Friday 1 January 2010

Sahara Reporters has infringed my copyright

Prologue: I first wrote this blog on New Years Day in indignation about the copying of my blog and the savage commentary that followed the publication of my blog on the Sahara Reporters website, I then pulled down this blog because I did not feel despite my right to go on the warpath with Sahara Reporters.

The study of the comments on my material then became the source of the blog I wrote for Nigerians Talk titled Nigeria: Can we engage politely?

The demands I make in this blog are not being exacted, this blog has been revived, just for the record.

Attribute as per the rules

When I published a blog noticing Sahara Reporters had come of age, it was published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands License with clear terms that should be followed when my work is being used anywhere else. I live in the Netherlands and have run my blog for 6 years.

I found out that my material was ripped off my blog with the complimentary Culled from Akin’s Blog though the presentation of the article may have surreptitiously suggested I wrote it on the Sahara Reporters web site.

For all intents and purposes, I like to convey my ideas in forums where I have complete control of the material, that is why none of my stuff is found elsewhere except on my blogs and when I write for forums like NigeriansTalk.

Courtesy demands

Whilst I consider Sahara Reporters an effective guerilla news agency it is not beyond extending the common courtesy of seeking permission from bloggers before using copy they have not originally created and if that organisation could not seek permission, if should have read the terms of re-using original copy and followed the instructions as given.

Unfortunately, it shows the tendency to ignore dictates of due process, a lack of attention to crucial copyright and usage instructions, an absence of discipline where an article of commendation gets pilfered on the premise that the writer has automatically given permission for usage to the subject of the commendation – No, it was never explicit and could never have been read as implicit either.

Sahara Reporters might well be disestablishmentarian in Nigeria, but it is not above the rules of engagement in the global usage of material they have not created.

My blog suits my material best

On reading their publication of my blog, it clearly does not convey fully everything I wrote, the links with their references are missing, the sources I used for my copy do not appear in that posting and falls short of how I would present my views if I were invited to present my views on that forum.

If Sahara Reporters were to have done the minimum it should have been a link with a very basic excerpt pointing users to my blog, to have shorn my material of its setting is definitely a rip off and not to have attributed appropriately amounts to copyright infringement in the least, a less charitable situation would be to accuse Sahara Reporters of piracy.

To make it clear, I seek no further forums than that which my blogs give me in the expression of my opinion where I have complete control over the publication and the commentary it might generate, one is not amused to find that principle abridged without my consent.

To redeem Sahara Reporters

I would expect Sahara Reporters to do the right thing of the following options; remove my material forthwith from their website; expressly seek my permission to use my material or read and follow the instructions regarding attribution of material on my blog. An apology would be expected and if either of the last two options is taken, the full material with the links and sources as appear on my blog MUST be published.

Gaining global recognition does not automatically confer respectability but it demands journalistic responsibility; that comes with you continuing your sterling work of investigative news gathering and your sticking to the rules as they apply with the material you obtain.

Finally, I am Nigerian, I love Nigeria, I like Sahara Reporters and the work they do, that is why I have twice commended their activities in my blogs, and the rules are there for a purpose, following those rules are not grievous to the meticulous and honest journalist.

Thank you!

No permission is given to copy any part of this blog; and this notice overrides the provisions on the attribution license.

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