Cebu businesses warned to legalize use of software in 20 days to avoid PAPT raid: Only businesses awarded with the IP Seal will be spared
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cebu City, 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) declared the official start of the 20-day grace period given to businesses in Cebu to legalize their use of software. The PAPT earlier launched a nationwide campaign which seeks to map out software piracy-free zones across the country.

The 20-day grace period given by the PAPT in Cebu starts Tuesday, June 1, 2010 and will end on Monday, June 28, 2010. PAPT enforcement actions will resume on Tuesday, June 29, 2010.

“We at the PAPT do not want to stifle the operations of legitimate businesses. We would like to give businesses the opportunity to review their software licenses and correct any form of software piracy that they might uncover such as underlicensing, mislicensing or non-existence of software licenses at all,” said NBI Director Nestor Mantaring.

“Businesses in Cebu should be ready with the necessary proofs of licenses when the PAPT goes to their premises. The use of illegal software in the workplace is a violation of the IP Code of the Philippines or RA 8293. Violators of the law will face stiff penalties including imprisonment of up to 9 years and penalty of up to 1.5 million pesos,” Mantaring added.

The NBI director made known that business establishments with the IP Seal will be spared from PAPT enforcement actions. The IP Seal is awarded by the Intellectual Property Coalition (IPC) to businesses that observe compliance with the intellectual property (IP) laws in their operations, including the use of licensed and legal software. The PAPT maintains a memorandum of understanding with the IPC which covers this provision. For more information on the IP Seal, call (02) 387-3711 or send an email to ipseal@ipcoalition.ph.

As members of the PAPT, the NBI, OMB and the PNP have already conducted numerous raids, buy-bust operations and routine inspections against corporate offices, computer retail stores and Internet cafes that are allegedly using and distributing unlicensed and pirated copies of software.

In advance of the crackdown, business owners, CIOs, IT managers or other personnel in-charge of the company’s IT assets have been advised to be ready with the necessary proofs of software license including license agreements issued by the software vendor, official receipts, and/or the actual original installers as well as any other software license documentation.

They have also been given notice to be prepared to present the complete list of software used in the operations to expedite the clearance process and avoid disruption of business operations especially during corporate routine inspections conducted by the OMB. The PAPT enforcement actions on use of illegal and unlicensed software include anti-virus, engineering and design, multimedia, office applications and operating system software.

Since the PAPT declared its campaign against software piracy for the year in March, the team has already conducted 15 corporate end-user raids, 3 retails raids and 9 corporate routine inspections in numerous cities within Metro Manila. Almost 80 Internet cafes in Metro Manila and Bicol have also been subject to PAPT routine inspections.

For more information on the PAPT, visit www.papt.org.ph or call the PAPT Secretariat at (02) 692-9516.


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