PAPT launches new nationwide campaign to map out software piracy-free zones: Starts in Makati where companies given until March 26 to legalize their software
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Above photo shows (L-R) IP Coalition Vice Chairman Ed Sazon, OMB Chair Ronnie Ricketts, CIDG Director PCSupt. Francisco Don Montenegro, NBI Director Atty. Nestor Mantaring and BSA Consultant for the Philippines Atty. Bien Marquez during the launch of the PAPT campaign for 2010.
Manila, Philippines – The Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT), composed of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Optical Media Board (OMB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), has launched an all-out campaign this year to go after businesses using pirated software in a determined effort to map out several major business centers as software-piracy free zones. The campaign has already started in Makati, where companies were given until March 26 to legalize their software or face the risks of a PAPT raid or routine inspection.
The new, intensified and targeted campaign was unveiled during a press conference in Makati attended by representatives of the three agencies including NBI Director Nestor Mantaring, OMB Chair Ronnie Ricketts and PNP Criminal Investigation & Detection Group (CIDG) Director Francisco Don Montenegro. Business Software Alliance Philippine Consultant Atty. Bien Marquez lll and Intellectual Property Coalition (IPC) Secretary General Atty. Jun Rodriguez were also on hand to express their continued support for the PAPT.
The PAPT officials revealed that they will undertake countdown/crackdown campaigns in various business centers throughout the country warning companies to audit and legalize their software by a certain period, or else face the risk of being raided by the team if they have not done so. However, enforcement outside these business centers would continue should the PAPT receive reports of piracy. The PAPT team heads also told the media that they are in the process of validating the reports that were submitted to them against business establishments allegedly engaged in the use and sale of pirated and unlicensed software preparatory to the countdown/crackdown operations.
The PAPT had earlier announced through letters and flyers to companies operating in Makati a 15-day grace period giving them ample time to check their software and correct any unlicensed use and or distribution. Started on March 8, the countdown period expires on March 26 and the PAPT enforcement resumes on March 29.
Since its launch in 2005, the PAPT has already received 1,144 software piracy reports. In 2009 alone, more than a hundred software piracy reports were lodged to the PAPT, which resulted in raids against 16 business establishments, majority of which were located in Makati City. Aside from the raids, the OMB has also conducted corporate routine inspections in almost 100 corporations in Makati as well as different business districts across the country.
“The PAPT campaign this year will be concentrated on the geographic areas where most companies that are frequently reported to the PAPT are located. We believe that a more focused and targeted operation will bring about maximum results in both our awareness-generation and enforcement campaigns,” said NBI Director Nestor Mantaring.
“Business owners must legalize their software immediately before they are raided as they will suffer not only setbacks in their businesses but damage to their reputation,” warned PNP-CIDG Director Montenegro. “This is not to mention the possibility of their being imprisoned and paying a stiff fine if found guilty of infringing the country’s IP Code.”
OMB Chair Ricketts, on the other hand, said that all companies have to do is one simple thing to be spared from a PAPT raid – use and distribute only legal and licensed software. “The PAPT is determined to hunt down and clear out software copyright violators and begin to identify geographic areas that are free of software piracy,” said Chair Ricketts.
NBI Director Mantaring, OMB Chairman Ricketts and PNP-CIDG Director Montenegro are being featured in collaterals that aim to create awareness about the negative legal and business implications of using and distributing unlicensed and pirated software.
In a global software piracy study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) for the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the software piracy rate in the Philippines stood at 69% in 2008, which is similar to the rate registered in 2007. However, dollar losses caused by software piracy continued to increase, rising to US$202 million in 2008 compared to losses of US$147 million in 2007.
Speaking on behalf of the software industry, Atty. Bien Marquez III, BSA Consultant for the Philippines, cited the efforts of the PAPT in its drive to fight software piracy in the country. “During recent years, we have seen the remarkable effort of the Philippine government to advance its enforcement campaign against software piracy. We commend the PAPT for continuously embarking on fresh and innovative approaches in fighting software piracy,” said Atty. Marquez.
Since its organization in August 2005, the PAPT has conducted 139 raids against corporate end-users, computer stores as well as internet cafes, seizing over P400 Million worth of computers and software from these establishments.
For more information about the PAPT and its campaigns, visit www.papt.org.ph or call the PAPT Secretariat at (02) 692-9516.