It’s been a crazy week fellas. I am so happy to say, “Thank God it’s Friday!” Now, all I have to think about is my weekend getaway and how to get adequate rests for the next week. And yeah, add those household chores that I have to finish by Saturday afternoon. Boom! XD


My chores aren’t the main concern of this post ‘cause honestly I can’t object to any of my tasks to do since nobody has to do it for me. This post will talk about some legal concerns I’ve been hearing for the past few days.


Judges gavel and law books stacked behind

Let me start with one of the most common cases in our society today. It is sexual abuse. It’s been really encouraging to see lots of people, men and women, who’ve been courageous enough to share their experiences. I understand how hard it feels to talk about it, especially because I’ve been abused also. Whatever kind of abuse you’ve experienced, you’ll definitely feel so broken, ashamed, and belittled.


As the number of victims grew, lots of support groups are also making their move to save the lives of the victims. Others pull them out of their houses, force them to leave their work where they’ve been abused, or keep them until they recovered from the incident. With those volunteers who are helping the nation, I am so sure that there’ll come a day when victims aren’t hidden and criminals are jailed.


Another case is robbery. It’s been a year since my boarding house was robbed. We never knew who did that; who caused all the trouble in our minds while we’re at a team building in Laguna. My friend, the one who lost important documents due to the incident, has received a new copy of all the important data stored at that pink traveling bag.


In this connection, I’ve heard lots of complains about police visibility. People have been asking where the cops were in times of need. I hope you’ll also understand that all those cops have families to come home to, and children that needs their parents even before they fell asleep. We should understand that their capabilities are limited, and they’re not superheroes with extra powers to serve everyone simultaneously. While other cops aren’t doing their job properly, others are trying so hard to maintain their good reputation for the sake of their families.


A fan of the People’s Champ? If yes, I know you’ve heard of the tax evasion case filed by the BIR against him. At first I thought it was just a joke, but there were lots of news that talked about it. Even his tax records at the US we’re also shown through different media.


In my opinion, there should be a thorough investigation before filling that case against him. Everyone knows where he got all his wealth. It was the product of his determination, tough trainings, and painful fight. He has lots of commercials, and also released an album. They have a family business, too. I don’t exactly know what was happening at the systems of BIR, but I am hoping that the case was already closed. Well, hope it was in favor of the people’s champ.


Lastly, defamation cases. I’ve heard lots of these in show business, where people have been waiting for a celeb’s statement about issues and controversies. Well, even ordinary people have been sued ‘cause of gossips and false accusations. The worst thing I’ve known was the involvement of fiction writers in a libel case. What?


Imagination is the bread and butter of a writer. They create stories through their imagination. They compose poems through their thoughts and ideas which are sometimes out of the ordinary. They live in fantasies, assumptions, and creativity. Sadly, not everyone could understand its sense.


According to my researches, libel is “the act of publishing a false statement that causes people to have a bad opinion of someone”1


So, the final question is: “Could A Writer Be Liable for Libel in Fiction?”


According to Mark Fowler, “You do not libel someone simply by depicting him or her in fictional circumstances. Libel requires a false and defamatory statement of fact “of and concerning” an identifiable living person (or business entity). If real people are depicted in your work only as engaging in acts they actually engaged in, there is no “falsity.” If real people are depicted in your work only as engaging in acts that are not at all untoward, there is no reasonable claim for that your work is “defamatory.” (Of course, your model’s view of whether he or she has been held up to shame and ridicule may differ markedly from yours.) Finally, if readers would not understand the statements you are making about your fictional character to be statements about a real person, then the statements are not “of and concerning” that person.”2


“Again, don’t over-sweat this. Libel in fiction is an infrequent problem and one that can be readily avoided with some advance thought about how you are using real-life models for your fictional characters. Far more challenging and more common is the problem of reducing the risks of a defamation action arising from a tell-all memoir”3


I guess that would be enough to stop bullying those writers who were just doing their hobbies, their jobs, and their journals. I’ve read too many stories and I assumed they’re all about me. Well, I guess that’s because I can relate to the character’s situation or characteristics. But in the end, I do understand that it’s just a work of art. Just a work of their special intellect as a writer.


Cases are all around us and sometimes, we can’t notice them. I’ve been ignoring my law class when I was still in college, but I’ve learned one thing that we should never forget. Law guides our nation, but then there’s always an exemption.


Thanks for reading!







1 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/libel

2 http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2010/12/could-i-be-liable-for-libel-in-fiction.html

3 http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2010/12/could-i-be-liable-for-libel-in-fiction.html


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