There’s a cabinet reshuffling over at the Blog Herald. My fellow problogger Abe Olandres has recently stepped down as Editor of the Blog Herald, and will be exchanging positions with Tony Hung, erstwhile Assistant Editor. Abe cites personal problems that prevent him from giving the Herald more attention at this time.
My recent personal issues/problems have slowed me down tremendously. A death in the family, legal troubles and more- all have piled up on me so quickly that I have been barely able to focus on my work. So I am glad that Tony accepted this role willingly and on such short notice. I will still be around, sometimes writing, but more on the back-end of things and I will continue to help Tony run the site. Thereâ€™s still so much to do around here, as you know. Amongst other things, weâ€™re getting a few more people into the writing team.
Abe tells me that he’s already spent so much because of the legal problems that it’s taking a toll on his finances. I’m not really sure I can discuss details of the case here, but believe me–it’s really quite stupid. Here’s how Abe describes it.
I run a fairly small start-up web hosting here in the Philippines. One of our former clients runs a forum that we used to host. Several members of that forum were throwing vindictives against a their former employer. That employer sent us a demand letter thru their law firm demanding that we terminate the site or be charged with libel as well. The client moved out from us the following day. However, the employer/complainant has now filed several libel law suits against us claiming that we are the owner of the domain and the operator of the site. The site is still up and running though hosted somewhere else, the domain was also transferred away from us. Still, the complainant is alleging we should have enforced some sort of regulations or control over the content when it was still with us.
Apparently, all they wanted is money and this case is just of one of their many business gigs.
If you ask me, I’d say that’s plain harassment. But you know how it is here in the Philippines. Corruption and inefficiency can be found in many parts of government (I should know, I was with government for quite some time). And the judicial system is probably not too prepared in handling such high tech cases yet. Court cases can take years to finish and in the end having to pay lawyers’ retainers, appearance fees and other miscellany (including suhol perhaps?) will be the real killer.
In line with this, some regular readers of the Herald suggested that we help out Abe with his expenses by setting up a legal fund. After all, this is a case where online publications are involved. And this could happen to any blogger (I’ve heard of bloggers in other countries being sued because of comments that readers have posted).
We’ve set up a Xoom link where you can send in funds: https://www.xoom.com/pay/26999757 . Xoom accepts any amount from $25 to $2,500. For smaller amounts, you can send paypal to theblogherald (at) gmail (dot) com.
Mark of Splashpress Media has also given an incentive to contributing:
Letâ€™s try this: for the first 10 x $100 contributions made via the paypal that Angelo mentioned – theblogherald (at) gmail (dot) com – youâ€™ll get a link in â€œfriendsâ€ for the rest of 2007. Just specify the link & text you want with the payment.
It’s like an Ã¼ber-discounted advertising rate. But it’s better since you get to help out someone in the process.
We should show our support for Abe, and express outrage at how people can take advantage of individuals like this. In the end, it’s not just about the money. It’s about principle.