Omani Bloggers and Copyright

Copyright Infringment - OmanForum
A bizarre event occurred today in which expat blogger Angry in Oman was shocked to see a post she wrote on her blog posted in OmanForum under a username identical to her blog name. Angry in Oman was outraged because it seemed as she personally made those posts on the forum and the blog post did not tell the whole story of the incident mentioned making people make the wrong assumptions about what really happened.

It eventually turned out that this was a new forum feature introduced by OmanForum’s administrator for which he thought it would be ‘a good idea’ to copy other people blog posts in the forum because it makes ‘the forum more interesting’ and gives the author ‘extra exposure’. The administrator of OmanForum removed the thread after several members complained about the issue, however, he did not seem to be convinced that he did anything wrong.

For some reason, many people assume that crediting the source gives them the right to copy it, which is obviously not the case. If Neo, OmanForum’s administrator, has been for a long time copying articles from elsewhere and crediting them doesn’t mean that what has been doing is legally or morally right. The exceptions to the protection of copyright n Oman are very limited in scope, and copying for the purpose of “making the forum more interesting and giving the author extra exposure” is obviously not one of these exceptions.

Technically, Angry in Oman can sue for copyright infringement, but obviously she will not do that as it compromise her identity. If she ever were to take legal action, she should be able to force OmanForum to remove all infringing content, and she migh even be able to ask for monetary compensation because OmanForum is a business venture that sells advertising and commercially benefits from the copyright infringement it undertakes as material copied from elsewhere is used to attract more readers and more advertisement impressions.