.

Q: How would you react if someone were to copy or re-use the content on your web site/blog?
A:I resent copying of our content without providing credit, but welcome and encourage what is known as the "fair-use". I routinely provide permissions on re-use. I have even set-up a self-service request form for the purpose.

Q: Do you think original content on blogs and web sites should be protected by copyright? If so, why?
A: From my understanding of the International Copyright Law, it is already covered, and rightly so.
And the reasons are same as why printed or broadcast content is protected by the copyright law(to protect the intellectual works of the creator).

Q:Are you aware of your legal rights as a provider of original content on the web in India? If so, what according to you are your rights?
A: To be honest with you, in India, we do not have a culture that recognizes and honors intellectual property. So the responsibilities and liabilities of content publishers in India far outweigh the rights.
I am not aware of specific legal rights in India for web publishers.

Q: What sort of action would you take if you found that your copyright was being violated?
A: I have three pronged approach (ahimsa, threat, and then forgiveness ;-- ))

First I try to reason with the violator of the wrong they are engaged in. I have had most reputed of Indian publishers copy our content from our website. When I tell them "All you had to do was ask, and I would have given you permission", they apologize and comply.

Second, I threaten them that I will go public with my complaint and usually write to the hosting company a legal letter. Since most hosting companies are in USA, they are bound to take action when a copyright holder writes a letter giving specifics of the violation and claims that he/she has been violated. This has worked well for me.

Finally, I take consolation that our work is reaching audience that we would not have otherwise reached.

While on the topic, I must mention a heartening development. These days, many of our readers in India now tell me when they notice copying of our content. This shows that readers in India not only care about originality, but also are particular about fair-use of intellectual property.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, July 17, 2002
Last Modified: 1/30/2003
Tags: copyright

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