PAPT grace period against software piracy in Makati ends
Monday, March 29, 2010

Manila, Philippines - The Optical Media Board (OMB), a member of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT), starts the software piracy crackdown today against Internet cafes in Makati City after the ultimatum given by the team to legalize any software license misuse expired on Friday, March 26.

Led by OMB Executive Director Atty. Cyrus Paul Valenzuela, the team swooped down on several Internet cafes in the city to check if they have taken the necessary steps to legalize their use of software. Almost 20 internet cafes are included in the OMB list which was compiled from reports received by the PAPT during the past weeks.

The routine inspections resulted to the seizure of 19 computers for temporary custody of the OMB. Owners of the Internet cafes failed to present the necessary licenses for their software. They were advised to secure the necessary licenses and present these to the OMB office for verification.

The PAPT has earlier declared a 15-day grace period in Makati City which started on March 8 and which ended last Friday to give time for corporate businesses, Internet cafes and computer retail stores to review their software use and take the necessary steps to correct any unlicensed or illegal use of software.

“During the 15-day grace period, we have widely disseminated information about the laws governing software copyright including the Intellectual Property Code (IP) of the Philippines and the Optical Media Law,” said Atty. Valenzuela. “We have circulated letters and flyers on the existing PAPT campaigns and also came out in print, online, TV and radio during the past weeks. We therefore believe that there is no reason for businesses not to know about the campaign and to continue using unlicensed software,” Atty. Valenzuela added.

The OMB routine inspection is part of the PAPT crackdown campaign to urge all businesses to use and distribute only licensed and legal software. The PAPT has recently reiterated its commitment to map out business districts across the Philippines that are software piracy-free.

Atty. Valenzuela warned that this is just the start of the Makati-wide crackdown campaign. “You will expect more of the PAPT raids and corporate routine inspections against businesses using illegal software in Makati City in the coming days. We also urge businesses outside of Makati to start legalizing their software now because the next PAPT countdown might start in your area soon,” warned Atty. Valenzuela.

The use and distribution of pirated and unlicensed software is a violation of the Optical Media Law and the IP Code of the Philippines. Violators of the said laws face a fine of up to P1.5 million and imprisonment of up to 9 years.

The PAPT composed of the OMB, National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police, has put together useful information on the IP laws of the Philippines in its website, www.papt.org.ph. The website also provides updates on the PAPT countdown/crackdown campaign and links to other reference materials on IP.

For more information on the PAPT, you may call the PAPT Secretariat at (02) 692-9516.


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