Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

I was checking comments on the blog as usual last Sunday and came across these two comments:

By chee hong on Oct 5, 2008 | Reply

hey KY , congrats la dude! i saw this blog post in on of the Star’s article this morning ..

By AkiraSabine on Oct 5, 2008 | Reply

Flipping through The Star as usual on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I happened to see a familiar name, KY! haha. β€œHey, I read his blog” was my first reaction. Congrats!

I then quickly searched online and sure enough I found this article on the Sunday Star Metro compiled by Renita Che Wah, a name I could not recall.

blog post on the star
my post appeared on the Star

The article (full screenshot) is made up of 3 sentences by the journalist, followed by 15 short paragraphs quoted directly from the Pantai Seafood entry I wrote on the 26th of May September.

Obviously I was feeling pretty proud to be noticed by the most read English dailies and have the paper used my blog post heavily in an article, I went out and bought a copy of the paper for save keeping too.

At the same time, however, I do find it a little odd that I was never informed prior to the blog being quoted. No phone call, email, or even a comment left on the blog. Pictures were taken directly from the blog and edited without my knowledge either.

To be fair, a previous blog post of mine on Kampung Atap Curry Fish Head was also used by the Star Metro over a year ago (link here), and the journalist did communicate with me prior to publishing. The difference is, this time around I was kinda caught by surprise.

I think the Star should consider giving me a weekly column instead. What do you make of this?

Discuss : KY saw – Blog Post Used by the Star Without Prior Knowledge

  1. sue them!

    for $10M or something… seems to be the in thing to do lately πŸ˜›

  2. you are big enough without even having them to publicize you.

    you can sue them without a doubt.

  3. I think you need to call the responsible person at STAR and reminded him/her that they are subject to copyright infringement. Not that I am asking you to sue them, but I think they should be more aware of it, since they are in the industry, don’t you agree?

  4. ask for a weekly column!

  5. They also STOLE my articles before. The traffic from them is pathetic somemore.

    And their Faridah Begum food section sucks. The photos ugly, the recipes lousy….So, yeah, they should give you the column instead.

  6. call them and give them a piece of your mind!!or just sue them la..these are the kind of people making millions by stealing from others..didn’t even bother to inform u worr.of all people they should know better about copyright shows how much respect they have for bloggers..teach them a lesson la..sue them for your retirement fund n then belanja us with the money..hehe..

  7. Ky: Congrats !!!

    I think you should sue them. You can be millionaire instantly πŸ™‚
    And forcing them to give you a weekly space for your blog.

  8. yeah.. then we go back to the same place u blog about .. n have the crabbies… lobsters… n the huge penis sashimi…

  9. Think of it as free publicity as they like to feature food post from blogs all over. Traffic to your site should spike!

  10. davidlian

    Well, technically since you reserved your copyright (at the bottom) you’re entitled to write in to them and ask for some sort of compensation, or at the least, acknowledgment.

  11. Yah they do it often, they used a post from We Ate This too without permission, but at least they credit.

    I wasn’t too pleased about the fact they’d cloned out the watermark on the picture though.

    The traffic I got from it was crap too.

  12. Pink Parisian

    I think you just sent The Star more traffic than they will send you! I’m all for recognition by the media but there is such a thing as copyright infringement that they must be aware of since they keep getting their pants sued. So, I’d contact the writer and tell them thank you for the publicity, but your article was used without permission and permission is required next time. Just because we blog doesn’t make our content public property. πŸ™‚

  13. congrats man!
    wow, i would like to see a ky’s column too πŸ™‚

  14. Actually, it’s not exactly sue-able, mostly because she DID credit you for the post, AND she did not use a direct byline (it’s ‘Compiled By’).

    The Star regularly uses stories from different sources, i.e. wire agencies, and also do compilations of news from other online sources/newspapers. So in this case, since your blog is a public one, it’s actually not wrong for them to use your stuff, provided she credited you with the post in the first place, which she did.

    Look at it not as ‘stealing’ your content, but more like acknowledging the relevance your post, and highlighting it so more people know about what YOU wrote.

  15. Maybe you off your phone leh.. hehe!

  16. another thought came to mind. If bloggers can take content from newspapers and blog about them; why can’t newspapers take content from bloggers, and credit them as well? It’s all part of being part of the media, dude.

  17. eyeris: while i agree that published blog posts are in sense in a public domain, the least the journalist could do is to write to ky as a heads-up beforehand? wire agencies charge dailies for articles and photos, blog owners (at least for now :P) do not

  18. but do blogs write in to newspapers to ask whether they can quote content from THEIR newspaper for their blog?

  19. vincent,
    Thanks. πŸ˜€

    shiang, kevin,
    Hahah don’t be nuts.

    Technically there’s no infringement. πŸ™‚

    Help me! πŸ˜›

    I’d love to have one.

    Why so angry? πŸ™‚

    Force? haha no no.

    W K Kong,
    Unfortunately there won’t be any spike. :/

    Ya true, just a bit weird they didn’t inform.

    Oo they took out watermark? I was thinking about implementing watermark!

    Pink Parisian,
    Well it does kinda make our content available to public, freely. πŸ˜€

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. πŸ˜€

    I agree with you, but just thought it’ll be nice if they inform. Btw get me a column? πŸ˜€

    Hahaha. πŸ˜€

    but in all fairness we don’t pay to read newspaper online though.

  20. luckily she didnt post the comments from that article together… then i bet there will be a comment that goes like this, “hey ky, sai tor coming up…”

    btw, i invited u in my blog to sg for chilli crab promotion…

  21. Congrats KY =)

  22. ky weekly column??? no more food blog on pork dishes? πŸ˜›

  23. doesn’t matter, wire agencies still charge for articles/ photos published online. packages mah. hence sometimes you see something published in the physical paper but it’s not online.

  24. yeah…we saw the article too.. Go bug them for a column lah, as compensation…hehe. :p

  25. I am a reasonably new blogger but i have already seen this happen to some of bloggers who i have been subscribing to. but what is worse is that it seems that it is always The Star which is the culprit. Do they think that they are “TOO LARGE or TOO BIG” for small Blogger folks to sue? I think we should make a collective stand and get all the affected bloggers to unite and get these buggers lah.

  26. PenangTuaPui

    first… congratulation… as no one will copy rubbish.. ur write up mean something to them until they dare to steal …

    dun feel sad…… hee hee…

    but still sue them for using ur name without aknowledge and perhaps u shud put disclaimer all the content should not be duplicate without aknowlegement…

  27. wow Ky fehmes. Honestly, they should inform you first. after all this is your piece of writing and they have no right to quote you without you knowing. But nevermind la…fehmes people always get that all the time!

  28. you cant sue them but you can give them an earful and kick up a ruckus, or better you post up another article condemning them in your blog. I hate arrogant mainstream media, especially those control by MCA cronies

  29. I’m hugely amused by some of the comments here. Haha.

    Suan: that still doesn’t answer my question. Do blogs write in to newspapers to ask whether they can quote content from THEIR newspaper for their blog?

    So if a blogger copies excerpts from my articles in the paper, can I call the blogger and demand that he pay me for it as well; or better yet, sue him for not telling me that he is going to use an article with MY byline on it? πŸ˜€ That should be fun. πŸ˜€

  30. Juanito,
    Sg is a bit too far!

    Thanks. πŸ˜€

    What’s that got to do with pork? πŸ˜›

    I can see your point.. emm.

    Haha, not as compensation, but it’ll be something I’d love to do.

    I don’t think that is necessary. I wasn’t offended or anything, just felt a little odd they didn’t contact this time around. πŸ™‚

    Wah so much compliments, certainly not sad. πŸ˜€

    Wah another compliment! πŸ˜€

    Hahaha why so angry?

    I’m quite surprised myself, but I think you do have a point that I wasn’t aware before.

  31. I saw this on Sunday. Thought you knew about it so didn’t text you.

  32. eyeriz: no they don’t but two wrongs don’t make a right πŸ˜€

  33. who said it was a wrong in the first place eh? hehe

  34. wah liao eh brother, first time invitation kena reject… sigh, unfortunately me no kim sua, if not i sponsor all expense paid trip for u….

    there is always a next time tho.. take care..

    penang, here i come home this weekend…yippee.

  35. KY foodmic is it? food-comic πŸ˜› cheers

  36. first of all, congratz!!! second of all, yea wor… surprisingly never call you, email or what not… aduh~~ sad.. anyway keep it up bro!! and the same question again… so when?????????

  37. Yeah, you should be doing a weekly column on food. I’m lobbying for that for the papers over here but the position is taken. πŸ™

  38. *waves to Eyeris*

    But, but, but…I paid for my Star. I paid RM1.20 (I think) so I got the right to rip it off for my blog or use it to wipe ka’chng, isn’t that correct? But Star takes our article, published it and they sell the story mah? Where got same same leh?

  39. woa femes again lol. it is odd… it’s just common courtesy to notify the people involved first, and especially the author of copyrighted information, regardless of the news being free or not.

    I hope theStar will do something about this, can’t go unchecked la.

  40. The Faux Fashionista

    First of all, congrats!

    I kind of agree that “If bloggers can blog about newspaper articles, then why can’t newspaper articles write about bloggers?”


    Like lilian above, I definitely think that there is a difference because newspapers are doing it for MONEY! Also, journalists/columnists are paid to write stories (or compile stories, whatever). So if someone is going to profit from using your work, the least they could do is let you know about it in advance.

  41. aeroplane1234

    amazing. wait for astro to call u becoming some hosts.

  42. Simon Seow,
    That’s ok. πŸ™‚

    suanie & eyeris,
    Why don’t you guys drink some beer and make out? I mean, up!

    Hahaha I stay in KL, Singapore is too far to travel for a meal.

    ?? I blur

    Whenever! :X

    Huai Bin,
    Oh well….

    The only similar part is that we both carry ads though.

    Hahaha, it’s not exactly “unchecked”, we have this post. πŸ˜€

    The Faux Fashionista,
    Thanks thanks.

    Oh, you’ve got contacts? lol

  43. Funny. I was under the impression KY and Lilian blogs for money too. hahaha.

  44. ehh at least they credited your name, they took some pics from babe’s blog without crediting her at all, they just cropped out her watermark on the pics and used them

  45. demand for food sponsors for one whole year!

  46. davidlian

    Well, actually it comes down to the concept of fair use. There’s a lot of debate about this in the US particularly for media like videos, audio. What can you use and how much of it before it’s no longer fair use.

    Would it be okay to, say, here’s what KY thought of this food, provide one para or so, and then give the link to his site so readers can read more? Yes, I think that’s fine.

    But to use nearly the whole article verbatim, even in quoted form?

    Then again, ‘fair use’ as a concept has never been legally instituted so it’s a moot point until a judge decides.

  47. weekly definitely!

  48. btw you wrote it 26 sep not 26may hor.

  49. If you’re from Singapore or US, you can sue them gao gao you know???

  50. avid reader

    Just a thought about using contents from newspapers. If you take a look at the bottom of the page for The Star, there’s a ‘terms of use’ and it spells out quite clearly the dos and donts.

    But even so, I don’t think the papers will bother taking action against any and every person who quote from their papers. Unless of course one reproduces the whole paper as their own etc.

    But the same restrictions the papers impose apply here too, say if you have one of those ‘creative commons?’ license I see on some blogs, that restricts reproduction of your blog content.

    Anyways, they should have asked first, just as a matter of courtesy. It’s not that hard to email. But at least they credited you and didn’t publish it as their own post.

    And it’s about time the newspapers gave you a column KY. Long overdue already man.

  51. congrats to u KY…hope it will drive ur blog traffic hinger….

  52. Dabido (Big Friggin' Papaya)

    ‘Actually, it’s not exactly sue-able, mostly because she DID credit you for the post, AND she did not use a direct byline (it’s β€˜Compiled By’).’

    Have to wade in here. Yes, this is copyright infringement. The right to COPY or make a COPY is owned by the copyright owner, in this case KY. Because it credits him it just means it doesn’t come under plagarism laws, BUT making any copy of a post or article still infringes copyright.

    Yes, copying a piece from the newspaper in the same way is also copyright infringement and a newspaper has the right to sue someone who lifts entire articles in the same way this article was lifted from KY’s blog. [That’s why newspapers pay places like Reuters & the BBC for the privaledge of reproducing articles].

    Copying part of the post [up to 10%] and “quoting it” would not be copyright infringement as long as it was relevant to the post the person was writing. Same thing, “quoting” part of an article etc is covered by fair play under the copyright act. So just quoting parts of a newspaper article is permitted, but lifting the entire article is NOT.

    If anything, this is very lazy journalism.

    Copyright act of 1968 would very clearly state this as a case of copyright infringement.

    My suggection is for KY to contact the relevant Editor at that newspaper and point out that he would like the paper to contact him in future if it is going to lift entire articles off his blog. After all, he has the right to demand financial compensation for the work if he wants and could take them to court (if he so wishes).

    KY clearly has a copyright notice at the bottom of his blog, and as such the work is NOT in public domain.

    Any questions? πŸ™‚

  53. Well at least they did not steal the whole thing without putting your name. Thats the worst that could have happened.

    Be proud about it. Congrats dude!

  54. Dabido (Big Friggin' Papaya)

    ‘Then again, β€˜fair use’ as a concept has never been legally instituted so it’s a moot point until a judge decides.’

    WRONG. Fair use is well defined in the Copyright act and subsequent amendments that mention it. MANY lawsuits have occurred over what is considered Fair Use and what is not.

    For instance, Fair use allows a student or teacher to copy up to 10% of a work for STUDY purposes and no more. Ther term ‘WORK’ can vary depending on how the work is classified. For instance, you can copy 10% of a SONG onto a tape for music study. However, if the entire album (for some unknown reason) is classified as a ‘work’ then you can copy 10% of the album. (Very doubtful a musician would compile their work that way though).
    But, in instances of Poetry books, sometimes the entire collection is considered a ‘work’, and as such you end up reading a photocopied poem in class from your teacher from a book. Other times the poems might be works on their own … in whcih case you will probably find the school will buy the relevant book for students to use.

    Fair use also includes use of work for ‘satire’. The satire must provide some sort of ‘social commentary’. This came about because politicians were stealing popular songs and making up lyrics to put their opponents down … when it was pointed out it was coyright infringement the wonderful politicians changed the law. Because of this comedy acts can often use popular songs now a days to parody all sorts of things. This has been the subject a many lawsuits, because every so often a songwriter will complain that no ‘social commentary’ was made by the comedian/s using their work. The comedians then have to prove in a court of law that some form of ‘social commentary’ ws in fact being made. Ones that fail end up paying royalties / settling out of court / or copping a huge fine for copyright infringement.

    Any questions?

  55. hey.. congrats to you…

    wah thestar so gor fun…. have to complaint la… send them a complaint mail.. hehee

  56. even if they don’t intend to pay u, imho at least a courtesy call to inform u wld have been good

  57. plagiarism…
    maybe they will give you free subscription for The Star for one year? πŸ˜›

  58. you absolutely should get a food column. considering how many times the mainstream media refers to you for food blogs.

    and i bet you do a better job compared to another that we shall not mention ! πŸ™‚

  59. CONGRATS lar… SUPERSTAR d u..

  60. eyeris I think you need to read up on your copyright laws, bloggers generally quote a paragraph which is allowed under fair use clause of copyright law.

    Quoting a whole article is not, if bloggers do that they yes they are infringing the copyright of the publication and putting themselves in an actionable position. If The Star decided to be bothered about it, that’s up to them.

    As Dabido states, fair use is well defined in legal terms and what the paper has done is legally wrong, if I take an AP/AFP/Reuters article and publish in my newspaper and ‘Credit’ them…they are gonna SUE MY ASS if I haven’t paid the licensing fees.

    As Suan said…blogs don’t get paid, so how is it fair?

    And FYI, 2 wrongs don’t make a right πŸ˜‰

  61. eyeris,
    We never sell for RM1.20 maa πŸ˜›

    oOo that’s bad.


    Ya very rarely enforced in this country. College students are still photocopying text books!

    haha thanks. πŸ˜€

    Very good points, but that’s Australian law right? Not sure how relevant it is here. πŸ™‚

    Thanks. πŸ™‚

    Thanks. Haha, I was just highlighting it, not really complaining.

    johnny ong,
    I agree. πŸ™‚

    Quoted, not plagiarized. πŸ˜‰

    Help mee! πŸ˜›

    Hahah thanks, you’re far too kind.

  62. simpliciti

    I think you should make a complaint with The Star. How can they publish something without your consent? Where’s the ethics in that? The reporter should be suspended!!!

  63. Hi there, me agian. Good la free promo coverage off the cyber world for you. Wider readership somemore.

  64. ST: Laws? what laws? When did I mention anything about laws? haha.

  65. Agree that with Dabido that this is extremely lazy journalism and I would explore the possibility of taking action.

    Most cut and pastes bloggers do would definitely be considered fair use, but here we have a paid “journalist” of a commercial paper using your post verbatim. It’s not just one or two quotes here but the entire article is ripped off yours, plus it gives the impression that you were consulted for it.

  66. Other thing – I noticed that they used the photo from your blog as well. If they didn’t get approval from you for that you can DEFINITELY take action.

  67. btw i was their first “VICTIM” when the sunday star started featuring food blogger’s posts. very lame to just c&p. i did made a comment in my post and the journalist emailed me privately using gmail to apologise. i told her she shld have ask least ask permission or inform in advance. she had the cheek to tell me NOT to kick fuss at her editor else it will cost her the job!

    anyway she did inform me in advance at the subsequent post she lifted. looking at the journalist names for the past few months, her name no longer there. i gather she must have quit. i hope this renita will contact the predecessor over what transpired between me and her over this issue.

    as if lifting blog post not enuff, they even stole my pic from flickr and remove my watermark to be used in their Video!!!! i raised hell and the editor apologise via email. sighhh who ask me not to be as femes as Mr Manager who got a call from Mr Wong himself for apology!!!!

    after this incident, i guess non of them wanna pick anything from my blog to be featured anymore LOL

  68. KY – Copyright is international law.

    The Copyright act of 1968 is the one which all the Commonwealth countries were using at the time of 1968.
    Still, copyright and copyright infringement is ‘classified’ / ‘defined’ the same in all countries.
    Length of copyright varies depending on the country (which is why Mickey Mouse is in Public domain in Russia but not USA), but the definition remains the same.

    Fair Play is pretty much the same throughout the world as well, and where it’s not it is pretty much not enforced.

    Australian Copyright laws has some amendments in the 2000’s (to make it more American friendly) but the 1968 Copyright laws came from the UK which were heavily based on laws from the 1860’s (give or take a few decades there – this isn’t an exam, cut me some slack if I am year off!) πŸ™‚ which were used through out the Commonwealth (or Empire if you go back far enough).

    I think I could safely ‘guess’ that not much has changed between English rule and Independent rule in Malaysia as far as copyright laws are concerned. You’d have to have good reason to amend them, and I can’t think of any off the top of my head unless you’ve followed the US system, in which case definitions are the same.

    So I’d say is very relevant (unless some legal person over there can show me how and why it would have been changed).

    [Yes, I am very good with Aussie Copyright laws and when I can’t remember I have a copy of the 1968 act lying around somewhere as well as some books on it relating to the music industry. Am also very international copyright conscious]. πŸ™‚

  69. Depending on which section your article is being featured in, they will ask or will not. The column they put your article in is, I believed, Sunday Metro’s bloggers column, where posts of many bloggers are compiled and then published as it is in the papers. As for other section, like Metro Central, they have to ask as it is featured as news but not under bloggers column.

    Also, the point raised by Eyeris is valid too.

    However, I still personally feel that they take bloggers and people’s effort for granted. Sorry to hear that anyway, KY.

  70. wah lao… KY, TheStar where can b so cheapskate one, copy & paste ur post without letting u know? kanineh, they should give u a column like nicolekiss lar…

  71. balistafear

    The blankness is to stand out from the crowd.

    You are right dude. It’s totally inappropraite and it clearly infridged your rights by editing your personal work. Go and contact the Star and try to get some form of compensation in order to make the most out of this situation. Haha. Maybe get them to do what they do best- manhandle publicity. Get them to publicise your blog. HAHAHA. damn i wish they would do that for me!

  72. wow wow u just made Nuffnang proud haha!

  73. darn it….know I wished I had paid more attention in my “IT Act” class last time. I’m very certain we learnt the Copyright Act for Malaysia. I just don’t know where that book is now….wait…let me go find it, k?

  74. Dabido (Big Papaya Smurf)

    Jason – ‘Depending on which section your article is being featured in, they will ask or will not.’

    Irrelevant which part of the paper they put it in. It’s still copyright infringement. They can’t just declare part of their paper ‘special’ and decide it is a copyright free zone for themselves. Copyright has to do with the ‘Right to make a Copy’ and no one is entitled to make a copy of something copyrighted without the copyright owners permission. In this case KY owns the coyright and they need his permission to make a copy anywhere.

  75. Ahh.. that’s why, sometimes we see blog postings appear randomly.

    At least something like The Star, but those that steal postings for other beneficial use really is a pain in the ass though

  76. Precious Pea

    Same thing happened to me too. I was flipping when I saw my name staring back at me. For few seconds i was blur then I shouted, hey, it’s me! They don’t inform you anymore like they used to. I think the lady before Renita left?

  77. simpliciti,
    Haha I don’t think it’s that serious. πŸ™‚

    A little bit, ya. πŸ˜‰

    There is no law in this country! πŸ˜›

    Ya the photo part is a bit more dubious.

    Ooo, removing watermark is bad.

    Ah, I see. Interesting.

    Hahah help me get one. πŸ˜›

    Hahaha such great ideas!


    Do it!

    True, true.

    Precious Pea,
    Left or maybe promoted? πŸ˜€

  78. the 100% pencetak rompak with his lame excuses |

    […] it never cross my mind to have my blog post use by others especially the media. Just take a look at KY’s blog. TheStar used his post heavily andΒ  without inform him up front. For me, it is still ok since […]

  79. too famous already lolz

  80. JustJasmine

    *When i grow up i wanna be famous, drive new car, etc*

  81. michy,
    Hahaha, not at all!

    And you shall πŸ˜€

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