Nothing is impossible in the merry world of Indian journalism.
Big newspapers (and magazines) flick stories from small ones without as much as acknowledgement. Big TV stations conduct whole debates on issues first flagged by newspapers (and magazines) without so much as a by-your-leave.
But at least there’s a word for it: plagiarism. What’s the equivalent in advertising?
In a first, the embattled Hyderabad newspaper Deccan Chronicle has accused The Times of India of stealing its “classified advertisements” and passing them off as its own.
Deccan Chronicle says between January 2013 and June 2013, nearly 1,000 such classifieds which first appeared in DC also appeared in ToI.
DC now has filed a criminal complaint against ToI.
For the record, Deccan Chronicle has been under attack from ToI in the Hyderabad market for the financial sins of its promoter, T. Venkatram Reddy.
Also, for the record, Hyderabad is the one city where ToI has not managed to make great headway. After 14 years of publication, one recent issue of the newspaper in September had 16 in-house advertisements.
Read the full story: TOI-ing with readers
Wonder whether a case can be made against ToI though. Copyright belongs to the author (unless transfered). And one would assume that since the advertiser has authored the ad, the copyright too would belong to the advertiser. So if DC sues ToI for copyright infringement, do they have any standing? Are they saying they are doing it on behalf of the advertiser? If so, has the advertiser authorized them to do so?
This will be interesting to watch … please keep us updated!