Sunday, June 15, 2014
Personal Letters Are Copyrights.
An anonymous poster asked this question, which is found here. According to the poster, he stated:
Like I said, prove that it is against the law to have a copy of the letter, especially since it was given by the author; quote the law. I would want to remain anonymous if I was the contact to avoid harassment from crazies like you all. Again, where is the law that makes it illegal, and provide the evidence, not speculation, that the law applies to this specific case.
Having a copy of the letter depends on how it was obtained? Was it sent by the person who wrote the letter? We already know that Cardinal Tagle sent his written letter to Jennifer Dulla, Tony Diaz, and Sister Mariam. Their names are on the letter. Tim Rohr, on the other hand, stated that he obtained a copy of the letter from his contact in Manila....a contact he refused to name. Even his contact wrote in Junglewatch and refused to reveal himself. Mr. Rohr never said that he obtained the copy of the letter from the cardinal.
Another issue is the publication of the letter. Does Tim Rohr actually have the permission from the cardinal to publish his written letter? Every personal letter is a copyright and is owned by the person who wrote the letter. Why didn't the Umatuna publish the cardinal's letter? Perhaps, it is because they did not have his permission to do so. Below is a weblink giving legal advise to questions on the Internet. The question deals with copyright on personal correspondence. The question asked was:
Question: Can I publish personal letters to me from someone else without the sender's permission?
The answer was provided by the Law Office of Michael Hermann. According to his legal advise:
Answer: No. The writer of the letter owns the copyright and all derivative rights(including copying and publication). Even though you received the letter, and consider it your property, the writing is not yours, and you must obtain permission from the copyright holder for re-publication. If you publish without an OK, you could be subject to penalties under copyright law, and possibly other state laws,(invasion of privacy, defamation,(?) depending on the content matter, and depending on whether your disclosures results in damages or harm to the reputation of the writer.
Legal Advise on Personal Correspondence
According to the Law Office of Michael Hermann, the writer of the letter owns the copywrites and all derivative rights, which includes copying and publication. Therefore, even if the Cardinal sent Jennifer Dulla a personal letter written by him, the words in that letter is a copyright and cannot be published without the permission from the cardinal. This not only brings into question the Cardinal's personal letter that was published in Junglewatch, but also all personal correspondence between Aaron Quitugua and Father Adrian and correspondence between Father Paul and the Archbishop. Did Mr. Rohr obtain permission to publish those personal letters in his blogsite from Father Adrian and the Archbishop as well as the other writers?