PAPT anti-software piracy drive homes in on Northern Luzon, Central Visayas An urgent reminder for businesses to legalize their software or be penalized
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
06 March 2012, Manila, Philippines– After a successful campaign against software piracy in 2011, the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) is gearing up to an even more intensive drive this year by homing in on Northern Luzon and Central Visayas, with inspections on business establishments suspected of using unlicensed software commencing.
“2011 was a busy year for the PAPT. We’ve targeted Metro Manila, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro and other business centers in the country to ensure that business owners have been deploying fully licensed software in their business,” said Atty. Cyrus Valenzuela, Executive Director of the Optical Media Board (OMB), a member of the PAPT.
“We were disappointed in finding out that there were still a great number of companies, big and small alike, that continued to use pirated software in their operations in the areas we visited. Hence, as we begin our 2012 campaign, we would like to issue a friendly warning to businesses in Northern Luzon and Central Visayas –make sure you are using only original and licensed software, or risk suffering the consequences if we find you to be non-compliant,” Valenzuela warned.
The OMB executive pointed out that software piracy is a violation of Republic Act 9239 or the Optical Media Act and is a crime punishable by up to nine years imprisonment and a fine of up to P1.5 million under Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
“The country continues to suffer from the high rate of software piracy, which has stagnated at 69% for the last four years. Piracy deprives the economy of hundreds of millions of pesos in lost business revenues, millions of pesos in uncollected taxes, and our people of thousands of legitimate jobs that could have helped bring down our unemployment rate,” the OMB executive lamented.
Valenzuela cited the findings from the 2010 Global Software Piracy Study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) for the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which found Philippine’s software piracy rate remained at 69% in 2010, and valued at US$278 million.
“While most people are busy growing their businesses, they tend to overlook the very tools that help them be productive at work, such as software. The PAPT raids do not aim to stifle legitimate businesses. Rather, they seek to protect honest businesses from being subject to unfair competition by those that defy the law through their unethical and illegal business practices,” said the OMB official.
The PAPT was formed in 2005 in order to establish an integrated and coordinated effort by the government to counteract the negative effects of software piracy on the local IT industry and the economy. The original members of the PAPT included the National Bureau Investigation, Philippine National Police and Optical Media Board. In September 2011, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) joined the PAPT to reinforce the campaign to protect intellectual property rights in the country.
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.