Information Piracy

I wanted to use, “How The West Gets Information From Us and Deny Us Access to the Information” as the title for this post but it’s very long so let’s make do with the title above.

Anyways, this topic came to mind when I came across a story about Banaue earthworms at the Wall Street Journal. I wanted to read the whole article but it says:

What a bull. So someone from the Wall Street Journal goes to Banaue to do a story on the rice crisis, gets some information from our Banaue kailiyans, and limits online access to his article to those who can pay WSJ’s subscription fee? Isn’t this information piracy? As someone who believes in free access to information, I say it is. And it is happening silently without our knowledge.

Consider the following snapshots from

These are articles on the Cordilleras, with information sourced from the Cordilleras, and written by iCordilleras. Unfortunately, people from the Cordilleras cannot access these resources unless they are willing to pay a subscription fee. Argh. And to think that the basic information — about Kalinga’s bodong practices and Bokod’s conflict resolution system — came from the Cordilleras, no?

As the web replaces books and libraries as the main source of information, it is very likely that we will see more of this information piracy in the future. Can you imagine the implications? Someday, if we are not careful, the Cordillera’s collective wisdom/information/knowledge will be locked up somewhere in an internet vault that only the “haves” can access.

What do you think? Shouldn’t we also start crying “information piracy” every time those Hollywood billionaires complain about their intellectual property rights?

Hope to make a longer, meatier post on this issue. [If I don’t forget about it hehe.]

5 thoughts on “Information Piracy”

  1. this is not actually bull. online version of every major newspaper in north america have limited access!! and you have to pay the premium to get full access to all the articles. only major stories are published for free and other non front page articles (not limited to the banaue article)are available for subscribers. its like going to your convinience store and getting a copy of the printed version for about 2 bucks!its just business and NOT a blog! unless if its from AP or Reuters. capiche?

  2. Here’s one funny story – when I was looking for photo galleries for my site several years ago, I found a beautiful picture of the house I grew up in Sagada. So, I created a thumbnail of this picture, displayed the thumbnail in my site, and had it linked back to the photo gallery where it came from. Guess what? I received an email from the owner saying that I shouldn’t display his photograph in any modified form. HALU?! Did he ask permission to get a picture of our house?

  3. That’s a good one Sagada Igorot. Did you get any response from that person or did you respond to his email? Cheers and goodhealth.

  4. Unfortunately, that is what’s happening. The only thing we can do is to have writers like you write about our beloved cordillera and post it for free for anyone to enjoy.

    Sagaga Igorot, I had a good laugh:) did you send them an e-mail? would love to hear their response. Its best to take your own picture…

  5. shall we say, that is the price we have to pay for our TOURISM-MINDEDNESS? we say GO HOME YANKEES yet adopt western ways & flock to the “west”. reality?—its a darn free country folks!

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