We, concerned writers and supporters of literature, voice our dismay over the legally-registered demand of Noelle Q. de Jesus, Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, and Anvil Publishing—editors and publisher of Fast Food Fiction Delivery—for Adam David to take down his online reappropriations of the contents of the anthology. David selected excerpts from various pieces in the collection, retyped them, and plugged them into a website coded to generate random combinations of these passages. David’s work, accessible through Mediafire and Blogspot, is consistent with the trajectory of his writing, which—from The El Bimbo Variations to Than Then Than—has questioned notions of originality and displayed an impertinent stance to literary tradition and an aggressive repurposing of source texts, often to humorous yet critical effect.

De Jesus, Katigbak-Lacuesta, and Anvil, through their lawyers, have accused David of four grounds of copyright infringement and have threatened him with a fine of PhP150,000 and imprisonment of one to three years for each count. Hence, David stands to be fined as much as PhP600,000 and be imprisoned for as long as 12 years. The grounds for infringement are: (1) reproduction right, (2) other communication to the public of the work, (3) publisher’s right, and (4) moral rights. In other words, the editors and publisher have accused David of: not securing permission from the copyright owners, disfiguring the original form of the anthology material, failing to acknowledge the anthology’s contributors, and giving the public access to the anthology outside the conditions set by the publisher.

We are distressed by these accusations because we feel that the demand:

1. implies an unwillingness to participate in the kind of discourse that is necessary to the development of literary practice, even if and specially when such engagements are informed by negative critique;

2. exhibits a disregard for literary practices that have persisted over the past 500 years, specially in the light of copyist tendencies and the aesthetics of collage as evident in Cervantes’s Don Quixote, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, to the Conceptualists of the late 20thcentury;

3. with its emphasis on how David’s violation of copyright allegedly “erod[es] the integrity of every short story in the book,” is based on an outdated notion of author as singular, original, and propertied, hence reducing the work solely into a commodity and diminishing the agency of the reader by turning her into a mere consumer;

4. rather than encouraging discussion, demonstrates instead censorship through intimidation and harassment; in effect, by taking the legal (read: costly) route, the conflict between various aesthetic and creative viewpoints deteriorates into a battle of financial resources.

To conclude, the demand of de Jesus, Katigbak-Lacuesta, and Anvil signifies an aversion to practices that seek to advance the many ways in which authors produce materials, readers engage with texts, and literature responds to its changing social, technological, and cultural contexts. We denounce this attitude of conservative literary gatekeeping, we resist the policing of the literary community, and we oppose the forces that coerce our writers into silence.

(500 WORDS)

Mark Anthony Cayanan

Vincenz Serrano

Conchitina Cruz

Raymond de Borja

Angela Stuart-Santiago

Katrina Stuart Santiago

Carlos Quijon, Jr.

April Sescon

Denise O’Hara

Baryon Posadas

Florianne Jimenez

Naya Valdellon

Allan Popa

Richard Gappi

Glen Sales

Indira Endaya

Petra Magno

Lilledeshan Bose

Jacob Walse-Dominguez

Franz Joel Libo-on

Glenn Diaz

John Bengan

Maryanne Moll

Zosimo Quibilan, Jr.

Nanoy Rafael

Victor Dennis Tino Nierva

EJ Galang

Ergoe Tinio

Vladimeir B. Gonzales

Jay Salvosa

Marrian Pio Roda Ching

Harris Guevarra

Eliza Victoria

Mesandel Virtusio Arguelles

Ronald V. Verzo II

Beverly Wico Sy

Ellie Esquivias

Mayo Uno Martin

Edgar Calabia Samar

Andrew Albert J. Ty

Oliver Ortega

Honey de Peralta

Laurence Marvin Castillo

Donna Miranda

Marlon Hacla

Aldus Santos

Ramon Damasing

Alyza Taguilaso

Christoffer Mitch Cerda

Ken Ishikawa

Erwin Lareza

Bubuy Balangue

Jeremy De Chavez

Pepito Go-Oco

Ramon Guillermo

Apol Sta. Maria

Mark Benedict Lim

Jun Lisondra

Paul de Guzman

Sandra Nicole Roldan

Elmo Gonzaga

Mabi David

Paolo Jose Cruz

Joselito D. Delos Reyes

Martin Villanueva

Angelo V. Suarez

Gina Apostol

Timothy James Dimacali

Joseph Salazar

Mark Angeles

Jema Pamintuan

Erik E. Tuban

Julian Dela Cerna

Alvin Yapan

Althea Ricardo

Perfecto T. Martin

Carlo C. Flordeliza

Bernice Roldan

Joseph de Luna Saguid

Karla Quimsing

Kuya Doni Oliveros

Laurel Fantauzzo

Erika M. Carreon

Vicente Garcia Groyon

Kristian Cordero

Eduardo Dayao

Marguerite Alcazaren De Leon

Janise Claire Salvacion

April-Joy Eufracio

Ina Alleco Roldan Silverio

Daryll Delgado

Rodrigo dela Peña, Jr.

Om Narayan Velasco

Sonia Pascual

Vince Dioquino

Kristine Ong Muslim

Joey Clutario

Moreal Nagarit Camba

Ronald Benusa

Gesuina Marie Puangco

Bea Mariano

Zeny May Dy Recidoro

Daniel Lorenzo Pineda

Jewel Castro Aragon

Janine Dimaranan

Keith Bustamante

En Villasis

Shin Acabado

Sarah Raymundo

Chiles Samaniego

Gabriela Lee

Francis Paolo Quina

Faye Cura

Kristine Marie Reynaldo

Poklong Ananding

Lolito Go

Katrina Navarro

Lawrence Bernabe

Ned Parfan

Ana Micaela Chua

Rogelio Braga

Christian Tablazon

Carlos Piocos

Monica Macansantos

Carlos Antonio M. Cruz

Dana Lee Delgado

Katrina Macapagal

Jerry B. Gracio

Camille Banzon

Jose Perez Beduya

Jessica del Mundo

Ringo Bunoan

Jose Leonardo A. Sabilano

Jasmine Nikki C. Paredes

Romulo Baquiran, Jr.

Theresa Russel Padillo

Jefferson Chua

Carljoe Javier

Katrina Tankeh

Arby Medina

Joshua Paradeza

Trizha Ko

Patrick Bautista

Noel Pascual

Josel Nicolas

Giancarlo Abrahan

Ferdinand Pisigan Jarin

Ram Hernandez

Roy Vadil Aragon

Louise Vincent B. Amante

Chiles Samaniego

Zola Gonzalez Macarambon

Tilde Acuña

Chuckberry Pascual

GlennFord B. Tolentino

Mykel Andrada

Noel Villa

Jody Lorraine Felizadio

Carlo Antonio Cielo

Patricia May B. Jurilla

Owel Alvero

Shane Carreon

Janssen Cunanan

PLURAL: Online Prose Journal

Lystra Aranal

Neobie Gonzalez

Pedantic Pedestrians

Billy Candelaria

Cindy Cruz-Cabrera

Eric Cabrera

Anna Sanchez

Robby Kwan Laurel

Andang Juan


* The signatories of this statement are acting in their capacity as individuals, not as representatives or members of organizations and institutions.