Defending One's Copyright

Protektado ka ba? Copyright on the cyberspace

Insulted and violated – that’s how I felt upon knowing early last month that another blogger copied word-for-word without permission one of my blog entries which deals with cyberbullying. The blogger mentioned my blog The Filipino Scribe toward the end of the post, but it’s not sufficient clear that it is the original source of the material.

I contacted the blogger, and he merely said "Ok...sorry about that" in response to my email demanding that he delete the plagiarized entry. There's no attempt to explain whatsoever, and there's no sign of contrition. Nevertheless, to his credit, he took down the post I am complaining about on the same day.
Some people think that intellectual property protection and copyright are too complex for them to understand, given all the legalistic discussions surrounding it. Copyright infringement happens all the time. We most likely know someone (if we’re not guilty of it ourselves) of purchasing pirated movies from areas like Baclaran, Cubao, and Quiapo.

Most teenagers are probably not aware that they too are committing this serious offense when they download all tracks in Justin Bieber’s latest album from sites like And by the way, do you have a legal copy of Microsoft Word in your computer? Even bloggers are guilty of this too, occasionally.
Some actions like using others’ photos or drawings without seeking permission first is one. So is copying others’ blog entry word-for-word or perhaps significant portions of it without any attribution a la Tito Sotto. Other cases of copyright infringement aren’t as clear cut.

When you copy someone else’s blog in its entirety and post it on your site but with attribution, it isn’t copyright infringement yet. Using excerpts is acceptable, but reporting an entire item is not right. Google, for instance, punishes bloggers who post duplicate content. Ergo, offending blogs does not only siphon web traffic away from your site. It also endangers your PageRank.

Copyright protection is important for individuals to make sure that they benefit from the effort they exerted for their work. It will be wrong to say that a person who asserts his or her copyright over his or her work is only after the money. Intellectual property rights will always be more than just about getting financial compensation.

Respecting others’ copyright is also about humility. In many ways, respecting copyright is as simple as being humble enough to recognize that others helped you develop your outputs, directly or indirectly.
As a blogger, you have to recognize how others’ ideas helped you formulate your own. Somehow, Confucius’ golden rule can be used as a good code of conduct re copyright protection on the blogosphere. How will you feel if others use your work without any acknowledgment?

Copyright owners (a term which, upon cursory view, can actually refer to all of us) have to forcefully assert their rights. This can be started by being vigilant (e.g. Google keywords you used in your blog to monitor duplicate content). When you see come across an offender, try to call his/her attention first. If this fails, you can always call the attention of Google. This is not a one-way process, of course. Bloggers has to develop a culture where respecting copyright is the norm.

In my two years as a blogger, I may have been guilty at one point or another of copyright transgressions. Nevertheless, since I am now more aware of the law, I try my best to be as careful as possible. Bloggers want to be treated at par with writers in more traditional forms. How can they command respect when they can’t even follow something as basic as respecting copyright?

About the author: Mark Pere Madrona has contributed feature stories for, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Vera Files, and Yahoo News Philippines. His blog The Filipino Scribe won the Best Text Blog award in the 7th Annual PopDev Media Awards. He earned his Journalism degree from UP Diliman cum laude in 2010. He is also taking his Masters in History from the same university.
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About Filipino Worldwide Bloggers

(FBW) started as a Facebook group on November 1, 2011 as Filipino Bloggers Around the World. As the name implies, the purpose is to unite all Filipino Bloggers around the world.


  1. well said. It's about respect. Besides, why get into the whole blogging business if you're just going to be copying off others? psss. Keep things right!

  2. Too sad to know that a lot of bloggers our there had been doing this. I agree why blogging if you can't even write your own articles. Too sad but it's still going on, maybe that is why Mr G had been lowering blog's PR because of this, suspecting that you might not be the owner of a certain posts. I wish mine wasn't being copied, though. That would be too sad.

  3. This is very important especially to all of us who are known to be a publisher. I've had bad experienced before, a guy from India copied my entire content, I knew it after i happened to visit his blog through entrecard before.

  4. i can relate you as i am also a victim of plagiarism..i was still active in a pay to blog site when someone copied my paid article for the site, in spite of the e-mail i sent to the blogger i didn't get any response nor the blogger did something about the my claim..

  5. I had an experience similar to this a couple of years ago but I let it go because I knew the blogger and I did not want to confront her. I did however contacted the paying site and told them that the date of my post will prove that I wrote the original.

  6. that's really bad to copy someone else work, i believe that it's allowed to quote someone's work but give them the proper credits because they so deserve it.

  7. I think there's a Wordpress plug-in that helps in protecting our contents from copycats. If I'm not mistaken, it's called WP Copyright Protector. There are pros and cons of using that, of course, but at least there's a way. Anyways, Google is smart enough to penalize those who churn out unoriginal, copy-paste contents. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Mark:)

  8. this is truly a sad reality and thanks for the copyright thing it identifies who really the real owner of the writings

  9. That is really sad to note that there are people who don't respect someone else's work and just blatantly copy and claim it as their own. I am not a great writer, but I will feel bad if someone copies my work.

  10. Writing or blogging is not easy job specially thinking and researching about interesting topics. You exert all your effort into it. It's important that you respect the works of others. Just be proud of your own work.

  11. Geees i can't imagine why people does copy other's work/writes. Copy right is very important!

  12. it's hard to keep track of things you write online, sadly.:(

  13. Copyright, especially here in the Philippines is very tricky. I am not sure if what I did before was a violation of the author's rights but I used to quote a lot of bloggers/writers in my early blogging days. My intention however was to spread the word about what they have written or back up my own blog post. Of course it is clearly stated that it was taken from that particular source. However, some are a tad bit too sensitive about that matter.

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