What follows is our editorial staff’s response to a letter sent to us from the Chairman of the Defensores Fidei Foundation demanding that we take down our video recordings of their public event ‘Women Speak Out: The Medical And Legal Truths About The RH Bill’.
Thank you for your letter and its accompanying concern. Kindly allow us to note however that your organization’s event was advertised as free and open to the public. We attended it openly, identifying ourselves as being from the Filipino Freethinkers through our tshirts before the event, giving our names and organization during the open forum segment, and later in conversations with other attendees and the lecturers themselves after the event. We went intending to listen to other people’s opinions and evaluate information that your lecturers presented as factual during both their presentations and as indicated in the title of the event itself. During the event we were recording openly and in full view, along with several others in attendance.
Our members conducted themselves in this manner not for profit but in the interest of providing the public with information. Given freedom of the press and mass media to disseminate matters of public concern, of which the Reproductive Health Bill is surely one, it is our belief that we are not violating the law but are in fact doing a service to the Filipino people by duly providing them with information on both sides of the current RH controversy.
It is for these reasons that after having given due consideration to your concerns and consulting with our legal team, we are respectfully refusing to give in to your demands.
Allow us here to reiterate our ongoing stance that there remains a need to continue a respectful and fact-based discussion on the RH Bill. We at Filipino Freethinkers believe that keeping an open, honest discussion on RH and other matters of public policy benefits both sides.
We therefore wish to ask your good organization to help all involved in public policy issues to arrive at, as you put it in the title of your event, the real ‘Truths’. We would like to ask that Defensores Fidei do its part to propagate discussion rather than end it by resorting to threats.
President, Filipino Freethinkers
The Editorial Staff of filipinofreethinkers.org
Original Letter From Defensores Fidei:
It has been brought to our attention that transcripts and videos of “Women Speak: Medical and Legal Truths about the RH Bill”, a symposium organized by Defensores Fidei and the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord at SM Megamall on April 30, 2011, have been posted at the website of your organization (at http://filipinofreethinkers.org/2011/05/02/tastebuds-tsunamis-and-the-thorough-twisting-of-truth-a-recap-of-the-anti-rh-forum-at-sm-megamall-1-of-2-parts/ and related links) without the permission of the lecturers and the event organizers.
Please be reminded that according to Article 172 (c) of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, “lectures, sermons, addresses, dissertations prepared for oral delivery, whether or not reduced in writing or other material form” are works protected by copyright, and pursuant to Section 177 of the same Code, only the copyright holder has the right to carry out, authorize, or prevent the reproduction, publication , or communication of the work to the public. Anyone who would violate such rights would incur civil, administrative, and criminal liabilities.
Thus, formal demand is hereby made on your organization to remove the aforementioned transcripts and videos from your website, and to refrain from further unauthorized publication of the said materials on your website. Should you fail to heed our just demand, our organization will be constrained to take the proper legal actions to protect our rights.
For your guidance.
Defensores Fidei Foundation