TOI steals my photo, later publishes clarification - eNidhi India Travel Blog

TOI steals my photo, later publishes clarification

June 2018 Update: Even 10 years later, Times Of India and its group concerns haven't changed their habits. I regularly read concerns by bloggers and photographers about their content being lifted. Latest incident is from Ami Bhat's blog..

----------Original post-----------

Major Update: the below concern that TOI had copied my photograph without credit has been resolved to my satisfaction as Times of India ran a clarification in their 8th October 2008 issue.

Times of India issue dated 26th September 2008, Chennai edition had carried a photo of a police car in page 5 along with an article titled "Green Corridor aids organ transplant"Times of India using my photography without credit I'd clicked this photo few months back at Marina beach and had uploaded it to my blog. Some users have referred to this image in some forum discussions also and incidently, if you search for Chennai police car in google, this image comes first.

This image was first published during Feb 2008 in my post titled "Running for Traffic Awareness" High resolution image of this can be found below:
From Chennai Run 16 Feb 2008
I was surprised to see my photo in TOI, published without credit. However after contacting them TOI did run a clarification to this effect, apologizing for the mistake and giving me credit. More details in this post I am happy to see them responding and acting promptly, upholding the spirits of journalism

Nevertheless this should a lesson for myself and others that we need to be more careful about our intellectual property. In fact many bloggers have been victims of this plagiarism- Yahoo content provider WebDunia was repeatedly accused of lifting recipes from blogs. Top travel blogger Mridula had to fight with airline authorities as some of her photographs were published in in-flight magazines, without credit.(I couldn't locate that exact post-Mridula, if you're reading this pls give the link to that post)
More examples of mainstream media lifting images from blogs without credit can be found in this post


  1. Hi
    I have seen such instances with Nita at
    Joe of Joe Calling and many more.
    Get in touch with them

  2. Thanks a lot Nikhil

    I've communicated to them through available contacts. let me see if it fetches any reply.

  3. Terribly bad. Speaks of their values.

  4. Shrinidhi, I'm now a law college student.

    In three years time you can ask me for legal help and all :-)

    Don't worry, I'm sure the TOI will respond. If they don't, make sure you follow up and take legal action.

    Big media houses need to learn some lessons on common courtesy, decency and observing the proper ethics, especially with relation to Intellectual Property.

  5. Hi Shrinidhi,
    I have been seeing this happen to a lot of bloggers (in India, because this is the majority of blogs I follow) and am really curious as to 'Why India?' I have a question for you and your blog readers- how do we know the educational system does not encourage this? I say this with a background having been an American earning my MA in India (Chennai). I was surprised how many times if I did not copy straight from texts, and back even in that day Internet (99-01), and straight from profs mouth I did not get full marks. I know journalism should be different but if the colleges teach that all other mediums have the correct answer (word for word) than your own thoughts/memories/knowledge than this kind of thought pattern actually makes a person over time believe his/her own thoughts are not very good and others thoughts/works can be used to get ahead without credit. After all all those papers and tests I wrote word for word had my name on top of them, I got the marks, not the original author of that paper/book, etc. What do you think? What was your experience in college there? (I know if I did any kind of copying - without citing author or citing more than two sentences at a time, I could be disqualified from that class and college!! No copying allowed at all!!)

  6. @ Rajesh

    Thanks for the support. May be it was some interns who prepared that report and copied photo?

    @ Hari
    You can start practicing law from now itself? How about sending a legal notice to TOI on my behalf? ;)

    @ Jennifer
    Yes, this trend is common all over like a virus...

    Yes, even in our college times copying from elsewere were rampant.

  7. Man this is becoming a habit with the media folks!! Lets start a tag... asking everyone we know to write about blog plagiarism by the media on October 2 featuring all the incidents we know about. I'll write in more detail on my blog. And you have my unqualified support.

  8. It may sound irony to you, but the fact is TOI is the biggest ever plagiarism organization in India. Most of the wall street web logs and journal posts appear in TOI Business section on the next day.

    Bad is they don't even mention the source. Media at its worst for sure. As the good old saying goes.. India and Plagiarism can never be separated. Shame on you TOI.

  9. @ Sudipta

    Thanks a lot. Let us see how it goes.

    @ Mohan

    Agreed. Thanks a lot.

  10. We at IRFCA (Indian Railway Fan Club Association) have resigned to this fate. Almost every month (and some times more than once), some or the other newspaper will lift some picture from our gallery ( and will use it without giving any credit. No amount of complain will make them see the light.

    - Shanx

  11. sorry incident this was. Any updates on it?


  12. @ Velu,
    I've posted all updates in a new post. Pls have a look.


    @ SHanx
    That is Sad. TOI is cheating not only individuals, even organizations. Shame on print media.

  13. This is bad! Did you try contacting the paper? Was there any response?

  14. Hi Ms Cris,

    Updates in this post:

  15. This is indeed a shameful thing for a high profile newspaper to do.

  16. Hi,
    Came here via MINT.
    Made a Blog Cartoon related to this menace.


  17. Oh! This is not at all news when it comes to Times of India. Have a look -

  18. @ Shail

    Yes, but in my case they were relatively quick enough to run a clarification.

    @ Bellur

    Nice cartoon by the way... Linked it from my recent posts

    @ Harsha

    Yes, had seen that link...

    Thanks all.

    Final updates on this:

  19. Ya plagiarism is a reality......
    i called up a couple of times, the guys at to tell them that they copied my article........ the way did u paid the the police before taking photo.....were u clicking without their permission?...u r using the photo of the police car for commercial use (blogging)........why not pay the police..
    just joking.......

  20. Hi Srinidhi,

    It is very sad that your copyright has been voilated by TOI, which is a shame for them, irrespective of whether they give any heat to it.

    Anyway, to answer your question. There is no practical way to save your image from being copied over Internet and used without given a credit. However, you can always use a license such as creative commons - This will at least put you in a better legal position as compared to not having any protection at all.

    Anyway, I also heard you saying the term "Intellectual Property", which is actually a misleading term without meaning, to know more about the same please visit

    Hope it all helps.

  21. Glad that you got an apology. Mine is a recent case. On october 13, 2010 Deshabhimani flicked a picture from my blog and published without credit. They dismissed the incident saying its a common practice to get images from google. More details on my blog at

  22. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information... clarified butter


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