Updates on dotPH vs. Versomina
Here’s an update written by a friend of mine working for dotPH. It details what’s happened so far with the company’s legal battle against Versomina, and made me reconsider my stance on blogging and libel.
Everyone is a champion of the sacred right to free speech – but how many of these well-meaning souls will still do it when faced with a harrowing, expensive lawsuit? Not to mention the fact that they will get a grand total of nothing for the effort?
Very few, I imagine. dotPH is one of them. It fought for the right to free speech – it is still fighting for somebody else’s right to free speech against a company that will sue a pair of shoes if it knew that it could get something out of the case.
Forgot it? Let me jog your memory. An anonymous person set up a blog called Alimuom using dotPH’s blogging platform, I.ph. The blogger aired his grievances against a company, Versomina, claiming that it abused its employees and sued them if they tried to leave. Joel Aquino (lawsuit-happy owner of Versomina, also charged with a criminal case by the NBI) got wind of this and asked dotPH to take down the blog. Valuing the inherent right to free speech, Joel Disini (dotPH CEO) refused.
Aquino then promptly sued dotPH for libel and damages. Take note, dotPH just owns the blogging platform and did not issue the offending claims itself. The blogger refused to step forward, and while there was overwhelming support from the former employees of Versomina and the blogging community, no one provided any useful information to support dotPH’s side. It could be out of fear or plain indifference, who knows, but it left dotPH fighting for a cause without an army.
After several months of wrangling in court, dotPH was slapped with a Temporary Restraining Order against the blog. dotPH filed a Motion for Reconsideration so there is still hope, but the fact that Aquino won the TRO means that there is not much to hope for. The bad guys are winning while the good guys are forgotten.
So, what now?
Two things. dotPH can continue the case. Time and expense has not been an issue this past year, and there is no reason for them to be as long as the affected individuals can provide the information they need to fortify their case.
Another way to deal with this is to just take the blog down and forget all about it. The freedom of speech is a noble cause, true, but only when people care enough to defend it for themselves, in any little way they can.
The Internet is a place where you’re free to talk about your lunch, how sad you were when your dog died, or how disappointed you were with your last company.
Let’s keep it that way. Help dotPH.
It wasn’t specified just how we could help dotPH. Perhaps spread the word about the case and let more people know about it?
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 28th, 2010 at 9:00 am and is filed under Announcements, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.