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On Privacy and Rights as an Individual: Being a Tea Sommelier in India.

07 Jul 14  |  By Snigdha Manchanda
Does it mean that the media has full rights on your image and your life because it is not copyright protected? Very recently a photo that features me (that was originally shot for Tea Trunk) was used in an article without permission. Imagine the shock of your life when you see your image in the newspaper and where you don’t want it. And you are told you can’t do much about it. The people behind the article is none other than The Press Trust of India, which was soon posted in The Economic Times and other media houses of importance. Both in print and online. Both in their website as well as social media walls. The culpability of the crime increases as this article itself was one that was pimping for a startup Tea outlet chain. (While I never put the blame on the tea company, their immediate response was to distance themselves from the issue saying that, they ‘gave only the content part'. And not the image. Oh well. That’s another issue requiring a bigger discussion. That a company could provide the content and get it published as a news item. But this is no secret and no news. So immune we have become to such low standards of the media.) I suppose this is the experience of anyone who looks for justice in today’s world. The world goes mute. Those who must speak out for you do not. Those who must owe you an apology do not even act like they heard you. They act like you do not exist. But they have no qualms in using you. Maybe they are mute and deaf and safe in their indifference. This indifference is what will most likely silence the one who is victim. What are the chances if someone decides to take the judicial route, to file a case? Since they don’t hear you anyway, will the judiciary make them listen? What are the chances when your photograph is not copyrighted, can it be used just because it is not. Is this what it has come to? Feeling disillusioned, Snigdha

Snigdha Manchanda

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