Copyright or is it the right to copy?

The world of digital media has meant that information can be easily be transmitted through out the world in an instant. It has made the world in a sense a smaller and closer place. It bridges cultures and bring society closer to each other as we all strive to understand each other and make this world a better place.

However, it is also a double edge sword. In any technological advances, it has always resulted in greater good and adverse effect to both the society and individuals. Many laws have been enacted attempting to safeguard the individual rights. Sometimes, the laws were not followed through ignorance or just simply intentionally overlooked. In either way, the copyright holder of the intellectual property would not be compensated. Making the rightful author losing out in terms of possible revenue earned.

Likewise, when I see the content of my web site which had taken me hours to craft and numerous expenditure spent to create the best information guide ever, being copied ad verbatim without nary an acknowledgment nor seeking prior permission has definitely left me fuming.

Perhaps it is a testament to my success at my endeavour to make the ultimate travel guide about Cameron Highlands that I have fallen prey to webmasters who are hungry for content, but lacking the courage to seek permission, and lacking the journalistic skill or perhaps simply put, just plain lazy to do their own research and to travel on location to Cameron Highlands to make notes and snap their own photos and finally write their own articles.

So now you know how much time, effort and money was spent to make this web site truly the site to visit for your number one source of information about Cameron Highlands.

The least an offending web site could do was at least put an acknowledgement as to the source it obtained from and put a link back to my site. But no! They just pass it off as their own. Even the wiki style web site has information from my site that was copied by somebody and placed there too without any modification or writing of their own! Talk about plain lazy!

This is a sad fact in any part of the world, and of course piracy in Malaysia has been very much a bane for software manufacturers and movie distributors. Granted those stuff were expensive in the first place and many had resorted to buying cheap copies. My information however is given out freely for all to read, but mind you, it is only for reading and reference and not for duplication. It does not follow the copyleft free document license. It follows the intellectual copyright license. Talk about giving an inch but taking a mile!

Even my friend whose website was not spared of the infringers and God knows how many of my other friends whose wonderful informative web site had their content and photos copied and pass off as though it was the copiers' own content.

Alright, so I'm just letting off steam here but bear with me. If you are a budding web master looking for free content, I suggest you go looking for it elsewhere where duplication is allowed. You can check it out with newspapers where journalism articles can be duplicated, but you will still need to place an acknowledgement to its source. And if you really do not wish to tangle with the owners of the articles, then you have to do it the hard way: major re-write in your own style and voice. Then truly you can say that the content was yours.

And if you still insist on taking content from my site, then ask me first and we can work out a solution. If not, when I do find out you have my content in your web site without prior permission, then watch out in your mail box, one day an email from me, perhaps even embarrassment to your visitors as well. Be forewarned!

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