DUBAI, Feb 27: A leading Dubai newspaper has described the use of its material by The News International, a Pakistani newspaper, as ‘dishonest’ and ‘infringement of its copyright’ and threatened legal action.

Nicholas Coates, associate editor of Gulf News, alleged “the pieces Pakistani newspaper is publishing include those written by Gulf News staff members, articles commissioned from freelancers by Gulf News and syndicated material that Gulf News and not the said newspaper has paid to use”.

The hard-hitting attack by Gulf News has raised issues regarding limits of using web material considered as public domain.

“I just think the whole thing is very dishonest. There seems to be a culture in the region that says that because material is on the internet, it’s in the public domain and therefore doesn’t have to be paid for. This is entirely false thinking,” Mr Coates claimed.

Gulf News says it wrote to the Pakistani daily in November last year and then in February this year to stop using their material ‘without permission and often without acknowledgement’. They decided to go public after they received no response.

“In the light of their continuing to ignore entreaties to stop, Gulf News will have very few options other than to take legal action, which would be an unwelcome avenue to pursue between fellow newspaper groups,” Mr Coates said.

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