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Essays on tech by J. Angelo Racoma

Help Out a Fellow Pinoy Blogger

| 27 Comments

edsarally.pngThere’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. There’s still so much to do around here, as you know. Amongst other things, we’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:

Let’s try this: for the first 10 x $100 contributions made via the paypal that Angelo mentioned – theblogherald (at) gmail (dot) com – you’ll get a link in “friends” for the rest of 2007. Just specify the link & text you want with the payment.

It’s like an über-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.

Author: J. Angelo Racoma

J. Angelo Racoma is a technology and automotive journalist and blogger. See more of his work at e27. Follow him via Twitter at @jangelo.

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27 Comments

  1. Let’s all help Abe. I will contribute via paypal as soon as I replenish my account . There are other ways I can give support but I’ll just get in touch with Abe directly.

  2. That’s great, Noemi. I hope you can help spread the word.

  3. Pingback: Fellow Pinoy Blogger Legal Fund Drive » Touched by an Angel - Parenting, Family, Marriage, Netrepreneur, Lifestyle, Health, Fitness and Grief Education and Recovery

  4. I’ll just help spread the word. I can’t afford to send any amount to help with the legal fund yet. But heck, I’ll be helping in anyway I can.

  5. Pingback: The Construct by Alex Maximo - The personal blog of a problogger and social commentator : Blog Archive : Help Yuga out

  6. that’s ridiculous! that former client won’t get away with lots of money. i’m at abe’s side.

  7. no money to give, but am hoping my post helps some.

    _Update: fixed link to jester in exile’s post -jangelo_

  8. Pingback: Tingog.com

  9. an idiot out to make some money.

    will help spread the word.

  10. Let’s Digg This inline with those malayasian who are also accused of this kind of harrassment

  11. All my readers have been informed of this situation as well. It’s a sad situation, when companies think (wrongly), that they are entitled to throw around libel suits like they were candy… failing to realize the strength of their case, and in this situation failing to realize that the suit is wrongly aimed at the hosting company.

    I informed Yuga, at his blog, that he may want to seek assistance from larger hosting companies such as 1and1, yahoo small business, blue host, etc. as they are faced with these frivolous lawsuits everyday, and usually successfully defend their position…

    (note to J: I think my trackbacks are being marked as spam by wordpress, please check your spam filters, thank you in advance)

  12. Thanks for the help, everyone. We’d appreciate it if you can help spread the word by blogging about this issue.

    @Nick, I’ll check Akismet.

  13. Pingback: The Abe Olandres Legal Fund at The Blog Herald

  14. that lawsuit is beyond ridiculous. i’m pretty sure there’s something in ploghost’s terms and conditions about that (well i hope so). and there’s the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression. but even so, as i understand philippine law, the statement must be factual for it to be defamatory in cases of a public entity – and the way that company is bullying abe, it’d seem that whatever bad things their former employee wrote may very well be true

  15. Pingback: Filipina in Cyberspace » Pinoy Blogger need your help!

  16. Pingback: topicfactory.com » Blog Archive » The Abe Olandres Legal Fund

  17. When sending via email address of theblogherald at gmail.com , it shows Business Name:
    Splashpress Media Ltd. . Is this correct? I want to be sure this is the right email.

    I cannot seem to send email to you so I had to post it here. Please get back to me so I can give details.

  18. Hi Noemi. I got your email and I replied. That’s right – Splashpress Media is the parent company of the Blog Herald. Thanks for helping out! :)

  19. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Philippines: Call for Help for a Fellow Blogger

  20. [...] By the way, Abe, if you’re here and reading, here’s some more interesting jurisprudence regarding your case, from Media Law Resource Center:

    Pennsylvania, Dimeo v. Tucker Max, Civil No. 06-1544 (E.D. Pa. dismissed May 26, 2006), appeal filed, No. 06-3171 (3rd Cir. appealed June 28, 2006).

    Status: Appeal of dismissal pending.[...]

  21. Just read about this. I wish there’s an online copy of the complaint.

    While I can certainly understand Mr. Olandres’ plight, I’d like to know what the other side has stated in their libel suit against him. I’m not saying at all Mr. Olandres is lying or anything, but sometimes things aren’t always what they seem when people don’t bother to check any and all available facts.

    What one believes doesn’t always matter if any applicable law or court decision says otherwise. Unfortunately there’s no requirement for one jurisdiction to adopt the decision of a similar legal dispute decided in another.

    This will definitely be a landmark case here, though no one can say for sure how this will turn up. If anything, a review of our current libel laws might be in order.

  22. Wazzup!

    What do you think about love? >:)

  23. I heard he earns around $7k a month online. I think he’d be able to get a good lawyer with that amount.

  24. How can I make money on blogging??

    Sna po ma2lungan ño ko pls……….

  25. Pno ko po b mapapaCkat ung blog ko??

    Kung d ño mkita ung blog ko, refresh ño lng ng paulit-ulit!!

  26. Maybe the company do not understand the concept of blog and posting.

  27. What’s the update of this case?

    I hope everything is fine now. It’s sad that sometimes people are just plain unfair.

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