The Wire founder-editor Siddharth Varadarajan issued a half-hearted apology on Twitter on Tuesday when a user highlighted how his organisation had used the maps prepared by him without his permission in a discussion between Happymon Jacob and Lt Gen RS Panag(retired) for the media portal.
The Twitter user, who goes by the handle @KesariDhwaj, accosted Siddharth Varadarajan on Twitter for not seeking his permission before using his maps in a discussion aired on ‘The Wire’. The maps were about the position of Chinese and Indian troops along the Ladakh border.
“@thewire_in has used maps made by me without my permission in a discussion between @HappymonJacob and Lt Gen Panag @rwac48…see screenshots…@savaradarajan and @HappymonJacob- Whatever happened asking for permission before using other people’s stuff?” the user tweeted while sharing the screenshots of the unauthorised images used by ‘The Wire’ in its video.
Apologies for this, sir. Our team mistakenly thought it was sufficient to acknowledge credit since they had assumed these were in the “public domain”. Permission should have been sought from you before using them in the video. Thank you for your understanding.— Siddharth (@svaradarajan) June 9, 2020
Taking cognisance of the Twitter user’s grievance, ‘The Wire’ founder-editor Siddharth Varadarajan tendered a lukewarm apology for the mistake committed by his team. Defending the assumptions made by his team that it is “sufficient” to acknowledge credit supposing the images were in “public domain”, Varadarajan reiterated the user’s stance that permission should have been sought before using the image in their video.
“Apologies for this, sir. Our team mistakenly thought it was sufficient to acknowledge credit since they had assumed these were in the “public domain”. Permission should have been sought from you before using them in the video. Thank you for your understanding,” Varadarajan tweeted.
The Wire accused of stealing and illegally possessing and using copyrighted material
The Wire also holds the distinction of stealing copyrighted material, as alleged by the Rajya Sabha TV in a legal notice sent to the leftist propaganda website. In the legal notice, RSTV has also accused The Wire of coming into possession of copyright material of Rajya Sabha TV in an “unauthorised and unlawful manner suggestive of either stealing or obtaining and making use of the stolen property”.
On 17th September 2018, The Wire had published a story headlined, “RSTV benches anchor for the question about Vajpayee’s role in Quit India Movement’. The notice says that in the story, they had used a video clip where an anchor was discussing Atal Bihari Vajpayee with another senior journalist.
The notice says that the video clip used by The Wire in its story is the exclusive property of Rajya Sabha TV and that the clip used by the portal doesn’t even carry the logo of Rajya Sabha TV. The notice also says that The Wire did not seek any permission from RSTV for the use of this clip.