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Looks like the editor of Lakbima, at the receiving end of a host of disparaging remarks and comments resulting from his ‘pilfering’ posts off kottu for publication in his paper, is in no mood to be pacific. Instead, his reaction has been (for the most part) aggressive, abusive and fist with middle finger up to all critics of his actions. So, the man is a fighter – or so it seems. Or could it be that there is a kind of schizoid personality emerging? The comment on RD’s post appeared to be a bit on the conciliatory side, with offers of paying well for posts selected off kottu together with the pathetic excuse of not being able to contact bloggers for permission – quickly ridiculed by one and all, questioning the intelligence of one who was stupid enough not to leave a comment about being contacted with regard to being published in the press, but having commented anyway to get the message across. That, in itself, laid the foundation for doubting the bona fides of the man.

Then there was the reaction to Confab’s calls – well known by now, and the mind-blowing response to Sanjana’s post. These in themselves would lead any reasonably sane individual to conclude that, for the editor of a newspaper, the response was irresponsible, out of line and probably the reaction of an ego-maniac in the throes of a defence-mechanism that resorts to abuse and intentional insults. To the credit of the bloggers concerned, most of their reactions to the pilfering of posts were presented with dignity, decorum and in civil tones and language.

So what gives with Rajpal? And with his assistant (when he was at the ‘Observer’), who bad-mouthed Theena for no apparent reason other than for being asked for an explanation as to how come his piece was published without permission? Is this some kind of new media-culture adopted by editors and their subordinates or is this a one-off to do with a rude and ill-mannered man and his assistant? The response(s) to Sanjana bordered on the ramblings of a twisted psyche rather than a dignified response from the editor of a newspaper that is halfway decent (I’ve never read Lakbima, so have no way of knowing its standards).

Be that as it may, this episode (still is the process of unravelling) started by our old mate RD (or was it Cerno?), has generated a whole lot of interesting shit, with the kottu blogosphere buzzing and many of us being ‘entertained’ by the exchanges. It also brings up interesting points to ponder on the nitty-gritty bits that are applicable to authors and their material that is out there ‘in the public domain’, whether they have ‘ownership’ of their material, how one copes with rip-off artists and plagiarists, copyright infringements and a host of other minutiae that are applicable to most of us bloggers. Perhaps Drac and others that are more into the finer points of the legalities with regard to bloggers and their material would do us the favour of posting some of their thoughts on this subject?

And what of Rajpal and his ‘in your face’ don’t give a shit about all you ‘blogistas’ crap? The exchanges are getting a bit old now, though yet a bit entertaining, if nothing else. It still blows my mind how an editor of a newspaper could descend to this level of communication in spite of acknowledging (to RD, at any rate) the misdemeanour. On the other hand, could it be an ‘all is fair’ number going down here, and ‘I’ll have my say and the hell with the readership’?

Interesting times, huh?

July 2007
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Ephemeral Ruminations by Java Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
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