I rant about how people use someone else’s copyrighted work and some car owners who get triggered easily.
Plagiarism And Copyright
The internet is a wonderful place. It is brimming with content, information, and entertainment. You get to learn a lot of new things, brush up on your knowledge and even get entertained but just like everything, even the internet has its own set of boons and banes.
It all started in early March when I had gone to Hyundai’s Chennai plant to see the manufacturing process of the new Creta and also to have a closer look at the car. There was an embargo on certain aspects and it was going to lift on 7th March. On the said day, we put our Creta first look video live on YouTube and I posted some images of the vehicle on the MotorBeam Instagram page and some images on my page too.
We all know how popular the Hyundai Creta has always been and the new generation was highly anticipated. However, on the next day, i.e. 8th March we noticed that a lot of Instagram pages had lifted our images of the Creta, copy pasted the entire caption word-to-word and put their own watermarks on the images!
You’re allowed to use someone else’s images as long you as you give proper credits and don’t edit out their watermarks but what happened here was a strict no-no. We decided to dig deeper and found out that there were lots of Instagram pages which were lifting content from our website too. In fact, there was a page with 15,000+ followers and they used to copy paste entire news articles from our website to their captions! There was another page with a good number of followers too, that had lifted content from our personal pages, MotorBeam’s official page and even from other publications.
Needless to say, we informed the page that we’ll be filing a copyright report against them and we did that. Most of the posts that we reported got deleted and Instagram has this thing where if you file a copyright report, the other party gets to know who filed the report. We got lots of messages from the pages asking us why did we report the posts and while some of them apologised, there were a couple of them who started swearing at us.
A person messaged me saying we have tarnished his hard work by reporting his page. I failed to understand how did we tarnish his hard work since all he did was just lift images from our gallery and copy paste articles from our website. There was another person who used to swear at us on DMs and ask us to do whatever we want and then he just blocked us. Finally, Aariz and I filled up a form and filed a proper copyright report and eventually that person’s page got deleted.
Not just this, we came across a page which posts images of cars taken mostly from various publications and while the page gives credits to the respective owners, they then use these images to sell car-related T-shirts. If you’re working on building your apparel brand, use your own images too instead of others’.
I have just given a couple of examples but we deal with this almost everyday. There’s this page which posts car and bike memes and lots of their posts had images lifted straight from our reviews. We warned the page a couple of times and then got the posts removed, again. The person running the page got furious and said he’s not monetising his page using our images, so what’s the need for a copyright claim? People need to understand that a copyright claim isn’t just about monetisation, it’s about using someone’s work. A lot of hard work goes in shooting cars and bikes.
This brings me to the topic of online hate. I feel people think that online hate is the new cool these days. Just go to any video where cars of two or three brands are being compared. You’ll notice the comment section filled mostly of filth and people abusing each other. Suppose we do a comparo of car A with car B and state obvious facts like car B being underpowered and car A offering a very bumpy ride.
Fanboys and owners of these cars will then get offended by these facts and start fighting in the comment section. Someone will say that power delivery depends on your driving style while someone will say that the ride isn’t bumpy at all. People also get offended when the car that they own is slower in a 0-100 km/hr run than some of its rivals and they’ll again comment some gibberish about journos not knowing how to test cars. Even in standalone reviews, suppose we say that car X feels a bit flimsy and the braking too isn’t upto the mark, people who own that particular model get triggered unnecessarily.
Few days back, we posted images and some details of the Dodge Viper ACR which is a street-legal car powered by an 8.4-litre V10 engine making 645 HP and 813 Nm. We wrote in the copy that this is one of the craziest American supercars. Another car page started trolling us unnecessarily by stating that the Viper ACR isn’t a supercar, we’re misleading people and called us out by posting multiple Instagram stories. We dug out and sent him the official press release of the said car where the term “supercar” was clearly mentioned. Also, it’s a given that a 645 HP car can’t be called a sports car. That was probably a face-palm moment for the person who then apologised.
What I mean to say is, there’s a lot of online hate being spread everywhere. People are fighting over car facts, religion, politics, viruses and everything in-between. Make good use of the internet, learn something or fulfil your hobbies in this lockdown because this time probably won’t come again and life is just too short to waste time arguing with strangers on the internet. Stay safe.