we, the media

Naughty, naughty, naughty

I recently received an email from a gentleman named Sach Kohli, in which he pointed out how three pieces that had appeared in the Times of India appeared remarkably similar to pieces that had appeared in Cosmopolitan. He included an email that he had sent Jaideep Bose, an editor at the ToI, bringing this to his attention. I emailed Jaideep myself to ask if there was any innocent explanation for this that I was missing. (Perhaps a content-sharing arrangement with Cosmopolitan, though the content would then surely have been attributed to them.) Two days have passed, and I have received no reply. Thus, with Sach's permission, I'm reproducing the mail he sent Jaideep, as well as the incriminating pictures.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sach Kohli <[email id snipped]>
Date: 30-Jun-2005 19:36
To: Jaideep Bose <[email id snipped]>

Dear Editor,

I wish to report a striking similarity between three articles that
appeared in Monday's and Tuesday editions of Bombay Times, and those
that appeared in the June 2005 issue of the US edition of Cosmopolitan

Monday, June 27
BT: page 6, titled "Give yourself a Break", Gif Attachment:
US Cosmopolitan June Edition 2005: page 179, titled "Give Yourself a
Break", attached file COSMO_giveyourselfabreak.jpg

Tuesday, June 28
BT: page 6, titled "10 Clues He'll be Bad in Bed", GIF Attachment:
US Cosmopolitan June Edition 2005: page 203, titled "10 Clues He'll be
Bad in Bed", attached file COSMO_10clueshe'llsuckinbed.jpg
BT: page 6, titled "Tap into his Guy Mind-set", GIF Attachment:
US Cosmopolitan June Edition 2005: page 238, titled "Tap into his Guy
Mind-set", attached file COSMO_tapintohisguy.jpg

Note: the Cosmo pictures were scanned from a personal copy of the June
2005, US Edition. The Bombay Times pictures were grabbed from your
epaper ( service.

Nobody has paid me to do this, nor am I doing this out of any malice.
I'm just a regular reader of the Times. However, the fact that I could
detect three cases of blatant plagiarism in your paper merely out of
buying a single copy of the June 2005 Cosmopolitan issue points to a
rot that a much deeper rot! I can understand that the Bennett
management may not care for the 'editorial integrity' of Bombay Times.
But, when in the period of two days, your esteemed paper blatantly
lifts at least three articles, with their layouts, out of a single
issue of Cosmopolitan US, with minor changes in copy [...]
it simply reeks of lazy incompetence. If this is the regular deal, I
wonder if Bennett Coleman appreciates the legal implications of this

A regular reader, Sach

The pictures:

Read the full post
I guess you will be waiting a long time for a reply...or maybe they are looking in cosmo again for an appropriate answer.
Maybe you could also get in touch with the Cosmopolitan people and let them know about this.

If it really is plagiarism then they should respond to you and and maybe take other action against BT.
You're better off approaching the India Group who hold the rights for Cosmopolitan in India.
You know, when the Nikhat Kazmi incident happened last year a few of us lazily speculated what might happen if the Chicago Sun-Times decided it was worth their while to sue a company as large as Bennett & Coleman. One of my friends did in fact send a mail to Roger Ebert about the plagiarism but Ebert didn't want to get too involved - maybe he thought it was a small Indian newspaper and there was no point following it up.

Just a thought. Perhaps these foreign newspapers/mags should be told just how big B&C is.
Dont insult TOI, they will sue you. They are the best and no one else knws anything.
Those readers who are wondering what the Nikhat Kazmi incident is that Jabberwock referred to, click here.
Yes, a couple of days ago I did send a copy of this letter to Ashish Bagga of the India Today Group and also to Kate White, editor-in-chief of Cosmo. White sent me a one-line reply saying that they're looking into it. So that's that.
They couldn't even do a good job of 'indianizing' it and goofed up once.

I noticed your 'I Love Cricket' Hat, Are you into *RACING*??????
Are we completely sure that TOI and Cosmopolitan are actually NOT having an arrangement with each other about sharing content? NOT referencing your source is a part of a deal in many joint ventures where product / media news is just rebranded and presented to user.

Of course, Cosmo could have got MORE money NOT to see their name in TOI - which might suit TOI. Or for that matter, the news agency that served Cosmo might have served TOI too - in which case, its the print media's fault. Before declaring TOI as a guilty party, maybe we should try to not only mail TOI, but cosmo as well - as it is, it is Cosmo who stand to lose more than TOI, because if true, Cosmo's content seems to be plagarized.

PS: I am not affliated with TOI, and I think TOI is a one junkbox, which has gone from a good newspaper to a gossiping page 3 tabloid.

I agree with Suyog on this. Just because TOI has a history of "being inspired" doesn't mean that we believe the worst.

Still, I don't think TOI will respond.
Suyog/The Unrest Cure

I, for one, am not believing the worst on this particular issue. But I assume if they had a content sharing arrangement, Cosmo's editor, White, would have told Sach as much, instead of saying they were looking into it. And ToI would have deigned to reply to one of us. How much time does a one-reply reply saying "we have a content arrangement with Cosmo" take?

Anyway, for people who sell their editorial content, something like this is hardly a big step forward. One way of deceiving the reader is as bad as another.

And don't tell me Nikhat Kazmi had a content sharing arrangement with Roger Ebert, and Ebert allowed her to use her name for a piece he wrote. We all know what action ToI took against Kazmi: none at all.
As one of the commentor said, you should mail (anonymously if you want) this to Cosmo people, and watch! If they too don't respond, then, well, whatever...
Sure, circumspection is good but anyone who believes that BT has a content deal with cosmo doesn't really grasp the dynamics involved. Yes, it's a possibility but it's an unlikely one because a. BT isn't so much about content, it's a PR supplement (and not a bad one, as PR supplements go). They wouldn't pay for a deal. If they needed content they could dip into their own resources and in the worse case into the magazine group (WWM) of which they own 50% stake b. B&C and ITG are strong competitors. And they wouldnt go to bed with each other for such a trivial thing....Ye
Sach, thanks for bringing the scam to our attention. needless to say i was not surprised.
this said, i would like to ask you - are you a regular subscriber of cosmo?
worst come worst ToI would settle this out of court with Cosmopolitan...or give free ad space to Cosmopolitan. If this happens Cosmo should not have reasons to complain.
To anonymous who asked if i was a regular subscriber to cosmo? yes, I am. The American version. It's quite a popular magazine, you know!
hi, good going Sach - any news from either ToI or Cosmo?
nope. But then legally they don't really owe me an explanation...
I run a couple of sites, one of which is a 100 word review blog called Milliblog ( The blog is reasonably popular. Recently, my 100 words on Emdan Magan, a new Tamil film soundtrack, with music by Vidyasagar went up on August 16th. I do have postings on a couple of other forums to back up the posting date in case my date is questioned. Rediff's review was posted by S Sudha on August 21st. (

Do I see a Kaavya-styled internalized lift here? Sample these!

Mine: "As a soundtrack, Emdan Magan disappoints…"
Rediff: "Vidyasagar's score for Emden Magan is not great; in fact, it is disappointing…"

Mine: "Varaaru is marginally catchy, which will need significant help from its picturization to impress better"
Rediff: "Vaararu Varaaru is marginally catchy, but will need significant help from its accompanying visuals to impress."

Mine: "Kalloori is a routine youngster's track in the usual Vidyasagar mode."
Rediff: "Kalloori is a routine youth track in the usual Vidyasagar style."

Mine: "The composer returns to his Thambi-styled melodies in Koligundu kannu and Mannmeedhu - both are beautifully tuned and very well sung."
Rediff: "He comes up with his Thambi-style melodies in Koligundu Kannu and Mannmeedhu, both of which are tastefully tuned and very well sung."

How's this for plagiarism? And to think I actually run a very popular website on plagiarism (albeit on Indian music! -
It's a real shame for such a so called big newspaper.
It even dares to call itself times of the world!!!
height of being most shameless!
You could very well start a movement with prominent other newspaper or the cluster of media channels.
People will definitely support it.
hi, may i know where do you find the editor email? I am trying to search it for part of my task but couldn't find any contact number or e-mail of the editor of ToI...

If you don't mind can you post it here? thanks.. it's kinda urgent..

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this seems to be an old post now, but I do remember direct word to word lifts in TOI and Femina, from international websites and magazines!

I landed here while searching for Jojo's mail id. I need the mail id because I am a victom of TOI's plagiarism myself.
If you could share his mail id with me, then I would really appreciate it.
Great work.
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