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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hot off the press!

Click here to read the most recent article on Sri Lankan blue whales - published today in the Sunday Leader http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/02/05/into-the-blue/

The only reason I am posting this right here right now is because our Sri Lankan newspapers have proudly displayed their capacity for unprofessionalism once again. Accompanying this article is a blue whale tail fluke taken by myself (I have illustrated this post with the original - as proof). It was provided with clear instructions to credit the photograph to me - it is after all something I created so I shouldn't even have to ask! As it turns out, the photograph has made an appearance in today's Sunday Leader MINUS the credit (check how the bottom of the photograph has been cropped - strategically removing any copyrights!). This has happened to me before and I am fully beginning to loose faith in our papers. In response to my evident unhappiness they have promised to print an apology - I await with bated breath.

Has this happened to anyone of you? Have you ever found one of your photographs decorated with someone else's name on a different website to your own? How do you deal with these issues? I know its a serious problem that my under and over-water photographer friends face and therefore a point worth putting on the discussion table.


  1. Unfortunately this kind of things happen not only in Sri Lanka, but everywhere in the world. It's a global problem...

    Btw your blog is amazing! Keep up the good job Asha!

  2. Thanks for your response Paris - Its sad that things like this should happen...but I guess its good to talk about how everyone deals with the problem....Thanks for your compliment :) I really appreciate it and supportive comments only encourage me to keep it going :) Asha

  3. This an issue not only when you have given the picture (with a watermark) but even without any knowledge of the photographer, instances where the watermark has been erased even when it was put right across the photo are many. As you know some have tried to take legal action with very limited success after many frustrating years in and out of court rooms! Some of my friends are dealing with a similar issue and discussing further action , will keep you posted on any positive developments and if you could use the any of that experience.
    Rgds, Hemaka

    In the mean time, upload only low resolution pics and have your watermark across the picture to make it near impossible or difficult to erase and use. Yes you are ruining the picture but better do that than let some other idiot use and get credit or paid for it!

  4. Its happened to people whom I know and that was an unpleasant episode. People just steal photos just like that. Sorry to hear about your problems, that too with mainstream media chaps there. I hope they do print a clarification/apology with due credit to you..after all these photos are yours and indeed been taken after so much hard work! Cheers Asha.

  5. Thanks for the discussion guys - its a ridiculous problem which really is unnecessary when you think about it. Yes and low res it is -- defacing the photos with a massive watermark may be the only other thing to do - you are right!
    I have a friend who takes these amazingly wonderful photos of shipwrecks and marine life (and is the only one to have documented quite a number of them) and he has had big companies stealing his photos and then claiming that they were using it to promote Sri Lanka so he should be flattered!!!! he was, but he asked them to pay and they made a massive huge fuss it was crazy -- they stole and then made it sound like they were doing him a favour. Anyways -- its great to just hear everyone's input but sad to know its such a common problem!

  6. So you will be happy to know that the online version now has my name on it. I just heard of a situation where someone else had his photo appear in a newspaper without his knowledge. When someone queried if they had got permission to publish it, this is what the EDITOR of the DIVAINA paper said;
    Your "Eternal Sunset" was published in "Heladiva Irida
    Sangrahaya" today (Cover date - 25th January 2009). They
    used the image on the cover of their supplimentry called
    "Saara". I asked the Editor abt the permission & his reply
    was the identical to the reply given by the Editor of
    Divaina. " Internet eke thibuna api gatta, Eyi mokadda eke
    thiyena weredda?. Onanam nadu danna api balagannam"
    (it was on the internet and we gook it. Why whats wrong with that? if you want you can sue us we will take care of that)!!!!!! SHOCKING that people have this attitude. I might have to (unfortunately) start watermarking my photographs right across. Sorry but this seems to be the only thing I can do given these incidents.

  7. This happens everyday. It's unfair and absolutely disrespectful. Having said that, some of us tend to do the same with regards to copyrighted music and movies.. The thriving DVD stores in our beautiful island is proof of that. What can I say, it's a vicious world.

    Btw, love your blog. Just took a peek after i saw your auto reply to ET's email. Happy whaling! : )