Keeping it factual.

I was trawling through various “Happy Diwali” emails in my inbox when I chanced upon one sent by the CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions. The email visual was using a Diwali wallpaper from my blog. No credit was provided and the email footer mentioned,

“The information contained in this email and any attachments is confidential and may be subject to copyright or other intellectual property protection. If you are not the intended recipient, you are not authorized to use or disclose this information, and we request that you notify us by reply mail or telephone and delete the original message from your mail system.”

This is what came in the email :

And this is the original wallpaper : link to original Diwali wallpaper 2008 blogpost.

I was appalled. It was also hilarious. Did the CEO not know or was she turning a blind eye? Conjecture on my part but how am I to know? I asked my lawyer to send them an email as well as a physical letter / notice with stipulations on the time they had to revert.

The email from Ocimum Biosolutions with the plagiarized Diwali greeting was received on 1st November 2010.
My lawyer sent them an email on 1st November 2010. The timeline for response was two weeks, which means my lawyer or I should have heard from them by 14th / 15th November. The physical notice was sent to them on 11th November 2010.

Not a word from their side.

Did Ocimum Biosolutions hire a bad designer who believes that the internet is public domain and anything can be filched? That designer should be fired. Does Ocimum Biosolutions believe that design is a worthless process and hence it is ok to copy and paste another designer’s work? Ocimum should spend more time understanding how design can help – and they should hire me for the same. Did Ocimum Biosolutions not read my blog post carefully or the copyright notice on each page? Ocimum should hire people who can read.

The CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions is a very well-networked lady on all social and business networking platforms and because I am in her network, I received her Diwali email. I haven’t had any other contact with the lady and hence cannot judge what went wrong.

The sad part is that this is just one case of plagiarism by Ocimum Biosolutions that I have come across. They might be plagiarizing more and there are definitely more companies like Ocimum Biosolutions who are plagiarizing not only my work but the work of other designers as well and we will never find out.