OMB finds rampant software piracy among i-Cafes in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan
Monday, July 25, 2011

OMB finds rampant software piracy among i-Cafes in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan

 

Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines-The Optical Media Board (OMB), a member of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT), found Internet Cafes or i-Cafes in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City among the most rampant users of pirated software during its recent inspection of commercial establishments in those two Mindanao cities.

 

OMB agents confiscated the computers of iCafes which could not show proper documentations for their software.  Their owners and managers were also given 30 days to comply with OMB regulations or face possible criminal and administrative charges for violation of RA 8293, also known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and RA 9239, the Optical Media Act.

 

“Internet Cafes are found on almost every corner of the commercial areas, so it’s obvious that the I-cafe industry is booming in those cities. But it’s disappointing that there are Internet Cafe owners who fail or refuse to invest money on legal software yet earn as much if not more money than those who invest licensed software and comply with the law,” OMB Executive Director Cyrus Valenzuela said.

 

“The law-abiding and responsible I-Cafe owners must be protected from unfair competition from those irresponsible and unethical ones who are just out to make a fast buck.  The government and its law enforcement arms must not allow such unlawful practice and uneven playing field to continue unabated, for the sake of the long-term growth and stability of the I-Cafe industry,” the OMB official further stated.

 

Some thirty business establishments were visited by OMB in the two cities including the I-Cafes.

 

 

Following the OMB visits, the business establishments which were not able to satisfactorily show software licenses at the time of the inspection were asked to appear at OMB hearings to present proof of licenses.  The business establishments summoned were: ABE International Business College & AMA College Bacolod, Bangko Buena, Battlestation I-Cafe, Booglet’s Internet Cafe, Callbox, CENECO, Colegio San Agustin, Focus Direct, Golden Sun Finance Corp., Iloilo Mission Hospital, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University, John’z Computer Works, La Consolacion, Netology, Roscom & Co Inc., Savant, Smackdown iCafe, Taytay sa Kauswagan Inc., Valiant Rural Bank, Western Institute of Technology and Western Negros. The following internet cafes failed to attend the hearing and will be served a Notice of Violation and be summoned to Manila for a hearing on the administrative case for violation of RA 9239: GT Net Gaming, Ilogy iCafe and Marley iCafe.

 

 

Software piracy is a serious crime that is tantamount to fraud and theft. Violators shall be subject to criminal sanctions of up to nine (9) years in jail and a fine of up to one million five hundred thousand Philippine pesos (Php 1.5M).

 

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

 


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