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 findarticles.com:
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.]