Yesterday, the Nigerian blogosphere went agog as tech giant, Google shut down the blog of celebrated blogger, Linda Ikeji, following widespread allegations of copyright infringement and plagiarism levelled against her.
It all began a few days back when one Mr. Aye Dee, Editor-in-Chief of United States-based 15Past8 media group, reported Linda Ikeji to Google, accusing her of copyright infringement.
“Google just notified us that they are removing our copyrighted content from Linda Ikeji’s website. All the stories and images Linda Ikeji took from me without permission in the last few days have been removed from her site by Google. Someone has to say something. It costs money to get good work done. I spend time getting information from my sources, as well as analysing and verifying the information. All that costs money. I don’t mind donating my time for Nigeria’s sake, but for someone to take my labour and use it for personal profit, no way!” Aye Dee had tweeted.
In a chat with the Punch, Google’s Manager for Communications and Public Affairs, Anglo-Phone West Africa, Taiwo Kolade-Ogunlade, explained why the blog was taken down and cleared the air on the misconceptions of ‘Witch-craft” and “Enemies of progress” belief.
He said Google takes the issue of copyright seriously, adding that the company belongs to a group of Internet firms that abides by the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable copyright laws.
“To respect the rights of copyright holders, Google clearly spells out how users of its products and services can get permission to use someone else’s intellectual property such as text, songs, images and footages. Google is no respecter of anybody when it came to the issues of copyright infringement, copyright is a big deal.
“Google as an organisation takes issues of copyright seriously and belongs to a group of digital companies that respect copyrights.
“Copyright is a big deal and this is why you can’t just go and pick up another person’s intellectual property or content and lay claim to its ownership.
“But it is not a case of witch-hunting and has nothing to do with Linda Ikeji’s personality or anyone else because there is a process, and irrespective of who you are in the world, that process would apply to you.
“It has become imperative for online entrepreneurs to respect the rights of copyright holders noting that the Internet community should be built on mutual trust and general respect.
“Let’s respect other people’s rights and intellectual property. Making money off other people’s content without permission is wrong. Although the Internet is inanimate, it is the content on it that gives it life. These are the issues.
“Whenever owners of online contents come after you accusing you of using their content, it is because they have families to feed and businesses to sustain.
“People should also understand that copyrights does not only apply to text, but also extends to literary works, images and photographs, music files and MP3s, movies, movie trailers and videos as well as software,” Kolade-Ogunlade explained.
Culled from Ynaija.com