Monday, July 9, 2007

Am I Bothered?

I don't know about this one. It seems both Cerno and myself have experienced some form of something. What exactly it is I don't know.

Cerno has bunged a post out about it here.

I also must thank the anonymous tipster who let me know what had happened. It appears that Lakbima, has published a blog post I wrote about Sri Lankan mothers in its magazine section here. I haven't studied it in detail but it looks like it's a total copy and paste. It also decided to take one of Cerno's post and do the same here.

Neither of us were asked or even informed about it beforehand.

On one hand I'm quite chuffed about the whole "being published" thing. When I was about 10 I won first prize in the Petersham Flower show's art and craft section for my balsa wood model of a ship. There were only two entries in the category, mine and my best friend Greg Walker's. He did a balsa wood model of a ship too. But he tried to paint his and I left mine plain untreated. I cunningly observed him attempt the paint job and realised that, by not painting mine, I'd do less work and it would look neater.

The plan was good. I won first prize, he won second prize.

But, since then my level of success in terms of competitive creativity has been zero. Greg Walker has probably won Oscars and stuff, we lost touch so I don't know, but nothing haas happened to me until this Lakbima published my post. So it's quite nice.

But I'd never heard of Lakbima and must confess that I first thought it was a Sri Lankan BMW fanzine. It's not, as you may be aware. And it's only "quite" nice that they nicked my little piece of writing.

In a flash of brilliance that only a publication that would stoop so low would exhibit they've called me "Ryythmic Diaspora" but then continue to print the whole post with the name "Rhythmic Diaspora" in palce where they've merely copied my own text. I find this amazing and pathetic. Whoever is responsible put in so little effort that they couldn't even be bothered to check such a simple detail.

There is a reference later in my post to "Cinimod", which is only relevant to a few people, yet the paper, or magazine, still went ahead abd published that. Poor performance.

I've never bothered to get involved in copyrighting and all that creative commons business that I see other bloggers getting involved with. Instead I took the attitude that if anyone wanted to publish anything I'd written, well firstly they'd be desperate and secondly that all they had to do was ask and I'd be delighted. Naively I did think that they'd ask.

Oh well.

Mr Lakbima, thanks for liking what I wrote, thanks for publishing it. Please ask me next time. It seems from the comments on Cerno's post that it's not the first time you have done this. You obviously read many of the Sri Lankan blogs and I'd love to know what you have to say about it.

Addition - It appears that it's not just myself and Cerno, there's a post by Java on Bevis Bawa that's been used too!


Manshark said...

This Sunday's also included Chiefly Daftness' post on Roy and a rugger tips thingy from Charmax :S

Perhaps this Sunday's paper was a tribute to Lankan bloggers?? lol

cerno said...

I share your feeling of "some form of something". Odd feeling no? ;) Though your attitude towards is it far more Buddhist. Based on what I saw on the Lakbima site I get the feeling that they just hastily copy-pasted stuff. The next step down is to blatantly grab content and call it their own. I hope it doesn't happen.

But the number of English language newspapers are growing in Sri Lanka. Lakbima is one of the newbies. I guess they are tight for cheap content so they are grabbing stuff off the web. So it doesn't bode well. Perhaps I'm being too pessimistic and trying to hold on to my cynical credentials.

Like you, I've been trying to figure out what that "some form of something" is. Perhaps its the lack of professionalism. Initially I wondered if it was a sense that something was stolen/violated. But its nothing that grim.

I keep coming back to a sadness of how cheap, shoddy, unethical, and worst of all, unprofessional it is. Essentially it is how politicians in Sri Lanka behave.

Which is rather sad since I think many bloggers would happily contribute their article for links to their sites. A more media savy person could have engaged bloggers and got them on board.

Still I'm thankful to see your friendly attitude towards "Mr Lakbima" :) Felt like a good glass of water on a hot day. Not lukewarm not too cold. Just right. Calmed me down from wondering off into grumby not so postive tangents.

One positive spin on this is that it has kept my stat graph just in the 3 figure range ;) (don't we all look at the stats?). ;)

Beatrice Hannah said...

Flowershow competitions, now that does take me back. I never did win the coveted 'best decorated egg' though. Do they still have those things? Oh and nicking stuff without asking is not good manners.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Rhythmic etc., (others)
First thing, we tried to contact you, but it’s not possible in most of the blogs. We did contact some of the others though, who left contact e mails.
You bloggers know that you are anonymous.
We'd like to publish the stuff you write, of course, more of it! Profuse apologies, but the reason was that we here were unable to contact you guys was your anonymity.
Maybe a post would have helped; but didn't think about the exact efficacy of that. because we did post at some sites, with our contactsw, and nobody bothered to reply!
But then, it would have been difficult to give our contacts to you that way..
Anyway we like the comment that this is a tribute to Sri Lankan bloggers. If your stuff is good we’d like to publish -- it’s in the public domain too. So I think you should have a positive take on it.
It’s not as if any stuff was published without credits.
Anyway, we’d like to publish more of your stuff; and as you may have noticed, 90 per cent of our still is NOT from blogsites, so its just that we'd like to use SOME good stuff that comes from blogs that are of relevance to Sri Lanka..
We'd also like to pay you -- for anything published in the future, as well as what was published. We don't pay enormously, but we pay reasonable rates.
So please write to us at, and we would like to get the payment across to you, if you furnish an address.
In the meanwhile, we'd like to use some more of the blogs -- and we hope you can send some of your other material on the e mail so that we can publish it..
Many of the boggers we published -- including some such as Mr Fazli Sameer have got on board, and we hope you do that too. They write EXCELLENT stuff, and were not so harried. We don’t expect the same reaction from everyone, but then we are trying to set the record straight here.
We would have liked to get you on board at the very outset, except that your contacts were not available. At least, they were not available at our scrutiny; maybe they were available somewhere.

Thanks then, and so here is to the blogosphre -- and here is to the mainstream!! We'd publish more, I hope you can write to us at our e mail and we'll use more of yours, and pay you as well.
Thanks and no offence,

‘Mr Lakbima’
those at Lakbimanews.

PS: And to that other person who said we may publish without the credit sometime, we don’t want to dignify that with a comment.

pissu perera said...

pissu perera has also been inducted in to the "hijacked in to lakbima" club..i had no clue that i was "honoured" by rajpal until cerno left a comment in my blog..according to a friend who is more familar with sri lankan law, as long as rajpal credits the person, he is safe.. i work for a national english weekly myself and as far as i know, we don't just copy and paste stuff off the's probably just rajpal..

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but Pissu, you are pissu no. You don't work for the best paper in town.
you have to hand it to those guys, htey have the best paper in town. beating other papers hollow, truly. I am sure they can manange with or without guys like you.

so don't feel so sanctimonious, piz.


cerno said...

Got quite a few posts on my blog by Lakbimanews and a whole lot of others. And I have no time to even comment on it let alone be coherent. Have to run do wedding stuff.

I think if all goes well a tipping point might be reached and the blogosphere could get along well with the mainstream. But I dread I won't be around to help that happen :( as there quite a few pissed off bloggers out there and I have to be away.

This certainly needs your mellow wisdom RD. If you got a moment :)