Aside from making a total fool out of himself, Tito Sotto resurfaced a very wrath-worth resolution in the congress. His plagiarism case signaled Filipinos lawmakers that it is time to pursue Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
The bill, as per the requirements for all bench-lifting laws, is verbose and languid yet it only roots down to the statement: Any forms of data reduplication and negative statements, shall be considered libelous.
I am no law student, and my only foundation for such matters is my Philippine Constitution when I was a college freshman. I have read the bill and it was obfuscating nonetheless, but I think I did get the gist of everything. So as a form of public service, I will present my layman interpretation of the Act.
- Twitter retweets will be a crime. Therefore, if you retweeted something from PAG-ASA like this one: "Help urgent! A lady trapped in *insert place* needs rescue!" then you're a criminal. Great.
- Copying Facebook shoutouts will be a crime. Therefore, if you copied and pasted something like this one: "*insert very inspiring quotation" See teenagers, these are the benefits of making the most out of your education" you'll be a criminal. Nice.
- Sharing blog/posts will be a crime. Therefore, if you shared something like this one: "*insert link* Wow, this money-making strategy really is great! I want to disseminate this to help all of you!" then you're a criminal. Clap clap.
- Strong, negative statements will be libelous. Therefore, saying something like this one: "*insert status of a bully* This is nothing but shit, every child shall get equal rights" you shall revise it like this one "*insert status of a bully" Wow! This is great! I solemnly affirm this one.", that way, you won't be a criminal. Excellent.
Have I used exaggeration? I don't think so. But please correct me if I am wrong, or please tell me everything is but a nightmare (chos).
The cyberworld has been the den of the youth for quite some time now, and this is the only place we feel that we are not a subject of condemnation, or so in my perspective. People need to realize that the reason why we flaunt our opinions and creativity here is because we have no where to do so. Do not ever rebut that we shall be this opinionated in the real world for it is more prolific to do so, we know best in being judged, trust me.
With the fact that juveniles are the ones who would be greatly affected by this lunatic change, this is the worst scenario that is possible to happen:
*In a prison:
Criminal 1: Been here for 6 years for selling drugs.
Criminal 2: Been here for 7 years for killing my classmate.
Criminal 3: Will be here for 12 years, for retweeting something.
Imprisoning a teenager for retweeting something alongside with drug addicts, robbers and even killers? We're going downtown.
This bill also aims something good, or so I hope. For sure, this will prevent online plagiarism that dominates the web. But in my opinion, being a victim of plagiarism is partly the victim's fault. There are no gadgets or websites that automates automatic posting of ideas, so a person have the full control of everything he publish. We know for a fact that the web is a den of thieves, and if you don't want to be a victim, dare not to do something you will suffer for soon. I'm pretty sure that in one way or another, or perhaps soon enough, I'll learn that something from this blog has been reduplicated, and I shall suffer its consequences for I let myself lay it on public. Don't get me wrong, I am no supporter of plagiarism, in fact as a writer, I consider it the most sinister crime of all, but I also believe that in every pain we face, we are a part or even the very reason of it.
There are no official movement against the E-Martial Law which I may promote, but I encourage everyone to use your online influence to help us stand against this folly. You may create an avatar/banner/button and place it in your blog and other websites, have it as you Facebook and Twitter cover photos or default pictures. A single voice won't suffice, but if we stand against it all together, we will be no less than deafening.
If you have read this, I am 98% sure you'll be affected by the bill once it is passed. So rethink ignoring this.