Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Should Be Getting Paid for This!

From Al Yaum

I can't believe this! Look at this article that was published recently in the major Saudi Arabian newspaper, Al Yaum. Do those pictures look familiar? How about the words? If you can't read Arabic, this was taken almost verbatim from my blog post "Elections" published October 7th, 2009. This can't be legal, not even in Saudi Arabia!

If I was in the USA I would file an intellectual property rights case against Al Yaum. If it was the New York Times that plagiarized my blog I would be rich right now. Do intellectual rights to published thoughts and photos have any value here?

Saeed, I know you are reading this blog, and I hope you can understand how I feel now that I know you are trying to make money off of my ideas and my photos. I hope you get fired Saeed. I am a better journalist than you, Saeed, at least I cite my sources!


  1. I think you have a problem with your theme and showing comment forms on browsers other than internet explorer.

    Secondly, I have posted about this on my blog, and on my twitter account and hopefully this can become something that authorities should take notes of.

    You are not the first, one of my fellow blogger friends got a video stolen from him and used by Alarabiya news channel. Many are sympathetic to what’s going on.

    you can feel free to browse my arabic blog.

  2. Hello ,
    I'm sorry to see that happening to you ..
    however , it's a common thing here in KSA :D ..

    I heard about many many cases in which my friends content ( blog entries , pictures and ideas ) have been stolen by some lazy journalists. They complained about it and some wrote to the chief editor - some of them post an apology and some of them fired the person who stole the content - I still remember the case of Al-Watan newspaper cartoonist who were kicked out of the newspaper for stealing a foreigner cartoonist ideas - but I've never heard that they sued anyone to the court :s

    So , You might want to contact AlYaum np chief editor about this matter ..

    Or simply try to put some sort of watermarks on the photos you publish here :D

    Good Luck ,

  3. Yes...
    Definitely put water marks on your photos!

    And writ e letter of complain to AlYaum, and send it to maybe other competing newspapers to publish this story!

  4. If this action considered under a computer-related crimes , then he - the journalist - should be in jail for more than 6 months and he should pay to you not less than 250,000 SR .
    You should go to a lawyer , and please don't end this by emailing the newspaper!
    there is a law , and it wouldn't be able to correct the mistakes if we end the issues in our lazy way !

    - Law student from KSA :)

  5. Dear Nathan

    Greetings ... After:
    I'm not good at writing or speak English, so I did get some translation program to translate for you newborn, and Excuse me if there is ambiguity in some sentences.
    Dear, I have a friend called me on Tuesday evening and told me that there was criticism and accusations of personal and this is against the news item was posted in my name in the newspaper today Saudi Arabia on Monday .. And sent me a URL: http://www.montdiatna.com:8686/forum/showthread.php?t=117187
    Believe me that I was very surprised as I read it, either on site or in your blog, and narrowing a lot of vocabulary that I have mentioned my right to your subject as it charges and sentenced at the same time, without giving the accused an opportunity to respond .. and can be contacted on the newspaper's request for a telephone number in order to communicate with us. . I appreciate your feelings and also you have the right to say what you find suitable for you, but I know that personal freedom ends where the freedom of others begins.
    First: Let me show you that I have worked with the press for more than 5 years and carry certificates of local, Arab and also a global one in the field of press and media .. I know well the meaning of human information and intellectual property rights ... Second: How do you know that I have you "stealing" images from your blog, and it made you reveal this? .. Thirdly: There is somewhat similar to you as you wrote in your blog and what has been published and this shows that the leaked news that brought me the news and pictures used as you typed in your blog, or vice versa, because I do not have that convicted exporters of breaking news and I do not have something prove this ... IV: Let Keep me how they arrived to the information and pictures because this is the right of any journalist in the world that retains its information sources .. Fifth: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology for two days and they are with me for the detection of exporters and this will never be important to me that I would not be the cause of damage to One associate of the University and that's a promise made by him when he Balatsali me .. VI: I will not be the quality of the pictures that I received Baldaevp which is the case with the images you have the sense that the images received by the high-definition had been taken from your camera if you are already photos of this your personal ... Seventh: There are still a number of missing links in the topic that I find them both interpretations me or you ... Eighth: I appreciate your point of view so you must also respect my face, and will not upset you when you say news is better than me, but the decision to resign from the newspaper is a decision I had and no one has the right to it ... IX: I hope to publish my reply in your blog in order to clear the image to read all of your subject and I also hope those who have published your reply on the Internet to take pink and spread it in the same locations ... X.: I hope to be communicating with each other about this and I am pleased that you leave the means to contact me if you want:
    Saeed Al-omri
    Editor, journalist of the day
    Mobile: 00966553559709
    Finally, I hope that does not already have such issues and to help you on your studies of God you and your colleagues to become a exceptional students at the University of exceptional.

    Saeed Al-omri

  6. welcome to saudi arabia , lol

  7. Ok, so we have a reply from him (sorry for saying we, I just hate plagiarizers, especially professional ones)

    I would like to see Saeed’s reply in Arabic to properly translate it for you. It’s horrible to read as it. I think he is arguing that:
    He doesn’t need to state the source of his article
    That you don’t have proof that those pictures are yours
    He consider your blog to be “leaked” news, and that you don’t have an exclusive on the news
    I think he is stating that he took this information from KAUST themselves… I am not sure.
    I think you should focus on finding out if you can prove that those pictures are yours.

    Nathan, I think you should demand a well translated reply, and not a lazy good translation job. Something that can be official from the newspaper. If the newspaper’s reply was the same arrogant reply, then I think you should try to find legal action. I think KAUST would want their students happy, so see what they would like to do to help.

    AlHanouf – since you are a law student, how about you find a team of friends to try to escalade this issue. Not just for Nathan, but for all of us bloggers. It can be your personal project. It would look good on a resume. Ha ha ha.

    On behalf of most bloggers out here, please don’t let this go by.


  8. Solid D: http://www.montdiatna.com:8686/forum/showpost.php?s=1754de08d38ce561f237645bfe438adc&p=2258631&postcount=5

  9. Hi
    I hope you decided to punish this man cuz he stole ur Article plz Nathan teach them a lesson -Im sure the others would think twice b4 stealin any one again .
    I hope the best 4u :)

  10. Seems that someone you know has the pictures and gave them to him because he said he got them from someone that he cannot reveal his/her name!!

  11. I share in the revulsion for plagiarism, and the common tactic of translating and plariagizing is no better. You can copyright your whole blog as other bloggers have done, and have your name embedded on the photos.

    The KSA law student above knows better about Saudi law but in general as the internet is global, blogs are international and you can make a case for using US intellectual property law for something stolen from your international blog, as a US student at KAUST (UK law is better for libel; and pick the best jurisdiction for intellectual property as long as you have hits from there).

    You might also wish to have KAUST involved as a step prior to that. Surely their media and legal departments would be interested to learn that the blogsite of one of their students and supporters, and their reputation are being taken advantage of in this way. They should be able to persuade AL Yaum that an acknowledgement, an apology, and evidence that it won't happen again, eg Saeed to be on different duties at a minimum. If he has been misled by someone else he will learn to verify his sources before publishing, and protecting them

    Academics take plagiarism very seriously so I would assume your professors, and administrators at KAUST would be very sympathetic.

  12. I hope he get fired over this

  13. That´s shameless, dude. And the best part is that on top of everything he dares to respond in such a Google Translated way... hilarious!! I don´t know how this people call themselves professionals...

  14. I spent few years of my life studying in some of the most developed countries over the world. I think this is not the most proper way to speak for your rights. Unless you want to raise this issue to the public, so every one would agree with you that the Saudi government or the private sectors are corrupted. If I were you I would do the following:
    1) Contact the writer himself (I think it's easy to get to the writer contact details from the newspaper's website)
    2) Contact the newspaper's top management (an email or phone call)
    3) Raise the issue to the Saudi government
    4) If you got no reponses, it would be a proper way to use the public voice.
    I wish you get your rights back.
    Mohannad Alrabiah

  15. Don't except money or anything. This is the other side of the kingdom, just out of KAUST's walls. Explore the world and get out the walls.

  16. Hey Man chill out a little pit !!

    I read your blog and I read the article man and I think that the writer at Al Yaum news paper has not plagiarized your words, because he did not use your words exactly. So chill out man !!

    I agree with you in one aspect. That the writer of the article should rescource the statistical numbers "that is it" and no more. Otherwise, I think that you need to look for a good lawyer or at least have strong proofs that the article's writer quoted you exactly.

    Man you are "awesome" <<< You cracked me laughing

  17. oh I forgot one additional thing

    is the pictures

  18. man first i am sorry for what happens, to u, believe me. if you stand behind what you are saying they will fucking back of and will publish an an article in the news paper to apologize to you. what you have to do. is dont ever give up follow this fucking idiot bastard until he admits his mistake. and use Alwatan News paper. they will publish what ever you want. searusly i am pissed of

  19. Hey you Yassir,

    Can you please shut your mouth up dude and blog somthing nicer than you. I think you are so rode. Bro, chill out and everybody chill out.

  20. From Tara at Future Husbands and Wives of Saudis (FHWS) http://taraummomar.blogspot.com


    To copyright your blog check out:
    You can get a US licence for a blog originating from Saudi

    ...worth a look into is FairShare (through Creative Commons) which tracks websites/blogs that re-use your work without crediting you or seeking your permission first. You can even earn money if their site has ads! I registered and set up an RSS feed for both my blogs. It gives better search results than if you just google your blog looking for your name/writings. The details are here...


    Chiara- If you follow Nathan's blog, please alert him to FairShare!

    My civic blogospheric duty to you and your fellow American in Saudi, Tara, is done! LOL :)

  21. i found a great solution 4 U. you can easily file a cmoplain to the king him self. what you have to do is, use your cell phone to call this number 969 its a number that belongs to the saudi telcom company. tell them you want to send a complaint to the king, they will charge you per word. then lets see what Saeed have to say when some one from the king office calls him.

  22. hello there..

    i work with the government and i can tell you all you have to do is send a complaint to Alyoum newspaper (EC) and a copy of the complaint to the Minister of Culture and information. this would solve your problem if it were true Then you can sue the newspaper and get your reward. it's been done before.

  23. Nathan! what a buzz this incident has created here! :)
    For what's it's worth, one journalist in the same no-one-really-cares-about newspaper called a friend of mine to interview her, he said, "listen, ask your self whatever you want (with relevance to her achievements) and answer them as you please, and try to make it as proper language and grammar-wise as you can and send it to me" (!!!!)
    She did, and he published it - believe me- as is with very little modification !!
    I'm not justifying their actions, I'm just showing you how lazy asses they are. :D
    Live long and see wonders :)


  24. The Chinese students I used to pal with claimed that copying somebody's written work wasn't stealing, because not a single scrap of paper or piece of computer hardware was taken from the victim. Sometimes the bridges one needs to build aren't the ones we expected - the foundation first needs to be built and stabilized.

  25. unfortunately such episodes happen everywhere, not just in saudi arabia - even if of course US and western media tend to be more professional and stick to the (legal) fair use, quote or attribute to the right person-blogger whatever they find online, or to create special sections for citizen media (see cnn, new york times, etc.)

    do bloggers everywhere need to have a license such as CC? yes; can this prevent such plagiarism? no; do they have to resort to suing/lawyers/etc. if-when this happens? no, won't solve anything

    but we have power too: let's expose at length such situations, contact those "journalists" and ask for public corrections, open up a civil debate on the necessity of some form of respect and collaboration among mainstream and citizen media, in arab countries and elsewhere

    btw, we're covering this story on global voices online

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  27. Dear Nathan,

    Wither it is good or bad this might be long philosophical question , but in Saudi Arabia we don’t have soled laws protecting intellectual property, also the public does not have strong since of intellectual property, 90% percent of the public will just not have it in their system . I don’t think that any court in the Arabic world will inflict any sentence on the writer even if you could prove that hi steel your article , because they would not inflict material punishment for none martial (physical or financial) damage. The ministry of information could give warning or suspend him for a week or make news paper publicly apologies . but I think the biggest banishment is the scandal. If you could make local and overseas news outlet speck abut it, that will heart him very much. In Arabia our reputation mater a lot and scandal is very painful

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