This might be a long post, so get some coffee and biscuits.
HolidayIQ has been stealing my photographs for quite a while now. I recently came across this photo of the Lonar Crater (clicked by me of course), being used on the HolidayIQ Instagram account. Nice cute description et al, but nowhere do they mention the source nor do they link back to the original source. Nothing. Also, if you have opened the Flickr link, you might have noticed that there is a big fat © sign with “All Rights Reserved” in text, for people who don’t understand what the © sign stands for. This text, by the way, takes you to this page, where all the CC licences are explained in detail.
Now before you can raise your pitchforks, please note that this photo has been used on our website (Lonar — A walk inside the meteorite crater) and by the folks at Mumbai Travellers (Lonar Crater Exploration), with permission. Maybe the photos is used elsewhere. I’ve seen it on a few personal blogs, but I don’t mind these, as these bloggers don’t really mean any harm, nor are they making money out of it (in most cases).
Which brings me to these “travel” websites. They employ a bunch of fools who just rob photos from the internet without even doing a bit of research. Lets leave this for some other time.
Anyway, so I leave a comment (refer to the image on top) on their Instagram post, and also tweet to them.
I receive an email from them, and below is our conversation.
Obviously this woman has not done her homework and is trying to give me some BS about Creative Commons. To which I let her know that what she said is incorrect and leave her a link to the original photo, hoping to put an end to this. I get a cute response saying that they are deleting it. Classic HolidayLowIQ.
Turns out they only deleted their Instagram post. So I asked them to delete the photo from the blog post too. Also I provide them with a link and try to explain how CC licensing works. Independence day came and went, two working days followed that and still no response from them. So I follow up asking if they are even bothered.
Also, after emailing them, I follow up by posting on their Facebook page, since social media is the only place they bother to check. To which the same person replies, stating that the photo was taken off and it would take a few hours for the changes to reflect. Now lets break this down nicely.
Below are the photos in question, on their website.
And below is a screenshot of the above photo, posted on their Facebook page, which got a few likes and comments.
After a day, I check my email once again and see no responses from HolidayIQ, so I go to their website only to find my photo still up, but wait, this time it acknowledges Wikipedia as the source of the photograph! What the hell!? I’ve not even shared the photo on Wikipedia. Who are they trying to fool?!
So I email them once again.
Also, I made a post on my Facebook wall (which btw, is deleted by Facebook, hence this blog post), linking to the post I made on their wall and calling them out for using Wikipedia as the source of the photo. As of now, my post on HolidayIQ’s facebook page is deleted. This is fine. It is their property, they can do what they want. But the surprising part is that Facebook deleted my post (without even notifying me why) which shows that you are not even free to use your own wall to post what you want. Well played Facebook, well played. Pat yourselves on the back.
I’m assuming the folks at HolidayLowIQ got upset and are just trying to save face right now. I’m assuming they night have reported my post as abusive, and I guess Facebook is bending over right now and letting some big photo stealing corporation bully me.
I’ve tried digging around the Facebook Help Henter, but could not find any resources wrt to this issue. As of now, I’ve spoken to a contact at Facebook regarding my missing post, but am yet to hear back. I’ll keep this post updated.