This paper discussed the legal literacy in Saudi Arabia, and how we as a technical communicators can improve our countries attitudes if we want through a non-profit or profit organization. In addition it discusses the differences between Saudi Arabia and the United States in the law of intellectual property protection. This research discussed the law’s gaps in Saudi Arabia, it also shares some solutions in how we can as a technical professional communicators can prove the new generation. It discovers the law’s gaps through view some famous cases in Saudi Arabia, which have been perpetrated by famous people. It discusses the professors’ methods in promoting the students paper and teaching them that the quotations and references is only to make evidence on their argument. Saudi Arabia should transfer the improved knowledge in the United States to Saudi Arabia to promote the intellectual property laws in the Middle East as well.
Thousands of books about improving the world have been written by authors with unique ideas. The process of writing will never stop, and writers need to protect their ideas. Writers will stop writing if they feel their own ideas have been stolen. In The United States, writers have a motivation to write since they have a law to protect them. In my country, Saudi Arabia, writers stopped writing, and as a result, we have a lack of sources in the libraries especially sources for the master’s degree studies. In addition, we lost so many sources because writers go abroad to publish their writings to save their thoughts from plagiarism. This is not only in Saudi Arabia, but also in all around the Middle East countries. As an Arabian person, we have gaps in the law of intellectual property. We have cases that discussed these gaps. We have different kind of intellectual thefts using different methods like translation from different languages, which effect on the global improving. Under this bad condition of poverty in sources, we technical communicators, need to teach the new generation about the law and the copyrights, in other words the intellectual rights. Informing people and writers about the rights will improve the country from different aspects. Arranging an organization is one of the most important steps to the legal literacy in the Arabia Country. Applying the research moral course in the schools also one of the best solution to build a new generation thinking. Saudi Arabia and the Middle East should go forward to build a strong base on the new generation to create brighter knowledge future.
The Intellectual Property:
Intellectual property is what the writer’s mind creates like ideas, thoughts, or even creations objects. Each idea comes from the writer’s mind is intellectual property, and it has an exclusive protection and law in the modern world. It has different types like copyright, patents, and industrial design rights. According to The making of modern intellectual property law: the British experience, 1760–1911, “Although many of the legal principles governing IP and IPR have evolved over centuries, it was not until the 19th century that the term intellectual property began to be used, and not until the late 20th century that it became commonplace in the majority of the world” (Brad). We can recognize that the term of intellectual property is a pretty a new one in the academia writing field. As a result, we will not see this term has an effect on developing countries, which is the third world. Developing countries are in process to make organizations and teaching the new generation about this term to promote the next decade writings and encourage writers to write again their thoughts under the power of protection. According to World Intellectual Property Organization, these line which describes the importance of the intellectual property laws, “IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.” (WIPO).This quotation describes how the Intellectual Property will motive the writer to w rite more because he earn financial benefits form their effort and their creations by their own thoughts. Why is the intellectual property important? According to Stopfakes, “Intellectual property protection is critical to fostering innovation. Without protection of ideas, businesses and individuals would not reap the full benefits of their inventions and would focus less on research and development. Similarly, artists would not be fully compensated for their creations and cultural vitality would suffer as a result.” The intellectual property protection organizations will provide an open environment for the writers to write and get the benefit from their writing. They also will focus on the research and inventions more than concerns on, “If I write, someone will protect my own ideas or not?”
We have many different kinds of intellectual property, but the kind that focuses on the writing is the copyrights. The copyrights protect the writings, music, motion pictures, architecture, and other original intellectual and artistic expressions. The copyright protection law protect the writings with the symbol of copy right, which is ©. I derived this lines, which discussed the Intellectual property importance in the academy field, According to American Intellectual law association:
“Copyrights apply to writings, music, motion pictures, architecture, and other original intellectual and artistic expressions. Protection is not available for theories or ideas, or anything that has not been captured in a fixed medium. The act of creation itself produces a copyright and unpublished works are still protected. Use of a copyright symbol and date is common, but not mandatory. Most copyrights are valid for the creator’s lifetime, plus 70 years” (“AILA”).
The Intellectual Thefts:
Intellectual thefts is, when someone announces in public or in private that what he/she writes in his/her book is for him/her even it is not, and he/she does not use the right reference (Alrabiea). It has different shapes through different methods. Like when one stole a book contents and change the name of the original writer to his/her name, and she/he thinks this is really his/her book. She went to a different publishing company to publish her/his stolen book. This is not the only of intellectual thefts method, when one steals a context from a different language book, and he does not mention the source in his writing. Some writers steal the name of famous book, or add little word to this famous title to increase the sale for his new book. They can steal through pulling sentences from different book to their book and they treat as their own. There is no limitation for the intellectual thefts types which makes it difficult to create a hard law base. Especially in Arabic language, we have a huge vocabulary base, so the unreal writers can exchange the word by word without changing the style the phrase, which make it intellectual thefts with no clear way
In Al-Hayat journal, Abdulalsalam Alsaef made an interview with Dr. Sahar Al Khashrami, who is a professor in King Saud University. She focuses on the intellectual thefts problem in Saudi Arabia, and she consecrates her writings to teach the people about the issue perspectives. She wrote in newspaper some essays, and she did so many lectures for informing people about how they can help each other to figure out how to fill the gaps. In the meeting she talked about how the problem is complex. Firstly, she defined the intellectual thefts,
“The intellectual thefts intended to grab someone’s work, and the proportion of himself without reference to its owner, whether full by deriving as it is, or take excerpts and parts of it, or even distort some of what was in it, and minor amendments to blur the features key to seem new as an act, and some steals paragraphs The pages of the researcher or another author with him to keep the documentation, however, is the intellectual theft because it exceeded the allowable limit to quote” (“Al-Hayat”).
She said if we have a program to catch people, which steal the intellectual thefts, we will on the first list of this world. She means that Saudi Arabia one of the most country has intellectual thefts. She found some cases of thefts in the universities, and she contacted with the ministry of high education to find out some solutions. The ministry asked her to bring what evidence to prove what she said. She did. They ignored her when they saw the evidence. The interviewer asked her, “Why?” She said because the universities administrative do not have the ability of punishment anyone even the professors. The ministry of high education is in the process of making a spate organization for the intellectual property protection. In this point, in Arabic we said, “Start late better than does not start” Which means start late in making organization, and catch up with the problem better that do not start at all. The interviewer asked her if she had a motivation to focus her on the intellectual thefts cases, and if she face difficult in her work way. She responded yes she faced some issues with coworkers around her because they thought she wanted to catch on their mistakes. As a result, they tried to ignore her questions and her opinions.
Through the interview, we can see how the intellectual thefts has a huge discussion in the academic field in the Middle East especially Saudi Arabia. Since an academia field have a weak thefts’ program, an Arabian writer suffer from unprotecting publication. Even students in the universities know that maybe their professors steal some researches, or maybe they have fake degrees. Anything is possible around their academia environment. Depending on this insecurity environment, the students will do what their professors do. Because teachers are always a model for their students.
Legal literacy has caused many people to not completely understand the laws that protect peoples’ rights. In Saudi Arabia, there are no laws to protect intellectual property. Technical communicators should arrange organizations to increase consciousness about copyright law protecting writing, ideas, thoughts and intellectual property. In addition, we may be able to make lectures for students in universities and schools about respecting other people’s efforts. Establishing censorship of Saudi intellectual rights to impose sanctions on who exceed regulations and systems. All of those factors will work together to improve the country especially the education field. For example, writers will write whatever they think useful for people, and they will publish in their country if they see the country and the law will protect his/her thoughts.
Overall, we need to teach the new generation the law of protection of the intellectual property through technical and professional methods. Inform people about the writers’ rights will improve the country in many fields.
Cases in Intellectual Thefts:
In March 2004, the Saudi Arabian government signed the agreement of intellectual property protection. Before this date, Writers stopped writing because they were afraid from the intellectual thefts, so we delayed the improvement of the modernization like other countries for example France or the United Kingdom. The new generation of writers are trying to find out the intellectual rights gaps to fix them for lighter future in writings.
In January, 2012, Dr. Alqarni, well known in his knowledge and morals, and he is a professors in the greatest university in Saudi Arabia, stole a whole book for a primary writer, who is Salwa. She was one of Dr. Alqarni’s students. Their case was complex, and no one knew if the court gave a right judgment for them or not because of gap in the intellectual laws. Salwa wrote 60 pages from his books, and she referred to the sources at the end. Dr. Alqarni took the whole book and published it in a new name, and sold it in the markets. Salwa talked with Dr. Alqarni, and she described for him the case, but he said no, this was his book. He offered for her 10,000 R.S. At this moment, she decided to raise the issue against him (Alsohemi). The court accused Dr. Alqarni of intellectual theft, and they charged him 330,000 R.S, and the government prevented his book from Saudi Arabia. The people or the readers have different views, because the both book are about the honorable stories from the Islam history, and they repeated the same stories in their books (Alosaimi). As a result people still respect Dr. Alqarni, and they did not see him a thief. The new generation see this mistake is a gap in the law because stories are not an intellectual property. In my point of view, I see him as a thief because he used his a high position in the society on stealing book from a female primary writer.
In 2014, Badr Al Zidan, who is a famous interviewer, published his book Bent Al Sultan. The Saudi people refused to accept his book as an original work because they think he stole every word. Neither the court nor the intellectual property organization had any action in this case. Badr stole most of his book from different people from social media, and he did not use any references. His book is just a collection of tweets from different people, and he said these tweets were written by him, but in different ages (Al-loehag). No one complained against him because they, tweeters, did not sign their tweets for themselves. They lost their thoughts in social media. Hence, we can say, tweeter should have a reference for the first writer of the tweet. People in Saudi Arabia provided evidence against Bader, but they sent the evidence via Tweeter to Bader AL Zidan. He refused to hear any one, and his book in the International Book Bazar. People blamed the ministry of culture and Media for keeping silent upon this case.
In 2015, Dr. Al Habib, a psychological physicist, stole an article from a writer, her name is Dala’a Al Mufti. She sent a tweet for Dr. Al Hapip on social media (Twitter). He refused to answer her question directly. He answered the question in general tweet. He ignored her tweet, and he answered her with two lines,” The essay that in the Facebook, I am not responsible about it” The stolen essay is on the Facebook, and he said he is not responsible. She got really angry about his manner, and she said that she is a writer, and he should have respected her and answer her directly. He ignored her effecting on his high moral personality, and that show for the people that he acts on them by his speech. The court does not cover this case, and they did not give any attention for Dala’a Al Mufti complaint.
In Egypt, Dr. Abdul AL Haleem ALmusrafi, who is a great Arabic writer in the Middle East, had a bad story with one of the worst accidents in the world of publication. He published his book, which is (Sentence in Context) “Jomal fi Alnho”. When He was in Biuret in Lebanon, he saw his book in the library with different author name, who is the thief. Dr. Abdul AL Haleem had a shock. Then he got Hemiplegia. That led him to really bad conditions until he died. All of that happened to Dr. Abdul AL Haleem because someone stole his book in really bad way. The thief did not only steal the book, but he killed the author in indirect way through stolen his efforts without any permission.
These are only four cases, but in fact we have thousands of cases in the court or in the history of the intellectual thefts. These cases effect directly or indirectly on the writing production. Because of the lack of the law of intellectual property, the thief writers find their big space to work and earn money. They use the gaps of the law to make their own money by using the other people’s effort (WIPO). The new generation of writers and lawyers try to figure out how they could fix these gaps to create a secure space to write with confidence of protection.
In the technical and professional communication field, writers find that they should work hand in hand to improve the legal literacy in Saudi Arabia. People should understand there is no differences between famous people and the public. There should be equal rights for everybody to protect their intellectual property. TPC writers can inform people about the intellectual crimes though writings and organizations. Overall, we need to organize a non-profit organization to warn people about the dangerous of intellectual theft. In addition we can fight the intellectual theft through our scholar writing. Finally, we have huge education barriers that prevent us from improving our country.
Depending on the weak programs to catch up with the intellectual thefts in the Arabia countries, the law has different gaps. These gaps add a complexity to the decision making. That leads to more intellectual thefts and more obstacles in the improvement of the country. In Arabic history, there are uncountable stories in courage, generous, morals, values, etc. In the law, this is not intellectual thefts if you write the same stories of other writers because stories is not intellectual property. Even though we have still the methods of narrate the story is different from one person to another, but the law does not cover that. We can see this gap in the Dr. Al Qarni case with Dr. Salwa.
During this net age, I must say the intellectual thefts are increasing especially after the social media. Twitter does not have a methods to find the source of tweets, so some people steal from the writers some thoughtful tweet, and treat the idea as they own. The law in the court does not cover the social media ideas. We have the youth ideas in tweeting and bringing creative thought to the society, but no law protect their property. Now twitter has updated the program but it is worse because they delate the time of the tweet, so never know when the tweeter write this tweet. Depending on what happened with Bader Al Zeidan. He stole different tweet from different people and create his own book, and the country identified his book as one of value.
When I write some key words in the google icon, so many articles come down in Arabic language with different writers, and the reader will never know who write idea first. Probably it’s from Facebook, Twitter, or any information source. The law does not cover these as intellectual thefts, and no one can catch the thief from the original writer. That leads to limiting the space of writing, writers try to keep their writing in protect from public if there is no one protect that has been provided for their intellectual property.
All of these gaps and more break down the power of the court in protecting the writers’ thoughts in their production process. I deal my research on gaps in Saudi Arabia, which is my country, but I do not discuss the cases and gaps in the while Middle East country. The Arabian writers suffer with their intellectual property protection. When they write their own thought and published their books, they keep in worries about what if someone will steal their efforts and publish their ideas in different name. These fears stop them from constant writings. When the people stop writing, the improvement will stop.
The United States Law:
In the United States there are effective laws in place to protect writers. The U.S has a complex base of laws that support the creativity to promote more and more through years under the government protection. According to (An Introduction to the Law and economics of intellectual property) by Stanley N, Besen and Leo J. Raskind,
“Article 1, section 8, of The U.S. Constitution grants to the congress the power: “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writing and discovers. “Under this general grant, the congress has enacted a number of statues, including the copy right act [17 U.S.C.A. Sec, 101-810], the patent Act [35 U.S.C.A. Sec. 1-376], and the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984 [17 U.S.C.A Sec. 901-914]. In addition, the federal government has enacted the trade mark Act of 1946 (“Lanham Act”) as amended [15 U.S.C.A. Sec. 1051-1127] and there is state law regulation of trade secrets and of misappropriation of other information. These six legal regimes constitute U.S. intellectual property law. In addition, the United States has sought protection for the works of its authors and inventors in other countries by joining a number of international intellectual property conventions, including the Berne convention for the protection of literary and artistic works, the Universal Copyright Convention, and the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property. Intellectual property issues have also begun to occupy a prominent place in discussion of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.”(Besen and Raskind, 1).
According to this quotation, the United States applied many laws to provide a security environment for authors, writers, and inventors to promote their knowledge through the thoughts in their creativity production. We can see that the United States is one of the countries publishing the most in the world. In the Worldometers, there is a statistic that provides the number the books that countries publish in certain years. In 2010, the United States published 328,259 (new titles and editions). The statistic depends on, “The data on books published displayed on the Worldometers’ counter is based on statistics published by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)”. According to this website statistic, the United States gets a high number of publication in new title books, and this this the result for the intellectual property protection. As a result, for this protection, the publication statistics goes up more than other countries.
In the universities in the United States, The administration, which concerns about plagiarism issues, provides programs, like Safe Assign, to catch if the students’ paper has a paraphrase or quotations without references or citations. That supports for professors to work on promoting their students to write their own ideas, and use the citations and references as evidence on their argument more than as a main points in their research. Professors need, in Saudi Arabia, programs to find out what the students do in their papers, and if it is from their own ideas or from another sources. Since we have a lack of sources, the Arabian students should recognize their effective roles in improving the Arabia library through their effort to publish their ideas and knowledge, and make a new print finger in the academia field in Saudi Arabia.
In Saudi Arabia, old stories from history fall outside the law of intellectual property. As a result, we have so many cases have been refused from the court. For example, the situation of Aiad Al Qarni and Salwa in their books. In the United States, writers should write the person who had this story in his life in the reference, or they should cite the book that they bring the story from it. This this one of our gaps in the Middle East’s law, and we can fix it by use the same strategy of the American system. We should transfer the American system to the Arabia court, and get the beneficial and positive effect from it.
In the United States, the Tweet should be cited if the writer uses it in the research paper. That would protect the people all around the world from different countries. On the other hand, people in Saudi Arabia, the tweet will not be cited because it is a tweet and it is from social media. The students in the Universities are trying to find scholarly sources that they can cite. Even though, the United States is a more improved country, and they have a strong protection for the Social Media. Social Media is one of the most updated sources and the people start use them as one of the most fresh information websites. Since the user in the social Media provide the information when the reach it for people. So the people or specifically readers want to see the information new as much as they can. Social media is recognized in the years as one of the preferred sources for information in the world. The intellectual property organization in Saud Arabia should look to the modern world and how we should change different things round us. They should provide new laws as we have new things in this technology world.
Solutions through Teaching:
Through examining many cases in the Middle East, I recognized different gaps, and I discovered some solution to fill this gaps like transfer the modern United States law in intellectual property. In addition, Saudi Arabia should improve some teaching skills to inform the new generation about their rights in intellectual property. Teaching is the most important roles to improve the generations for the better future. Different solutions that the country has and different effects in different degrees. The most effective solutions are, teaching the moral of research course, Programs of plagiarism, organization to inform the Arabian society, use technology to serve the case.
The Ministry of Education should apply a moral research course for students in high schools and in the university system. And as a result, the student will know what they have to do if they want to research about a specific topic. They will understand how they should use the citations and references, and if they should make a quotation and paraphrase in the research paper. They will understand that every author has his own ideas and his ideas are one of his property, and the new researchers should respect that and refer for the original author work. Through the moral of the research course students will recognize red lines that they should not go across them. Secondly, the high ministry education has to provide a program to check out how much the students quote from other people and account it per percent. Also professors need a program to check if the students made plagiarism or not in their research paper especially for graduated studies. Master and doctorate’s programs should be under an examine process of checking the research paper, so they be able to teach students in quality skills of research and honestly. For example, when the students hand in their research and before the professor starts, the research should o under a program that check if the research is new or it is an intellectual thefts. In this situation the professor will promote directly the research’s moral in his students, who are the new generation for the country. Thirdly, we, as technical communicators, need to establish organization to provide for the people and writers their rights in what they write or even think. The organization goals are to inform the people about what they should respect when they make research, on what the writers have to do when someone steal their own thoughts. The organization should do her job in informing the people all around the country through lectures a broacher. Also, they should open channels in YouTube, Tweeter, Facebook, and Instagram. The new technology will teach the people in their houses or everywhere, especially the youths. The organization should touch the society from different perspectives, and show the society that the intellectual thefts will lead us to less production country, and less improvement country. When the organization should the positive and negative effectives for the intellectual thefts, the people will get more conscious about the future of their knowledge in their country. Finally, the government should encourage the writers to write more and get published, so they serve the academia field, and serve the students in graduate schools. Graduate student can nor find enough researches bout their research topics in different field, so they want more Arabian sources.
Overall, Saudi Arabia needs to improve the conscious of people about the intellectual thefts, and how it effects the improvement of the country. The legal literacy is one of the requirement that the country needs to meet in the people to improve from different perspectives and in various aspects. The law has gaps that we need to fill, and meet thee expectations from current writers and from the future writers. Also, Saudi Arabia needs to create organization to support the people in the legal literacy importance, and they should understand the ideas and thoughts are one of the personal property for the authors and writers. The improvement of the country depends on the security of the country in different aspects. The writers when they know that their intellectual production will be protected, they will go ahead to write what they think, and they will help in supporting the country economically and rationally through their creations of creativity. I hope, my country reach in improvement like what happen in the United Sates.
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