Opinion on Tito Sotto's speech plagiarism

Plagiarism is one of the biggest mistake a person can commit and even bigger if you are a public figure and in this case a known politician. What stems as a silly mistake of one his writers copying one blog turned into the biggest story yet in the Philippines. From the "Sue me" phrase ,his chief of staff admittion to US news networks like CBS reporting this story. This whole debacle will turn the Philippines upside down and the outlook of the international community with the Philippines.

The internet/web is public domain according to Senator Tito Sotto's Chief of Staff

But first what is the term public domain mean? According to Mirriam-webster, A public domain is "The realm embracing property rights that belong to the community at large, are unprotected by copyright or patent, and are subject to appropriation by anyone" In layman's term it is an object that can be used by anyone, modified, edited without having to attribute or lists its source.

The sad fact is that not all in the internet is public domain. If you have been in the internet, you would often see "private policy" or "terms of conditions" pages in websites(we also have that one too on our footer). This means that the website, blog or otherwise should not be stolen of their content without the permission of the website, or their content owners. If you have stolen one site's content, you could be sued as if what you have plagiarized is a real, physical article that you have seen in a book or a newspaper somewhere. This also goes with images, videos and other files seen in the internet.

Senator Tito Sotto's Chief of Staff is ignorant of what the internet stands for and what public domain really means. The internet might approve of sharing but that does not mean you would steal an articles on the internet and act as if it was your own.

Update: There is such a thing called Creative-commons in the internet. This is a licence used by websites to inform users that they can use their content with certain conditions. This is to inform users that they can use the content(with conditions) without them having to talk to the content writers. This is a way to distance themselves from the word copyright which means that there would be no copying of this content ever.

Senator Sotto cannot be sued by Plagiarism

Plagiarism on paper and plagiarism on the internet is the same thing. There are absolutely no difference on stealing content of newspapers and stealing content of websites. If plagiarism was the basis of the filing of impeachment or charges against associate justice Mariano Del Castillo, why would this plagiarism be different with that plagiarism?

If the chief of staff means that because it is them and not the Senator that committed the Plagiarism on why he cannot be sued, Then does that mean if a person you hired committed a mistake, then you cannot be blamed for it? Then why did they sacked the director of Muntinlupa or fired police chiefs for negligence of the people under him?

There is also a case of that speech being attributed to him only and not his staff. He is the sole responsible for the plagiarism because first, those staff works under him and second, he is the one that "agreed" to use that speech. It is like blaming only the writers of the RH bill on its content and not the one that passed or written their signatures on that bill.

Update: It is true that he cannot be sued because of parliamentary immunity which absolves anyone with this immunity for crimes that have punishment of 6 years and below, there are still circumstances that a parliamentary immunity can be waved. A good example is if he was "thrown out" of congress.

Plagiarism is okay in the government according to Henry Villacorta

Only government works have no copyright protection and even then there are exceptions. Check this link and look for sec 176.

Blogs are for sharing according to Henry Villacorta

Blogs is a website where a person or a group of writers write content on a daily basis. First of all not all blogs are for sharing. Blogs vary in content, in size and in intent. There are blogs out there that people share their feelings, blogs that advices people on their finances and blogs that handles reviews. Blogs is just a special distinction people use to categorize websites that alters or adds content frequently. Most websites in the world and even those that are particularly known have some "blog" elements in them because it is the easiest way to let your audience know your latest content but it does not mean that their content can be collected or "shared" without their permission. Did you know that your facebook newsfeed can be categorized as a blog? Even yahoo which is one of the commonly used websites in the philippines is a blog but that does not mean you can just copy their content.

Why do those in power have so much protection and normal people like us don't have the same protection nor the same distinction or punishments when it comes to law breaking. Did you know that sexual harrasment which has a maximum of 6 months can be stopped by the parliementary immunity? This is the one of the reasons why parliamentary immunity must be changed.

I just hope no other would be accused of #doingthetitosotto

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