The Femina fiasco

We are bloggers, we write because it is our passion. And we pride ourselves in our originality. We are unique and creative and that is our sole reason for blogging. No, scratch that. We also get a rush from the comments, the interaction with the visitors to our blog. I can remember walking on air when I found out that people read the feeds to my blog. How cool is that? I had this huge grin on my face people and my family informs me that I was a huge pain for a while.

I have kept the blog ad free, but I am possessive about my content. I gave a couple of stories off my blog to Prashant Karhade of APK Publishers. One was a very short story titled “My Daughter’s Stricken Eyes Haunt Me”.

The MOU signed by me prior to publishing states clearly in Clause No. 4 that the copyright for this story lies with the writer.

Imagine my shock when I was congratulated by Hrishikesh Bawa on Facebook on my story appearing in Femina, right next to the recipes!

I was in office right then and could not lay my hands on the magazine.

And the story … badly mangled, with lines missing

This is the Femina May 4th issue … here is the cover

Should I feel flattered? Femina is a big name … after all. But no, sad to say but I dont. I keep my blog ad free, I do not profit from my writing. For that I work at a soul less desk job. And here is the fruit of my creativity, published in a magazine, for commerce. Some one else is profiting from it. In short, I’ve been had! Mera chu…ya kat gaya hai. And if Hrishikesh had not messaged me on FB I would not have come to know.

I have learnt from other bloggers that similar things have happened to them. Some of these reputed newspapers etc do not even list them as the source.

What do you say, bloggers? Are we so helpless, so unworthy that we don’t deserve the courtesy of a small email or a comment in our comment section? Are we so weak that we can be walked over?

Reactions of bloggers

Femina sinks to a new low

Where Femina Steals

Strongly support Ritu’s position

Femina and the stolen story

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100 thoughts on “The Femina fiasco

  1. I have read somewhere that the “passion is the friction of your soul with the outside world”.As long as you have passion (like this blog),you will have problems with these people.

  2. Ritu,
    Would you know anyone who might know someone in Femina? This is not right.
    I dunno how I can help but I’ll tweet about this and share it on FB – atleast spread the word . Plagiarism is just not acceptable

  3. Well you already know my take on this, You should be Sueing them … No second thoughts about it …

    To hell with taking up with them , they are a big name and with that they are responsible for there actions … and They should have checked it out first.. I would not think anything but send them a Letter and Plese MAKE SURE they dont get away by just saying a SORRY TO you…

    How pathetic is that … This is robbery and a crime .. for which everyone has to pay a big name or a small name …
    I will ask my solicitor to send them a notice .. and then they will run…

  4. We are not ‘unworthy’, ‘helpless’ or ‘weak’. Bloggers definitely need their writing rights protected. If you want we bloggers can collectively send an email . Do take it up for sure.

  5. This such a SHAME coming from supposedly high profile magazine. In which age are they living?? Have they heard of emails?? They could have sent you one asking permission. Thye could even have dropped a line on twitter or the blog itself. Oh no siree. They just publish it.

    None of us bloggers are posting what we write for profit. As yuo rightly said, it is our love of writing that is behind it. How can they use that in their magazine without so much as by your leave??

    • That is exactly my point. In this day and age, they cant get away with such things. It may have happened earlier, without electronic date and time stamp on everything

      • Ritu, I do online content, and check everything I write on Copyscape and other tools…how hard would it have been for them to run a check, if it was one of their journalists/writers who sent it in? Either it’s deliberate, or it’s shocking carelessness on the editor’s part.

        Hope this is resolved with a public apology to you and compensation, both for the story and the insult.

  6. you should let Femina know. Like Shail says at least they could have written an email or twittered about this na! We all write because we love to do that, but that doesnt mean it doesnt have any value (commercial or otherwise) to it…right?

  7. Im in Dhaka for the year but the local “booty saloons’ do stock Femina, heading out with a marker and “blacking” out the story. Lets start a Each One Deface One campaign where we “black-out” plagiarized stories? at some stage they will sit up and take notice.

      • I know a lot of people who read Femina and as of today each one of them knows what Femina has done. Femina is definately going to be minus some readers now 🙂
        But really my blood is boiling at this. Pathetic !

  8. Femina really sucks – doing such things….this is really bad. Havent they contacted u yet ??? Even after all those twitter msgs ????

  9. Ridiculous!!!! Whilst you take this up with Femina, spread the word around so that no other magazines use our work without informing us …..not acceptable! They would be sued big time if they were in the West….Do not let them get away easily…

  10. It is a shame that a supposedly ‘big’ name like Femina resorts to things like this! I do hope they realize that bloggers cannot be walked over. And copyrights are there to be respected. Have they said nothing about it so far? Do they have a twitter id where you could tweet this?

  11. I do hope you have written to Femina… posted on their webpage, and been noticed in other media as well. A LOT of noise needs to be made, and as Abha has said, we’d all be willing to put our signatures together in an email or letter, as would be suitable.
    You do say it true that most of us are in our posts and in the blogs… and it is a part of ourselves they steal, when they do so without our permission. I do hope your protest is made, and heard and apologies and acknowledgement is made.

  12. Sadly, this happens quite frequently. A few years back, when I was writing for Desicritics, we heard about how Yahoo! had flicked content from many food bloggers’ blogs. Since then, I have heard of many, many incidents. A blogger’s short story was even made into a funny skit on a TV serial, starring many big names.

    Shameful, I know and I can understand your anger. If there’s a petition, point the way and I will gladly sign it. And promote it.

  13. Just because they are such big names, does not mean they can plagarise…. when very innocent plagiarism, which cannot be called plagiarism at all are being penalized severely… I understand you have written to Femina and speaking to your lawyer… why get hit the clouds when our content does not mention our name as the source!

    • Oh they gave my name and blog id at the bottom. But they mangled the content, the story printed in the magazine does not have the impact the original has. And they did not take my permission.

      When they had the blog id, how difficult is it to send a mail? Then I could have supervised and the story would not have been as pathetic as it is now.

  14. i say emphatically,

    milk this opportunity
    sue the femina people and get free publicity for the butterfly book.
    trust me,u’ll laugh your way to the bank.

  15. No one can take and reproduce anything written by you without your permission.Femina is a very reputed mag…I don’t know how they did such a mistake.Anywayz you did a great job by posting this matter here.

  16. This is ridiculous!!! Without your permission, nothing should be stolen! I hope you took it up with Femina and they responded with an explanation even if inane and promised to apologize!?

    This has happened to me too. Not with blog content. I don’t think I have anything worthy on my blog to be stolen hah but that’s another story, but someone stole my photo and printed it in their for-profit magazine without my permission. Luckily, they apologized in their next issue when I created a ruckus.

    I hope you are making noises! This is such a touching story. I can’t believe someone would misuse it like this. And edit it to mess it up too. 😦

  17. I am surprised they did so because publishing policies state that they should take a permission in writing in a specified format, even if it has been volunteered by the writer him/herself so that there are no legal hassles later on. Well that was what was specified to me by Women’s era. So if that is the case,then I think legal action is very much applicable

      • yeah, they need a written consent in a form. If your article is selected for publishing they give you a token remuneration, whose receipt they sign over a revenue stamp . Only after that, can they proceed for publishing. Pleas inquire. I think you have them by their balls. Just put the pressure on them to make the deed good. Good Luck.

  18. Gosh. If done by a low profile magazine dying for readership, it is understandable yet not justifiable. Plagiarism never is.
    But Femina?
    This is shocking.
    Comon, now the least they should do is own up to it and issue a public apology.
    And ofcourse, give its commercial due! 😉

  19. Ritu as I said earlier this is much more common than we think. Don’t just go for an apology, ask for compensation. Also they I guess never print an ad by mistake, how come then they print stories/pictures by mistake?

  20. Plagiarism is something I loathe to extremes…..but a reputed magazine like ‘Femina’ doing it is shocking indeed….but not really….coming from the world of Academia I know how much of this is common…I have had supervisors making us writing complete articles for International conferences and not even giving credits…..Soft copies borrowed for read are just plainly copied aways…..and what not….if this is state in the profession which educates generations….Such magazines are still small things….

    I hope these people appologize and compensate….u need to let the editor know what happened.

    • We are exploring a suitable way to recompense me, and yes I have taken legal advise. If Academia is doing it, commercial people definitely will. There has to be a deterrent.

  21. As much as I got excited and wanted a copy of your work there, I got disgusted the minute I saw they did it without intimating you!!! What? how dare they take the privilege to do such a thing! Forget pay you, you weren’t even written and asked…i am flipping mad now! Is there a way u could copyright it or something Ritu? I remember IHM going thu a problem of a similar nature some time back! It’s a bloggers thoughts, and a part of you which only you have right over! Damn!

  22. Pingback: FEMINA and it’s deeds « My Scribbling Journey

  23. Hi Ritu
    It is so disheartening to see when something like this happens. we creates Ripples with so much joy. each of our story ,poem any article is straight from the heart. So much effort goes into it and then these blighter just lift it and shred it 😦 I am so disgusted with what Famina has done. With you in this campaign against Famina. This is criminal . Worried about my work now. Wonder who is lifting it and printing it. A poet friend on Orkut had stolen my Hindi poems and recited them in Pune as his own .Someone who went to listen to him had read them on my blog and reported . 😦 I had no proof as such so kept quiet . with this we wont. Go get them.

  24. Pingback: Femina sinks to a new low « Things do not change…until we change!

  25. Oh no!
    I didn’t read this before posting my lighthearted response at the blog of Starsinmyeyes where I first read about this.
    This is serious indeed and definitely surprising.
    Ritu, keep that personal apology safely and use it as evidence.
    That apology is another nail in their coffin.
    It means they admit the mistake.
    It’s your privilege to forgive or not forgive and instead ask for compensation.

    I am glad you are seeking legal counsel.
    Insist on:
    1)Payment. In cold hard cash for using your story. Milk them for whatever you feel you can get.
    2)A PUBLIC apology printed boldly in their next issue.
    3)A complete and full republication of your original blog without editing.
    4)A promise from their editorial team that this will not be allowed to happen to other bloggers.

    If they don’t respond to your mails try writing to competing publications.
    Some of their rivals will grab this opportunity to publicize this incident.
    But finally do look at the bright side.
    You are going to become famous!
    And, as I already stated in my comment at Starsinmyeyes, I am frankly envious!
    No one ever considered anything I wrote in my entire lifetime worth stealing!

    Good luck and regards
    GV

  26. Oh God, this is horrible! Well yes I do agree with GV at some moment that you are famous, but this is stealing..this is not done! not allowed at all. I have always loved Femina for what it was, off late did see some ups and downs but after this incident I have lost faith in them! I am really wondering if all those things they have written are their’s or are from bloggers just like you, me and many more… 😦

  27. Pingback: Femina and the stolen story! « Himadri Dimri's blog

  28. Pingback: Plagiarism of the Photos Posted on the Internet- Indian Media Cases

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