Ignorant of The Law

Any person who marks a government/public document as copyrighted material is ignorant of the law.

Scribd, a digital documents library that allows users to publish, discover and discuss original writings and documents, emailed us that one of our documents was deleted because it was “infringing.”

According to Scribd’s support team, our document was removed because “it was very similar to a work that has been marked as copyrighted.”

We emailed back and requested for the restoration of the document, stating an argument that the subject document—a complete list of room assignment of takers of the December 2010 Nurses Licensure Exam (NLE) in Lucena City—is a public document as it was released by the Professional Regulations Commission, a government agency.

As expected, Scribd restored the document.

Here’s what transpired:

From: Scribd Copyright Notice
To: ********
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2013 12:24 AM
Subject: Your document has been removed

Hello, Coolbuster --

We have removed your document "NLE Dec 2010 LUCENA Rooms Complete)" (id: 45584280) because our text matching system determined that it was very similar to a work that has been marked as copyrighted and not permitted on Scribd.

Like all automated matching systems, our system is not perfect and occasionally makes mistakes. If you believe that your document is not infringing, please contact us at copyright@scribd.com and we will investigate the matter.

As stated in our terms of use, repeated incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your Scribd.com account and prohibit you from uploading material to Scribd.com in the future. To prevent us from having to take these steps, please delete from scribd.com any material you have uploaded to which you do not own the necessary rights and refrain from uploading any material you are not entitled to upload. For more information about Scribd.com's copyright policy, please read the Terms of Use located at http://www.scribd.com/terms.

Best regards,

Scribd Support Team
Questions? http://scribd.com/faq

Mar 23 03:06 am (PDT)


The document "NLE Dec 2010 LUCENA Rooms Complete)" (id: 45584280) is not infringing because it is a government/public document owned by the people of the Republic of the Philippines.

The account holder who marked it as a copyrighted document is obviously ignorant of the Philippine law.

Kindly restore the document. Thank you.

Jerry (Support Desk)
Mar 25 09:46 pm (PDT)
Thank you for contacting Scribd.

I am sorry that our automated copyright protection system misidentified your document as infringing. We try very hard to protect the rights of authors, and sometimes our copyright robot gets a little oversensitive.

I have restored your document and removed all references from your account. It may take several minutes for restored documents to re-appear on the site.

Best regards,
Jerry Goure
Customer Support Manager
Scribd, Inc.

The person who marked the document in Scribd as copyrighted as well as administrators of the official PRC website (www.prc.gov.ph), PRC Lucena Multiply account, and the PRC Baguio blog site (prcbaguio.blogspot.com) should revisit the following provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Article II “Declaration of Principle and State Policies,” Section 24 states:

“The State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building.”

Article III “Bill of Rights,” Section 7 states:

“The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.”

you are stoopid
Image credit: www.funnyjunk.com
Another provision of law supports our stand.

Section 176 of RA No. 8293, otherwise known as the “Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines,” states:

“Works of the Government. - 176.1. No copyright shall subsist in any work of the Government of the Philippines. However, prior approval of the government agency or office wherein the work is created shall be necessary for exploitation of such work for profit. Such agency or office may, among other things, impose as a condition the payment of royalties. No prior approval or conditions shall be required for the use of any purpose of statutes, rules and regulations, and speeches, lectures, sermons, addresses, and dissertations, pronounced, read or rendered in courts of justice, before administrative agencies, in deliberative assemblies and in meetings of public character. (Sec. 9, first par., P.D. No. 49).”

A Facebook friend, blogger Victorino Abrugar, says “the section actually supports you that works of the government should not be copyrighted. So we are free to disseminate them for public purposes. Bawal lang ciguro if we will sell those documents/logo/etc for profit. As we observe, most government forms are labeled ‘not for sale’.”

We observe. We watch. We take action.