What Gives Big #Media the Right to Violate #Writers’ #Copyrights?

Note: I had made this post to demand that The Sri Lanka Guardian take my unauthorized article off  its website! Within 10 days of releasing this post, the newspaper took my article of its website.  Thank you to everyone on Facebook and Twitter who helped by circulating this post and gave voice to my protests over the violation of my copyrights.

copyright all rights reservedA few days ago, I received tweets from people regarding an article of mine, published in The Sri Lanka Guardian. This was an article on Gandhi’s sexual abuse of young girls under his tutelage that I had published on Youth ki Awaaz (YKA), but I had not been approached by the Sri Lanka Guardian to reprint it, so I was surprised. The format, including the photo of Gandhi, was exactly the way it is on YKA, as was the author’s bio that YKA put up for me.

I do write for YKA regularly, and there is a standing understanding between us that while I usually do not publish the same article on two sites, anyone approaching them for anything I’ve written should contact me directly. Still giving The Sri Lanka Guardian the benefit of the doubt, I checked my inbox for mails I might have missed, but found nothing. Then I asked YKA. They too were surprised, for they hadn’t been approached.

So I wrote to The Sri Lanka Guardian asking for an explanation. They said they had copied it off someone’s Facebook wall! When I put this to my legal counsel, he said this was absurd! Facebook is an informal platform for social sharing. However, The Sri Lanka Guardian is an official, commercial, publishing house, to which stringent copyright rules and publishing protocols apply. Even if they got it off Facebook (as they seem to claim they have), it has my name and bio on it, and as the author they should to have contacted me for permission before publishing it.

I wrote back to the Sri Lanka Guardian, relaying what I had been advised, and stated that I understood they had clearly violated my copyrights! Also on counsel’s advice I gave them two options to resolve the matter for me. Either they paid me what they did their columnists, or else within 48 hours (by May 07, 2014) they must remove my article from their site. They did neither! Instead they just stopped responding!

Copyright violations are something that writers and artists have to deal with all the time. And it is very frustrating to deal with, because (more…)

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What Do Indian Girls Learn/ Unlearn from their Mothers?

There’s a lot of search going on in the global feminist movement for “female role models” for girls.

But in context of psychological growth, the fact is, that no prototype, however strong or famous, can overshadow the one most powerful female role model in any girl’s life.  And that role model is the girl’s own mother!

‘Mom’ is the ultimate “mirror” in which most women reflect on their own images of femininity, womanhood, self and life!  It doesn’t mean she will choose to be like her mother.  But it is in her mother’s image that she examines her own, and decides whether she will  accept, reject, or refine her own!

So as I look at issues of violence on women in India, what interests me most is the relationship between mothers and daughters.  In this following article for the Indo-Canadian magazine Masalamommas, I look at five Bollywood films and how they portray mother-daughter relationships.

To read the article click here. (more…)

STOP THE U.S. FROM CENSORING INDIA’S INTERNET

For years, the U.S. government has been critical of China and Iran for their state run control of the Internet.   However now, the US Congress is contemplating a law that would give the U.S. government the power to censor India’s Internet. (more…)

Why did the film ‘Eat Pray Love’ Marry Off the Indian Girl?

‘Eat Pray Love’ was showing in theaters in India about two weeks ago, and I have to admit, that like most here, I too went to see it just to see how the country looks on the big screen. But the one question that’s been nagging at me since is, “Why did they have to get Tulsi married?”

The seventeen-year-old Indian girl, Tulsi, who Liz Gilbert befriends at the ashram, has a colorful wedding in the film, which she does not in the book. True, films often distort their source to suit the audience’s whims. And a Bollywood style wedding would certainly spice up the visual appeal. Yet I found Tulsi’s wedding to be a symbolic slaughter of the spirit of this book; a mockery of one of its core issues.

Since Liz already travels, explores and writes, doing all she truly loves, what was her big soul-searching journey all about? In her own words: “I don’t want to have a baby,” an issue she wrestles with incessantly. “That deadline of THIRTY loomed over me..and I discovered I did not want to be pregnant.” And again, “I well know what desire feels like. But it [the desire for a child] wasn’t there.” Her real concern about motherhood, it seems is how she would be perceived if she openly admitted she didn’t desire children. She agonizes over how people would “judge” her. “What kind of a person does that make me?”  Read the article here on Pickled Politics

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