Hold Departure Order Looms Over IP Infringers
Friday, June 14, 2013
Issued on behalf of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team
NBI raids put seven businesses and one business operator on hold
June 14, 2013 Manila, Philippines- In the last week of May, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted raids on various establishments in Cebu City, where three hardware retailers, namely Nutech, MSi and Across Technology, were found to be hard loading several branded computers with illegal software. Four other hardware businesses, namely Cardinal Audio Center, PC Chain Superstore, PC Gadgets & Mobile Hub and Acenet Unlimited Business Computer Inc., were likewise found infringing copies of Microsoft programs in a similar raid operation conducted by the NBI last November 2012. Hard-disk loading is a form of software piracy where resellers of computer hardware load unauthorized copies of software onto the machines they sell. During the Visayas crackdown of the Pilipinas Anti-piracy Team (PAPT), a few number of branded computers were found to be hard loaded with pirated software were two Acer laptops, three Lenovo computers and one Samsung laptop.
Previously, a Hold Departure Order was issued against Mr. Winston dela Torre Novo, who is the owner sof PC Republic Enterprises, after he went into hiding following the filing of a criminal case against him for suspected copyright infringement, and was arrested last April by officers of the National Bureau of Investigation. A Hold Departure Order (HDO) restrains and bans all accused who have pending criminal charges from overseas travel. Copyright infringers may also be subjected to tax investigations and tax evasion charges for selling and using pirated software. This could be followed by the cancellation of their business permits and have their US visa revoked or questioned for eligibility.
The possibility of not being able to travel to the United States was further confirmed in a speech by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Assistant Attaché Mitchell Worley at the 2nd Philippine Anti-Piracy and Counterfeiting Summit held last October wherein Worley cited President Barack Obama’s commitment in ensuring a level playing field by not tolerating unfair business practices such as piracy and counterfeiting and keeping software criminals out of the United States as software piracy is considered a crime.
“Business operators should know that use of unauthorized software is a crime and that unauthorized users run the risk of facing criminal charges. In addition, the use of pirated software can expose users to malware and virus attacks that can compromise privacy and security,” Said Atty. Dante Jacinto, Chief of Intellectual Property Rights Division of the NBI. “This is why all businesses are encouraged to use only genuine software to avoid further complications that could affect business operations,” Atty. Jacinto added.
To strengthen the protection of the intellectual property in the country, the PAPT will continue to enforce its campaigns against software piracy in South Metro and other nearby provinces. The National Bureau of Investigation aims to continue its raids, to ensure that businesses are using genuine software.
The NBI is a member of the PAPT together with the IPOPHL, OMB and the PNP. The team was formed in 2005 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.
For more information on PAPT campaigns and details on the PAPT countdown, call the PAPT Secretariat at +632 368 5787or visit www.papt.org.ph.