PlaneMad hits the national magazine

Aerial view of the Adams bridge. Taken during my flight from Chennai to Colombo

Aerial view of the Adams bridge. Taken during my flight from Chennai to Colombo

Yes, yes, calm down. Nothing sensational, just that this month’s issue of frontline carries the name PlaneMad.

I found out that my pic a pic taken by me was used in  last weeks’s cover story on the ram sethu. I have seen my pics and maps used plenty of times but mostly for presentations, research etc. But was a little peeved to have the country’s national magazine (or so they claim) take a photo off wikipedia and just use it in their article without so much as informing the author, or even crediting me, after all the magazine is not some charity organisation who have to depend on contributions from good hearted souls.

I decide to rattle them by writing a letter, but i realize that 12 years of learning english in school has been lost on me ( the grammatical murder of english in this blog is a case in point). I manage to string together a couple of sentences and send it over to frontline hq.

I never expected any reply, but my mail must have made sense to someone, cause an enquiry was launched and i received apologetic responses from three level of editors explaining their fault, and well, being the good soul i am, have decided to forgive them. The responsiveness of the magazine over the matter must be commended tho, i expected neither a reply or any action, but ive got both. I would have prefered my real name on the mag, but they wanted some proof that i was planemad, and well, im not quite sure how ill be able to proove that. I bet the readers think that someone hacked the site when they read “Photograph by PlanMad”

So what has now been learned over the experience?
1) if you want things to work, you have to sound like a bully, none of that “Dear Respected Sir” nonsense please. With a little more effort, i could have ordered a reprint of the magazine.
2) It can be difficult to explain what “by PlaneMad” is doing under your work, to your dad.
3) Sitting in a window seat on the right side while travelling Chennai – Colombo and experimenting with your new camera can get you some unexpected pics.
4) People care a rats ass when your name appears in some obscure online edition of a magazine.


About planemad

11 responses to “PlaneMad hits the national magazine”

  1. Vyaas says :

    You took that picture of the bridge?!!Awesome man…

    Frontline should hang their head in shame…

    Atleast on a webpage,people provide links and the credits is just a click away(I pick out pictures all the time but I make sure I give it a link)

    But you can’t do that on paper–you’ve got to mention ALL the credits.

    Perhaps wikipedia has earned this sort of reputation ….”Pick me!!Pick me…I’m free!!!”

  2. Vyaas says :

    Just checked out the creative attributes sharealike clause…..I can’t believe they published the photo inspite of reading that!!
    Or did they read it??They’re f**in’ amateurs man!!

  3. sethu says :

    u took the pic of that bridge and moreover that hit the magazine……awesome work dude……nice work….but i donno y the heck they published that pic da….

  4. Suraksha says :

    gusshow, fresh! 😀

  5. planemad says :

    thanks people.
    The quality of the image is a bit crappy as i would have been somewhere around 33000ft but its prolly the only aerial photograph (minus satellite images) available of the formation.
    The excuse of the editors was that they found it difficult to find out who the original author was, and were working against a deadline.

    No harm done really, wikipedia can be a bit confusing. And theres no awareness of the CC license in India, hopefully frontline/hindu will make proper use of cc licensed work in the future.

  6. Marc says :

    Look, there’s very little contact information on your blog.

    An About page with some details and your real name would have encouraged them to contact you.

    Also, the Creative Commons licence only allows non commercial usage and derivative works, right? They owe you money.

  7. planemad says :

    My email id is available both here and on my wikipedia profile, if they were really interested they could have shot me a mail, but their excuse was meeting their deadline. the real reason i suspect would be their ignorance of the cc license and they thought they could just pick anything of wiipedia without any problems which is why they didnt bother.

    And there are various CC licences out there, some of which restrict commercial usage. but not the ones ive used. They were quite free to publish that photo as long as they attributed it properly.

  8. Shrinidhi Hande says :

    Good to know that they responded and acted promptly

  9. Ted Burrett says :

    After reading through this article, I feel that I really need more information on the topic. Can you suggest some resources ?

  10. Cathryn Ahrent says :

    Definitely one of the better posts that I have seen on this topic. Can you suggest some other resources that complement what you have written?

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