In the vast world of social media storytelling, something quite dramatic has occurred. A highly renowned social media page known as ‘Humans of Bombay‘ (or HoB) is deeply upset with another page by the name of ‘People of India‘ (or PoI). Why? HoB believes that PoI is copying their content – their words, images, logo, and even the way they present their stories on their social media platform.
The accusations against PoI encompass everything from their storytelling techniques to their storytelling style. This legal dispute has now made its way to the Delhi High Court, where HoB is seeking damages and an injunction to stop PoI from using its content. During a hearing on September 18, the court expressed concerns about the substantial extent of imitation, making this a case of significant importance.
Brandon Stanton Speaks Out on the Ongoing Controversy!
Now, here comes the twist. Brandon Stanton, the guy who started the famous Humans of New York (HoNY) page back in 2010, decided to join the conversation. He’s a big name when it comes to the storytelling world, and he had something important to say about this situation. He posted on social media, saying, ‘I’ve stayed quiet on the appropriation of my work because I think @HumansOfBombay shares important stories, even if they’ve monetized far past anything I’d feel comfortable doing on HONY. But you can’t be suing people for what I’ve forgiven you for.’
Brandon’s tweet highlighted his understanding of HoB’s storytelling concept, which emphasizes the importance of sharing significant stories about people through social media. However, he questioned the ethics if they are making money out of it and suggested that they shouldn’t take legal action against others for someone copying them, as he himself had chosen to forgive HoB for copying him.
Take a look at the tweet from HoNY below:
I've stayed quiet on the appropriation of my work because I think @HumansOfBombay shares important stories, even if they've monetized far past anything I'd feel comfortable doing on HONY. But you can't be suing people for what I've forgiven you for. https://t.co/0jZM05YyTt— Brandon Stanton (@humansofny) September 23, 2023
Humans of Bombay Responds to Brandon Stanton’s Tweet
In response to Brandon Stanton’s criticism, HoB chose to issue an open letter on September 23. The letter conveyed their shock at what they perceived as a cryptic attack on their efforts to protect their intellectual property and ideas. They talked about the importance of storytelling, emphasizing the need for honesty and fairness in the process. They also mentioned that they trust the courts in India to make the right decision, and they asked everyone to be patient and let the legal process work, considering all the facts.
The conflict between HoB and PoI shows that copyrighted stuff on the internet can be really tricky. It’s because social media is full of stories, and it’s not always easy to tell who owns what. While each party may have its own perspective on the matter, it’s essential to consider the broader implications of such conflicts in the world of online storytelling.
Read the open letter issued by HoB in response to HoNY below:
Sarah Hussain exposed HoB by sharing their Rate Card
In addition to this, Sarah Hussain, popularly known as ‘zingyzest‘, gave her own take on her Instagram broadcast where she has a ton of followers by adding to the drama, by sharing Humans of Bombay’s rate card. This move aimed to prove Brandon’s doubts regarding whether they make money from their storytelling page. And the rate card, think of it as showing a menu with prices for different things HoB offers, including the costs of – one picture per post, 2 to 3 pictures per post, and more.
This stirred up discussions among people on Reddit, and they shared their own experiences. They talked about the numerous times they’ve tried to contact HoB and didn’t receive any response when they sought help, leading to an overall disappointing experience. They believed that it was a platform where people could freely express their thoughts and share their stories, highlighting the power of social media in sparking important conversations. To their surprise, it didn’t align with their expectations.
As for what happens next, the future remains uncertain. The Delhi High Court’s decision will be really important for ‘People of India’ and even for others in this field. It’ll be like a rulebook for everyone, whether someone wins or if they all just learn more about how things work digitally!