Diliman, QC, May 27, 2003 -- Due to limited resources and lack of access to 
one of the most basic and important implements of schooling, many students 
at the state university have resorted to photocopying required textbooks 
despite knowing they are violating of the law.

Students of the University of the Philippines (UP) argued, however, that 
they resort to buying photocopied books because original copies are not 
available in bookstores or the library does not have enough copies.

"We know it is bad but we don't have a choice," Frantz Rivera, a student of 
UP's School of Economics told The STAR.

Although Frantz claimed he has not tried photocopying his books for school, 
he said that most of his classmates regularly do so since original books 
cost as much as P1,500, while a photocopied version would only cost P350.

Gerry, a law student noted that using photocopied books is a big help to 
students, especially to those coming from families that are not well off.

He estimated that photocopied books are cheaper by as much as 70 percent 
compared to brand new ones.

A professor of Filipino and Philippine literature backed the arguments of 
the students.

According to the professor, who requested anonymity, students cannot be 
entirely blamed for resorting to the use of photocopied books as she 
admitted that even the UP library does not have enough books for the students.

However, she does not favor photocopying since it makes students less 
interested in attending classes and instead depend solely on the 
photocopied books.

"Actually, the problem is not as bad here since we seldom use imported 
textbooks unlike other colleges that rely on imported ones," she said. "But 
I believe something should be done about this."

Last week, elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 
(CIDG) raided two shops at the UP Shopping Center and confiscated numerous 
photocopied law books as well as a xerox machine, pressing and binding 

Authorities said the photocopying of books is a violation of Republic Act 
8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Rights.

A staff at the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs at UP 
denied knowledge of the illegal activity at the shopping center, asserting 
that the tenants should be the ones that must be held liable.

She disclosed that rightful tenants registered and allowed by the Business 
Concession Office usually sub-lease their areas to other business.

But University Student Council councilor and law student Anna Iglesias said 
it might not be good for students if photocopying of books is prohibited in 

"The entire university system will collapse if they do that," Iglesias said 
without elaborating. "Maybe what UP can do is to ensure that books are 
accessible to all the 27,000 students of the university, or provide enough 
books for everyone." (By Katherine Adraneda, Star)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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