the best form of flattery

Day before yesterday night I was happy to see my name in the Hindu in connection with a post on this blog. The post was on the lingering concerns with the proposed regulation of user generated content on social networking websites.

In the post I summarized an interview given by Mr. Kapil Sibal on NDTV and then went on to argue that an open public consultation is the best way forward. While doing this I used my own expressions and was not using any direct quotes.

The more I read the article, the more it appeared that the article which was written by a “special correspondent” contained some parts of the blog post without attribution (even though it contained a direct quote with an attribution).

These parts had been paraphrased and so it does not come across so obviously. However, if the exacting standards of the Hindu Newspaper are applied this may indeed be frowned upon. I am quoting some parts from the article with the blog post:

1A (A — Article text)

One thing that is now clear, since Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal burst on the social media scene with his controversial announcement, is that there will be no pre-screening of content.

1B (B = Blog text)

To be fair, it is quite possible that the proposals made by him during this private consultation were not so egregious as well. Moreover, now there is a clear statement on record that there is no proposal to pre-screen user generated content.

2A

Going to court every time to take down such commentary would be long and arduous, and he was examining whether an easier way out was possible.

2B

He also sated that the present system of getting court orders was long and arduous and due it prolixity there was a need to evolve a better mechanism for taking down such content.

Though its not much, and I am not even sure whether it constitutes plagirism I just thought I will highlight it as it shows lethargic and unoriginal writing. It also makes me wonder what prevented them from re-publishing the entire post since it was under a CC Attribution 2.5 India license.

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