Businesses Using Unlicensed Software BEWARE! OMB Warns of Series of Operations to Hit Key Cities In and Around the Metro

November 8, 2007
Philippines Daily Inquirer (Business)  8th November 2007Businesses Using Unlicensed Software BEWARE! OMB Warns of Series of Operations to Hit Key Cities In and Around the Metro The Optical Media Board intensified its vigilance against copyright violators by conducting a motorcade in key business locations around the Metro. This served as a warning to all copyright violators that the strengthened campaign of the OMB is a genuine movement against software piracy targeting all forms of business establishments all of which are expected to be in full compliance of the IPR and OMB law.

Agents from the Intelligence Inspection Division of the OMB joined the motorcade wherein business establishments in AyalaTownCenter in Alabang and SM Megamall in MandaluyongCity were paid a surprise visit. Stern spot checks were conducted to verify licensed softwares with computer units loaded with unlicensed software seized. Thousands of illegal copies of business software were seized from 5th Avenue Telecom in a mall in Mandaluyong.

The surprise arrival of OMB agents created a staggering alarm among owners of inspected business establishments who were warned to legalize any unlicensed software that they have or face adverse consequences including closure of business and possible imprisonment. Software piracy is a violation of the IP Code of the Philippines and is punishable of up to nine years imprisonment and a fine of up to 1.5 million pesos.

“The impact of software piracy is greater than the effect of other counterfeit DVDs such as movies and computer games. Business software has a greater scope since it is an indispensable productivity tool in any organization today. The consequences of a rampant software piracy include the pull out of export and trade quotas. Accordingly, foreign businesses don’t give 100% respect to our IPR law. Software piracy results to lost opportunities to the various industries of the country and lost job opportunities for our IT professionals,” said Chairman Edu Manzano of the OMB.

The OMB is determined to put an end to the rampant piracy in the country. “This is just the beginning of a stronger fight against piracy. The presence of the OMB in the Metro is a clear indication that piracy is no longer tolerated in the country. In addition to retail stores and i-cafes tolerating this blatant disregard for Intellectual Property, we will also be checking on companies belonging to different industries to determine whether they are conducting their businesses lawfully,” warned Atty. Rosendo Meneses, Executive Director of the OMB.

As the OMB keeps to its promise of eradicating the menace of piracy in the Philippines, the team is enjoining the public to support its effort in curbing software piracy the country. “The public plays a crucial role in combating the problems of software piracy by being vigilant, educated and by sending in reports of software copyright violators,” added Meneses.

Philippines Daily Inquirer (Business)  8th November 2007NBI scours key cities in Metro Manila for software pirates MANILA, Philippines (October 30, 2007) – Operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Intellectual Property Rights Division (IPRD) simultaneously raided four business establishments in different cities in Metro Manila including Paranaque, Muntinlupa, Makati and Manila for allegedly selling computers loaded with pirated or unlicensed software.

The raided establishments included Compex Sucat Inc. located at the 3/F Building A of SM City Sucat; Brochiere Computers in Festival Supermall in Alabang, Muntinlupa City; Pantertech located at the 3/F ERM Bldg, Bangkal Evangelista St. Makati City and Save on Surplus (SOS) located at the 4th level of SM City Manila.

“To attract more customers, the said stores were allegedly offering value-add service to customers which included free installation of business software on to the computers that were sold. Unknown to the customers, the software installed to the computers bought from these stores are unlicensed copies and are therefore pirated,” said Atty. Elfren Meneses, head of the NBI-IPRD.

During the raids, NBI agents inspected computers sold in the stores, which was duly witnessed by store attendants. All computers that were found loaded with pirated or unlicensed software were confiscated including pirated software installers. All seized items would be used as evidence against the raided stores.

A total of 29 computers loaded with unlicensed software and 15 pirated installers amounting to 650,000 pesos were confiscated during the raids.

“The NBI is fully committed to wiping out software piracy in the country. Stores selling computers loaded with pirated software do not only dupe their customers but also themselves. Instead of earning more through the sale of legitimate software, getting involved in software piracy would only lead to them losing their business,” Atty. Meneses added.

Software piracy is a violation of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and is punishable of up to nine years imprisonment and a fine up to 1.5 million pesos.

Together with the Optical Media Board (OMB) and the Philippine National Police in a unified effort of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT), the NBI aims to curb software piracy in the Philippines.

More information on the activities of the PAPT is available at www.papt.org.ph.

 

 

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