Less than 48 hours after GhanaCelebrities.Com reported that Multimedia, operators of MyJoyOnline.Com, AdomOline.Com and several other media properties in Ghana have asked GhanaWeb to stop using their works (videos and articles)—and also delete every content they have lifted from them in the past, executives of Citi Fm and Citi TV have also done same.
Over the years, GhanaWeb.Com, an online portal owned by a Dutch software engineer and businessman- Robert Bellaart (Founder and CEO) based in Amsterdam has become the source of news for many Ghanaians—both home and abroad.
GhanaWeb has dominated the online media landscape in Ghana by aggregating (taking the articles or contents of others) mostly without permission to publish on its website and earning revenue (estimated to be over 70,000 dollars a month) from this–with the actual content owners or creators receiving no compensation for their work, except to sometimes be mentioned at a tiny credit section below the “stolen work”.
Citi Fm and Citi TV, now operating CitiNewsRoom.Com and other related domains, have over the years had their works (articles and videos) copied and used by GhanaWeb without permission or any prior agreement. GhanaWeb has been monetizing these works, belonging to Citi, for revenue.
After Multimedia asked GhanaWeb to stop using their work and delete everything they have lifted from them over the years, GhanaCelebrities.Com has been reliably informed that executives at Citi Fm, Citi TV and Citinewsroom have also sent a strong-worded E-mail to GhanaWeb—asking them to stop using their content without permission and to delete every “stolen” content.
A media platform can quote a few paragraphs of another on its platform in a related content to make a point or case, however, completely stealing an entire article word-to-word (sometimes called duplication of content) without permission as GhanaWeb does on a large scale is illegal—as it infringes the original content creator’s copyright.
Also, the above practice robs the actual content creators of any compensation and when it comes to online, they even lose traffic/readers to the content thief.
We are told that GhanaWeb’s executives are worried by the call to stop using the works of others in a manner that infringes the owners’ copyright and prohibited by sensible journalism. In fact, in the case of Multimedia Media, GhanaWeb tried to cunningly convince Multimedia that the stealing of their contents and making money from these contents for themselves somehow benefits Multimedia.
But Multimedia called it ridiculous and asked GhanaWeb to stop using their content with immediate effect.
The move to clamp down GhanaWeb’s content plagiarism which infringes on copyright and prohibited by sensible journalism by Multimedia and now joined by Citi may be followed by many other media houses and content creators in Ghana–as it’s only GhanaWeb that benefits from the content thievery.