Without acquiring authorization or giving credit, the English version of Layalina Magazine has copied and pasted a post from the Damascene Blog in its latest edition. The Magazine also republished the picture in that same post and did not bother to mention the source anywhere in the article that carried the signature of the Magazine's managing editor.


Stellar said...

I remember looking at it and I was thinking, the least they can do is put your website. That's just stupid. U need to file a suit, man... :P

Ezz-Eldin said...

They must have forgotten to do so!!!!!!!!!!

faraz said...

Ayman, you must sue these people for breaching copyright! At the least you could win an apology and at the best you could be win thousands of euros!

GottfriedStutz said...

Yes, do that Ayman, and there are a lot of people who can testify that they saw it in your blog first.

The bridegroom can sue, too, by the way.

I remember these guys from Layalina in every concert, pub, bar, or wedding in Damascus and Aleppo. They bloody stick, try to interview people, and take loads of photograph. Just awful.

faraz said...

If one goes to the (out of date) site of layalina magazine at layalinamag.com then one can see right at the bottom of the page 'international copyright'.

This of course is highly ironic given that this magazine doesn't obviously respect anybody else's copyright nor acknowledge their work.

Sorry I thought that this magazine was based in north america/europe, hence I mentioned compensation in euros. I have only just realised that it is in fact based in Lebanon.

I still think that the owners/publishers of this magazine should publish an apology in their magazine and accept their shortcoming in this matter and donate a sum of money to a charitable/humanitarian project to show that they are sincere and genuine in their apology!

Omar said...

ya 3ini 3al 7adara!

Omar said...

Did you notice how many spelling mistakes there are in the text
"benn" all in the same paragraph

LOL.. they didn't even copy it right

Yazan said...

Wow, now this is disgusting... They definitly owe ya an apology...

Maha said...

The nerve! Can't believe they would do something so stupid and think no one would notice.

I think you should definitely tell them and at least get an acknowledgement for their mistake in the next issue.

Catherine said...

Actually..Here is what I think: They just did not care, if Ayman will see it or not or if he will be bothered or not..It is a very common case of the outspread arrogance we can see everywhere.

Ammar said...

they're so pathetic!

Ihsan said...

Since when anybody in this country respects copyrights?? Besides, you know who is the owner of this magazine so why to bother.... ma3laish Ayman, t3eesh w takol ghairha :P

sasa said...

Ok Ayman, at the risk of contradicting everyone else - I think you should be flattered. One of Damascus's biggest selling magazine's has shamelessly stolen your work. The least they can do is commission you to do some work for them in the future (and pay you!) - try contacting the editor. If I had my way, I'd fill Layalina with your posts! At least that would stop their nasty little photographers snapping EVERYONE at every single party in Sham.

sasa said...

I hope you don't mind Ayman - but I've published this in the hope that you might eventually get some credit, or recognition.

Anonymous said...

Ihsan implies that the owner of the Levantine equivalent of Hello/OK magazine is very important! Who exactly is the owner of this magazine? I'm interested to know WHO this is and what position they occupy?

Also on The Syrian News Wire sasa states that the price of the magazine is $15 or about 750-800
Syrian Pounds! Exactly how many ORDINARY people in Syria can buy this magazine, i.e. how affordable is it realistically to buy the Shaami Hello/OK?

sasa said...

The magazine doesn't feature 'ordinary' people, and so it is not aimed at 'ordinary' people. I'd be very surprised if anyone who buys the mag ISN'T IN it! The logic is: more photos, more sales.

Fadi said...

Protecting copyrights help maintain creativity. To sue when there is breach is the logical thing to do in countries where copyright protection is rigorously enforced. However, the stakes are high here (as Ihsan implied).

Maybe you should contact the editor who is usually responsible in these situations. When they refuse to recognize this mistake, you should sue! It is your right after all. At least, they should have requested your permission, quote you, or even paid you royalty.
Besides, if you sue them, you would set a precedence that may help protecting intellectual property in the future, and that is more important. We need that direly in Syria: break the habit of copyrights infringement. That makes people more creative.

The big question is, what are you going to do Ayman?

aleppian said...

Look Ayman, the best thing is writing the name of your site on the pic, and then publish it on the net.
I made a test in this pic, try it, and tell me how it looks, and whether by this one can protect his privacy. At least now you can demand your rights (if you wish)

the example

GottfriedStutz said...

Hello Ayman,

Just a bit of advice about something of which you are probably already aware. If you contact the magazine, do so by writing - in a letter. If I were you, I would do all the contacts by writing, scan them, and publish them on some site or... on this blog. I know that this is not the objective of this blog, but it does help to make your exchanges with them public.

Whatever you do, good luck.

Anonymous said...


I think you should have a lawyer wrtite a letter to them demanding 1) a proper fee for publishing your work and 2) that they publish a correction to credit you for the text and the photo -- failing that (both), sue for damages. Even better if you could get together with the groom and have a lawyer (maybe the same lawyer) write to them to demand damages as well.

And, indeed, naem and shame: post a copy of those letters on your blog!

I also agree that it's a good idea to "watermark" your photographs so they cannot so easily be stolen. (Doesn't blogger provide protection for downloading images?)

BTW, I just went to the Layalina "website" to see if I could find a contact address (with the idea of writing to them what I think of their methods) - what a joke! All it is is a picture (of a/the front cover?) - there's no link or real content (let alone a contact address or form) anywhere.

Marjolein Katsma

P.S. please get rid of those spammer comments.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous who wrote @ 2:43am:

to answer you on who The Untouchable is, his name is Majd Suleiman. He runs other businesses including the Syrian Yellow Pages. He is the son of the director of the State Security Service Gen. Bahjat Suleiman, the highly powerful officer. He holds a PhD from Romania.
The owner probably doesn't care about the whole thing and the fault is the writer's or the editor's.

GottfriedStutz said...

Ayman, your blog has been invaded by spammers. I've had the same recently on my blog. The only thing you can do is get rid of those SPAM comments, and they probably won't come back. They seem to hit only once, thank Goodness!

Ayman said...

I don't know what I am going to do. Unfortunately, copyrights are always violated in Syria, and online copyrights are not protected by the law - I guess. I hope they will include something about online copyrights in the shortly expected publishing law.

I think the wise reaction is emailing Layalina to demand an apology. I will see how they respond before deciding on further action. I think they will be very embarassed to see this post and to read what Sasa wrote...

Thank you Sasa and thanks everybody for your comments and support.

Gottfried, you are right about the Spam comments... it seems they only hit once!

Anonymous said...

HI Ayman,what they did is wrong but that indicate how popular you site they could have done out of ignorance without melescious intend,naim

Marjolein Katsma said...


I am not a laywer, but...

I suggest sending an email and demanding an apology is not the best thing to do:
1. There won't be a "paper trail" -- they could deny ever receiving the email (how would you prove they did?)
2. An apology is not what's needed anyway -- what's needed is *credit* for your content, both the text and the picture; and that's the absolute minimum: to give you that credit they will have to publish a correction.

Get a real letter, on real crispy paper to them -- preferably on a reputable lawyer's letterhead -- and send it by registered mail so they cannot ever deny they got your letter. Leave a paper trail - and publish that paper trail.

I'd try to find a sympathetic lawyer (knowlegeable about copyright law) who will help you in return for a bit of publicity (on your web site, or your blog) for taking up the cause of proper protection of copyrights. Phone around a bit -- hopefully there are some lawyers in Damascus or elsewhere in Syria who care about justice and not just about establishment?

Even if you do send an email first (what address, please? :)): demand not apology but proper accreditation; and if they don't react, go the paper route next. Don't give up - Syria is a civilized country where such shameful behavior should not be tolerated.

A few possibly useful URLs:

* What is Copyright Protection?

Marjolein Katsma

Abu Sinan said...

Copyright, Trademark and Patent issues seem to be a problem in the Middle East.

DigitalOasis said...

It's refreshing to see so many bring up the issue of copyrights..I don't recall hearing that term mentioned in the 90s. I guess the world is changing for the better (that is, more people are aware of intellectual property!). I'd recommend contacting the magazine; at the least, they owe you an explanation (or an excuse).

ألِف said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alif said...

The barren Arab media, even if in a language other than Arabic, has become a parasite on creative bloggers.
Even once established foundations like the Rose ElYoussef has stolen photos from a blogger covering protests in Cairo, even though he had them watermarked! A little Photoshop can remedy almost anything, but all they did was sluggishly crop the photos they stole.
Just by coincidence I was reading this blogger's personal story with plagiarism.