Since the news of Sotto’s plagiarism broke out, I knew someone in his office will get it, for it is rare for these politicians and even business leaders to be writing their own speeches.
I was waiting for the celebrity senator and his office to own up but Hey! They haven’t and looks like they are bent on setting a wrong as a right to be an accepted template in the senate!
I strongly feel that Filipino netizens shouldn’t let this issue die down until Sotto and his office owns up. The SC Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo may have gotten away with the excuse of “accidental removal of proper attributions”, but THINKING people know better. Sotto and his office cannot invoke the same when it is very obvious that the staff purposely and knowingly omitted attribution.
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According to Atty. Hector Villacorta, Sottoâ€™s chief of staff: “We plagiarized the US Constitution. All the amendments became our Bill of Rights. But do they call us a plagiaristic country? No, because the law is based on precedent.”
Do excuse my pedestrian knowledge of the law but from my angle, what I only I see is that Villacorta talks about laws but has overlooked the fact that there IS ALWAYS a corresponding attribution to note. May I be advised as to how did he come to know that so and so bill is copied and that our Bill of Rights was copied from the US Constitution, if there was no mention of it anywhere?
Villacorta talks about laws but is obviously oblivious of the laws that govern INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN THE INTERNET. Is he even aware that a photo, a blog or anything online can be deleted or shut down based on INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ABUSE? Case in point are those in this album who claimed “Minsan may Isang Puta” as their own and even dared to say they have made it an entry to a competition.
All of them had been taken down by Multiply or the server/site administrator.
With all due respect, Mr. Villacorta, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) dictates that everything is copyright protected once a material hits a server therefore making individuals who copy and paste, improperly quote, or intentionally plagiarize online material financially liable for their actions.
The rule on reposting content from other bloggers, is that you need to obtain permission unless the blogger allow reuse as specified in the Creative Commons Licenses.
THAT’S AN INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE PHILIPPINES ISN’T EXEMPTED FROM THAT, MOREOVER THE ‘HONORABLE LEADERS’ IN THE SENATE!
Villacorta further adds insult to injury by stating: “â€œWe cannot draw up a speech that says â€˜according to this blogger who quoted this author.â€™ Itâ€™s simply too awkward. Besides, what would the Senate President say,â€ Villacorta said.
â€œA whole gamut of â€˜according toâ€™ would also not make the speech credible. This is the Senate we are talking about,â€ he added.”
Is it too hard for the office of the “honorable” senator Vicente Sotto to just own up and join the trend set by the infamous motorist Robert Blair Carabuena? The office cannot be held as liable as that of the quick tempered Carabuena, due parliamentary immunity but they should show some decency by not abusing such privilege and at least, set a good example for the people who buy the popularity of the name that the office carries.
Public servants you all are but the arrogance is very unbecoming.
Mike is the author of “Minsan may Isang Puta”, an allegory which has been circulating since 2004 and with over 50,000 likes and shares in social media alone. It won a film grant in 2010 to be included in the multi-narrative Indie film “Ganap na Babae” (International title: Garden of Eve). The teaser, reviews and commentaries are here. The movie was honored as Cinemalaya 2010’s opening film and has won international and local recognition.
The royalties from the initial 150 copies of Mike’s first sole-authored book, The Dove Files, went to a Project Malasakit scholar who graduated Cum Laude in April 2013, the rest was also paid forward to baby Mark who underwent a liver transplant in March 2013.
Part of the royalties of the “Minsan may Isang Puta” book at Barnes and Noble Online goes to support the education of a young Yolanda survivor taking up B.S. Accounting at U.P. Tacloban.