TamilNadu Govt is a content thief! - eNidhi India Travel Blog

TamilNadu Govt is a content thief!

Tamil Nadu Govt has published class 2 text books, printed with images stolen from the internet without the consent of photographers, without giving any credit and of course not paying any money.

This makes Tamil Nadu Govt violator of intellectual property rights or in other words content thief.

I was apprised by a facebook friend that my photo has been used in TN’s class 2 text book.

This photo of me drinking tender coconut was clicked by Kudpi Raj in Mangalore several years ago. This is one of the popular images in google images if you search for “tender coconut drinking” or related keywords. Check his channel here.

My guess is the agency tasked with preparing content for class 2 outsourced the task to some intern or freelancer who conveniently stole this (and other pictures needed for a textbook) from the internet.

So how to get it corrected?
Obviously, Tamil Nadu Govt or its education department do not have any easy medium to receive complaints like these and address them swiftly. If I need to get this removed, I will have to go through complicated red tape- visiting their office in person, giving an application, providing proof that we own this image and hope that they act. What is our fault and why should we spend time, effort and money to correct their mistakes?

Very unlikely they will act in any way, because it costs lots of money to reprint all the text books and without any gain or bribe why would they do it? Or course, don’t expect any compensation for the time and effort we have to spend on this. I do not have the time and energy and money to chase the TN govt for this mistake of theirs. Will be nice if they proactively take action and either give credit or compensation for this intellectual property breach.

Indians as such have no respect for someone else’s intellectual property rights. Once your content is online, everyone else assumes it is free for reuse. Several instagram handles easily lift video clips and repost as if they own it. Adding watermarks, asking people not to copy no effect.

Earlier Times of India had stolen my pic- read details here. All they did was publish a tiny apology in some inside page after several days.

Let me know your thoughts


  1. This is not right. They could have easily clicked a photograph of somebody drinking a tender coconut instead of stealing a photo from net!

  2. You nailed it Shrinidhi. Not just photos, there are thefts of content in many ways. Internet has easy access and they do it without moving a muscle. They don't think that a small gesture like giving credit to the original author is necessary.

    It is like some people plucking fruit from our tree or throwing stones to knock them off without our permission. We sometimes end up with a broken window glass or roofing tile because of their mischief!

    But I am not surprised. This has happened many times. Even some of my signature recipes are being stolen and claimed by people as their own. One such recipe was broadcast on Udaya TV Kannada, about a decade ago, I complained to the TV Channel about it, but they didn't even reply my mail. When they all work hand in glove, how can you expect them to reply!

    I tried to put copy control on my writeup and photos, but it is not the end. There are smart people who use different methods to copy the content easily. Then I stopped sharing my signature recipes. Can you believe that people try and abuse me for not sharing them? They say "What is the use of posting picture of dishes if you don't share recipes?".

    People think it is their birth right to get freebies. Typical Indian way of thinking. Our politicians encash on such attitude and win their votes.

    These thefts do happen often on web portals and print media, but this 21st Century with emphasis on earning easy money and fame seems to accommodate faking, stealing, robbing, bribing, lying and all unscrupulous things as long as they don't get caught and sued. We can just point fingers at them but the system is so rotten, you just can't teach them morality. In the modern material world, majority of the public and politicians are equally bad. Only a chosen few may think right but they have no scope in these times to judge what is right and what is wrong.

    As you rightly mentioned, if we try to establish propriety over the content, it takes ages and by the time we get justice, we may not even survive to see that day!

    Mostly small fish get caught and big fish escape. That's the rule which may also become legal someday soon!

  3. If at all you have to do anything, you have to establish who owns the copyright of that particular image. Then that person has to file a case in civil court for compensation. In other words, instead of you going behind them, they have to make them come to you. Removing the content may be too difficult for them now. Hence you have to make this as a means of collecting an amicably agreeable royalty fees for having used your property.

    Late Dr. Krishna Mohan Prabhu had done it several times.

    1. Gopalkrishna Baliga, this was my message to Shrinidhi Hande as soon as he brought this to my notice:

      I remember this pic being published by a couple of web portals earlier without permission.

      In 2014 or so, on Udaya TV cooking show someone prepared my signature recipe Chicken Kubera claiming it to be his own creation and bagged a prize. When I wrote to the channel about it, they didn't even reply.

      To sue them it is a Herculean task, and until my demise justice won't be delivered! Just like fighting against corruption and being in the news like Anna Hazare, we can only become famous but can't stop it. Very few get caught, and those are individuals who are unaware of cyber crime.

      I have always said that the 21st Century has made everything illegal that involves faking, bribing, cheating, lying, corruption, theft, robbery, terrorism universally acceptable.

      In general average people have become opportunistic, and money rules over intelligence, honesty, trust, knowledge and reasoning.

      About 12 years ago, I recall Udayavani daily paper publishing a photo of Chinese soldiers forming a human bridge to save women and children from floods, captioning it as Uttarakhand floods and Indian Army rescue. They hadn't even mentioned the source then.

      I guess your photo on Bengaluru traffic police was used by some English news media house without permission some years ago.

      Now mostly youngsters and social media buffs are managing publicity and they don't bother to check the source.

      Late Dr. Krishnamohan from Moodabidri had written about picture piracy long ago. Even his Diwali pic was used for greetings by the Karnataka Government if I remember right.

  4. The developed programs for determining Anti-plagiarism make it possible to determine borrowings from various documents available on the Internet


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