[thechat] Omigod the hatred...

David Wagner medialyte at gmail.com
Sat Jan 8 18:04:56 CST 2005

On Sun, 09 Jan 2005 00:49:41 +0530, Madhu Menon <chef at shiokfood.com> wrote:
> Guys,
> I thought of blogging this, but I didn't do it because I didn't want to
> make a scene about this.
> [snippage re: angry mob]

I almost posted this comment to the nasty and hard-to-read post on
their blog (I actually signed up for a Blogger account just to do so)
but then I realized *I* would be making a scene. But you got me worked
up, so I have to vent anyway. Here's what I wrote:


A disclaimer: I have been acquainted with Madhu for years, and I have
never read Asian Vegan before today. I am biased. However, from a more
neutral perspective, I think there are a couple of points that you
have failed to consider in this discussion.

First, the issue of intent: Madhu posted an image to <em>your</em>
blog (hosted separately, due to technical considerations) and
explained the change that he had made. He left your logo intact on the
image, and he did not post it anywhere else. It would be clear to
<em>anyone</em> who clicked on this link that Madhu's intent was to
comment on the image itself. This is part of what public blogs are
about, and if you don't appreciate it, you should probably disable
comments on your blog.

Second, the legal issue: although I can't speak for Madhu's position
as an Indian citizen, I can direct you to the U.S. "fair use" concept
within copyright law. A full description can be found in <a
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use">Wikipedia's "fair use"

An important excerpt:

<strong>Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the
fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in
copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that
section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting,
teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship,
or research, is not an infringement of copyright.</strong>

I am not a lawyer, but it seems obvious that Madhu's reconstructed
image falls into the category of criticism or comment, and has no
effect on the market value of your food. Further, he has kept an
appropriate attribution with the photo, while making his role in its
transformation clear.

Finally, setting the neutrality aside, I have to point out that
Madhu's comment was polite and only mildly critical. I haven't found
evidence anywhere of any kind of previous conflict between Asian Vegan
and Madhu. This post in your blog, on the other hand, is clearly
mean-spirited and rude, has little basis in fact, and is a totally
inappropriate (and nonsensical) reaction.

I suggest, as part of your "deal" to have Madhu take down the image he
posted, that you offer a sincere public apology to him and then drop
the subject.


Thanks, I feel better now.


David Wagner 
medialyte at gmail.com

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