Christmas themed desktop images

Feel the vibe of Christmas with these desktop images that reflect the season as it's celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago. Download them here for your computer monitor.

On de re-play

Two plays that I wrote almost 20 years ago get returned to the stage by students at UTT. Read More...

Team Wire redux

A chance reuniting of the old photography team at The Wire. Read More...

On Morning Edtion

Morning Edition - Children on the Internet from Mark Lyndersay on Vimeo.

Talking to Fazeer Mohammed on Morning Edition about managing how children should use the Internet and what parents should be thinking about when deciding to intervene.


You stole my photo - Episode 8

Just off to the right of the camera during the report on the new cultural archive announced by the Culture Ministry, was, yes, my photo of Mungal Patasar. Stolen again for the exhibit created to launch the collection of cultural artifacts called Remember When.

I am reliably informed that I wasn't the only person to puzzle over photographs and video that they hadn't remembered licensing to the otherwise commendable effort at launching an online cultural museum.

Here's the thing, if an image, or a video, or a story or any other intellectual property is still owned by its creator, whether or nor it's being actively exploited, the right to make use of that work remains with its creator until a license is negotiated for its use. If you don't do that, you're stealing people's work and it really doesn't matter how noble the cause that you espouse.

So let's get this clear. That photo of Mungal Patasar that you're using in your exhibit must be licensed from me. You have no rights to it and you are stealing it, plain and simple. It isn't even that hard to find out who shot it. You could just ask Mungal, who has had a long relationship with your Ministry.

It isn't as if you're the only people to steal this photo, but don't feel good just because National Geographic did too. A Ministry of Culture and Multiculturalism should begin by having respect for the people actually creating the culture they purport to represent, shouldn't it?

Of course, this might just be a pipe dream. I've seen what you've done with your scans of Jeffrey Chock's photos of a Nrityanjali Dance Theatre. Since all old grayscale negatives need hands on retouching, it's particularly appalling that you felt comfortable posting images of the dancers performing in the snow of technical slackness.

On Pat

The Trinidad Guardian editorial for August 22, 2011 on the passing of Pat Bishop. Read More...

Great Fete Notes - Day two

Some diary notes from my second day of photographing Great Fete Weekend for the third and final time. Read More...

Great Fete Notes - Day one

Some diary notes from my first day of photographing Great Fete Weekend for the third and final time. Read More...

You stole my photo - Episode 8

This isn't the first time that this photo of Modupe Onilu has been used without my permission, but the first time was for an event I had some sympathy for. Onilu's been working hard to raise funds to continue his education as a musician and tossed this photo into a promotion for a fund-raising show.

We had a little exchange of e-mails about it and I gave my blessing for its use that time. Now the photo has showed up again, the identifying copyright information cropped out of it in an advertisement for shows being held as part of the Emancipation celebrations by the Emancipation Support Committee.

This is, in a word, kind of shitty.
Millions of dollars are being spent on this event. People are being flown in to perform. Hundreds of yards of African material are being ironed even as I write this.
Nobody, apparently, has the time to engage in a simple matter of rights clearances for images being used in a television advertisement?

The ad is one of those hastily thrown together things that makes use of clips and stills obviously gathered from myriad sources. It's one of the wonders of our modern age that a Google search can find so much material so quickly and another that almost anyone can create a broadcast quality clip out of it all.

But this sort of nastiness, outright theft of someone else's property with no regard for their rights to the material, will continue until two things happen.

One. The people who commission advertising of all kinds recognise their liability when copyrights are infringed and insist on rights clearances for the material being used in their promotions.

Two. When performers get their acts together and commission photography for publicity use that they can legitimately allow the producers of advertising materials to access when it's time to include their images in this sort of broadcast.

Someone, somewhere, grabbed this photo, originally shot for the online magazine, Outlish, stripped the identifying watermarks from it and made use of it. I don't care how short your deadlines are, nor does any court of law. You clear the works with the rights owner or you don't use the material.

Emancipation Support Committee, I demand to be liberated from this kind of oppression of my civil right to exploit the rewards associated with my hard work. Until then, you stole my photo.

Take a bow, Britt

This is Britt Peemoller, last seen on this blog with her eyes unattractively closed. She part of a team at Porter-Novelli working with Microsoft who facilitate my reporting on events that the company hosts from time to time.
This was taken at Microsoft's offices in New York after the launch of Office 365, reporting on which will be posted after it appears in this week's Business Guardian.
Quite apart from Britt's significant organisational skills and patient charm, she's my bi-lingual hookup when things drift into Espanol.
I really should learn some more Spanish, but as long as Porter Novelli keeps sending charming ladies like this to whisper in my ear during events, I probably won't learn a word.

TechTing Interview

My interview with Anton Gonzalez of is posted here...

You stole my photo - Episode 7

Okay, Wayne's gone. It's tragic and we all feel a sense of loss. I liked the guy and his dedication to his work. I even photographed him this year, working on the costume that would be his last creation for Trinidad and Tobago Carnival.

But you know what, TV6? That's my photo. I'm guessing that the image was made available by Wayne's family and friends, because when there was a plan to do a Carnival exhibit of the Oval Wall images, I asked his permission to use that image for my submission and I gave him a copy of it.

Of course, if you got a copy of that photo, it's got my sticker on the back of it, but it's likely that you found it somewhere online or in a copy of Caribbean Beat, because that photo's never appeared in the Express.
So while it was all in a good and noble cause, after all the man's work and career deserves a good photo of him at the peak of his powers, you know what? You Stole My Photo. Just sayin'.

At Bocas Lit Fest

Here's a photo of the panel on e-books kindly provided by Cynthia Birch. From right to left, Georgia Popplewell, moderator, Elspeth Duncan, Andre Bagoo and me.

Contemplating electronic books

Lit's Bits from Mark Lyndersay on Vimeo.

A presentation planned for a panel discussion at the inaugural Bocas Lit Fest. There wasn't a projector, so I spoke from a print of my slides, but you can enjoy the talk on electronic books in this video.

Download the presentation as an MP4 video file here...

Doubles fun

Had a wonderful, if horribly rushed opportunity with Hachette publishers recently to provide the images for a planned story on Doubles in Trinidad for Morning Calm, the inflight magazine of Singapore Airways.

There were just a few days left on the publication's deadline when they contacted me (for reasons that are irrelevant to mention here) and the request came just as Carnival was heating up, but it also was a chance to plunge deep into the world of channa and bara to find out just what was going on there.

Confession. I'm not really a doubles kind of guy, but the folks who love doubles LOVE doubles and have strong, deep, absolute convictions about what constitutes a good sidewalk meal. Quite the learning opportunity.
The other two pages of the story are here...

You stole my photo - Episode 6

Friends, colleagues...
Yes Ella is a wonderful, impressive woman, and at the risk of calling down some of the power in that voice, she hasn't negotiated with me to give you the right to reproduce my photo of her.
Not that I think that Ella Andall, who walked away from recording music at the height of sidewalk piracy, would knowingly allow a copyright infringement of her own image, of all things.

So let's assume that you grabbed the photo online, or perhaps from the issue of Caribbean Beat it was commissioned for. Now that hardly seems fair, does it?
Particularly since I shoot for not just your competition, but in this case, your specific competition in the women's-issues-in-print-on-Sunday market, Womanwise.

Put that way, just grabbing my photo and using it without either asking or giving credit just seems nasty and spiteful, doesn't it? Particularly since I've allowed you to use other images, for free, in the past with a lil' tiny credit.

It seems like a cruel thing now, doesn't it, to know that you so casually stole my photo. Welcome to the club, you have some quite infamous company here.

Windows In Tune

A new service for corporate users promises easier updating of enterprise installations of Microsoft's software. Read more here...

You stole my photo - Episode 5

Really, International Soca Monarch organisers?
A two million dollar prize and no budget to pay for image assets to use in your advertising? No attention to copyright clearances and image licensing in an event that's all about the kultear?

Where do I even start with this? Which low-level dude with a pirated copy of After Effects putting together this butchery of graphics do I send an invoice to? Which creative consultant approving this crappy piece of promotion do I brace for a fee?

Really, if you don't care enough to do a decent ad for your big competition what chance do I have of getting paid for this infringement of my copyright?

Notes from the Think symposium

Extended reporter's notes from the Think Symposium on Carnival and Multiculturalism. Read More...

Interview with Saucy Diva

The full interview with Saucy Diva of
BitDepth#769, the column I wrote based on it is posted here... Read More...

acla:works conversation

Dropped by acla:works on Brian Lewis' invitation for a short seminar on social media led by Melanie Archer.
During the wonderful and heated conversation that ensued I heard some interesting perspectives on the relevance of social media.
That's me in a photograph by acla:works bossman Brian Lewis setting up to give a sharply truncated version of my talk to Abovegroup (that's here).
All around, an interesting exchange with some smart, if somewhat Internet shy professionals.
Here's their take on the encounter.

Notes from BDC's E-Commerce Seminar

Notes from the Business Development Company seminar on e-commerce, 13-01-11

Mr. Bernard Campbell, Managing Director-Intelligent Business Advantage.
Business people will have to choose among different options for accepting payments, online banking, wire transfers, real world check and bank payments as well as card not present payments
There’s a big difference in establishing these systems when businesses have prior experience with each other and have already established a level of mutual trust.

“The Stone Age didn't end because they ran out of stones, the bronze age didn't end because they ran out of bronze. Technology made the older systems obsolete.”
There’s a real need to participate in social media, particularly with a focus on Facebook. “You need to monitor your presence on Facebook and respond to comments.”

Kama Maharaj, founder of Sacha Cosmetics.
On commonsense business practices online.
“Don't ask for anything from the customer that you don't need. Don't ask for a surname if you only need the first name.”
“Build credibility, trust and deliver customer service. It’s better to sell a few things to many people than to sell many things to a few people online.”

Kevin Khelawan, Teleios
Mobile Commerce covers any transaction of value conducted on a mobile phone.
Transaction models: Operator centric, bank centric, collaboration model (via trusted third party, using banks - most likely to dominate), peer to peer
Examples: Amazon's TextPayMe, PayPal via mobile, Obopay, Zong (gaming)

M-PESA, Kenya evolved from a micropayments system to a branchless banking service, now has more than 13 million users and transfers US$1.5 million per day, used for school fees, bars and pubs, bus and taxi transportation - high mobile penetration rate and low banking penetration rate with high demand for financial services.

Sharlene Maharaj, discussing the Caribbean Airlines/BWIA experience.
The company had some issues that were in common with Sacha, because we started early in the game. Caribbean Airlines entered the space because their competition was there.

E-Commerce cuts out the middle man and makes it self-service, moving the transaction directly to the customer. E-commerce makes the process low cost but creates a market driven by cost-sensitive customers.

Credit card sales represent less than 10 percent of total sales in the Caribbean. There’s a need for alternative form of payment, perhaps a promotion of debit cards to online sales capabilities.
Credit card fraud is real. CA built a percentage of bad debt into the business plan.

There’s an infrastructural need for structured street addresses to verify that they exist, equivalent to zip codes.
Websites available in multiple languages must be supported when end users engage the business, via e-mail and phone calls, in that language.
Need for clarity and clear lines of accountability in contracts and service level agreements with vendors and suppliers.

You stole my photo - Episode 4

I got the link from someone who knew this photo well and kind of suspected that it was being used without authorisation.
They were right.

Posted by to YouTube, the video was Destra's new song for Carnival 2011 and my photograph of her, shot for Womanwise while she was pregnant, for the entire duration of the track.
I e-mailed the poster of the video, Julian's Promos and explained my position.

I don't pursue these kinds of infringements with a view to financial recompense. There's no clear revenue stream for anyone involved, though everyone who participates can benefit from the exposure if appropriate credit is given.

That credit should be negotiated at the time of production, when all the elements are being sourced and assembled. According to the producer of this video, he found the image in a Google image search and saw no credits. I ran the same search and found the image with my copyright notice embedded in it, so that made no sense to me, particularly since the photo is artfully cropped to get rid of my copyright notice.

This was the verbatim response from the IslandMix representative...
"I really wasn't aware of this, the photo showed up in Google and Yahoo photo search with no labels. If it is ok with you I can add your credits over the whole video, or I can delete the video for you."

The terminally curious can run their own Google search and view the results.

My response was as follows...
"Credits would be acceptable. Asking first would be exemplary.

Even found through Google, there would be a watermark on the image and contact and copyright information embedded in the file, so it's not as if the picture was floating around with no home and no owner.

I just ran a search on Google and the copy of the image that it finds is both watermarked and clearly linked to my website, so, not to be contentious or anything, but that response rings a bit hollow. I respect the work of fellow creators and I only ask that they respect my rights in turn.

Finding an image on Google doesn't absolve one from doing due diligence on ownership and negotiating fairly."