The Poor State of the State Newspaper

The Sunday Observer, our ‘state’ newspaper is in a poorer state than I thought. They clearly don’t have that many staff photographers or any clear policy on using another photographer’s images. On Sunday 14th November 2010, they ran this article (if I could even call it that due to its poor understanding of contemporary literature) along with a manipulated photograph of mine with a copyright notice saying it belonged to the Sunday Observer.

Was I wrong in thinking that I had a right to my own photography? The Sunday Observer seems to have a different set of rules and ethics in mind that I must be quite ignorant about, it seems. It a poor show on the part of any newspaper or media organization do behave in this manner, especially when the original photograph carried my copyright.

I maybe ranting here, but I am pretty pissed off and I have a right to be! Here’s the evidence :


7 thoughts on “The Poor State of the State Newspaper

  1. I don’t blame you. Newspapers are lazy, filling their pages with anything that will sell them rather than providing honsety and truth. It’s clear they’ve ripped you off.

  2. Sad to hear about the plagiarism, I hope you take some action that will make them think twice before taking other people’s photographs again. As for the drivel that masquerades as a ‘review’ the writer can’t even write a proper sentence in English, I wonder how he presumes to understand VanderPoorten’s poetry?

  3. This is original illustration and it is legitimate. If the Observer had published the orignal photo it would have been plagiarism.

  4. I don’t really read the Sunday Observer, so can’t comment on the article. However, with regard to your issue, you should take it up with the Sri Lanka Press Complaints Commission (

    Or else, you can sue them. One of my friends successfully sued the Island for a similar infringement. Of course, he’s a lawyer, so that might’ve helped.

    It’s interesting since what is being used by the Observer is a derivative work, but you should still be able to take action against them. The question is, do you have the time to do so?

    Stealing content from online sources and putting it in the papers is nothing new. It all depends on how we react. So far, the general idea is to highlight the misuse, as you’ve done (and I, previously). But if enough people sue, then the papers might be more careful.

  5. Hey… it is not only the state newspaper but today I saw this photograph in a new paper called ‘ceylon today’. in there magasine section called latitude they have put your picture of vivimarie without saying it is your picture. in some article about writer’s bookshelf.

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