I quite like the steps that Mint team took after my picture appeared on their website without my knowledge.
To be honest, I was foaming at the mouth when I wrote to Sidin Vadukut. I mean that is my natural reaction when I find my pictures lifted but this time I was real mad because it was only November when I was battling HT and here in February I was staring at the same issue again from the same media house! The natural question to ask is WHY ME! I know the partial answer Google indexing and full size images but still you don’t expect to get published 3 out of 4 times in print via plagiarism and twice via the same media house!
I also need to mention that I got a mail from the editor of Mint and never once did they try to say anything but that they goofed up! When I said I am traveling but I need to vent out, he even replied to say he would wait for that mail!
The only time I have managed to get in print with half way decent information is with Spicejet (I know there are past issues with them with bloggers). They had asked beforehand for taking a picture of mine of Barog and use it in their magazine. No offer of rates or anything though. So, I wrote back saying from commercial enterprises I like to charge an amount and they said they pay 300 rupees per picture. For someone like me, who doesn’t make a living out of photography or blogging it is still less than pizza money but I wonder what real photographers do? But I am sure there are tricks of trade I do not know. I never hear from the editor again (in spite of follow ups) till last week or so, saying they wish to pay me for use! I was suspicious and said I want to see the copy. The editor is in hurry and says the checks are being cleared, I hold my ground. So, today I saw the online version (if you go to page 75, the Barog picture is mine) and was convinced that all was fine and will now wait for the check to arrive.
But I digress, this one is about Mint. This is what they wrote at the official Mint blog among other things.
We apologize to not only the photographer concerned, but to all readers.
I had not even gone to the stage to ask how do they apologize, they did it on their own.
- What I really want to see, however, is a consistent policy for such incidents. For example in a web based publication, they more often than not offer to take down the image which seems like (I know they don’t intend it that way) a double insult. Should this be the policy or the credit should be given for use to the photographer?
- And then what should be a fair compensation amount in such cases? 2K doesn’t seem to be the right price even though I readily agreed to it. And I am not complaining personally but questioning it as a policy. Anyway, I still need to put a more coherent issue about this stuff.
I have to grant it to Mint, Sidin Vadukut and his team knows how to clam down photographers foaming at the mouth though.