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Plagiarism: Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Confronted by Photographer for Using His Photos on Website Without Permission

A Lowyat.NET forumer "Fighteden" posted:

USM is now openly allowing plagiarism practice, by using stolen photos on their website

USM has been using my photos (4 of them in their website) for the past 7 months without my permission which i only found out several weeks back. And they refuse to do anything about other than ask me to issue them a summon letter to their legal office, Mr. Khairul Anuar Bin Che Azmi.

The person who took this photos by Googling certain keywords admitted that she cropped the photos for the sake of the website design, hence my watermarks is cropped from it. Her name is Norzila Binti Manap.

I am definitely not letting this go easily as they were very rude to me when i was being nice to them enough not to expose them earlier by giving them a chance to settle this behind closed door.

I was so wrong to think so.

So here is the URL they are using (shorten), refresh for different photos: http://goo.gl/iOsDAO
Attached is the screenshots of my photos. And there's 4 more photos which no one knows who they belongs to.

Feel free to share this around as USM is now openly allowing plagiarism practice even within their own website.

And to those that ask me to seek legal action, it's a dead end when you are not financially capable to see it through, easily from RM10,000-RM30,000 when reach High Court. I have seek advice from a few lawyers and a letter of demand is all i can do.
If they decide to ignore it, there's nothing i can.

Again, as a photographer, it's sad to see your own photos isn't protected by the law if you don't have the money to do so.

Justice = Money game
You can compare to the original photos with watermark here:
1.) http://fighteden.deviantart.com/art/Komtar...style-351379537

This was mirrored

2.) http://fighteden.deviantart.com/art/Sunris...Jetty-342138706

3.) Link from FB as the photo was deleted from DA sometime ago

4.) Also link from FB as the photo was deleted from DA sometime ago
Updates from the author on Facebook:
*update: 11:15AM, 6th July*
Had an hour discussion with Mr. Khairil and his boss. Basically those images were given to them by another IPT section, and it was cropped out by them. I was told they was more than 8 photos in their possession, which is now taken down totally.
A detailed report on how those images was obtained will be given to by next week.
Mr. Khairil's boss has agreed to terms that they will seek to use those images in a proper manner and will let me know how many of those images they want to use.
Will update more once everything has been finalized and signed the contract given to them for the intended images.

*update: 1:15PM, 5th July*
Talked to the site Admin on the phone and agreed to meet up tomorrow at 10AM in USM.

*update: 2:35AM, 5th July*
The images on the site has been taken down by the admin.
7 July 2014 update with official statement from USM:

USM APPRECIATES THE ALERT GIVEN AND HAS TAKEN ACTION TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF THE USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS/WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION

On behalf of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), I would like to thank everyone who brought to our attention about incidents where photographs that did not obtain prior approval from individual/s who have proprietary rights to the photographs were being used in the USM website - www.usm.my.

We were not aware of this issue because the webmaster of that particular website/s uploaded the material through the Centres of Responsibility although there is a clear policy that all website content needs to be original materials and provide credits, or apply for permission of the original owners if there is a need to use the work of others.

USM has and will continue to take appropriate action to correct this unfortunate incident by asking all parties involved to remove materials that did not receive prior approval from the proprietor/s of the work from USM website, conduct continuous monitoring, inspections and carry out follow-up actions to address this issue.

The university wishes to apologise and express its sincere regret over this incident. For those who want to seek further clarification or share further information or has inquiries, please contact me via e-mail – [email protected]

Thank you.

(MOHAMAD BIN ABDULLAH)
Senior Deputy Registrar
Universiti Sains Malaysia