Here is the third time (first time, second time) one of my works is getting plagiarised. I had taken a photo of Malayalam actor Chembil Asokan in 2012 at the Trivandrum Museum during the shooting break of TK Rajeev Kumar’s “Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty”. This photo was lifted by the makers of the short film “3D” for use in the film posters. This happened last year, but I came to notice it only recently during a Google image search. Although they attributed the photo credit to me on their Facebook page, they never bothered to contact me for permission. The attribution made me think at first that it was a “dignified” act of plagiarism, but soon I was proven wrong.
I understand that they lifted the photo from my Flickr page, where the copyright information was given clearly. I contacted the makers of this film and they apologised for using my photo without consent. They told me they tried to get my contact details but couldn’t. At this point, the word “dignified” can be removed from this act of plagiarism. The photo I posted on Flickr had my name and website address on it. Since my name was used for attributing the photo credit, there is no way the website address can go unnoticed. That made it evident that they did not even bother to approach me for the rights. I was told that they found a “clean photo” from the Internet without my name or website address on it. So, how on earth did they realise that it was Sreejith Panickar who took the photograph when they considered giving photo courtesy? When I asked for the link to the “clean photo” they got from the Internet, they said their harddsik crashed last year and no information was available! I am glad they acknowledged my work on social media and apologised for plagiarism, but they must know that lifting someone else’s work without permission is still plagiarism at the end of the day. If they really couldn’t find the contact details of the copyright owner, they shouldn’t have used the photo at all.