Monday, March 05, 2007

Yahoo! New entrant in the Plagiarists Arena

Portals. Vortals. You-name-it-what-als. India is the hot new market. Millions of young, trendy, hip, tech-savvy young people. So many eyeballs. New portals are being launched every day by both unknown companies, as well as corporates like Yahoo! Their main problem remains content. And where do they get it from? Other bloggers!

Have no idea what I am talking about? In a nutshell: Yahoo! India launched a Malayalam portal, subcontracted content development to Webdunia, who in turn scraped blogs for free. When the shit hit the fan, Yahoo! pointed to Webdunia saying the content was expressly authorized by the author of the story to publish it. The author, on the other hand, expressly denies any such thing.

And they stole images from non-Malayalam bloggers!

Yahoo! has chosen to place itself outside the domain of any liability and asks those whose rights were violated to follow up with Webdunia. The material appeared on Yahoo!'s property. Yahoo! needs to acknowledge their mistake and tell us, the blogging world, that they will not lift content without our prior permission on the zillion other regional and language portals they will be spawning for the Indian audience.

Stop Plagiarism! Stop Yahoo!

For more information, please visit Ginger and Mango.

Support this anti-Yahoo! anti-plagiarism drive.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

ByIndia and Web2 Corp, perpetrators of copyright violations

It's one thing when an individual copies content from other sites and presents it as their own.

It's quite another when a company listed on the NASDAQ indulges in copyright violation.

The company is Web2 Corporation (NASDAQ OTCB: WBTO), which was recently acquired by perpetrators, ByIndia.

India is internationally recognized for producing the best programmers in the world. However, no Indian programming corporation has ever taken on the monumental project of developing an Indian specific search engine.

Oh! How I cringe when I see what the best Indian programmers are churning out. Site scraping and RSS scraping bots. Shame! More shame to Web2 Corp, a NASDAQ company.

Web2 Corp (NASDAQ OTCB: WBTO) Web2 Corporation is an Internet technology company focused on improving the ways people and businesses utilize the power of the Internet. The firm specializes in rapid adaptation of technologies to address new markets of users by reducing the level of technical skills required, simplifying useful products, and lowering prices.

Here's a list of some blogs copied by ByIndia. You might see an error message when you click through to the byIndia blogs. If you do, then edit the URL in your address field to remove the blogger's name so that the URL is and visit the site. Then type in the blogger's name and visit the site again to see the blog.
OriginalCopied Content on ByIndia
Indian Food Rocks
Sailu's Food
Kamla Bhatt
Gaurav Sabnis' Vantage Point
VKN's My Dhaba
Hindu Mommy
The Great Indian Mutiny
Polite Indian
Maine Line
Dilip D'Souza's Death Ends Fun
Coconut Generation
Watching India
India, Ink.
Reality Check

...and many more. Most of these copycat blogs have been created recently in November 2006.

This takes me back to the much-hyped launch of InstaBlogs in October 2005, who also had copied content from various sources. They claimed they moved quickly to recttify the situation; I haven't been back to that network so I don't know if they did or not.

I cringe even more when I think about the common thread in these copyright violations. Indian. Indian blog networks. Indian bloggers. Indian web sites.

If your blog is mentioned above and you are indeed blogging on ByIndia with another nickname, my apologies to you. Please leave me a comment and I will take it off.