NBI Nabs 3 Retail Stores for Software Piracy-updated
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Issued on behalf of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team
NBI Nabs 3 Retail Stores for Software Piracy
Owners and employees of retail stores to face possible criminal charges
October 2013, Manila, Philippines -- Shortly after the recent raids conducted by the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) led by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on BPO Operator JECC, three popular computer retailers namely Microstation Computer Center Inc., Starapple Computer Corporation and PC Chain Superstores were caught selling branded PCs loaded with pirated software.
Armed with a search warrant, NBI inspected these computer retailers in Quezon City and Muntinlupa and found its employees hardloading unlicensed software in branded PCs. The inspection yielded Php 375,000 pesos worth of pirated software.
“Retail stores must refrain from loading the computers they sell with pirated software. Hardloading of pirated software can expose its consumers to serious malware and virus attacks which can lead to data theft and losses. Meanwhile, consumers must also take part in ensuring that the computers they are buying are loaded with original software. Just because the computers being bought are well-known brands is no assurance that they are loaded with original software,” said Atty. Dante Jacinto, Chief of Intellectual Property Rights Division of the NBI.
Business operators of Microstation Computer Center Inc, Starapple Corporation and PC Chain Superstores will be facing criminal charges and are at risk of having a hold departure order, issued against them. These establishments are also in danger of having their business permit cancelled and may also face immediate tax investigation. Sales personnel as well as technicians will also be subjected to criminal charges if found guilty of hardloading pirated software.
Based on the study conducted by the Microsoft Forensics team, units of multi-national brands Acer, Lenovo, and HP were found to be the susceptible to being loaded with pirated software. Reproduction or copying of copyrighted computer software without authorization constitutes an act of piracy which subject companies and senior management to penalties including imprisonment and fine.
“These stores were already identified by mystery shoppers to be engaging on hardloading. People engaged in software piracy are not only exposing themselves to legal action but are also putting their businesses at serious risks. Software piracy is not only a crime; it is also a risky business proposition. The damage that this type of illegal act brings far outweighs any benefit that it may provide. It’s better to legalize now than be sorry when it’s already too late,” Atty. Raul Cortez, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, Microsoft Philippines emphasized.
“This is why all businesses are encouraged to use only genuine software to avoid further complications that could affect business operations. Continued use and selling of pirated software does not only expose your consumers to harm but, it also subjects you, your employees, your businesses and your consumers to numerous risks including loss of property and criminal prosecution” added Atty. Dante Jacinto, chief of Intellectual Property Rights Division of the NBI.
To strengthen the protection of the intellectual property in the country, the PAPT will continue to enforce it campaigns against software piracy in all parts of the country. The NBI aims to continue its raids, to ensure that businesses are using genuine software.
The NBI is a member of the PAPT together with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, Optical Media Board and Philippine
National Police. 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.