As bloggers, we're a vulnerable lot. Regardless of anonymity, pseudonyms and the like, threats can still make us review how important a blog is. The case of Inji Pennu and Kerals.com is taking the blogosphere by storm. In what comes across as sheer bullying and intimidation, Kerals.com, a website that targets people from Kerala and Malayali speakers has taken to harassing a blogger. The blogger, Inji Pennu, who blogs at Ginger and Mango appears to have politely requested Kerals.com to remove content that they stole from her. She then posted their responses, and the email exchange has provoked a strong reaction from readers of her blog. While content-theft from blogs is not really new, the sheer tactics and threats of violence from the content-stealing website has ruffled quite a few feathers.
Then starts the threats, abuse and even fake legal notices. They started ordering bloggers to take down their respective posts criticizing them. What craziness to order bloggers like that. What happened to freedom of speech?…..
Mr. Shiv Kumar then threatens physical harm to me for speaking up. He says in his next email that he would do unpredictable stuff to people like me.
Hindi Blog Reporter writes
In latest post at her blog she gives an account of the threatening mails she is receiving from this group which claims to be an old player in cyber industry. Inji after a short research finds out that apart from running porn sites this group is also in the business of donating the orphanages nice diversification.
It also appears that Kerals.com has stolen content from other blogs with giving credit, or acknowledging the fact that they did not create the content. Jayarajan's Blog writes
I express my strong protest against Kerals.com for copying contents from malayalam blogs(Also see this). Besides this, their support team has threatened and abused fellow blogggers who complained of this disgusting act (here, here and here). And as if that is not enough, they have indulged in cyberstalking.
Thulasi digs deeper and writes
Recently I've noted copyright infringments by Mazhathully.com. They have copied my photographs from this blog withour prior approval, written permission or proper attribution. Moreover they have placed watermarks of Kerals.com on those pictures. Then I went to search for details of these two websites and found both are primarly owned by a single company named Anashwara Company PVT LTD. I was shocked to find that the one who copied my photo, and watermarked it with his name and company's logo was none other than CEO of Kerals.com.
Saptavarnangal rounds up the controversy, with a timeline of the issues as they unfolded and writes about the other websites maintained by the same group.
As we all know by now, the contents from various Malayalam blogs were lifted to fill the Malayalam portal section of kerals.com. This was first reported by Saji and there are a lot of posts which clearly mentions the extend of plagiarism done by kerals.com. Another site http://www.mazhathully.com/ has lifted the photos from the photoblog of Thulasi and Kumar.( I had sent a greeting to Kumar which uses one of Kumar's photo published in his blog, he saw that and informed me that he has written to Kerals.com to remove his photos from their web site.) Kerals.com and mazhathully.com belongs to ( GoDaddy.com check) one ‘Anashwara Group of Company PVT LTD’ which many say is using fake addresses in US as well as in JK, India. When I checked now, http://www.mazhathully.com/ site is in a suspended state.
the breeze also mentions that that a representative from Kerals.com appears to have dragged Inji Pennu's name out and created a fake website.