Dear US bloggers: Remember how Sen. Sotto challenged you to sue him for plagiarism? Here’s how…

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By Raïssa Robles

“She can sue me.”

If you recall, this is what Senator Vicente Sotto III said after it emerged that he might have plagiarized a US blogger in a speech he made before the Senate.

bloggers

Vital Crest Street in Las Vegas, Nevada where Senator Vicente Sotto III, father of the online libel provision, owns property

Sotto first publicly issued this challenge to blogger Sarah Pope after his chief-of-staff Hector Villanueva had gotten in touch with Pope in connection with Sotto’s lifting of certain passages word for word from her blog The healthyhomeeconomist .

Senator Sotto then told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the country’s largest newspaper:

“Ang tanong doon may copyright ba iyong blog niya? Kung may copyright iyong blog niya, either dapat mag sorry ako or mag-apologize ako. Or idemanda niya ako [The question is, is her blog covered by a copyright? If the blog has copyright, either I say sorry or I apologize. Or she can sue me],” said Sotto.

Here’s the link to the rest of the PDI story where Sotto talked only about Bishop Sarah Pope and totally ignored the other American bloggers he seems to have lifted from.

Sotto’s office then pointed out that the Philippines has no law against plagiarism. Therefore, Sotto can’t be sued in court.

What Sotto and his staff forgot was that by the time Sotto had delivered all three of his speeches on the Senate floor, he had plagiarized from four US-hosted blogs, one briefing paper from the US and one speech by a dead US Senator.

All these works are covered by US Copyright Law. Even the copyright on Senator Robert Kennedy’s speech has not lapsed to this day.

You can read my previous stories on Sotto’s lifting from US-based bloggers, a briefing paper and a speech:

UPDATE: Senator Sotto lifted from 5 bloggers and 1 briefing paper

Did Sen. Sotto copy from 5 bloggers?

Did Sen. Sotto just lie on national TV?

US blogs are covered by copyright

According to a Filipino-American lawyer named Steve – yes, the same Steve who had tipped me off early this year about the California property of former Chief Justice Renator Corona’s daughter Charina – well, Steve told me that blogs in the US are definitely covered by copyright.

I also asked the same question of JJ Disini, who holds a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School and who specializes in Technology Law and Intellectual Property. Disini, who teaches at the University of the Philippines College of Law,  told me:

US law protects blogs via copyright.

bloggers

Atty. JJ Disini, the country’s leading expert on Technology law

In a separate interview, I asked Senator Sotto’s Chief-of Staff Hector Villacorta whether the senator was aware that American bloggers’ online websites and content are covered by copyright. Villacorta who is a lawyer replied to me:

I don’t know. I’m not familiar with the US law on copyright.

If US bloggers sue, they can attach Sotto’s Nevada properties

Since Senator Sotto owns two real properties in Nevada, USA, the Fil-Am lawyer named Steve pointed out that Sotto indeed has a physical presence in the US through his two real properties and is therefore well within the reach of US law.

Steve explained to me that if, say, Pope sues Sotto for copyright infringement:

Assuming that Ms. Pope sues and she prevails in the civil suit, the penalty is typically actual damages OR statutory damages. Statutory damage may range from the sum of not less than $750 or not more than $30,000 as the court considers just.

Enforcement of this judgment may be had via writ of execution thru attachment, garnishment etc…

So if Ms. Pope is made aware that Sen. Sotto has properties in the US, yes Ms. Pope may very well attach said properties.

Steve gave this link to explain how the amount of damages is calculated.

And this link to explain how judgments in these kinds of suits are enforced

I asked Atty. Villacorta whether Senator Sotto is aware that in case US bloggers who might accuse him of copyright infringement sue him for it, his two properties could be garnished in the suit.

Villacorta replied to me today:

No comment ako dahil hindi ako familiar sa US law tungkol sa property. [No comment, because I'm not familiar with US property law.]

I asked the same question of Atty. Disini, which I worded this way:  Sotto owns two houses in Nevada. Does his having these put him within reach of any copyright infringement suit demanding civil liabilities if plagiarized bloggers sue?

Prof. Disini replied:

If one sues successfully for infringement then those assets can be levied upon to satisfy the judgment.

Disini then added:

The presence of properties is not enough for a US court to assume jurisdiction. He (Sotto) must be served with summons.

That’s a good question. And alam ko for foreign companies, kung may office sila doon, the address can be used as a way to serve summons.That’s what happened to Samsung (in Apple’s copyright infringement lawsuit against it). [I know that for foreign companies, if they have an office in the US, the address can be used as a way to serve summons. ]

The US subsidiary of Samsung in New York was used as a way to acquire jurisdiction.

Disini also said that lawsuits involving copyright is a “federal court action, not a state charge.”

He also recalled that in one copyright infringement case, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency seized the US-registered domain names. Disini said that:

By analogy, yon and puwedeng gawin mo. Walang presence siya doon, pero kukunin mo assets doon. [By analogy, that is what you can do in this copyright infringement case against Sotto. He has no presence in the US but you will take from his US assets.]

What American bloggers will have to prove against Sotto

Steve the Fil-Am lawyer, however,  made it very clear to me that he was not going to evaluate the chances of success of a Copyright Infringement Suit if this is lodged against Senator Sotto by American bloggers.

Steve emphasized:

The fact alone that Sen Sotto failed to attribute to Ms. Pope whatever he took from the blog is not a cognizable cause of action by itself. The right to attribution is not a protected right under the US Copyright Act (USCA). [See UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Disco Azteca Distributors, Inc., E.D.Cal.2006, 446 F.Supp.2d 1164, 80 U.S.P.Q.2d] 1191.

So Ms. Pope has to prove one of the 6 enumerations in 17 USCA 106 above indicated for her to prevail in an infringement lawsuit.

This means, Steve said, Ms.Pope and the other plagiarized bloggers would have to demonstrate that Senator Sotto infringed on ANY ONE OF THESE SIX BASIC RIGHTS of a copyright owner WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION from the owner. The six basic rights of a copyright owner are the right:

(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

Steve said he doesn’t know how successful a Copyright Infringement suit would be against Senator Sotto.

Separately, Atty. Disini, in the course of my interview, emphasized  to me that there is a big difference between the charge of plagiarism and copyright infringement. Senator Sotto and Atty Villacorta had both emphasized to the public earlier that Sotto cannot be charged for plagiarizing US blogs because the Philippines has no law punishing plagiarism.

Atty Disini explained:

Plagiarism is about attribution. Copyright is about giving compensation for infringement.

Plagiarism is bad manners and copyright infringement is about violation of the law.

Could a copyright infringement suit against a sitting senator prosper? Could it be proven that he profited from the copying?

US jurisprudence say that the benefits derived from the copying need not even be commercial in nature. Yes, Senator Sotto did not profit from the copying because there was no commercial transaction involved. However, Senator Sotto through those speeches had sought to enhance his standing as a lawmaker. And as a lawmaker, he is being paid by the State. It could therefore be said that Senator Sotto  profited personally from the huge chunks  of paragraphs that he used from various American bloggers without their consent and without attribution.

In fact, two of them have already complained that their words were twisted out  of context by Senator Sotto.

One thing I’m sure, though, if the US bloggers collectively sue, they could give the senator a lot of headache because he would have to make sure his US properties are safe from garnishment.

Sotto’s US properties

Sotto owns two properties in Nevada collectively worth P29 million (or US$690,476 at the current exchange rate of 42 pesos per US dollar). He declared both properties in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) in a detailed manner. I would like to commend Sotto for that.

bloggers

Senator Sotto’s house on Tumbling Tree Street , Las Vegas, Nevada

Sotto declared in his SALN for 2011 filed this year that he had acquired the P19,369,442 house & lot along Vital Crest Street, Las Vegas in the year 2008 and the P10,125,000,house & lot at 10151 Tumbling Tree Street also in Las Vegas in 2007.

Sotto rejoined government in July 2008 as acting chairman and director of the Dangerous Drug Board. However, it is general knowledge that he was making good money as a comedian and commercial endorser. In other words, he could well afford both properties.

How he acquired these properties is not the issue here.

The issue at bar here is that these two properties currently give him a physical presence in the US and that makes him vulnerable to lawsuits filed there.

bloggers

Grant Deed on Senator Sotto’s 1,510 square foot house with five bedrooms on Tumbling Tree Street, Las Vegas, Nevada

In closing, I would like to tell everyone that I had asked Steve the Fil-Am lawyer whether I could reveal his real identity. Steve replied:

I am tempted by the potential publicity once you mention my name and I would probably enjoy it. :) But I prefer to be silently helping you out.

All I can say, Steve, is – the Filipino people thank you.

bloggers

Grant Deed on Senator Sotto’s 3,067 square foot house with four bedrooms & four bathrooms on Vital Crest Street, Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

bloggers

Steve is a member of Cyber Plaza Miranda, the active and growing community of Filipinos worldwide who congregate on this blog to share opinions and information.

Cyber Plaza Miranda is a striking example of how the Internet and social media can be used for change. And one that the Cybercrime Law – particularly due to Sotto’s midnight insertion of the crime of online libel – could stifle.

Dear Senator Sotto, it isn’t going to happen.

137 Responses to “Dear US bloggers: Remember how Sen. Sotto challenged you to sue him for plagiarism? Here’s how…”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. 50
    FREE BIRD says:

    Well, he asked for it..give it to him Ms. Pope.

  2. 49
    agot says:

    The Cyber Crime Law, among others, provides that:

    SEC. 6. All crimes defined and penalized by Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, if committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies shall be covered by the relevant provisions of this Act. Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be one (1) degree higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code, as amended and special laws, as the case may be.

    Plagiarism is considered theft of intellectual property. Theft is a crime under the Revised Penal Code. When Sotto lifted the works of a blogger, he did so “with the use of information and communications technologies *** covered by the relevant provisions of this Act”. If the law has retroactive effect, the penalty would have been one degree higher.

  3. 48
    LahingPikutin says:

    “Ang tanong doon may copyright ba iyong blog niya? Kung may copyright iyong blog niya, either dapat mag sorry ako or mag-apologize ako. Or idemanda niya ako [The question is, is her blog covered by a copyright? If the blog has copyright, either I say sorry or I apologize. Or she can sue me],” said Sotto.

    So ibig ba sabihin nito e pwede ang kopyahan during exams dahil walang copyright ang mga test paperps? and the professor cannot question his students, walnag copyright e.

    again, such statement from Mr. Sotto proves waht kind of Senator he is… a hallow one.

    Sue me, i don’t care.

  4. 47
    duquemarino says:

    “I don’t know. I’m not familiar with the US law on copyright.” – Hector Villacorta, Sen. Sotto’s Chief-of-Staff in a Raissa interview.

    Aren’t you a lawyer? I hope you are familiar with”ignorance of the law excuses no one.”

  5. 46
    praetorius says:

    nice one…. hope this prospers.

    btw, the blog kinda gets hard to read on a mobile device when there’s a lot of comment branch, lol. (i think i’m viewing the mobile version)

  6. 45
    raissa says:

    Can someone pls post a link to the US libel laws?

    Thanks.

    • 45.1
      saxnviolins says:

      What state?

      What we call libel in the Revised Penal Code is called criminal defamation in the United States. There is no Federal criminal libel statute. Common crimes as we know it, murder, rape, etc, are usually state laws. The crimes found in Federal statutes usually have to do with national security, drugs, RICO (racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act), etc.

      There are only seventeen states (34%) that have criminal defamation in their statute books.

      You can start with the defamation article on wikipedia found below

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_defamation_law

      The wikipedia article points to landmark cases on libel, starting with New York Times v. Sullivan, mentioned by one Yvonne here; also mentioned in Philippine Supreme Court decisions. There is also the famous case of Hustler Magazine (yes the girlie mag) v Jerry Falwell, involving an article in Hustler lampooning the sanctimonious one.

    • 45.2
      saxnviolins says:

      New York Times v. Sullivan was a civil libel case, not criminal. The text of the decision, penned by liberal lion (in the words of Justice Dante Tinga in the case of Ciriaco Guinguing v. the Court of Appeals) can be found in the link below.

      law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0376_0254_ZO.html

      Just supply the three w’s.

  7. 44
    Alex says:

    Just a thought:

    According to him, he did not plagiarized Robert Kennedy’s speech because he delivered it in Filipino. Does that mean I can buy a thesis in Recto, translate it in Filipino, and insist that it’s not plagiarized because I changed its language?

  8. 43
    vander anievas says:

    ms raissa, i was awed by this! can’t say anything but thank you for this post. wow, veryt lively exchanges. sana nga mapaaga ang pag-expire ng komedya…

  9. 42
    RSundiam says:

    Idemanda na yan!!!

    I really hope these US bloggers from which Sen. Sotto plagiarized from file a case against him. This guy is too cocky for his own good! Teach him a lesson!

  10. 41
  11. 40
    Boy Dalius says:

    Sotto is the dumbest and stupid politician ever. Kadhafi is second.

  12. 39
    pinay710 says:

    mga sirs/mam cpmers, meron po bago news sa gmanews.com PLAGIARISM PUNISHABLE BY CYBER LAW- DELIMA, eh di puede na po maparusahan si sotto. kasi inamin naman ng lawyer nya na copy nila yung blog ni ms sarah pope. tapos si sotto ang nagdeliver ng speech.

  13. 38

    how about the case of my 3 photos which abusively used by a local travel agency for more than a year, do I have the right also to ask for ifringement fees?
    http://www.theviewingdeck.com/2012/09/what-did-i-do-to-my-stolen-digicam.html

  14. 37
    Jorgen says:

    Because of the clamor of the public to sue the “lying thief/plagiarist” by the US blogger. what if the properties were transferred immediately to the daughters before the bloggers could sue?

  15. 36
    David says:

    Would it be possible to provide a contact for the sources from which the senator, plagiarized? He said “She can sue me.” Maybe we can encourage the sources to follow through, with his graces.

  16. 35
    Noel P. says:

    How about we actually, really contact those bloggers SenatorSotto plagiarized from? I just did. Haha. It’s probably a long shot, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to try! :)

    And by the way, saw this on Twitter just now: http://www.change.org/petitions/1-million-signatures-in-30-days-to-oust-tito-sotto-from-the-philippine-senate?utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=30337611#share

    It may just be easier than asking bloggers to sue that idiot!

  17. 34
    nersky says:

    Isnt this issue getting too personal?

    • 34.1
      raissa says:

      Why do you say that?

      Nothing personal on my part. I wasn’t plagiarized. But he’s a senator who is being broadcast in the entire world as having lifted from blogs. It’s his official actions as a senator that are being called to question.

      Let me ask you. If you had such a senator acting like this in the US, what do you think would have happened to him?

      • 34.1.1
        EdG says:

        Just the fact that he lied about the death of his son would have granted him an early, “graceful”, retirement from his charge so his party wouldn’t be affected. I can’t imagine an elected official using a personal death to follow his own agenda being easily forgiven by the voters or… to be honest, anybody.

      • 34.1.2
        nersky says:

        I think getting info to US and tracking people in the states is kind of personal. The message or the column already reach the whole world, what else do you need call up the president Obama and complain that Senator Tito Sotto “blah…blah…blah” so he needs to be in jail for doing that.
        The question is he corrupt? or malverized millions? is he a jueteing king like Chavit who is on the loose till now? Should we be upset about libel insertion or what ever? Have we noticed whats going on in the states about cyber bullying to the point that the victim commit suicide? Do we need for that to happen here?

        • 34.1.2.1
          raissa says:

          Hello.

          It was Sen. Sotto who said “So sue me.”

        • 34.1.2.2
          joseph says:

          For me, I make this issue personal.

          Fine, the message was spread across. I don’t need to call your president. I like to fight for my right to express freely. That’s what I’m doing right now.

          Never mind if Sotto is corrupt, malversed public funds, jueteng or drug lord; I don’t know that. He may not (yet) be accused, labeled or convicted as such.

          But in our country, you never tinker with our constitutional rights. With the kind of abuses we, Filipinos, have gotten into before, this mistreatment would never be allowed to recur. Look around.

          If, that solon finds his way spending time in jail due to his blatant indiscretion – putting it kindly, in straining our liberty, that would be give me huge pleasure, Personally.

          I know what happened to your country regarding cyber-bullying; that’s unfortunate, irreversible. But this is my country – a victim of this whimsical command for us Filipinos, to temper our expressions.

          I acknowledge your opinion.

          But, yes, I am upset. Sotto has stepped on a lot of “personal” toes by introducing this insertion that injured the citizenry’s freedom of expression. For me, this fight is worthwhile, Personally.

        • 34.1.2.3
          Rochie says:

          His properties in the US were declared in his SALN. It is no longer private info. Besides, how easy is it for you to defend someone who has not shown an iota of remorse for stealing other people’s ideas and research? If you must know, it’s a big issue for Sotto and his Eat Bulaga co-hosts whenever their ideas were being copied by rival programs, no matter how inane those ideas were. All of a sudden, it becomes okay for him to claim other people’s work as his own?

        • 34.1.2.4
          LahingPikutin says:

          Corrupt? he is a Philippine Senator… malverized millions? he is a Philippine Senator. Gambling lord? he is a Philippine Senator…

          Actually nersky, those Senators doesn’t care about cyber bullies and their victims. cyber bullying is not even included in previous versions of the bill… online libel and cyber bullying were “inserted” when Sotto plagiarized and criticized by Filipino people. It is included to protect the lies and deception of Sotto. nersky, those Senators don’t care about cyberbullies. cyberbullying is not even included in previous versions of the bill… Libel and cyberbullying were included when Sotto started to plagiarised

      • 34.1.3
        riofai says:

        Hi Raissa, that is why Filipinos need to vote for a competent (having a highter education) politicians and not an actor or a commedian.
        We also voted Lito Lapid to be in the senate. Let us blame our selves and our own stupidity this time.

        What else? Let us vote Richard Gomez, etc, etc. as well!! These folks don’t even have proper education to be in the Senate!

        • 34.1.3.1
          riofai says:

          so..what do we expect from these stupid senators lacking education? They don’t even have proper ethics on legal matters such as patents, copyrights and trademarks. Kaya ang gagawin na lang eh, mag copy/paste.

          Kaya tayong mga Pinoy, Pls don’t vote these kind of politicians in the next election! Period.

          We won’t be talking and wasting time such as these without these people in the senate!

          • 34.1.3.1.1
            Ronald says:

            Let’s not blame ourselves. The squatters who always fascinated by these showbiz freaks are the culprits…count in those poor people, who doesn’t take our polls seriously.

            I think it’s about time to change the qualification for candidacy. These so called MASA will just take advantage, in exchange for noodles, coffee, rice, can of sardines, Php 300 and photo opps. The burden has always passed to us, who regualrly pay our taxes.

            No wonder, their lives hasn’t been changed in the last 10 years and we are also dragged to misery.

            • danny G says:

              …. no, no, no, don’t blame us and/or those labelled as poors or squatters !!! It’s the stupidity of some, supposed to be “intelligent” sectors, who are in the know but still prefer and continue to support stupid and incompetent politicians to become “leaders” kuno !!!

            • pinay710 says:

              @ronald, dont pinpoint SQUATTERS. the only fault of those people is being poor. have you remember the gruesome crime of the vizcondes? are the convicted from the squatters you are saying. if you are not from the squatters look around you. dont be like a horse that see only one direction. look around you. took off your side walls and see what is around you.

            • Xander Carreon says:

              I agree with your opinion Ronald…What you said are the real scenario during election time in most part of our country.

              Ang tanong is How can we (pipol who take election seriously or shall I say educated voters) help in anyway to change this system.

              Nakakalungkot kasi kapag ang mga senador or congressmen na hindi dapat maupo sa senado/kongreso ay maiboto na naman.

    • 34.2
      David says:

      It is getting very personal, this idiot has infringed upon the constitutional rights and protection from plagiarist of many people.

    • 34.3
      riofai says:

      parang ganito ito nersky: Parang away bata.
      start:
      Mga Pinoy says: “Ayan sige batukan mo Ms Pope itong si Mr Sotto!” Kinuha nya toy mo ng walang sabi!”
      Ms Pope: walang kibo.
      Mr Sotto says: “batukan mo ako kung kaya mo!” Sige, sue me!”
      Ms Pope: wala pa ring kibo.
      Mga Pinoy says: “kaya mo yan Ms Pope! Batukan mo!
      Mga Pinoy cont’d: “May nakita kaming mga laruan ni Mr Sotto! Naandun sa kabilang kwarto! Pwede mo syang kunin! Gusto mo?”
      Ms Pope: wala pa ring kibo.
      Mga Pinoy says: “Ganito na lang! Sige hawakan mo ang tainga?! Kaya mo ba?
      Ms Pope: wala pa ring kibo.
      Mga Pinoy continued: “Duwag ka kung hindi mo kayang hawakan ang tainga!”
      Ms Pope: wala pa ring kibo.
      Mga Pinoy says: “Wala palang sinabi itong si Ms Pope! Sige, pag ayaw mo di wag mo! Kami na lang!”
      cut.

      • 34.3.1
        riofai says:

        con’t….
        Mga Pinoy (feeling Inis kay Ms Pope): Hindi ka na kasali sa laro namin Mr Sotto! (we won’t vote for you next election!)

    • 34.4
      Joe America says:

      nersky, it would not have to get this way if the Senate Ethics Committee simply acted in the public interest and censured Sotto for plagiarism and attempts to intimidate and threaten the free speech rights of Filipinos. By standing silent, they say this kind of bahavior is perfectly okay for a senator, or private person, or even kids at home working on their term papers. May, copy and cheat away; don’t worry about stealing someone else’s original work. While they are at it, they can make the importation of pirated CD’s an offically approved act. Or the knockoffs of Lee’s genes.

      What the F do we care, we live Filipino values as taught by a great Senator.

    • 34.5
      Dec says:

      There’s nothing personal if you’re a public official.

    • 34.6
      rincee says:

      to me, its personal because i am a taxpayer. simple as that. if sotto and his staff are working for free, then i can forgive him, but no, they are being paid by our taxes. by that alone, this make it personal to me.

  18. 33
    kontrapilo says:

    Can anyone out there can take the lead to gather signature requesting for that US blogger to sue SOTTO. To those who would like to join just reply AYE…

  19. 32
    David says:

    Can we all pool fund via http://www.kickstarter.com?

  20. 31
    jrivera999 says:

    your closing should have been : Sotto magingat ka baka maahitan ka ng balbas sa yabang mo. LYING THIEF !

  21. 30
    Realist says:

    Do it American bloggers! This is your chance to defend freedom in other lands – in cyberspace! :D

  22. 29
    shootafar says:

    This may sound bad, but I do wish the bloggers would collectively sue. Saktan sana (kahit konti) ng karma si Senator Sotto. Ang laking gulo sa Pinas ng ginawa (at mga ginagawa) niya.

  23. 28
    Maria A. says:

    And just like that, Pnoy squandered his political capital.

    He could have used it for the RH or FOI bills. Instead, the citizenry are enraged because of the Cybercrime law. Sayang. Wanna bet we’ll see a drastic dip in his approval ratings the next time around?

  24. 27
    pinay710 says:

    maraming salamat ulit raissa, pati na sa iyo “steve”. ang mga politico natin dami ari-arian sa america, lalo na las vegas. andun na sila lahat. pacman, lapid etc. lalo nakikita dito ang puwang ng mahirap na Pilipino at mayamang politiko. kaya maraming gustong pumasok sa politika, dami pera nakaupo lang sa aircon na lugar hindi nagbabanat ng buto.

    • 27.1
      loprophile says:

      na karma na iyang mga pulitikong may mga pagaari sa Las Vegas. bagsak ang mga value ng real estae properties diyan ng mahigit sa kalahati. alam ko dahil nakatira ako dito sa States for 41 yrs now and I used to be in the real estate business till 2007, when I have to get out while the getting out is still good.

  25. 26
    kalakala says:

    @ 22 Johnny Lin says:
    October 2, 2012 at 7:54 pm …”US bloggers, please sue Tito Sotto for the sake of pending RH bill. Filipino women deserve justice from the arrogance of a senator abusing his parliamentary power.”

    i seconded the motion. so he soon reap the fruit/s of the so called ” SOTTO copy-paste” tree

    • 26.1
      baycas says:

      Sen. Sotto says ABUSE…

      But…

      Who determines abuse?

      Who determines abuse on internet freedom?

      Who determines abuse on plagiarism?

      Who determines abuse on parliamentary freedom?

  26. 25
    rOSARIO says:

    wow! Wow! Thank you Raissa and Steve.
    I am crossing my fingers that Ms. Sarah Pope and the other U.S. Bloggers whom the Tonto sotto plagirized from get together and sue his ASS! Then, he, sotto, will spend so much money going back and forth to the U.S. to face the court and pay his lawyers to get him out of his mess-making i.e. copyright infringement. and WHEN he lost, he will also pay ms. Pope and the other U.S. bloggers lawyers’ fee. i think that is how it works there?
    whatever the verdict be, at least it will give sotto so much headache and so much time away from the senate where he could not do more damage!

    off topic: From Rappler: “Sen Francis Escudero — who voted for the approval of the law — filed Senate bill 3288 on Tuesday, October 2, seeking to repeal Sec 4(c) 4 of Republic Act 10175 because it penalizes online libel.”
    through your blog Raissa, i would like to inform escudero that until the online libel hasn’t been repealed, all 13 of them senators who ever is running at the present, will not have my vote this coming 5/13/13. They didn’t do good their job then. how could i trust them that they are going too? how long does it take for a bill to get passed? escudero said that he had file a bill to decriminalize libel in 2010 pa then, naunahan pa nitong cybercrime act with so much mess! and tomorrow Oct 3, its final!

    • 25.1
      rOSARIO says:

      and what happened to Erin Tañada? wasn’t he one of those pushing for FOI? So ano na? patutulugin na nila ang FOI?

  27. 24
    Johnny Lin says:

    To Raissa readers who have schadenfreude feelings against Sotto

    Raissa wrote the value of Sotto properties totalled $690,476.

    According to current real estate valuation in Las Vegas, those properties are worth about 1/3 of their previous value. In that case Sotto lost at least $300,000.00 in paper.

    His Tumbling Tree property is currently valued no more than $100,000 by Zillow.

    The good news is he lost money. The bad news is the unknown, whether the money came from working hard personally or ?

  28. 23
  29. 22
    Johnny Lin says:

    If Sarah Pope sued Sotto, the court will send legal motice thru certified letter to known addresses of Sotto in US, his tax record address which is White Plains QC and the Philippine consulate and Embassy. The lawsuit states that Sotto has to answer within a certain period upon receipt of written notice. It does mot matter if Sotto receives notice in person as long as there proof the notice was delivered properly.

    If Sotto did not appear or send lawyer to court judge could render judgment, then it is up to Sotto to appeal case in case the judgment includes Writ of Execution of judgment if monetary in nature which is more likely.

    Absolutely, Sotto will get headaches and financial expenses upon being sued for copyright. In US, fame has equivalent monetary value. Sotto gained fame worlwide by plagiarism. The mere fact that Sotto became famous out of his plagiarism, it did matter whether the equivalent of that fame is one dollar or one million. There is financial value is what matters. This argument has been employed by celebrities on copyright infringement of their pictures.

    US bloggers, please sue Tito Sotto for the sake of pending RH bill. Filipino women deserve justice from the arrogance of a senator abusing his parliamentary power.

  30. 21
    Tolome says:

    Thanks Steve, Thanks Raissa.

  31. 20
    Jaja Borja-Laure says:

    This is a very interesting article! Kudos! =)

  32. 19
    Ruth B says:

    awesome work Raisa! I admire the effort and the energy you put into this. More power!!

  33. 18
    arbee says:

    Ano kaya masasabi ni Senador Wanbol dito? Kudos to you Raissa for this well-research and sourced piece!

  34. 17
    Chrystal says:

    I sure hope the bloggers act on this. At the very least, inconvenience the idiot who has been so arrogant. Ms. Robles, have you considered submitting this post to blogher for syndication?

    • 17.1
      raissa says:

      No. How do I do that?

      • 17.1.1
        DemoNik says:

        I can help you with that for FREE with much GUSTO just as long as this moron goes to jail or gets any kind of punishment (sue me Sotto, you mofo!) as much as what he did or doing to us. My email is attached, Ms. Raissa. :)

  35. 16

    If she will do this, I WILL CONTRIBUTE AS MUCH AS I CAN.

  36. 15
    kalakala says:

    just finished reading all the comments and am scared after reading
    pelang says
    October 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm
    wow! what a revelation.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    ma’m pelang please don’t sue me. hindi ko kina copy-paste ang iyong comment. period ang sa iyo at exclamation mark ang sa akin. in mho we had the same feelings after reading this article. thanks

  37. 14
    joseph says:

    CPMers, don’t forget this. A year ago; also starring the honourable sotto.

    http://raissarobles.com/2011/09/25/senator-vicente-sotto-reinvents-himself-as-the-anti-rh-champion/

  38. 13
    Joe America says:

    Complaint. My comments go into moderation and are sometimes posted hours after they are submitted. They then get buried in the thread and are less likely to be read. None has ever been rejected. Why does this happen? They are too long or I am suspect?

    • 13.1
      Joe America says:

      case in point comment #79144

    • 13.2
      raissa says:

      NO. It happens when you have a link.

      Akismet which protects my site from spam and SQL attacks automatically holds comments with links.

      • 13.2.1
      • 13.2.2
        Mel says:

        Raïssa, comments with link or with out link, they just wouldn’t come through and gets displayed.

        Even for old timers like myself commenting in your blogsite. Either they disappear or just get lost.

        Other commenters who had similar experiences, their comments end up in your ‘spam’ folder or tray for moderation. For new commenters, that’s understandable. But for long stayers – it can be a bit of a drag.

        Apart from Akismet, do you use widgets or filters in your comment system?

        • 13.2.2.1
          raissa says:

          I think the Jetpack of WordPress has a built-in filter.

          I’m sorry about that.

          Pls. be patient.

          I always try to rescue your comments from the SPAM section. But letting through all comments would mean the site would be vulnerable to viral injections.

          • 13.2.2.1.1
            Joe America says:

            I’ll probably just write short smart-assed comments that seem to get through rather than invest time in long thoughtful ones that aren’t read by anyone because they are buried deep in the thread, withheld for a time. In a blog as active as this, if you don’t make the top spots, you only get read by a few people. If you make the top spots, you get read by hundreds.

            There is a practicality to this that patience does not solve.

  39. 12
    Joe America says:

    My crisp legal mind says this is the operative paragraph in your reference link as to the size of the fines that may be levied. Interestingly enough, the judge has the authority to raise the amount beyond the $30,000 you cite. To $150,000. That starts to look interesting. But anyway, back to the paragraph:

    “(2) In a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that infringement was committed willfully, the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000. In a case where the infringer sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200. ”

    An attorney would have to study case law to determine if there is precedent that suggests Sotto’s word for word use of language from a site that had the copyright designation on the page is enough to show the action “willful”; Sotto’s defense would argue that the Senator was merely stupid and didn’t know what he was doing.

    Even if the suit failed, at least it would prove that Senator Sotto is stupid and didn’t know what he was doing.

    I’d contribute to the legal fund.

    • 12.1
      saxnviolins says:

      The links can be seen if you take out the three w’s and the http (if the website has no three w’s).

      Here is the copyright law of the United States, and the particular section on infringement and remedies.

      copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

      As Professor Yorac answered me in a class on contracts, when the law speaks of damages, it normally means pecuniary damages, not psychic damages. So Sarah Pope et al must prove that they were deprived of profits or revenue by the copying of Sotto. A good example will be if I sell John Grisham copies in, say, Alabama.

      The injunction refers to the court stopping me from the continued sale of my illegal copies. The injunction is enforceable throughout the United States, but not outside.

      There is also a procedural problem with suing Sotto in the US. Just because he has property in the US does not grant the US court jurisdiction over him. There is the concept of long-arm jurisdiction. Nevada will have long-arm jurisdiction over Sotto if the following is proven:

      A court may exercise specific personal jurisdiction over a defendant only when “the cause of action arises from the defendant’s contacts with the forum.

      Consipio Holding, BV v. Carlberg, Supreme Court of Nevada

      nevadajudiciary.us/index.php/advancedopinions/1630-consipio-holding-bv-v-carlberg

      Sotto’s contacts with Nevada have to do with purchase of property. He did not infringe Pope’s copyright by way of contact with Nevada. Contact here refers to doing business or engaging in some activity in Nevada.

      I agree that there is much to hate in Sotto. But I doubt if any US intellectual property lawyer will agree to maintain such a dismissible suit – dismissible on substance, and dismissible for lack of jurisdiction of the court.

      There was a copyright violation, agreed. But there are no resultant damages to Pope which is essential in a cause of action.

      Also, there is the issue of parliamentary immunity. Sotto delivered the speech in the Senate. He cannot be haled to Philippine courts for that speech. May he be haled in US courts? I doubt. We copied the law and principle of parliamentary immunity from the US. Trrue, one can be facetious and state that there is no US parliamentary immunity, because Sotto is not a US legislator. But I doubt if any US court will find against Sotto. They will certainly find some reason to dismiss on the basis of international comity or some such principle.

      • 12.1.1
        saxnviolins says:

        Sorry about the first part. I was responding to the issue about links not appearing.

        I thought it was in your post, but I see now that it is from another post.

      • 12.1.2
        Joe America says:

        saxnviolations, nice legal review of the case. You add to my speculation that no case would be filed because the iffyness of the size of the gain is too wobbly cast against the finite dollar expense of hiring an attorney. Because I don’t think any attorney would do it for a cut of the pie. It is better to write another blog and libel the hell out of Sotto and let him hire the attorney. Then just argue “I was speaking hypothetically”.

        In other words, think like Sotto, a master at excuse making and deception.

        • 12.1.2.1
          Johnny Lin says:

          Civil case could be brought to anyone legally in US as long as there is due cause.

          There was a former cabinet member from the Philippines who owed casino money who was sued in court while he was in the Philippines. Judgment was rendered without him appearing in court despite him receiving the court notice. Casino filed writ of execution of judgment and arrest order was also requested.
          When this guy landed at San Francisco airport on a Rotary convention trip, he was arrested and jailed until he settled his case. Same thing happened to Philippine Telco executives when they landed in Hawaii when sued by AT&T or Verizon.

          A blogger could sue in court to force Sotto to respond, either in person or thru a lawyer. His US property is an incentive for him to take a trip to US. American lawyers are aware of that.

          Whether the lawsuit will progress depends on the response of Sotto. Court does not rule on frivolous lawsuit until heard in court. If Sotto does not respond in due time judgment could be rendered by judge. Sotto could respond after judgment or plaintiff could file Writ of Execution if Sotto would not respond.

          Court does not have jurisdiction over Sotto as a person for owning US property but the court has authority to execute garnishment on properties own by Sotto in US including bank accounts to satisfy pecuniary judgment.

          I am not a lawyer but US law is clear on garnishments and Writ of Executions.

          • 12.1.2.1.1
            Johnny Lin says:

            Joe

            remember 911 victims of World Trade center, they sued Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a civil case on the theory of harboring the bombers. The Kingdom answered in court. the case did not progress or dismissed for lack of merit

            Similarly Libya was sued by victims of Lockerbie bombers and Khadafy settled.

            Both cases, properties and bank accounts were asked in court to be garnished.

            Thus Sotto could be sued for copyright infringement/ plagiarism. Whether it will progress in US court is different story. But just to give Sotto a headache, it is worth every cent spent in court.

            • Joe America says:

              Then I hope they sue the jerk.

              Jerk, as the term is used here, is a guy who offends JoeAm’s sense of ethics and belief in free speech through acts such as copying other people’s original work word for word and/or inserting a libel section in a bill aimed at preventing criminal acts conducted via the internet.

        • 12.1.2.2
          Bernardino says:

          beat him at his own game, what a great idea!!!

        • 12.1.2.3
          saxnviolins says:

          It is not the iffyness of the attorney’s fees. It is the fact that, as the cited Nevada Supreme Court decision says, there is no long-arm jurisdiction if the cause of action did not arise there.

          The copyright violation happened in the Philippines. So Nevada will not take cognizance.

          And what was the saxnviolations for? I do not know if that is meant to offend or to foster better discussion.

          • 12.1.2.3.1
            rejtatel says:

            @saxnviolins

            Just an observation. You are quoting Nevada Supreme Court Case for your proposition. But if ever Pope files a case it should be a federal case not a state case, and thus the Nevada State Supreme Court decision has little or no binding application. And she will file it in a federal court not in Nevada but in the state where she is domiciled (in the east coast i think).

            Nevada was brought up only because Sotto’s properties are located in Nevada, and i believe these properties, as stated in the blog, are for purposes only of satisfying any favorable judgment Pope may obtain against Sotto. The matter of acquiring personal jurisdiction over Sotto should be governed not by Nevada law or its Supreme Court but that of the federal law, the decisions of federal circuit courts, federal court of appeals or the US Supreme Court. Some where out there, there may be some federal rules on how to serve summons to defendants outside the US jurisdiction.

            • snv says:

              Sotto has real property. The court where the real property sits will have jurisdiction.

              Even if the case is filed in Federal District Court, the District Court will still have to exercise long-arm jurisdiction. Long arm jurisdiction of the Federal court will apply if there is the requisite minimal contacts between the wrongdoer and the state where the District Court sits i.e. Federal District Court in New York, District Court in California, District Court in Nevada.

              Here is a Supreme Court case concerning the long-arm jurisdiction of the Federal District Court in Florida over a Defendant from Michigan.

              Where a forum seeks to assert specific jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant who has not consented to suit there, this “fair warning” requirement is satisfied if the defendant has “purposefully directed” his activities at residents of the forum, Keeton v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 465 U.S. 770, 774 (1984), and the litigation results from alleged injuries that “arise out of or relate to” those activities,

              Burger King v. Rudzewicz 471 U.S. 462 (1985)

              caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=471&invol=462

              I mentioned Nevada, because that is where Tito Sotto has “minimal contacts” with a state of the United States. So, if at all, the Federal District Court of Nevada may summon Tito Sotto. But again, as quoted above, the alleged injuries, if any, arise out of or relate to Sotto’s activities in the forum state (Nevada).

              Also, when you wish to proceed against real property, the court where the property sits will have jurisdiction. So to get at Sotto’s real property, you have to sue in the Federal District Court in Nevada, the same District Court where the Japanese suitor of PAGCOR is being sued by his American partners. It is that Japanese partner who wined and dined Naguiat and family.

              The injury arose or is related to Sotto’s activities in the Philippines. So no US state has had “minimum contacts” with Sotto in connection with the plagiarism.

              • saxnviolins says:

                That was me above. Sometimes I use the contraction of the nick.

                Do you really believe that a US court will exercise jurisdiction over a foreign congressman or senator for utterances that foreign legislator made in the foreign legislature?

              • raissa says:

                Dunno.

                It’s virgin territory.

                But it should be interesting.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Google the reference below would be understoid by lawyers regarding foreign judgments applied in Nevada regarding Property and Money. The Judgment creditor must apply with State of Nevada to enforce Foreign Judgment on Judgment Debtor. State of Nevada Laws apply on the judgment enforcement including statute of limitations.

                Title 2 Nevada Civil Code Chapter 17 Judgments: Foreign Judgments(Uniform Act ) all US Courts

                Application for Foreign Judgments
                Domestication of Foreign Judgments

                This Foreign Judgment is different from Foreign Government Judgment.

        • 12.1.2.4
          saxnviolins says:

          This reply was meant to be located here, not in reply to another post.

          Sorry for the double posts, Raissa.

          It is not the iffyness of the attorney’s fees. It is the fact that, as the cited Nevada Supreme Court decision says, there is no long-arm jurisdiction if the cause of action did not arise there.

          The copyright violation happened in the Philippines. So Nevada will not take cognizance.

          And what was the saxnviolations for? I do not know if that is meant to offend or to foster better discussion.

      • 12.1.3
        leona says:

        Sarah Pope can sue in Florida, her place of resident…attach Nevada properties…States have “comity” principles…but first, she has to get a Florida lawyer for all this.

        • 12.1.3.1
          saxnviolins says:

          The case I cited above is a Florida case.

          The Supreme Court held that the Federal District Court of Florida will have jurisdiction if the defendant had “contacts” with Florida, and the injury arises out of those “contacts”.

          Example, the case I cited: Burger King, based in Detroit, selling in Florida. That establishes the contact. Any injury caused by the burgers is injury arising out of the contact.

          Another example is a personal injury case, where a New York driver injures someone while driving in Jersey. The driving is the “contact”, and that “contact” produced the injury.

          Sotto has no contacts with Florida. His utterances were made in the Philippines. So neither Florida nor any US state has been “contacted” by Sotto.

          • 12.1.3.1.1
            Johnny Lin says:

            Intellectual property is covered by international laws. Sotto spoke on tv transmitted thru international satellite. He gained fame from plagiarism by international conduit. ABS CBN and GMA are doing business in US. Sotto being senator implicitly allowed TV stations to cover his speech thru senate approved TV coverage worldwide.

            Sarah Pope learned internationally thru transmitted medium of tv or internet.

            Proven contact!
            Very simple based on legal logic cited.

            • saxnviolins says:

              The acts of abs-cbn are not the acts or contacts of Sotto with Florida, unless abs-cbn is owned by Sotto. To say that media that is critical of Sotto is acting in behalf of Sotto is sooooome stretch.

              I have yet to read of a US court that employs logic as elastic as yours.

              You should adopt a nickname – lastikman.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                It shows you did not practice law in US and not aware of prominent cases for the past few decades.

                In the US a grand jury could indict a killerwhale or a poisonous sandwich. That is the extent of their legal elasticity, common knowledge in US.
                Panama dictator Noriega was a prominent example of grand jury indictment in absentia, then his govt was toppled and brought to US soil. There is the lastikman justice you were looking for. Other famous names trapped by lastikman, Polanski, Assange, El Gordo.

                Sotto being majority floor leader is administrator of Senate business. TV coverage is one of senate businesses.

                Case of Smart and Globe executives attending a conference in Hawaii were detained when their companies were sued by ATT. They claimed they were mere officers and were not involved directly in the contracts between their companies. Check business news about 3-5 yrs ago on that story.

                If I were Sarah Pope I would sue Sotto and test the extent of Intellectual property. Then it is up to Sotto to respond with a lawyer or not. US courts hand out decisions when the other party does not respond in the initial hearing after due notice is presented that respondent was informed legally. Enforcement of civil judgments, regional or foreign, could be petitioned by Writ of Execution including arrest of respondent. That is the nature of US courts.

                Subukan bang abalu, sabi nga ni Taruc.

              • saxnviolins says:

                Noriega and El Gordo sold drugs in the US. That is the contact with the US.

                Contacts by media are not contacts for or in behalf of the people they cover.

                Raissa writes about Sotto, in the same way that abs-cbn covers Sotto. But it would be lastikman logic to say that Raissa acts in behalf of Sotto, or that her coverage of Sotto is Sotto’s way of contacting New York, where I am reading this blog.

                Sarah Pope will not sue Sotto, because if she consults a Florida lawyer, he would likely cite to her the Burger King case I cited.

          • 12.1.3.1.2
            leona says:

            I agree first with @johnny lin…international law. This is a good point for discussion. My take: on “contacts.” Copyright, in US, can be infringed. How? @saxnviolin maintains it needs “contacts”. How did Sen. Sotto do the act? He or one of his staff members “got into cyberspace ‘contact’ “…now that computer gadgets “can be used for contacts” law will have to be interpreted to cover that new aspect. With International Law, US could be a signatory in that law. “Contacts” keep rising. Was there “contact” made? Yes. How? Cyberspace, thru computer use. If violation of Copyright Laws can be done by this method….internet contact via cyberspace, why not the procedural aspect too…like “contact” [ could be substantial or procedural, either way]. The law must be interpreted to do justice with the trend of modern science on hand. If Copyright violations cannot be enforced with such a “contact via internet” how will this law be used effectively if many in Europe, Asia, Africa, Austrial, etc.,can be the place where the “act of contact via internet” took place? By doing such “contact” one is within reach of the Long Arm of the law. Now, the problem is will this novel argument be accepted by any US courts, like Florida courts? If the argument is well reasoned out, why not! Adjusting to the times is always because of enforcing the law as intended.
            If one does not try to present such argument, of course it will never be known. So, what’s the harm if one tries? And everybody will know from the court’s decisions.

            I remember on “jurisdiction” in the US, the US authorities “kidnapped” a Mexican suspect in Mexican territory to face trial for that murder of a DEA agent of the US. The suspect was brought to US for trial. Question was: Does US court have jurisdiction to try the suspect as he was “kidnapped” and not arrested legally in Mexico and brought to US? It was held by US Supreme Court (Federal0 US has jurisdiction. It said, it does not matter how the suspect was brought as long as he is in the US now and he can be tried.

            I never thought that Court would reason like that but there it is! The name of that DEA agent killed I think was something like Camarena?

            To summarize: contact via internet with a Florida or USA website even is passing through many other website, is contact. What do you call it if not contact…cyberspace contact! Times have changed a lot since the computer came into this century. Space is much narrower now. That’s a fact.

            Finally, Sarah should get a good aggressive knowing lawyer for it.

  40. 11
    kalakala says:

    what a revelation!…thank you ma’m raissa

  41. 10
    Jonathan@SG says:

    Thanks Raissa.. Thanks Steve..

  42. 9
    andrew lim says:

    Im confuse about Bishop- Im only familiar with Sarah Pope. Is there a blogger named Bishop?

    Or is it a confusion of two ranks in the hierarchy? :)

    • 9.1
      raissa says:

      Sorry.
      The mistake apparently came from me. When I asked Steve the questions I switched Pope to Bishop.

      It’s Sarah Pope. Not Bishop.

      My mind switched Pope to Bishop. Same hierarchy.

      It’s Sarah Pope.
      I’ve placed the correction.

      • 9.1.1
        Menie says:

        The error is still present in the following paragraphs:

        “Steve explained to me that if, say, Bishop sues Sotto for copyright infringement:

        Assuming that Ms. Pope sues and she prevails in the civil suit, the penalty is typically actual damages OR statutory damages. Statutory damage may range from the sum of not less than $750 or not more than $30,000 as the court considers just.

        Enforcement of this judgment may be had via writ of execution thru attachment, garnishment etc…

        So if Ms. Pope is made aware that Sen. Sotto has properties in the US, yes Ms. Bishop may very well attach said properties.”

  43. 8
    springwoodman says:

    Why do Filipino politicians have bolt-holes in foreign countries?

    This indicates to me a lack of commitment to the country, a lack of patriotism. To me, this is what the politician is thinking: “I can do anything I want here. Anyway, if worse comes to worst, I can always flee to my home in Las Vegas.”

    Each candidate must be scrutinized for ownership of foreign properties, and this should be a big factor in deciding whether or not to vote for him.

  44. 7
    Gene Simmowns says:

    Somebody should report or link this article to the blogs of Sarah now…

    About the “insertion” incident…where Senator Sotto at one point denying it publicly but later on confirming it…isn’t this a quetionable act contrary to high standard of ethics expected from a high ranking public official?

    Calling the good Senator from Taguig…Sir Allan Peter Cayetano sir…as Chairman of the Ethics and Privileges committee…aren’t this enough grounds already perhaps? Aren’t you going to do something about it?

  45. 6
    notchfilter says:

    Thanks Raissa and Steve. :)

  46. 5
    tristanism says:

    Oh my.

    It’s been several minutes already, and still my mouth is wide open.

  47. 4
    pelang says:

    wow! what a revelation. thanks again raissa! bigatin ka talaga. ang totoo niyan ang katulad mo ang puntirya niya kaya niya isiningit ang clause na iyon sa Cybercrime law. siguro, tuwang-tuwa pa siya sa kanyang kabobohan at akala niya naisahan niya ang mga netizens sa buong mundo. biruin mo yan piang-uusapan siya ng buong cyber space. sana nga merong mag file sa kanya ng copyright infringement sa america para matauhan hindi lang siya kundi ang lahat ng mga senators na pumirma doon sa cybercrime law na iyon.

  48. 3
    chit navarro says:

    I hope Ms. Sarah Pope and the other US bloggers read this…. perhaps, I should tag Ms. Sarah Pope and she may reconsider her position on the copyright infringement .
    Since the good Senator has created a big issue for the online community, it’s time for him to feel how it is to have a headache on this technology.

    But then Raissa, isn’t he covered by immunity when he was delivering his speech?
    Can he hide behind the cloak of immunity?

    • 3.1
      raissa says:

      not in the US.

    • 3.2
      springwoodman says:

      It’s the Philippine Constitution that guarantees parliamentary immunity. But if Sotto is sued by a US citizen under US copyright laws, surely immunity does not apply?

    • 3.3
      raissa says:

      It’s virgin territory.

      • 3.3.1
        leona says:

        Isn’t it…The F/I. Marcos flew to Hawaii and got sued for money laundering….no immunity; still a violation of the law and no immunity? Defense: Head of State but denied by the court. No one is above the law there. Trial proceeded.

  49. 2
    Trick Mendoza says:

    MABUHAY ka “Steve”!!! Maraming salamat sa mga ginagawa mo para maisiwalat ang katotohanan…

  50. 1
    Art Montesa says:

    To the US Bloggers,
    Here’s what Nike would say – Just Do It!

    • 1.1
      Angry Bird (@AngryBird1905) says:

      haha..right! well once again Ms. Raissa I learned a lot from your blog. Well hello to the cybercrime law and goodbye to Sen. Sotto’s political career

  51. agot says:

    The Cyber Crime Law, among others, provides that:

    SEC. 6. All crimes defined and penalized by Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, if committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies shall be covered by the relevant provisions of this Act. Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be one (1) degree higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code, as amended and special laws, as the case may be.

    Plagiarism is considered theft of intellectual property. Theft is a crime under the Revised Penal Code. When Sotto lifted the works of a blogger, he did so “with the use of information and communications technologies *** covered by the relevant provisions of this Act”. If the law has retroactive effect, the penalty would have been one degree higher.

  52. LahingPikutin says:

    “Ang tanong doon may copyright ba iyong blog niya? Kung may copyright iyong blog niya, either dapat mag sorry ako or mag-apologize ako. Or idemanda niya ako [The question is, is her blog covered by a copyright? If the blog has copyright, either I say sorry or I apologize. Or she can sue me],” said Sotto.

    So ibig ba sabihin nito e pwede ang kopyahan during exams dahil walang copyright ang mga test paperps? and the professor cannot question his students, walnag copyright e.

    again, such statement from Mr. Sotto proves waht kind of Senator he is… a hallow one.

    Sue me, i don’t care.

  53. duquemarino says:

    “I don’t know. I’m not familiar with the US law on copyright.” – Hector Villacorta, Sen. Sotto’s Chief-of-Staff in a Raissa interview.

    Aren’t you a lawyer? I hope you are familiar with”ignorance of the law excuses no one.”

  54. praetorius says:

    nice one…. hope this prospers.

    btw, the blog kinda gets hard to read on a mobile device when there’s a lot of comment branch, lol. (i think i’m viewing the mobile version)

  55. raissa says:

    Can someone pls post a link to the US libel laws?

    Thanks.

    • saxnviolins says:

      What state?

      What we call libel in the Revised Penal Code is called criminal defamation in the United States. There is no Federal criminal libel statute. Common crimes as we know it, murder, rape, etc, are usually state laws. The crimes found in Federal statutes usually have to do with national security, drugs, RICO (racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act), etc.

      There are only seventeen states (34%) that have criminal defamation in their statute books.

      You can start with the defamation article on wikipedia found below

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_defamation_law

      The wikipedia article points to landmark cases on libel, starting with New York Times v. Sullivan, mentioned by one Yvonne here; also mentioned in Philippine Supreme Court decisions. There is also the famous case of Hustler Magazine (yes the girlie mag) v Jerry Falwell, involving an article in Hustler lampooning the sanctimonious one.

    • saxnviolins says:

      New York Times v. Sullivan was a civil libel case, not criminal. The text of the decision, penned by liberal lion (in the words of Justice Dante Tinga in the case of Ciriaco Guinguing v. the Court of Appeals) can be found in the link below.

      law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0376_0254_ZO.html

      Just supply the three w’s.

  56. Alex says:

    Just a thought:

    According to him, he did not plagiarized Robert Kennedy’s speech because he delivered it in Filipino. Does that mean I can buy a thesis in Recto, translate it in Filipino, and insist that it’s not plagiarized because I changed its language?

  57. vander anievas says:

    ms raissa, i was awed by this! can’t say anything but thank you for this post. wow, veryt lively exchanges. sana nga mapaaga ang pag-expire ng komedya…

  58. RSundiam says:

    Idemanda na yan!!!

    I really hope these US bloggers from which Sen. Sotto plagiarized from file a case against him. This guy is too cocky for his own good! Teach him a lesson!

  59. Boy Dalius says:

    Sotto is the dumbest and stupid politician ever. Kadhafi is second.

  60. pinay710 says:

    mga sirs/mam cpmers, meron po bago news sa gmanews.com PLAGIARISM PUNISHABLE BY CYBER LAW- DELIMA, eh di puede na po maparusahan si sotto. kasi inamin naman ng lawyer nya na copy nila yung blog ni ms sarah pope. tapos si sotto ang nagdeliver ng speech.

  61. how about the case of my 3 photos which abusively used by a local travel agency for more than a year, do I have the right also to ask for ifringement fees?
    http://www.theviewingdeck.com/2012/09/what-did-i-do-to-my-stolen-digicam.html

  62. Jorgen says:

    Because of the clamor of the public to sue the “lying thief/plagiarist” by the US blogger. what if the properties were transferred immediately to the daughters before the bloggers could sue?

  63. David says:

    Would it be possible to provide a contact for the sources from which the senator, plagiarized? He said “She can sue me.” Maybe we can encourage the sources to follow through, with his graces.

  64. Noel P. says:

    How about we actually, really contact those bloggers SenatorSotto plagiarized from? I just did. Haha. It’s probably a long shot, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to try! :)

    And by the way, saw this on Twitter just now: http://www.change.org/petitions/1-million-signatures-in-30-days-to-oust-tito-sotto-from-the-philippine-senate?utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=30337611#share

    It may just be easier than asking bloggers to sue that idiot!

  65. nersky says:

    Isnt this issue getting too personal?

    • raissa says:

      Why do you say that?

      Nothing personal on my part. I wasn’t plagiarized. But he’s a senator who is being broadcast in the entire world as having lifted from blogs. It’s his official actions as a senator that are being called to question.

      Let me ask you. If you had such a senator acting like this in the US, what do you think would have happened to him?

      • EdG says:

        Just the fact that he lied about the death of his son would have granted him an early, “graceful”, retirement from his charge so his party wouldn’t be affected. I can’t imagine an elected official using a personal death to follow his own agenda being easily forgiven by the voters or… to be honest, anybody.

      • nersky says:

        I think getting info to US and tracking people in the states is kind of personal. The message or the column already reach the whole world, what else do you need call up the president Obama and complain that Senator Tito Sotto “blah…blah…blah” so he needs to be in jail for doing that.
        The question is he corrupt? or malverized millions? is he a jueteing king like Chavit who is on the loose till now? Should we be upset about libel insertion or what ever? Have we noticed whats going on in the states about cyber bullying to the point that the victim commit suicide? Do we need for that to happen here?

        • raissa says:

          Hello.

          It was Sen. Sotto who said “So sue me.”

        • joseph says:

          For me, I make this issue personal.

          Fine, the message was spread across. I don’t need to call your president. I like to fight for my right to express freely. That’s what I’m doing right now.

          Never mind if Sotto is corrupt, malversed public funds, jueteng or drug lord; I don’t know that. He may not (yet) be accused, labeled or convicted as such.

          But in our country, you never tinker with our constitutional rights. With the kind of abuses we, Filipinos, have gotten into before, this mistreatment would never be allowed to recur. Look around.

          If, that solon finds his way spending time in jail due to his blatant indiscretion – putting it kindly, in straining our liberty, that would be give me huge pleasure, Personally.

          I know what happened to your country regarding cyber-bullying; that’s unfortunate, irreversible. But this is my country – a victim of this whimsical command for us Filipinos, to temper our expressions.

          I acknowledge your opinion.

          But, yes, I am upset. Sotto has stepped on a lot of “personal” toes by introducing this insertion that injured the citizenry’s freedom of expression. For me, this fight is worthwhile, Personally.

        • Rochie says:

          His properties in the US were declared in his SALN. It is no longer private info. Besides, how easy is it for you to defend someone who has not shown an iota of remorse for stealing other people’s ideas and research? If you must know, it’s a big issue for Sotto and his Eat Bulaga co-hosts whenever their ideas were being copied by rival programs, no matter how inane those ideas were. All of a sudden, it becomes okay for him to claim other people’s work as his own?

        • LahingPikutin says:

          Corrupt? he is a Philippine Senator… malverized millions? he is a Philippine Senator. Gambling lord? he is a Philippine Senator…

          Actually nersky, those Senators doesn’t care about cyber bullies and their victims. cyber bullying is not even included in previous versions of the bill… online libel and cyber bullying were “inserted” when Sotto plagiarized and criticized by Filipino people. It is included to protect the lies and deception of Sotto. nersky, those Senators don’t care about cyberbullies. cyberbullying is not even included in previous versions of the bill… Libel and cyberbullying were included when Sotto started to plagiarised

      • riofai says:

        Hi Raissa, that is why Filipinos need to vote for a competent (having a highter education) politicians and not an actor or a commedian.
        We also voted Lito Lapid to be in the senate. Let us blame our selves and our own stupidity this time.

        What else? Let us vote Richard Gomez, etc, etc. as well!! These folks don’t even have proper education to be in the Senate!

        • riofai says:

          so..what do we expect from these stupid senators lacking education? They don’t even have proper ethics on legal matters such as patents, copyrights and trademarks. Kaya ang gagawin na lang eh, mag copy/paste.

          Kaya tayong mga Pinoy, Pls don’t vote these kind of politicians in the next election! Period.

          We won’t be talking and wasting time such as these without these people in the senate!

          • Ronald says:

            Let’s not blame ourselves. The squatters who always fascinated by these showbiz freaks are the culprits…count in those poor people, who doesn’t take our polls seriously.

            I think it’s about time to change the qualification for candidacy. These so called MASA will just take advantage, in exchange for noodles, coffee, rice, can of sardines, Php 300 and photo opps. The burden has always passed to us, who regualrly pay our taxes.

            No wonder, their lives hasn’t been changed in the last 10 years and we are also dragged to misery.

            • danny G says:

              …. no, no, no, don’t blame us and/or those labelled as poors or squatters !!! It’s the stupidity of some, supposed to be “intelligent” sectors, who are in the know but still prefer and continue to support stupid and incompetent politicians to become “leaders” kuno !!!

            • pinay710 says:

              @ronald, dont pinpoint SQUATTERS. the only fault of those people is being poor. have you remember the gruesome crime of the vizcondes? are the convicted from the squatters you are saying. if you are not from the squatters look around you. dont be like a horse that see only one direction. look around you. took off your side walls and see what is around you.

            • Xander Carreon says:

              I agree with your opinion Ronald…What you said are the real scenario during election time in most part of our country.

              Ang tanong is How can we (pipol who take election seriously or shall I say educated voters) help in anyway to change this system.

              Nakakalungkot kasi kapag ang mga senador or congressmen na hindi dapat maupo sa senado/kongreso ay maiboto na naman.

    • David says:

      It is getting very personal, this idiot has infringed upon the constitutional rights and protection from plagiarist of many people.

    • riofai says:

      parang ganito ito nersky: Parang away bata.
      start:
      Mga Pinoy says: “Ayan sige batukan mo Ms Pope itong si Mr Sotto!” Kinuha nya toy mo ng walang sabi!”
      Ms Pope: walang kibo.
      Mr Sotto says: “batukan mo ako kung kaya mo!” Sige, sue me!”
      Ms Pope: wala pa ring kibo.
      Mga Pinoy says: “kaya mo yan Ms Pope! Batukan mo!
      Mga Pinoy cont’d: “May nakita kaming mga laruan ni Mr Sotto! Naandun sa kabilang kwarto! Pwede mo syang kunin! Gusto mo?”
      Ms Pope: wala pa ring kibo.
      Mga Pinoy says: “Ganito na lang! Sige hawakan mo ang tainga?! Kaya mo ba?
      Ms Pope: wala pa ring kibo.
      Mga Pinoy continued: “Duwag ka kung hindi mo kayang hawakan ang tainga!”
      Ms Pope: wala pa ring kibo.
      Mga Pinoy says: “Wala palang sinabi itong si Ms Pope! Sige, pag ayaw mo di wag mo! Kami na lang!”
      cut.

      • riofai says:

        con’t….
        Mga Pinoy (feeling Inis kay Ms Pope): Hindi ka na kasali sa laro namin Mr Sotto! (we won’t vote for you next election!)

    • Joe America says:

      nersky, it would not have to get this way if the Senate Ethics Committee simply acted in the public interest and censured Sotto for plagiarism and attempts to intimidate and threaten the free speech rights of Filipinos. By standing silent, they say this kind of bahavior is perfectly okay for a senator, or private person, or even kids at home working on their term papers. May, copy and cheat away; don’t worry about stealing someone else’s original work. While they are at it, they can make the importation of pirated CD’s an offically approved act. Or the knockoffs of Lee’s genes.

      What the F do we care, we live Filipino values as taught by a great Senator.

    • Dec says:

      There’s nothing personal if you’re a public official.

    • rincee says:

      to me, its personal because i am a taxpayer. simple as that. if sotto and his staff are working for free, then i can forgive him, but no, they are being paid by our taxes. by that alone, this make it personal to me.

  66. kontrapilo says:

    Can anyone out there can take the lead to gather signature requesting for that US blogger to sue SOTTO. To those who would like to join just reply AYE…

  67. David says:

    Can we all pool fund via http://www.kickstarter.com?

  68. jrivera999 says:

    your closing should have been : Sotto magingat ka baka maahitan ka ng balbas sa yabang mo. LYING THIEF !

  69. Realist says:

    Do it American bloggers! This is your chance to defend freedom in other lands – in cyberspace! :D

  70. shootafar says:

    This may sound bad, but I do wish the bloggers would collectively sue. Saktan sana (kahit konti) ng karma si Senator Sotto. Ang laking gulo sa Pinas ng ginawa (at mga ginagawa) niya.

  71. Maria A. says:

    And just like that, Pnoy squandered his political capital.

    He could have used it for the RH or FOI bills. Instead, the citizenry are enraged because of the Cybercrime law. Sayang. Wanna bet we’ll see a drastic dip in his approval ratings the next time around?

  72. pinay710 says:

    maraming salamat ulit raissa, pati na sa iyo “steve”. ang mga politico natin dami ari-arian sa america, lalo na las vegas. andun na sila lahat. pacman, lapid etc. lalo nakikita dito ang puwang ng mahirap na Pilipino at mayamang politiko. kaya maraming gustong pumasok sa politika, dami pera nakaupo lang sa aircon na lugar hindi nagbabanat ng buto.

    • loprophile says:

      na karma na iyang mga pulitikong may mga pagaari sa Las Vegas. bagsak ang mga value ng real estae properties diyan ng mahigit sa kalahati. alam ko dahil nakatira ako dito sa States for 41 yrs now and I used to be in the real estate business till 2007, when I have to get out while the getting out is still good.

  73. kalakala says:

    @ 22 Johnny Lin says:
    October 2, 2012 at 7:54 pm …”US bloggers, please sue Tito Sotto for the sake of pending RH bill. Filipino women deserve justice from the arrogance of a senator abusing his parliamentary power.”

    i seconded the motion. so he soon reap the fruit/s of the so called ” SOTTO copy-paste” tree

    • baycas says:

      Sen. Sotto says ABUSE…

      But…

      Who determines abuse?

      Who determines abuse on internet freedom?

      Who determines abuse on plagiarism?

      Who determines abuse on parliamentary freedom?

  74. rOSARIO says:

    wow! Wow! Thank you Raissa and Steve.
    I am crossing my fingers that Ms. Sarah Pope and the other U.S. Bloggers whom the Tonto sotto plagirized from get together and sue his ASS! Then, he, sotto, will spend so much money going back and forth to the U.S. to face the court and pay his lawyers to get him out of his mess-making i.e. copyright infringement. and WHEN he lost, he will also pay ms. Pope and the other U.S. bloggers lawyers’ fee. i think that is how it works there?
    whatever the verdict be, at least it will give sotto so much headache and so much time away from the senate where he could not do more damage!

    off topic: From Rappler: “Sen Francis Escudero — who voted for the approval of the law — filed Senate bill 3288 on Tuesday, October 2, seeking to repeal Sec 4(c) 4 of Republic Act 10175 because it penalizes online libel.”
    through your blog Raissa, i would like to inform escudero that until the online libel hasn’t been repealed, all 13 of them senators who ever is running at the present, will not have my vote this coming 5/13/13. They didn’t do good their job then. how could i trust them that they are going too? how long does it take for a bill to get passed? escudero said that he had file a bill to decriminalize libel in 2010 pa then, naunahan pa nitong cybercrime act with so much mess! and tomorrow Oct 3, its final!

    • rOSARIO says:

      and what happened to Erin Tañada? wasn’t he one of those pushing for FOI? So ano na? patutulugin na nila ang FOI?

  75. Johnny Lin says:

    To Raissa readers who have schadenfreude feelings against Sotto

    Raissa wrote the value of Sotto properties totalled $690,476.

    According to current real estate valuation in Las Vegas, those properties are worth about 1/3 of their previous value. In that case Sotto lost at least $300,000.00 in paper.

    His Tumbling Tree property is currently valued no more than $100,000 by Zillow.

    The good news is he lost money. The bad news is the unknown, whether the money came from working hard personally or ?

  76. Johnny Lin says:

    If Sarah Pope sued Sotto, the court will send legal motice thru certified letter to known addresses of Sotto in US, his tax record address which is White Plains QC and the Philippine consulate and Embassy. The lawsuit states that Sotto has to answer within a certain period upon receipt of written notice. It does mot matter if Sotto receives notice in person as long as there proof the notice was delivered properly.

    If Sotto did not appear or send lawyer to court judge could render judgment, then it is up to Sotto to appeal case in case the judgment includes Writ of Execution of judgment if monetary in nature which is more likely.

    Absolutely, Sotto will get headaches and financial expenses upon being sued for copyright. In US, fame has equivalent monetary value. Sotto gained fame worlwide by plagiarism. The mere fact that Sotto became famous out of his plagiarism, it did matter whether the equivalent of that fame is one dollar or one million. There is financial value is what matters. This argument has been employed by celebrities on copyright infringement of their pictures.

    US bloggers, please sue Tito Sotto for the sake of pending RH bill. Filipino women deserve justice from the arrogance of a senator abusing his parliamentary power.

  77. Tolome says:

    Thanks Steve, Thanks Raissa.

  78. Jaja Borja-Laure says:

    This is a very interesting article! Kudos! =)

  79. Ruth B says:

    awesome work Raisa! I admire the effort and the energy you put into this. More power!!

  80. arbee says:

    Ano kaya masasabi ni Senador Wanbol dito? Kudos to you Raissa for this well-research and sourced piece!

  81. Chrystal says:

    I sure hope the bloggers act on this. At the very least, inconvenience the idiot who has been so arrogant. Ms. Robles, have you considered submitting this post to blogher for syndication?

  82. If she will do this, I WILL CONTRIBUTE AS MUCH AS I CAN.

  83. kalakala says:

    just finished reading all the comments and am scared after reading
    pelang says
    October 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm
    wow! what a revelation.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    ma’m pelang please don’t sue me. hindi ko kina copy-paste ang iyong comment. period ang sa iyo at exclamation mark ang sa akin. in mho we had the same feelings after reading this article. thanks

  84. joseph says:

    CPMers, don’t forget this. A year ago; also starring the honourable sotto.

    http://raissarobles.com/2011/09/25/senator-vicente-sotto-reinvents-himself-as-the-anti-rh-champion/

  85. Joe America says:

    Complaint. My comments go into moderation and are sometimes posted hours after they are submitted. They then get buried in the thread and are less likely to be read. None has ever been rejected. Why does this happen? They are too long or I am suspect?

    • Joe America says:

      case in point comment #79144

    • raissa says:

      NO. It happens when you have a link.

      Akismet which protects my site from spam and SQL attacks automatically holds comments with links.

      • Mel says:

        Raïssa, comments with link or with out link, they just wouldn’t come through and gets displayed.

        Even for old timers like myself commenting in your blogsite. Either they disappear or just get lost.

        Other commenters who had similar experiences, their comments end up in your ‘spam’ folder or tray for moderation. For new commenters, that’s understandable. But for long stayers – it can be a bit of a drag.

        Apart from Akismet, do you use widgets or filters in your comment system?

        • raissa says:

          I think the Jetpack of WordPress has a built-in filter.

          I’m sorry about that.

          Pls. be patient.

          I always try to rescue your comments from the SPAM section. But letting through all comments would mean the site would be vulnerable to viral injections.

          • Joe America says:

            I’ll probably just write short smart-assed comments that seem to get through rather than invest time in long thoughtful ones that aren’t read by anyone because they are buried deep in the thread, withheld for a time. In a blog as active as this, if you don’t make the top spots, you only get read by a few people. If you make the top spots, you get read by hundreds.

            There is a practicality to this that patience does not solve.

  86. Joe America says:

    My crisp legal mind says this is the operative paragraph in your reference link as to the size of the fines that may be levied. Interestingly enough, the judge has the authority to raise the amount beyond the $30,000 you cite. To $150,000. That starts to look interesting. But anyway, back to the paragraph:

    “(2) In a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that infringement was committed willfully, the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000. In a case where the infringer sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200. ”

    An attorney would have to study case law to determine if there is precedent that suggests Sotto’s word for word use of language from a site that had the copyright designation on the page is enough to show the action “willful”; Sotto’s defense would argue that the Senator was merely stupid and didn’t know what he was doing.

    Even if the suit failed, at least it would prove that Senator Sotto is stupid and didn’t know what he was doing.

    I’d contribute to the legal fund.

    • saxnviolins says:

      The links can be seen if you take out the three w’s and the http (if the website has no three w’s).

      Here is the copyright law of the United States, and the particular section on infringement and remedies.

      copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

      As Professor Yorac answered me in a class on contracts, when the law speaks of damages, it normally means pecuniary damages, not psychic damages. So Sarah Pope et al must prove that they were deprived of profits or revenue by the copying of Sotto. A good example will be if I sell John Grisham copies in, say, Alabama.

      The injunction refers to the court stopping me from the continued sale of my illegal copies. The injunction is enforceable throughout the United States, but not outside.

      There is also a procedural problem with suing Sotto in the US. Just because he has property in the US does not grant the US court jurisdiction over him. There is the concept of long-arm jurisdiction. Nevada will have long-arm jurisdiction over Sotto if the following is proven:

      A court may exercise specific personal jurisdiction over a defendant only when “the cause of action arises from the defendant’s contacts with the forum.

      Consipio Holding, BV v. Carlberg, Supreme Court of Nevada

      nevadajudiciary.us/index.php/advancedopinions/1630-consipio-holding-bv-v-carlberg

      Sotto’s contacts with Nevada have to do with purchase of property. He did not infringe Pope’s copyright by way of contact with Nevada. Contact here refers to doing business or engaging in some activity in Nevada.

      I agree that there is much to hate in Sotto. But I doubt if any US intellectual property lawyer will agree to maintain such a dismissible suit – dismissible on substance, and dismissible for lack of jurisdiction of the court.

      There was a copyright violation, agreed. But there are no resultant damages to Pope which is essential in a cause of action.

      Also, there is the issue of parliamentary immunity. Sotto delivered the speech in the Senate. He cannot be haled to Philippine courts for that speech. May he be haled in US courts? I doubt. We copied the law and principle of parliamentary immunity from the US. Trrue, one can be facetious and state that there is no US parliamentary immunity, because Sotto is not a US legislator. But I doubt if any US court will find against Sotto. They will certainly find some reason to dismiss on the basis of international comity or some such principle.

      • saxnviolins says:

        Sorry about the first part. I was responding to the issue about links not appearing.

        I thought it was in your post, but I see now that it is from another post.

      • Joe America says:

        saxnviolations, nice legal review of the case. You add to my speculation that no case would be filed because the iffyness of the size of the gain is too wobbly cast against the finite dollar expense of hiring an attorney. Because I don’t think any attorney would do it for a cut of the pie. It is better to write another blog and libel the hell out of Sotto and let him hire the attorney. Then just argue “I was speaking hypothetically”.

        In other words, think like Sotto, a master at excuse making and deception.

        • Johnny Lin says:

          Civil case could be brought to anyone legally in US as long as there is due cause.

          There was a former cabinet member from the Philippines who owed casino money who was sued in court while he was in the Philippines. Judgment was rendered without him appearing in court despite him receiving the court notice. Casino filed writ of execution of judgment and arrest order was also requested.
          When this guy landed at San Francisco airport on a Rotary convention trip, he was arrested and jailed until he settled his case. Same thing happened to Philippine Telco executives when they landed in Hawaii when sued by AT&T or Verizon.

          A blogger could sue in court to force Sotto to respond, either in person or thru a lawyer. His US property is an incentive for him to take a trip to US. American lawyers are aware of that.

          Whether the lawsuit will progress depends on the response of Sotto. Court does not rule on frivolous lawsuit until heard in court. If Sotto does not respond in due time judgment could be rendered by judge. Sotto could respond after judgment or plaintiff could file Writ of Execution if Sotto would not respond.

          Court does not have jurisdiction over Sotto as a person for owning US property but the court has authority to execute garnishment on properties own by Sotto in US including bank accounts to satisfy pecuniary judgment.

          I am not a lawyer but US law is clear on garnishments and Writ of Executions.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Joe

            remember 911 victims of World Trade center, they sued Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a civil case on the theory of harboring the bombers. The Kingdom answered in court. the case did not progress or dismissed for lack of merit

            Similarly Libya was sued by victims of Lockerbie bombers and Khadafy settled.

            Both cases, properties and bank accounts were asked in court to be garnished.

            Thus Sotto could be sued for copyright infringement/ plagiarism. Whether it will progress in US court is different story. But just to give Sotto a headache, it is worth every cent spent in court.

            • Joe America says:

              Then I hope they sue the jerk.

              Jerk, as the term is used here, is a guy who offends JoeAm’s sense of ethics and belief in free speech through acts such as copying other people’s original work word for word and/or inserting a libel section in a bill aimed at preventing criminal acts conducted via the internet.

        • Bernardino says:

          beat him at his own game, what a great idea!!!

        • saxnviolins says:

          It is not the iffyness of the attorney’s fees. It is the fact that, as the cited Nevada Supreme Court decision says, there is no long-arm jurisdiction if the cause of action did not arise there.

          The copyright violation happened in the Philippines. So Nevada will not take cognizance.

          And what was the saxnviolations for? I do not know if that is meant to offend or to foster better discussion.

          • rejtatel says:

            @saxnviolins

            Just an observation. You are quoting Nevada Supreme Court Case for your proposition. But if ever Pope files a case it should be a federal case not a state case, and thus the Nevada State Supreme Court decision has little or no binding application. And she will file it in a federal court not in Nevada but in the state where she is domiciled (in the east coast i think).

            Nevada was brought up only because Sotto’s properties are located in Nevada, and i believe these properties, as stated in the blog, are for purposes only of satisfying any favorable judgment Pope may obtain against Sotto. The matter of acquiring personal jurisdiction over Sotto should be governed not by Nevada law or its Supreme Court but that of the federal law, the decisions of federal circuit courts, federal court of appeals or the US Supreme Court. Some where out there, there may be some federal rules on how to serve summons to defendants outside the US jurisdiction.

            • snv says:

              Sotto has real property. The court where the real property sits will have jurisdiction.

              Even if the case is filed in Federal District Court, the District Court will still have to exercise long-arm jurisdiction. Long arm jurisdiction of the Federal court will apply if there is the requisite minimal contacts between the wrongdoer and the state where the District Court sits i.e. Federal District Court in New York, District Court in California, District Court in Nevada.

              Here is a Supreme Court case concerning the long-arm jurisdiction of the Federal District Court in Florida over a Defendant from Michigan.

              Where a forum seeks to assert specific jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant who has not consented to suit there, this “fair warning” requirement is satisfied if the defendant has “purposefully directed” his activities at residents of the forum, Keeton v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 465 U.S. 770, 774 (1984), and the litigation results from alleged injuries that “arise out of or relate to” those activities,

              Burger King v. Rudzewicz 471 U.S. 462 (1985)

              caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=471&invol=462

              I mentioned Nevada, because that is where Tito Sotto has “minimal contacts” with a state of the United States. So, if at all, the Federal District Court of Nevada may summon Tito Sotto. But again, as quoted above, the alleged injuries, if any, arise out of or relate to Sotto’s activities in the forum state (Nevada).

              Also, when you wish to proceed against real property, the court where the property sits will have jurisdiction. So to get at Sotto’s real property, you have to sue in the Federal District Court in Nevada, the same District Court where the Japanese suitor of PAGCOR is being sued by his American partners. It is that Japanese partner who wined and dined Naguiat and family.

              The injury arose or is related to Sotto’s activities in the Philippines. So no US state has had “minimum contacts” with Sotto in connection with the plagiarism.

              • saxnviolins says:

                That was me above. Sometimes I use the contraction of the nick.

                Do you really believe that a US court will exercise jurisdiction over a foreign congressman or senator for utterances that foreign legislator made in the foreign legislature?

              • raissa says:

                Dunno.

                It’s virgin territory.

                But it should be interesting.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Google the reference below would be understoid by lawyers regarding foreign judgments applied in Nevada regarding Property and Money. The Judgment creditor must apply with State of Nevada to enforce Foreign Judgment on Judgment Debtor. State of Nevada Laws apply on the judgment enforcement including statute of limitations.

                Title 2 Nevada Civil Code Chapter 17 Judgments: Foreign Judgments(Uniform Act ) all US Courts

                Application for Foreign Judgments
                Domestication of Foreign Judgments

                This Foreign Judgment is different from Foreign Government Judgment.

        • saxnviolins says:

          This reply was meant to be located here, not in reply to another post.

          Sorry for the double posts, Raissa.

          It is not the iffyness of the attorney’s fees. It is the fact that, as the cited Nevada Supreme Court decision says, there is no long-arm jurisdiction if the cause of action did not arise there.

          The copyright violation happened in the Philippines. So Nevada will not take cognizance.

          And what was the saxnviolations for? I do not know if that is meant to offend or to foster better discussion.

      • leona says:

        Sarah Pope can sue in Florida, her place of resident…attach Nevada properties…States have “comity” principles…but first, she has to get a Florida lawyer for all this.

        • saxnviolins says:

          The case I cited above is a Florida case.

          The Supreme Court held that the Federal District Court of Florida will have jurisdiction if the defendant had “contacts” with Florida, and the injury arises out of those “contacts”.

          Example, the case I cited: Burger King, based in Detroit, selling in Florida. That establishes the contact. Any injury caused by the burgers is injury arising out of the contact.

          Another example is a personal injury case, where a New York driver injures someone while driving in Jersey. The driving is the “contact”, and that “contact” produced the injury.

          Sotto has no contacts with Florida. His utterances were made in the Philippines. So neither Florida nor any US state has been “contacted” by Sotto.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Intellectual property is covered by international laws. Sotto spoke on tv transmitted thru international satellite. He gained fame from plagiarism by international conduit. ABS CBN and GMA are doing business in US. Sotto being senator implicitly allowed TV stations to cover his speech thru senate approved TV coverage worldwide.

            Sarah Pope learned internationally thru transmitted medium of tv or internet.

            Proven contact!
            Very simple based on legal logic cited.

            • saxnviolins says:

              The acts of abs-cbn are not the acts or contacts of Sotto with Florida, unless abs-cbn is owned by Sotto. To say that media that is critical of Sotto is acting in behalf of Sotto is sooooome stretch.

              I have yet to read of a US court that employs logic as elastic as yours.

              You should adopt a nickname – lastikman.

              • Johnny Lin says:

                It shows you did not practice law in US and not aware of prominent cases for the past few decades.

                In the US a grand jury could indict a killerwhale or a poisonous sandwich. That is the extent of their legal elasticity, common knowledge in US.
                Panama dictator Noriega was a prominent example of grand jury indictment in absentia, then his govt was toppled and brought to US soil. There is the lastikman justice you were looking for. Other famous names trapped by lastikman, Polanski, Assange, El Gordo.

                Sotto being majority floor leader is administrator of Senate business. TV coverage is one of senate businesses.

                Case of Smart and Globe executives attending a conference in Hawaii were detained when their companies were sued by ATT. They claimed they were mere officers and were not involved directly in the contracts between their companies. Check business news about 3-5 yrs ago on that story.

                If I were Sarah Pope I would sue Sotto and test the extent of Intellectual property. Then it is up to Sotto to respond with a lawyer or not. US courts hand out decisions when the other party does not respond in the initial hearing after due notice is presented that respondent was informed legally. Enforcement of civil judgments, regional or foreign, could be petitioned by Writ of Execution including arrest of respondent. That is the nature of US courts.

                Subukan bang abalu, sabi nga ni Taruc.

              • saxnviolins says:

                Noriega and El Gordo sold drugs in the US. That is the contact with the US.

                Contacts by media are not contacts for or in behalf of the people they cover.

                Raissa writes about Sotto, in the same way that abs-cbn covers Sotto. But it would be lastikman logic to say that Raissa acts in behalf of Sotto, or that her coverage of Sotto is Sotto’s way of contacting New York, where I am reading this blog.

                Sarah Pope will not sue Sotto, because if she consults a Florida lawyer, he would likely cite to her the Burger King case I cited.

          • leona says:

            I agree first with @johnny lin…international law. This is a good point for discussion. My take: on “contacts.” Copyright, in US, can be infringed. How? @saxnviolin maintains it needs “contacts”. How did Sen. Sotto do the act? He or one of his staff members “got into cyberspace ‘contact’ “…now that computer gadgets “can be used for contacts” law will have to be interpreted to cover that new aspect. With International Law, US could be a signatory in that law. “Contacts” keep rising. Was there “contact” made? Yes. How? Cyberspace, thru computer use. If violation of Copyright Laws can be done by this method….internet contact via cyberspace, why not the procedural aspect too…like “contact” [ could be substantial or procedural, either way]. The law must be interpreted to do justice with the trend of modern science on hand. If Copyright violations cannot be enforced with such a “contact via internet” how will this law be used effectively if many in Europe, Asia, Africa, Austrial, etc.,can be the place where the “act of contact via internet” took place? By doing such “contact” one is within reach of the Long Arm of the law. Now, the problem is will this novel argument be accepted by any US courts, like Florida courts? If the argument is well reasoned out, why not! Adjusting to the times is always because of enforcing the law as intended.
            If one does not try to present such argument, of course it will never be known. So, what’s the harm if one tries? And everybody will know from the court’s decisions.

            I remember on “jurisdiction” in the US, the US authorities “kidnapped” a Mexican suspect in Mexican territory to face trial for that murder of a DEA agent of the US. The suspect was brought to US for trial. Question was: Does US court have jurisdiction to try the suspect as he was “kidnapped” and not arrested legally in Mexico and brought to US? It was held by US Supreme Court (Federal0 US has jurisdiction. It said, it does not matter how the suspect was brought as long as he is in the US now and he can be tried.

            I never thought that Court would reason like that but there it is! The name of that DEA agent killed I think was something like Camarena?

            To summarize: contact via internet with a Florida or USA website even is passing through many other website, is contact. What do you call it if not contact…cyberspace contact! Times have changed a lot since the computer came into this century. Space is much narrower now. That’s a fact.

            Finally, Sarah should get a good aggressive knowing lawyer for it.

  87. kalakala says:

    what a revelation!…thank you ma’m raissa

  88. Jonathan@SG says:

    Thanks Raissa.. Thanks Steve..

  89. andrew lim says:

    Im confuse about Bishop- Im only familiar with Sarah Pope. Is there a blogger named Bishop?

    Or is it a confusion of two ranks in the hierarchy? :)

    • raissa says:

      Sorry.
      The mistake apparently came from me. When I asked Steve the questions I switched Pope to Bishop.

      It’s Sarah Pope. Not Bishop.

      My mind switched Pope to Bishop. Same hierarchy.

      It’s Sarah Pope.
      I’ve placed the correction.

      • Menie says:

        The error is still present in the following paragraphs:

        “Steve explained to me that if, say, Bishop sues Sotto for copyright infringement:

        Assuming that Ms. Pope sues and she prevails in the civil suit, the penalty is typically actual damages OR statutory damages. Statutory damage may range from the sum of not less than $750 or not more than $30,000 as the court considers just.

        Enforcement of this judgment may be had via writ of execution thru attachment, garnishment etc…

        So if Ms. Pope is made aware that Sen. Sotto has properties in the US, yes Ms. Bishop may very well attach said properties.”

  90. springwoodman says:

    Why do Filipino politicians have bolt-holes in foreign countries?

    This indicates to me a lack of commitment to the country, a lack of patriotism. To me, this is what the politician is thinking: “I can do anything I want here. Anyway, if worse comes to worst, I can always flee to my home in Las Vegas.”

    Each candidate must be scrutinized for ownership of foreign properties, and this should be a big factor in deciding whether or not to vote for him.

  91. Gene Simmowns says:

    Somebody should report or link this article to the blogs of Sarah now…

    About the “insertion” incident…where Senator Sotto at one point denying it publicly but later on confirming it…isn’t this a quetionable act contrary to high standard of ethics expected from a high ranking public official?

    Calling the good Senator from Taguig…Sir Allan Peter Cayetano sir…as Chairman of the Ethics and Privileges committee…aren’t this enough grounds already perhaps? Aren’t you going to do something about it?

  92. notchfilter says:

    Thanks Raissa and Steve. :)

  93. tristanism says:

    Oh my.

    It’s been several minutes already, and still my mouth is wide open.

  94. pelang says:

    wow! what a revelation. thanks again raissa! bigatin ka talaga. ang totoo niyan ang katulad mo ang puntirya niya kaya niya isiningit ang clause na iyon sa Cybercrime law. siguro, tuwang-tuwa pa siya sa kanyang kabobohan at akala niya naisahan niya ang mga netizens sa buong mundo. biruin mo yan piang-uusapan siya ng buong cyber space. sana nga merong mag file sa kanya ng copyright infringement sa america para matauhan hindi lang siya kundi ang lahat ng mga senators na pumirma doon sa cybercrime law na iyon.

  95. chit navarro says:

    I hope Ms. Sarah Pope and the other US bloggers read this…. perhaps, I should tag Ms. Sarah Pope and she may reconsider her position on the copyright infringement .
    Since the good Senator has created a big issue for the online community, it’s time for him to feel how it is to have a headache on this technology.

    But then Raissa, isn’t he covered by immunity when he was delivering his speech?
    Can he hide behind the cloak of immunity?

    • raissa says:

      not in the US.

    • springwoodman says:

      It’s the Philippine Constitution that guarantees parliamentary immunity. But if Sotto is sued by a US citizen under US copyright laws, surely immunity does not apply?

    • raissa says:

      It’s virgin territory.

      • leona says:

        Isn’t it…The F/I. Marcos flew to Hawaii and got sued for money laundering….no immunity; still a violation of the law and no immunity? Defense: Head of State but denied by the court. No one is above the law there. Trial proceeded.

  96. Trick Mendoza says:

    MABUHAY ka “Steve”!!! Maraming salamat sa mga ginagawa mo para maisiwalat ang katotohanan…

  97. Art Montesa says:

    To the US Bloggers,
    Here’s what Nike would say – Just Do It!

    • Angry Bird (@AngryBird1905) says:

      haha..right! well once again Ms. Raissa I learned a lot from your blog. Well hello to the cybercrime law and goodbye to Sen. Sotto’s political career

  98. -->

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