Friday, September 27, 2013

Filipino-style #plagiarism: Nothing personal, just business

I've always wanted to deny the possibility of us Filipinos being just outright copycats. There are so many instances in our history specifically our entertainment industry where just the shear act of copying major works happen a lot. I can give a few examples:

1. Panday 2 Movie (Kraken scene)
2. This copyright infringement case.
3. TV 5 – They have a show there that pretty much copies the style of the talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live.
4. Some Filipino Movies.
5. Filipino super heroes like Lastikman and Gagamboy.

The list just simply goes on. Some of you may still add to this list but the bottom line here is we either lack the capability to come up with something original or we are just lazy. And I think that the "Crab Mentality" that some Filipinos posses may be the key to this.

We know very well that some Filipinos tend to get jealous when they see others improve or innovate on something. They just destroy that other person's will and reputation to develop new concepts or ideas. So we are stuck with old ideas because some of us can feel unappreciated. This may not seem much of a reason so I try to look back in history to see if there's even an indicator that will tell us if Filipinos, despite being ethnically diverse) are culturally "programmed" to copy.

I just remembered Quijano De Manila's (Nick Joaquin) article entitled "A Heritage of Smallness" where he explains why many of our local films are low in quality and most are recycled plots. His explanation simply puts it is to make a quick buck. Screw innovation, just make some money with the same idea people will buy it anyway.

So this seems to be the answer: Filipinos copy simply because of money. Remember that that UP student's motivation was also money. The movie Panday 2 tried to cash in with Clash of the Titan 2 by trying to copy the kraken scene. The producers are probably loaded with the impression that copying that scene will somehow entice audiences or make audiences think that their movie and Clash of the Titans 2 are equal in quality. So is that other movie Resiklo that came out around the time of the Transformers movies.

The falsification of public documents, as some posters here mentioned, is also motivated by the same reason like what Napoles and Co. did.

But even if poverty or profit is the cause,copying or stealing the work of another isn't warranted. And people working in the entertainment industry aren't exactly poor, they have more than enough resources to come up with something unique yet they don't or they rarely do so. This simply tells us that whether a Filipino citizen is rich or poor, copying is still a normal thing and we still try to justify our reasons when we get caught.

As far as judging the whole University goes, we'll have to look at the type of people graduating or working there there. Example is MILF founder Nur Misuari, he was a Political Science Professor there. Go figure. Something seems to be wrong with the whole institution or they just simply have a string of bad apples coming in and out.



  1. I don't really agree with this article at all, most of the Filipinos I know are not at all about money whatsoever.

    Also, the Philippines is one of the most innovative countries in terms of housing, business, and science.

    Ps, Please come read my blog, I am a young woman living in the Philippines, and I offer a much more refreshing, upbeat perspective about this country, which I have grown to love very much.

  2. Some of these, like Dingel's water-powered car, can be challenged, because no real product emerged. Of course, we are not talking about just inventions, we are talking about the arts and culture in the original article.

    In a recent report, the plagiarizing student said that he wanted to keep the cash prize. Um, isn't it that when your prize is forfeited, you can't keep it? There's something wrong with the guy. And this would actually reinforce the idea that many Filipinos want quick money.

    1. daryl dingle never put out his invention because it was fake. a taiwanese company gave him money to produce a prototype but he didn't because he said he wanted to protect his invention. but the funny thing is he didn't return the money and he is currently in prison


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