Tabloid newspapers and magazines in this country have a peculiar relationship with the web, often lifting ideas wholesale for features without ever bothering to credit the source. It’s as if the original idea isn’t worthy of recognition because it ‘only’ appeared online, a medium they must see as inferior to print. A perfect example is Rob Manuel’s Classical Look-a-likes feature, which made at least two appearances in various guises in real-world publications after appearing online, in each case as if it were the newspaper’s own idea. I’ve even been a victim of this myself, albeit on a slightly smaller scale.
So what am I to make of the Daily Mirror yesterday, who published a double-page (warning: 400k file) cute cat competition feature little more than a month after the successful launch of my own successful Kittenwar service? It’s certainly not a direct rip-off, but I suspect that there’s a connection, even if it’s via synthesis. What’s more, they’re making piles of tele-cash via the premium rate phone lines they’ve set up.
I demand my cut.