In the course of the protest rallies a friend of mine ran around a lot with a digital camera, made numerous photos and uploaded them on his blog. On the following day standing at the bus stop at the news agent's he accidentally came across his photo gazing at him from the daily. He immediately looked through the editions of the day and found the photo made by him published in almost all newspapers.
Copy rights are being constantly violated in Georgia and no one is held responsible for plagiarism. The situation is especially alarming in terms of photos. Most frequently the photos are stolen from different photo galleries such as www.boke.ge, www.photolife.ws, www.flicker.com and the like. An amateur photographer Misha Samkharadze too wrote about it on his blog (www.kesha.wordpress.com). The photos by him have been published several times without his permission. "Intellectual property is the same as gold, money or a car. Try to imagine somebody taking your gold to wear," the blogger complained. Having found one of his photos published on a flyer of one of the companies he appealed to the Society of Georgian Authors. His complaint led to the court and Misha received a monetary compensation.
The photos are being stolen not by private companies only but newspapers and magazines too. Normally they should be interested in taking exclusive photos, but everything is common by our side.
That's why only few editorial offices have the photographers employed. Having a photographer in the staff is considered as an extra expenditure. Why wasting if one can easily copy from the Internet.
As a result we have similar photos in all the newspapers (like TV shots), many of them lacking context. For instance when writing an article in July and inserting a photo of the respondent made in January with a fur coat or publishing Kaladze's photo wearing long hair while he has his hair cut three years ago and willfully convince the readers of obtaining an exclusive interview from him during his visit in Tbilisi.
In print media (I mean newspapers and luckily this problem is less observable in magazines) one can never see a photo report which in many cases can turn out far more expressive than a sheet-like text. But instead you can easily find a blackened photo lacking context, with a focus on Ugulava's armpit while the article covers so called "cheap credits" program. You can also see a muddy-like unedited illustration and only after reading the title you can guess the photo features the Sakara Lake. But sometimes even the photos of the kind are missing and one can come across no photos turning few pages of a famous newspaper.
Did you know that copying photos from various social networks has turned into a rule in the Georgian press? But worse things are taking place on net, online editions discontent with just copying photos do copy texts too.