Brandon Stanton of ‘Humans of New York’ criticizes ‘Humans of Bombay’ for copyright infringement suit. The feud sparks a larger debate on content ethics in the digital age.
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Content Battle Between Photo-Bloggers Erupts on Social Media
NEW YORK: The well-known “Humans of New York” photo-blog creator, Brandon Stanton, has publicly criticized an Indian adaptation of his platform, “Humans of Bombay,” for initiating a copyright lawsuit against another local competitor.
From New York to Mumbai
In 2010, Brandon Stanton introduced the world to “Humans of New York,” capturing the essence of the city’s residents through candid interviews paired with their portraits.
Its incredible success inspired many similar projects around the globe.
One such project was “Humans of Bombay,” started by Karishma Mehta in 2013.
Currently boasting 2.7 million followers on Instagram, the Mumbai version stands out as one of the most significant adaptations of Stanton’s original idea.
A Copyright Clash
This month, controversy stirred when Mehta filed a copyright infringement claim against the “People of India” Instagram account.
She alleges they “replicated many images and videos” from the “Humans of Bombay” page.
The legal move has ignited fierce social media debate, with supporters and detractors voicing their opinions.
Stanton Weighs In
Joining the conversation, Stanton expressed his discontent with Mehta’s approach.
“I have stayed quiet on the appropriation of my work because I think @HumansOfBombay shares important stories, even if they have monetized far past anything I would feel comfortable doing on HONY,” he commented on X, a platform succeeding Twitter.
“But you cannot be suing people for what I have forgiven you for,” he added, hinting at the initial adoption of his concept by “Humans of Bombay.”
Taking the opportunity to praise another global adaptation, Stanton mentioned his appreciation for the “Humans of Amsterdam” initiative, noting its creator’s decision not to use the platform as a revenue-generating business.
“Humans of Bombay” Responds
In the face of mounting criticism, “Humans of Bombay” issued a statement urging critics, including Stanton, to familiarize themselves with the case’s specifics.
They stressed the importance of telling stories “honestly and ethically.”
The discourse highlights the nuanced landscape of content creation and ownership in the age of social media, challenging creators to tread carefully while reminding audiences of digital platforms’ power and responsibility.