Citizens' Issues
Plagiarism at its worst, and how it affects us

Stealing content that costs money to generate is becoming rampant. Moneylife has often been a victim of this criminal practice; among those stealing or plagiarizing our content are some reputed names

Plagiarism or stealing of content has become rampant. As a small media group with limited resources to fight legal battle, we are often a victim of such theft. The theft occurs in many forms, whether it is republishing without credit to carefully removing bylines-we've seen it all.

But our report on SpeakAsia yesterday, that has been stolen and published on another website was a different surprise altogether.

Within hours of the SpeakAsia story going up on the Moneylife website, the report also appeared on, a Lucknow-based site, after removing the byline of the Moneylife Digital Team and without attributing any credit either to or (See image below.)

The ease with which electronic text can be copy-pasted from other sites, has attracted many reporters, bloggers and even some websites to plagiarism of such sorts. It probably would get them some more hits. But what moral right to these institutions have to commit such acts and what credibility is left is the question.

This is not an isolated case. One blogger, admin, simply lifted Moneylife content on HT Parekh and posted it as his own on the Accommodation Times website.

Similarly, on 16th July last year, the Deccan Herald also used our content on the performance of lifestyle funds almost verbatim, merely changing the sequence of a few paragraphs. Again, they did not give any credit to Moneylife.  After we wrote to the editor, the Deccan Herald unpublished the story.

Some months ago, Malini Byanna, estranged wife of Vikram Akula, founder of SKS Microfinance, wrote a letter to Moneylife managing editor Sucheta Dalal. Based on this personal message and after due permission from Ms Byanna, Moneylife published a report. To our surprise, we subsequently found that some bloggers had used the content verbatim on their sites without mentioning the source of the content and without giving due credit to Moneylife. When, we sent them a mail warning them of copyright violation, some of them even argued that the letter by Ms Byanna was an open letter and that they could therefore use it the way they pleased. The fact remains that the letter was addressed specifically to Ms Dalal. Besides, why would Ms Byanna write an open letter about her personal matters to everyone? After our mails, the bloggers provided due credit and links to Moneylife.

We have, sometimes, allowed some bloggers to publish some parts of our stories, giving due credit and links to the original article. However, obviously there are some who believe they can steal our content and get away with it.

Another example is a report on the Right to Information (RTI), by Vinita Deshmukh, a columnist on Moneylife. The article was published by, which claims to be a forum of executive education and learning after removing the names of Ms Deshmukh and any reference to Moneylife. Even after our mails and calls to the owner of the website, Preeti Pahwa, in Gurgaon, the article remains on the site. Strange as it is, the article bears the writer's name as 'by khannasaurabh', but continues to carry a short description about Ms Deshmukh at the end of the article. ("The writer is a senior editor, author and convener of Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan".) This is the case of people, who claim to educate executives. The less said the better about other sites and bloggers.

According to Wikipedia, since the main currency of journalism is public trust, a reporter's failure to honestly acknowledge the source undercuts a newspaper or television news show's integrity and undermines its credibility. Journalists accused of plagiarism are often suspended from their reporting tasks while the charges are being investigated by the news organisation.

What the people indulging in plagiarism fail to understand is this is not just a question of copy-pasting, but amounts to copyright infringement. According to Wikipedia, copyright infringement is a violation of the rights of a copyright holder, when material restricted by copyright is used without consent.

Article 50 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) requires that signatory countries enable courts to remedy copyright infringement with injunctions and the destruction of infringing products, and award damages. More recently, copyright holders have demanded that states provide criminal sanctions for all types of copyright infringement, Wikipedia says.



Paul McWilliams

6 years ago

This may be of interest to you. It is an announcement of a plagiarism law suit that provides links to the complaint and examples.

Pankaj Batra

6 years ago

I had faced similar instance sometime back.
You can file a DMCA complaint to website web hosting company and they will remove their site immediately.


6 years ago

One of the pillars of the infotech industry guiding me over a decade ago said that the future of infotech was (a) communication will be free, (b) money will have no transactional cost and (c) there will be no IPR. When I asked him how one could make a business plan this way, he told me that he gave it 10 years, after which he was going to move on to whatever came up then.

I think it will be the same with media and other IPR. Photographs put up by amateurs are shamelessly copied by large publications. Articles are re-posted. And most of all, there's not much one can really do about all this.

However, in this case, those who have been taken for a copycat ride can also complain to the service providor as well as internet hosting providors - all this information is available online.

Infosys Q4 results below expectations; stock tumbles 9.59%

Slower-than-expected 13.6% growth in net profit by country’s No.2 software exporter and its lower-than-anticipated earnings forecast worries markets. Company announces resignation of TV Mohandas Pai; appoints Ravi Venkatesan, former Microsoft India chief, as additional director

Infosys Technologies Ltd, the country's second largest software exporter, dived more than 9.5% after the company reported a fourth-quarter net profit that was lower than expectations and forecast lower sales for the current fiscal.

The company today announced a 13.6% growth in net profit to Rs 1,818 crore for the quarter to March 2011, hurt by higher costs in the seasonally weak fourth quarter. That compares with a net profit of Rs1,600 crore in the previous corresponding quarter.

Profit after tax and exceptional items was Rs1,730 crore in the period under review, compared to Rs1,430 crore in the period last year. The company's total income increased to Rs7,055 crore in the quarter from Rs5,690 crore in the period a year ago. The profit figures missed analyst estimates for a third time in four quarters from pressures on orders and rupee appreciation.

While Infosys' revenues grew by 22% in the fourth quarter over the corresponding period a year ago, in fact, revenues grew by only 1.1% compared with the previous October-December 2010 quarter and volumes declined 1.4%. There has been a sequential decline in growth in banking and financial services and insurance (BFSI) and telecom, two of its largest verticals. It has also seen a decline in growth in North America, its largest market.

The company forecast that revenues would increase by 15%-17% in 2011-12, but its EPS guidance was way below expectations and this set off concerns about the performance of the country's software industry. Analysts were expecting a better 16%-18%. The guidance on net profit growth was even worse at 5.5%-7.3%, about half of expectations in the range of 13%-15%.

In the event, the Infosys stock price crashed in early trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), remained under pressure through the day, and closed below the Rs3,000 mark at Rs2,988, or 9.59% down from its previous close.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the No.1 software exporter, was also affected by the sentiment, although not as much, as the stock slipped 1.5%, while Wipro dropped 5%. These worries dragged down the broader market significantly and the BSE Sensex lost 1.57% to 19,386 on the last day of trading the week.

Infosys also announced that TV Mohandas Pai has decided to resign as a member of the board of directors and that he had asked to be relieved after the annual general meeting on 11 June 2011. Also K Dinesh, member of the board and co-founder of the company, will retire on 11th June and has expressed his intention not to seek an extension.

The company said Ravi Venkatesan, the former Microsoft India chairman, has been appointed as an additional director of the company with immediate effect. It said its directors will meet on 30th April to decide on a management succession plan, post the retirement of NR Narayana Murthy as chairman of the board in August. The leadership issue appeared to make matters worse.

Infosys is generally the first to announce results and the company's performance usually sets the trend for the rest of the industry and determines the sentiment at the opening of the earnings season. Still analysts expect TCS, its larger rival, to post strong numbers.

S Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Infosys Tehnologies, said, "The fourth quarter is traditionally a soft quarter and a small delay in clients finalising budgets has had some impact. This is a seasonal issue, momentum has to pick up. We have guided for 18-20% growth, client budgets are positive and they say they will continue to invest."

IT spend in the US, which accounts for over half of India's IT exports, is rising, and Forrester Research recently raised its growth forecast for the US market in 2011 to 8% from the earlier 7.4%.

Infosys, which is facing stiff competition from its peers like TCS, forecast higher wages would erode profitability as the company grapples with its highest annual rate of employee attrition in at least 13 years. The operating profit margin will probably drop by 2.9 percentage points this fiscal year after it declined to 29.5% last year, chief operating officer S Dinesh Shibulal said. Analysts point out that this could result in the company's lowest annual margin since 2003.

Infosys, which added a net 3,041 employees in the fourth quarter, said the operating margin in the fourth quarter was 29%, compared with 30% in the third quarter. Salaries are expected to rise by between 10% and 12% in the current financial year, and for workers outside India, the increases may be about 1% to 2%, Mr Shibulal said. "Utilization actually came down. That is why the impact on margins happened," he said.


SC says no case of sedition against Binayak Sen, grants bail

Judges say sympathising with Naxalites, or possessing agitational leaflets does not amount to sedition

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today granted bail to Binayak Sen, the public health specialist who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court for sedition and helping Naxalites to set up a network to fight the State.

The Court said it was giving no reason for granting bail to the 61-year-old health activist and left it to the satisfaction of the trial court concerned to impose the conditions for his release on bail, PT reports.

Judges HS Bedi and CK Prasad passed the order on a petition moved by Mr Sen, challenging the order of the Chhattisgarh High Court denying him bail.
During the hearing, the judges observed, "We are a democratic country. He may be a sympathiser (of Naxalites), but it did not make him guilty of sedition. He is a sympathiser. Nothing beyond that." The judges made this statement after going through the affidavit filed by the Chhattisgarh government opposing the bail application.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who represented Mr Sen, had submitted that the State was unable to point out any misconduct on the part of the medical activist.
The judges also said that all the statements made by the state have no relevance. They said that documents and evidence produced by the state government, which included many meetings with co-accused Piyush Guha in jail and that pamphlets and documents relating to Maoist activities were recovered from his possession, did not mean that he was involved in seditious activities.

Senior advocate UU Lalit, who appeared on behalf of the state government, said no case was made out for bail and he submitted that the activities of Mr Sen must be seen in a broader perspective.

When the judges asked Mr Lalit how Mr Sen's activities were connected to the offence of sedition, the government's counsel said, "My case has been accepted by the trial court and the apex court has only to consider whether he can be granted bail or not."
When the judges asked Mr Lalit if there were any documents backing the charge of sedition, the counsel said Mr Sen visited the jail and exchanged documents with Mr Guha and others. But this did not satisfy the judges, who said, "Visitors are screened and searched by the jail staff when they go and meet the inmates. The jailors are there to oversee all these things. So the question of passing letters or documents doesn't arise."

"The worst can be said that he was found in possession of general documents (relating to Naxal activities), but how can it be said that such possession would attract the charge of sedition? How can you put the charge of sedition?" the judges asked.

Granting bail to Mr Sen, the judges said, "We are concerned with the implementation of the judgement as even no case of sedition is made out."


We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)