Mister Vader ( mistervader) wrote,
Mister Vader

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I’ll be doing Radio 1 today, 12-2 in the afternoon, only on Manila’s Hottest, Monster Radio, RX 93.1!!!

.:Try This:.

Can you get out of THIS room? I’d like to see how many people actually can.

.:My Media Law And Ethics Final Paper:.

I took the liberty of cutting it for you to have the option of not seeing how long it was... when double-spaced, I hit 19 pages. Otherwise, it's just a 12-page effort, really.


I. Introduction

Janina(1) was a college student in the University of the Philippines, taking up Accounting. While she was living out a pretty mundane life, this didn’t show to the people who knew her the most. Or at least, this didn’t show to the people who thought they knew her the most. Janina once owned a weblog, or an online diary, at the url http://www.intimidatinglybeautiful.blogspot.com.

She was, without a doubt, regarded as a writing genius by her online friends, of which she had a lot. Her witty commentary and her acerbic wit never ceased to amaze her readers. A lot of them gave her very heartwarming comments about her excellence, and she had a lot of fans in her little corner of the world. In short, she was already an Internet celebrity of some measure in her own right.

What her readership did not know was that she never really wrote any of the things that she wrote. In fact, her only purpose for becoming a “stellar writer” was to make her ex-boyfriend feel guilty about leaving someone who is so popular online as she is. Interestingly enough, she managed to get together with her boyfriend again, precisely on this premise that she reasoned. Truly a shallow story of extremely inane proportions, but a lot of other people fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. Yes, Janina was an online plagiarist, and she blatantly took the liberty of ripping off the words of other webloggers like Pat, on http://www.nocturnalangel2.blogspot.com, Imee, on http://www.imoxyz.blogspot.com, and a host of other “victims”, so to speak
All the weblogs concerned, and a good deal of the friends of the involved weblogs hustled and bustled over the ensuing weeks, warning everyone that Janina’s weblog was a hoax. There was a lot of anger over their being ripped off, especially those who were technically savvy enough to place a copyright tag on their weblog to make their copyright as authentic as possible. It didn’t take long before Janina, overcome with guilt, e-mailed everyone concerned, apologizing for her actions, explaining her side, then promptly deleting the contents of her weblog.

Since then, Janina has never been heard from within the Philippine weblogging community, as she was too mortified to be around the people who now know her for what she truly was, behind all the pretentions: nothing more than a weblog plagiarist. She was, in essence, ostracized by a good deal of the Philippine weblogging community, and with a whole lot of good reason. However, her past victims have been a lot more vigilant of looking into other people’s content carefully if any suspicion arises, lest their words be passed off as someone else’s again(2).

Yes, the issue may be over, but this has set quite an alarming precedent to the Philippine weblogging community: if Janina had less of a conscience and actually persisted in plagiarizing these people, what would have they been able to do? Given the very intangible nature of online data, it is quite clear that their medium of choice gives them a bad disadvantage in terms of the strength of any kind of evidence within the format. This is particularly problematic, because a lot of people could be experiencing the very same thing now, and there’s little they can do about it.

Perhaps there is actually a way to protect one’s online authorship other than a mere assertion of one’s moral right to an actual work he or she has truly authored. At this point, however, we have to realize that there are no explicit answers to our question, and as such, we must investigate our intellectual property laws in the Philippines better for us to be able to determine what the best course of action ought to be.

Property is one of the concepts that the legal system has the most difficulty with establishing, as it can change hands so often. Intellectual property, with even less proof of actual ownership than regular property such as cars or houses, is clearly even more complicated to work out. As such, in the realm of copyrights, it was always good for one to have an actual, tangible copy of his or her authored work. In that way, one can easily establish who had which idea first, and who implemented such an idea first. For the longest time, this setup was perfectly fine for all concerned.

Sadly, with the ease of data collection and manipulation in the Internet, determining who did what first is difficult, much less trace the identities of the personalities involved. Current laws are now being challenged to evolve with the times, as unfavorable interpretations of the law against protecting works found online would only stifle the production of creative works on the Internet because there is no legal esteem for the rights of an author to be known as the author of his or her own work.

Given the very impermanent nature of the Internet itself and the contents within it, we recognize the practical problems materializing in an attempt to protect authorship online. Nonetheless, it still behooves us to figure out what can be done, given the current status quo, and what can be further achieved in order to ensure some measure of protection for authors on the Internet, at the very least, in cases wherein both the offender and the victim are both Philippine Citizens.

II. A Lack Of Legal Precedence?

Legally speaking, nobody ever bothered to file a case of plagiarism or copyright infringement against Janina. After all, what was the point of doing so? Not only was there a lack of precedent in the Philippine legal system for plagiarizing online work, but both the original works and the plagiarized works are found online, so either can easily be manipulated, and in the absence of a significant number of witnesses, it’s merely one’s word against that of another, and this proves to be difficult.

Moreover, the people “victimized” by Janina’s plagiarism have no immediate legal counsel, being all college students. Much less would they have any money-at-hand to file any cases against Janina, anyway. All of the people involved were Filipinos, using mainly one or two servers, Blogspot and perhaps Blogdrive, yet none of the offended parties had the liberty of filing a case, even if they managed to trace where Janina actually came from, as well as her identity. To the casual observer, this may have just been a clash of egos. After all, what’s the big deal about her becoming popular by using somebody else’s words and just changing the names around? While this may seem to be the case, weblogging has gotten to a point where it is bigger than just who is getting bragging rights for what piece of work.

According to http://www.blogger.com, some of their users have, through their respective weblogs, already earned their own book deals(3) Clearly, there is now some economic measure involved, as book deals cannot be scoffed at in this time and age, especially if the one offering the deal is a big U.S. publisher who is willing to pay hundreds of thousands to someone in Iraq for writing about his firsthand experiences about Bush’s “War Against Terrorism”, and the subsequent assault on the Iraqi nation, which led to the deposition of Saddam Hussein.

If that seems too rare, the researcher has also uncovered annual competitions for weblogs, such as the “Bloggies”, found in Blogger as well, which solicits donations for prizes to the best weblogs in different regions. More and more people are being economically rewarded for their excellent weblogs. The “Asian Blog Awards” on http://flyingchair.net also gives an Amazon gift certificate worth $100 to the overall best weblog in Asia. The resarcher’s weblog, http://www.mistervader.blogspot.com, was adjudged “Best Weblog In The Philippines” in the aforementioned competition, although he did not capture the overall top prize for it. Many people have benefited from their own online works, obviously.

Clearly, these weblogs do have something economic at stake by now. Even if we were to ignore for a short while the moral rights of an author, we still realize that the more popular weblogging gets, the more economic value there is in one’s writing online. Other online works have their own respective values as well, and as such, it is apparent that we have to ensure that these economic benefits are bestowed upon those who deserved these benefits to begin with. This is the logical course that the law must take in considering the nature of online works.

At the same time, consider the people who make academic works by copying and pasting somebody else’s work on the Internet: this is clearly stealing an idea, and the poor author does not even get any credit for the “A” he just helped a student acquire through his own work. Of course, the academic world recognizes copying something from the Internet as plagiarism. This is why most professors give ample warning to their students to eschew from doing this. This is why professors can validly fail a student if he proves that the student has lifted someone else’s work from the Internet and then passed it off as his or her own.

When the researcher answered the Thesis Statements for this semester for Philosophy 104 under Mr. Jon Bulaong and Theology 151 for Mr. Rafael Dy-Liaco, he made it explicitly clear that he is allowing the concerned teachers access to his weblog to see the answers, in case a student were to lift his answers word for word during the oral examinations. He answered the thesis statements as a study guide for his classmates, and they naturally complied, even though no current law in the country would’ve explicitly prevented them from copying the researcher word for word, anyway.

In this case, the threat of being found out by the professors was reason enough for them to not even try to make it a verbatim recitation of the answers. Neither was there any complaints from the teachers about Marcelle’s practice itself of posting the answers online, as their being open to the teachers themselves prevented any cheating, per se.

Clearly, the academic world recognizes the authorship of Internet people. Clearly, the academic world recognizes that anyone who lifts online works and submits the work as his or her own is guilty of plagiarism. Philippine law, however, is quite a different story. Its stand on this form of plagiarism is still ambiguous, as there is a lack of precedent by which the law can clearly recognize online works as works meant to be protected and not otherwise. This is sad, because if these online works were actually in physical book format, the case of plagiarism would obviously stand, whereas a mere difference of medium appears to allow a plagiarist to legally get off scot-free from any prosecution for their offense.

The researcher believes with some reasonable measure of confidence that it is only a matter of precedence before online works are recognized as copyrightable works. However, the researcher intends to point out that it is already stated, albeit generally, and as such, should not require actual precedent any longer. The intentionality of any given law should be reason enough to assume this particular instance. Republic Act 8293 (The Intellectual Property Code Of The Philippines(4) protects literary and artistic works. Section 172.1 of the Act categorically protects the following:

(a) Books, pamphlets, articles and other writings;
(b) Periodicals and newspapers;
(c) Lectures, sermons, addresses, dissertations prepared for oral delivery, whether or not reduced in writing or other material form;
(d) Letters;
(e) Dramatic or dramatico-musical compositions; choreographic works or entertainment
in dumb shows;
(f) Musical compositions, with or without words;
(g) Works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving, lithography or other works of art; models or designs for works of art;
(h) Original ornamental designs or models for articles of manufacture, whether or not registrable as an industrial design, and other works of applied art;
(i) Illustrations, maps, plans, sketches, charts and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture or science;
(j) Drawings or plastic works of a scientific or technical character
(k) Photographic works including works produced by a process analogous to photography; lantern slides;
(l) Audiovisual works and cinematographic works and works produced by a process
analogous to cinematography or any process for making audio-visual recordings;
(m) Pictorial illustrations and advertisements;
(n) Computer programs; and
(o) Other literary, scholarly, scientific and artistic works.

The final letter of Section 172.1 is a catch-all statement that covers any other kind of work that is yet to be defined or categorized by law. Its phrasing is obviously oblivious to the format of the actual work, be it in paper or encoded in one’s hard drive. The point is that given the fact that any “other literary, scholarly, scientific, and artistic work” is protected by the Act from the moment of their creation, then if it can be established that online published works are considered as part of this catch-all statement, then legal action can be pursued against anyone who plagiarizes another’s work online, as this is now a clear violation of the copyright law. Computer programs, it must be noted, are explicitly protected as copyright because their being encoded does not deter from their being tangible when the program is run.

Although this premise is obviously hypothetical, what needs to be done is to argue such that it becomes categorically necessary to protect online works under law, and as such, explicitly protect these online works under the existing law. This is because of the growing dependence of people of publishing their works online, given the very limited number of people who do get published through more tangible means, i.e. as books, or other physical formats. Establishing this need through considerations of existing Philippine laws and precedent in other nations can hopefully make Philippine consideration of protection for online works as protected under the copyright law a priori to any actual precedent in the country itself.

As the main law of the country governing the Internet, the E-Commerce Act, is mainly less concerned about the authorship of works online than it is concerned with various transactions being made on the internet, then this law unfortunately has little relevance to our matter-at-hand. As such, we will rely more on the Intellectual Property Act of the Philippines to argue our point in favor of actually making online works protected under the act itself.

III. Legal Precedent In Other Countries And Actual Implications

While the Philippines does not have explicit laws protecting the authors of online works, other countries have already made the appropriate steps to do so, including one of the favorite sources of Philippine Law for precedence, the United states. There have been recent attempts within the international scene to actually protect online contents as much as we protect their physical counterparts. Before we go to that, however, let us take a look at the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works(5) of 1971, which was precisely the starting point for this development. Note the similarities of number 1 in Article 2 to our current law:

Article 2. [Protected Works: 1. “Literary and artistic works”; 2. Possible requirement of fixation; 3. Derivative works; 4. Official texts; 5. collections; 6. Obligatgion to protect; beneficiaries of protection; 7. Works of applied art and industrial designs; 8. News]

1. The expression “literary and artistic works” shall include every production in the literary, scientific, and artistic domain, whatever may be the mode or form of its expression, such as books, pamphlets and other writings; lectures, addresses, sermons, and other works of the same nature; dramatic or dramatico-musical works; choreographic works and entertainments in dumb show; musical compositions with or without words; cinematographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to cinematography; works of drawing, painting, and architecture, sculpture, engraving, and lithography; photographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to photography; works of applied art; illustrations, maps, plans, sketched and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture, or science.

It is apparent here that as early as 1971, the catch-all of “whatever may be the mode or form of its expression” already shows that Internet content can be considered as protected by the treaty, of which the United States is also a signatory. The fixation clause only signifies that the work must be recorded, and given the status of the Internet, this fixation is very much possible, although less permanent. The other stipulations within the other articles are of no importance to us. What must be established here is that the treaty can and does recognize any mode or form of expression for an artistic or literary work. As such, let us now take a look to how this line of thinking has indeed involved from this point, after all things have been considered.

Before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty(6) was ratified in 1997, an intermediate precedent, the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Agreement(7) was also ratified, and thus, was the predecessor of the more comprehensive WIPO Copyright Treaty. In any case, what the WCT was trying to do was to actually recognize Intellectual Property even within the Internet itself, as the TRIPS Agreement was integrated into the Treaty, along with the original Berne Convention, to produce a more comprehensive international law on Intellectual Property. Here are the summarized contents of the WCT:

Article 1: Relation to the Berne Convention
Article 2: Scope of Copyright Protection
Article 3: Application of Articles 2 to 6 of the Berne Convention
Article 4: Computer Programs
Article 5: Compilations of Data (Databases)
Article 6: Right of Distribution
Article 7: Right of Rental
Article 8: Right of Communication to the Public
Article 9: Duration of the Protection of Photographic Works
Article 10: Limitations and Exceptions
Article 11: Obligations concerning Technological Measures
Article 12: Obligations concerning Rights Management Information
Article 13: Application in Time
Article 14: Provisions on Enforcement of Rights
Article 15: Assembly
Article 16: International Bureau
Article 17: Eligibility for Becoming Party to the Treaty
Article 18: Rights and Obligations under the Treaty
Article 19: Signature of the Treaty
Article 20: Entry into Force of the Treaty
Article 21: Effective Date of Becoming Party to the Treaty
Article 22: No Reservations to the Treaty
Article 23: Denunciation of the Treaty
Article 24: Languages of the Treaty
Article 25: Depositary

The three articles of importance to us later on in our discussion are bolded. These will be important to our discussion momentarily. In the meantime, based on the book by Mihaly Ficsor entitled “The Law of Copyright and The Internet”(8) let us turn our attention to the participant countries in the WCT who actually signed the Final Act of both the WCT and a similar Treaty, the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty:

Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, European Community.

Notice that the Philippines was a signatory of the Final Act of this Treaty, which means that the Philippines should be covered by this. In considering this fact, we are now hard-pressed to question why the Philippines is still ambiguous about Internet content, once we discuss the stipulations within the WCT. The answer, however, is that only the following nations fully implemented the Treaty and deposited instruments of ratification and accession to the WIPO as of 15 July, 2001:

Argentina, Belarus, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Georgia, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Krygyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States of America.

Only those nations actually implemented the Treaty and deposited the instruments of ratification, which indicates quite clearly why the Philippines has yet to legislate in favor of this ratified Treaty. In fact, the Philippines is not considered bound by the WCT in spite of its signing the final act, because it has not deposited the 30 instruments of ratification and accession required, nor did it sign both Treaties, having signed only the Final Act of the WCT, but not the WPPT. As such, we are not required to comply with the terms of either agreement, although it showed the Philippines initially intended to. It can be questioned now if official entry into the Treaty (As the Philippines did not reject the WCT, but only failed to finalize its entry into it.) is still possible for the Philippines, although this is moot to our discussion by now.

Let us now consider the previous bolded articles:

Article 2: Scope of Copyright Protection. Copuright protection extends to expressions and not ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such.

Article 3: Application of Articles 2 to 6 of the Berne Convention. Contracting Parties shall apply mutates mutandis the provisions of Articles 2 to 6 of the Berne Convention in respect of the protection provided for in this Treaty.

Article 5: Compilations of Data (Databsases). Compilations of data or other material, in any form, which by reason of the selection or arrangement of their contents constitute intellectual creations, are protected as such. This protection does not extend to the data or the material itself, and is without prejudice to any copyright subsisting in the data or material contained in the compilation.

What do these three signify? Firstly, Article 2 reinforces that expressions and not abstractions are protected by copyrights. It cannot be denied that while it is not in physical form, online works are already expressions and not merely abstractions or ideas. Therefore, this points to us the relative safety of this stipulation. Article 3, on the other hand, relates Articles 2 to 6 of the Berne Convention to the Treaty. Do note that Article 2 of the Berne Convention, as indicated above, protects artistic and literary works “whatever may be the mode or form of their expression”. Quoting Mihaly Ficsor, he explains how this additional article came about:

In addition to the clarification concerning the mutates mutandis application of the Articles of the Berne Convention listed in it, the final text of Article 3 includes another change from its draft form, namely that it also refers to Articles 2 and 2bis of the Berne Convention.

This change was suggested by the delegation from Australia, which indicated that it deemed the amendment necessary ‘to ensure that the “literary and artistic works” as used in the Treaty… have the same meaning as in the Berne Convention’.

It is explicitly clear, therefore: assuming the Philippines does make an attempt to
make its entry into the Treaty as official (It is a signatory, but has not complied with the articles of ratification yet.), then the Berne Convention’s definition will obviously validate the claim that Internet works are indeed copyrightable, because they are merely some other form of expression, that is stipulated under the Berne Convention. As such, we are clearly proving that as far as the international community goes, then there really is an effort to combat online plagiarism of works.

At the same time, the WCT stipulates that international legal action is possible “only among the nations involved in the Treaty”. As such, we are clearly shown here that there is actually a chance that when one who violates the copyrights of another can be prosecuted so long as the two persons in question are within the Treaty. Obviously, this is not the ideal, as it is ideal that all nations participate in this. On the other hand, this is the best we could make do with for now.

Truth be told, we cannot expect this to be fully implemented on a worldwide scale, practically speaking, anyway. In any case, what we see here is that the different nations have found a way to ensure that intellectual property rights are upheld despite borders between different nations and different jurisdictions. This means that while it may seem infeasible to us, it is the duty of the framers of the WCT to find a way to implement this international policing of copyright infringements, which is delineated in Article 16: The International Bureau, which is in charge of the administration of the Treaty itself among the other nations.

The fifth Article, the one on databases, is actually open to a wide range of interpretations. Countries such as Japan define databases as merely “collections of number or information for research purposes”, severely restricting what is considered to be a database. On the other hand, other countries are more liberal in defining databases, as it is all about the “selection or arrangement of its contents”, can actually be defined as scholastic papers, essays, poetry, stories, and the like. Considering this, some definitions of a database in countries like Colombia essentially means one thing: some countries consider online works as explicitly protected in the WCT. The definition given for a database has turned out to be so broad that any arrangement of information that is significant in some way is already considered as a database. As such, this broad definition allows some nations in the Treaty to actually protect online works as though they were databases already.

All in all, we realize that the WIPO Copyright Treaty has been extensive enough to cover even online plagiarism on two counts: its reference to the Berne Convention, and its very broad definition of what a database is. Given that the United States is part of this Treaty, and considering that the Philippines looks to the U.S.A. in most cases to gain a clearer understanding of certain laws, it would certainly be no surprise if the Philippines were to soon enough regard online works as copyrightable works as well.

Clearly, with this international precedence, and the fact that the Philippines is an unofficial member of this Treaty, then the Philippines has every reason to consider recognizing the legality of regarding online works as something the law can protect as copyrightable. This is imperative for the country to do, as it has already had an intention of taking part in this Treaty, as it has yet to retract its signature from the Treaty, which means that it is still open to the idea of entering it. If this be the case, then it must be able to recognize that these artistic and literary works found on the Internet simply must be copyrightable, as it is a clear expression and not merely an abstract idea. It is physically encoded in data, which ought to be enough to connote fixation of the work.

V. Issues With Feasibility And Implementation

As of yet, one big hindrance to having online works considered as copyrightable is the fact that online data is so transient and intangible. Once data is erased, unless the server is a devoted archivist, the data is gone once and for all. Any instances of plagiarism within the Internet, therefore, would be easily covered up by a very responsive plagiarist who can cover his tracks. IP addresses for tracing the identity of the offender is likewise not as reliable, especially with the high number of prepaid Internet services one can avail of, as well as the volume of Internet Café’s around. As such, while these things can be traced, it does not seem the least bit as urgent as tracing the whereabouts of a serial killer, yet it takes almost as much effort to do so.

The Philippines, being a third-world country, is even more disadvantaged to crack down on Internet plagiarists, especially those who merely download the information and then print out a hard copy, which is explicitly a copyrightable medium of expression for a literary or artistic work. If there is hesitation in considering one’s online work as copyrightable, then anyone who prints out another’s work can claim this work for his own, as he has a physical copy of the pertinent work. This, the researcher believes, is a grossly unfair situation, as it prejudices against people whose medium of choice just so happens to be clutter-free, and convenient to edit or improve.

Does the Philippine Government legislate on feasibility alone? That is to say, is the fact that there is no easy way to trace an Internet plagiarist simply reason enough to not make it illegal to be one? There must be quite a number of Philippine laws that are similarly unfeasible (Such as giving fines to swindlers, who already have no money at all.), but are legislated nonetheless.

VI. Conclusions And Recommendations

While it may seem that there is nothing much to be achieved in all these iterations of online works as copyrightable, we have clearly established in the end that the existing laws in the Philippines are broad enough to accept this kind of a definition. Nonetheless, because it is not categorically stated in law that online works are copyrightable, some people still wish to question this and hope that the Philippine legal system would rule otherwise. While we recognize this ambiguity of the law, we have to reiterate on the other hand that if we were to make this practice rampant, the rights of these Internet authors, who have no other medium to make their works public, will clearly be undermined. This cannot be allowed.

At the same time, we also realize that the initial and implicit intention of the Philippines to take part in the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty. While it has failed to submit the articles of ratification, the Philippines has not retracted its signature from the Final Act of the Treaty. As long as the retraction is not made, then there is clearly still intent to enter this Treaty officially.

Since this Treaty already does recognize the authorship of an online writer on two separate grounds, then there is no question that the Philippines, with its intentions of joining this Treaty, has no reason to not follow suit, given the precedence of the international community that it seeks to be a part of ultimately. In any case, all roads lead to the veracity of the researcher’s persuasions in favor of recognizing the work as copyrightable, on more than one mode of argumentation alone.

Therefore, the researcher believes that he has established the urgency of making online works categorically copyrightable by its authors. Moral rights, those that we find in the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, clearly stand even in the online context. At the same time, economic rights should also be accorded to these authors, more so now that there is money to be made in writing online.

As such, works online must be protected as copyrighted works, when in addition to moral rights, economic benefits are already at stake. Imagine an Internet columnist who is paid for his work, and someone plagiarizes this columnist’s work as his own. The plagiarist could very well make a commensurate amount of money with little more effort than copying and pasting the work then attaching his byline to it. We cannot accept this dangerous protocol to go unchecked.

With this being said, the researcher respectfully proposes that it be communicated to the legal system the urgency of considering online works as copyrightable.

VII. Endnotes

1. Names have been changed to protect privacy.

2. While the plagiarist’s weblog is now deleted, the contents of the original works are still in the respective weblogs of the URL’s mentioned. Their commentary regarding the plagiarism could also be found there, in the July to September archives of 2003.

3. http://www.blogger.com indicates that Salam Pax of Iraq was one of the most popular webloggers with a book deal. His website is at http://www.dear_raed.blogspot.com .

4. Source: http://chanrobles.com, as indicated by http://houseonahill.net.

5. The complete terms of the Berne Convention, held in Paris, can be found in the official WIPO website, http://www.wipo.int.

6. The complete terms of the WIPO Copyright Treaty can be found in the official WIPO website, http://www.wipo.int.

7. The TRIPS Agreement was ratified in 1994.

8. Ficsor, Mihaly. The Law of Copyright and the Internet. 2002, Oxford
University Press, England.

VII. Glossary Of Terms

Berne Convention- Convention on Intellectual Property Rights held in Paris in 1971. This is the main basis for the WIPO Copyright Treaty.

Copyright- The protection granted to an original literary or artistic work to ensure that proper moral and economic rights are bestowed upon the author of such a work. Only economic rights in particular can be transferred to other people.

Database- Any compilation of data or other material, in any form, which by reason of the selection or arrangement of their contents constitute intellectual creations. This protection does not extend to the data or the material itself and is without prejudice to any copyright subsisting in the data or material contained in the compilation.

Intellectual Property Rights- The right of a person or group of persons to claim ownership of a new and enacted idea, invention, literary or artistic work, or the like. Intellectual rights are concretized by patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

Plagiarism- The illegal act of copying and using a literary or artistic work (Usually in text format.) of another author and claiming it for himself or herself.

Republic Act 8293- Otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. This law protects intellectual properties as either patents, trademarks, or for our purposes, copyrights.

TRIPS Agreement- Also known as the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Rights Agreement. Ratified in 1994.

WCT- The WIPO Copyright Treaty, an international treaty that the Philippines is an unofficial signatory in that attempts to delineate the nature of copyrights, now including the Internet, unlike in the Berne Convention.

WIPO- The World Intellectual Property Organization. An international organization that attempts to protect intellectual property.

WPPT- The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. An international treaty that is tied in with the WCT, although is irrelevant to our research.

Weblog- An online diary wherein the user writes entries. Also sometimes called a Livejournal. Two of the most popular providers of weblogging services are http://www.blogger.com, and http://www.livejournal.com.

I'd like to hear what any of the legal eagles (And not-so legal eagles) have to say about it... :)
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