OMB, NBI Bolster Fight Against Piracy with Latest Round of Inspections
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pirated Microsoft software and optical media discs confiscated,
hard-disk loaders now under custody



Photo above shows NBI officials with the arrested technician (in black) from Premium Logic Computers during the hard-disk load raid in SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.


Manila - In an effort to curb piracy and in light of the World Intellectual Property Day, the Optical Media Board (OMB) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have intensified its efforts against software piracy in the Philippines through another round of inspections in several key areas in Metro Manila.

Software piracy remains as one of the major challenges faced by IT companies today. To address this, private organizations like Microsoft work closely with the government in educating consumers about the perils of using counterfeit software and in ensuring that violators are reprimanded.

Earlier this month, inspections were carried out by around 29 OMB enforcers in Isetann-Recto, Times Plaza Mall, and University Mall in Manila; Market! Market! in Taguig, Shoppesville Plus in Greenhills, as well as several sidewalk vendors of counterfeit CDs, DVDs and software. A total of 29,200 pieces or 73 sacks of pirated movies, audios, PC games and software installers, including Microsoft software, were confiscated. The seized pirated and counterfeit materials cost an estimated street value of US$ 109,500 or approximately P4.3 million.

“We are very determined to work harder to ensure that software piracy be reduced and stopped while clearing out Intellectual Property violators. We are hoping that by these efforts, the community will see that patronizing counterfeit software negatively affects the business sector and presents security risks to the people,” Ronnie Ricketts, Chair, OMB said.

An inspection for hard-disk loading activities was also conducted by NBI where 15 unlicensed Microsoft Windows software and two computer sets loaded with counterfeit software amounting to about US$ 5,590.00 or roughly P223,600.00 were seized. The enforcers arrested and later released two technicians from Premium Logic Computers and Danamic & Static Computer Parts and Supply in SM Mall of Asia and Metropoint Shopping Mall in Pasay, respectively.

Hard-disk loading is a form of software piracy that happens when computer stores offer to load and install counterfeit software and programs to customers who purchase new computers. Violators of software piracy will be reprimanded and may face about 6-9 years in prison and a fine up to P1.5 million, as stated in the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.

“A lot of people are not aware that they are using counterfeit software in their computers and the dangers of using such. This is why it’s important to us at Microsoft to educate consumers about the disadvantages of using pirated software. We want our customers to be able to maximize the benefits of our technology, most especially to avoid the security risks that come with unlicensed software,” said John Bessey, Managing Director, Microsoft Philippines.

“Microsoft continues to work with the government in curbing the piracy rate in the Philippines and we’re happy that the OMB and the NBI are taking these measures to ensure that those who market, sell and purchase pirated software are made aware of the consequences,” added Bessey.

The technicians suspected of hardloading are expected to face criminal charges. “These individuals have exhibited wrongful behavior in reproducing copyrighted computer programs. Software piracy is a punishable act and hard-disk loading is software piracy that has certain consequences on the people who participate in it,” said Atty. Ricardo Blancaflor, Director General, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.

Software piracy contributes to losses in the country’s economy and the estimated P4.5 million of confiscated software, DVDs and CDs from the inspections translate to a significant decrease of job opportunities for the people and revenues to businesses and companies.




Photo shows of an NBI enforcer fingerprinting the arrested hard-disk loading technician during the inspection in Danamic & Static Computer Parts and Supply, Metropoint Shopping Mall, Pasay City.




Photo shows of OMB officials confiscating pirated DVDs and CDs in one of the stalls located at Market! Market! in Taguig.


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