I first read about this story from Abe’s blog and, frankly, I was a bit surprised about it. The story I’m talking about is the disqualification of Arts and Portfolio winner Einstein Arts (the main site has been taken down) from the recently concluded 10th Philippine Web Awards.
I’m surprised because I’ve been a judge for the awards for the past seven years and the issue of ripping off designs/copyright infringement had to happen in this major year for the awards. The organizer of the event since the start, MediaG8Way has already made an announcement that it is revoking the award and giving it to the runner-up based on the scores (yes, the sites actually given scores).
What does this mean for the web industry? Does this incident invalidate the Philippine Web Awards? Honestly, I think this whole issue should rock the web industry again and look inwards when it comes to ripping off and originality. However, I think it won’t. There’s a prevailing attitude of fudging originality to get the job done in the country’s web industry. It just so happens someone used a derivative work to win in the country’s biggest stage for the web industry. It’s tantamount to someone winning a Pulitzer with an novel cut and pasted from an e-book.