Friday, April 27, 2018

Original Is Always Worth More Than The Copy

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, said Oscar Wilde once. But I discovered it only recently that all forms of imitation may not always make you feel flattered. It can also cause undefined amount of anger. To cut the story short I found someone unashamedly copying contents from my blogs. Well not just contents actually, the entire snippets – the title, pasting pictures where I do, copying the way I end my posts. And if this was not enough even copied the “Why Rendezvous” section from my blog – where I have shared a sweet little tale about why I named my blog to what it is. The most irritating part about the whole thing was that the person in question was so foolish that whatever little she tried to change from my write-ups made absolutely no sense at all. She just randomly changed South to North, Khushwant Singh to Robin Sharma and books to ice-creams without using her pea-sized brain to re-read and laugh at the catastrophe she was calling a blog!

The very first line was a give-away.

Entire paragraph copied. Also the ending salutation.

How I found out about it you ask? Well, the twist to the story is that I actually know the girl behind this crime. She was a random acquaintance from my paying guest days in Mumbai. So, she happened to like a picture of mine in Instagram. I just checked her profile and saw a BlogSpot link in her bio (just like I have in mine, may I add). Now since I too write, I am always curious to read stuff from other people. So I clicked on that link, little knowing that it would soon cost me my sleep for the night. The very first thing I read was a line written by me, I had a déjà vu but ignored it. Then I kept reading and could hardly believe what was happening. Post after post just mindless copies for my write-ups. She had been at it since almost 6 months now. My labor of those precious moments I steal out of my office hours and lazy hours. My sweat and blood. My thoughts. My experiences. My personal beliefs. My favorites. My little joys. Anecdotes about my parents and friends. Had she been in front of me, I would surely have punched her in the nose like those “hit-me” toys.
MY FIRST INTERVIEW. Why would someone copy this?

Really? Copying someones' personal stuff and making it your own.

Now this one really made me laugh. My manger was from South, hence I have an added a relevant accent detail. Copycat changed South to North and thought that's that. Common Sense be dammed Slow claps!!

I spent the next 2 hours finding her on every social networking website ever created and leaving threatening and abusive messages. Also left comments on her posts my posts which had comments like "wow, beautifully written" "love the way you express yourself" and she had the gall to reply "Thank you" to these comments. These comments made my temper sour to the ultimate high. I dedicated the next few minutes reading about my rights in this circumstance and the list of actions I could take against her. Did a quick check on the availability of lawyers in the immediate family or friends. Damn why do all Kashmiri's have to be engineers!!

This was my erstwhile impression of Khushwant Singh, I was actually explaining how my impression of him changed. Copycat thought changing the name of the author will do all the magic.Little did she realize that she is implying Robin Sharma to be Tharki.

Apart from my legal action, she is also applicable to a potential legal action by Robin Sharma :D

Somewhere in the wee hours of morning I got a message from her apologizing and stating that she was learning web designing and using a blog content just to learn. I have never heard such a truck load of bullshit in one sentence. With so many technologies and platforms to learn courses ---she chooses BlogSpot. I mean even bloggers don’t choose BlogSpot these days. She also mentioned that she has not shared it with anyone. Oh. Okay. So you post something online. Host it on a URL. Accept and acknowledge comments. Giving no credit to the owner of the content. And you call it not sharing! The irony of all ironies is that this Thief is in IT, working as a Developer. Every decent MNC mandates courses on IT security that discourage and highlight repercussions of copying contents from websites, using pictures without credit/permissions, intellectual thefts and what not. This is such a serious concern and yet educated people indulge in such shameful acts.

I started blogging in 2009. It was always about my personal thoughts, nothing elaborate nothing special. I hardly shared its existence with anyone. It was only recently I warmed up to the idea of sharing it with an audience and then something like this happens. Since I keep sharing my personal pictures on the blog, I did have a few privacy settings done long back. Like disabling right click, Ctrl+C, inclusion of creative commons license. But sadly, the copy disabling function only works for the web version of the blog. And Ms. Copycat had very conveniently overlooked the license banner. But then, when you choose to share something online, you have to be thick skinned and agree that these things are unavoidable. However, it is also very important to be aware of your rights and the legal action you can take against these miscreants.

I am not sure if it exists already, but I very strongly feel that we need to introduce a course on social media etiquette at school level. People need to be aware and know the different between right and wrong.


P.S I really want the Copycat to read this.
PPS All the grammatical mistakes and typos in Screenshots is CopyCat's doing and not mine.