LawMusings

On Plagiarism and Douchebaggery

I assert douchebaggery is a word.

And if there was a picture to capture that word, it would be this one:

(The T stands for “Terrible Legislator” – Photo from Celebslist/GMA)

I read an article from the Inquirer a few days ago. If I wasn’t angry before, I sure as hell was angry after I read that article.

“Plagiarism is OK” and that it’s a common practice in a senate. Seriously… cue *face palm*

Well, I’m not a legislator or anything, I’m just a first year law student, but something seems amiss.

It seems like him and his aide have forgotten the MVP mishap. At least in that situation, MVP dealt with the impact and resigned (no wonder the University of the Philippines is having a digital protest).

In his defense, the SC ruled in favor of a justice who proved there was no “malicious intent” (which was very controversial). But it doesn’t take a law scholar to know that what he did and what is aide said were offensive (as an artist, educator and citizen of this country).

Section 17 of the Constitution is the one that backs up the priority of the state to promote total human liberation and the arts (writing in this specific case).

Section 172 of our Intellectual Property Code says “Literary and Artistic Works. – 172.1 Literary and artistic works, hereinafter referred to as “works” are original intellectual creations in the literary and artistic domain protected from the moment of their creation (emphasis added). Even in the specifics it says “other writing” is protected. So what if it was a blog?! It’s still protected.

You may have state immunity in some sense but you are still liable administratively.

It didn’t take much for me to get that. I bought a book called “A Guide to the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines: Understanding the Law, Empowering the Artist” by Pichay. 350php at National Bookstore.

Research and integrity, Mr. Senator (and aides), try it. It helps sometimes (especially when you don’t want to be called a douchebag by the entire country).

This is not about the RH bill or my opinion about it (people on the other side are just as guilty from what I’ve read). It’s about taking the law seriously. And at this point, this entire situation affects my listening of the entire legislative body. Not just one, but all.

We vote for you (I didn’t vote for you, Sotto) for a reason. You represent our will. And if you aren’t representing our will and protecting our rights, what are you doing there?

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