NBI raids Axxis Loyalty Solutions Phils Inc. for alleged use of pirated software
Friday, May 30, 2008
Photo shows personal computers loaded with pirated software that were seized during NBI’s operation against Axxis Loyalty Solutions Phils. Inc resulting in the seizure of P2 million worth of computers and unlicensed software.
Manila, Philippines - The Intellectual Property Rights Division of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-IPRD) raided the office of Axxis Loyalty Solutions Phils. Inc. in Ortigas Center, Pasig City last week for allegedly using pirated personal computer (PC) software in its business operations. The raid which was carried out on the strength of search warrants issued by the proper court, resulted in the seizure of P2 million worth of PC units and unlicensed PC software.
Axxis Loyalty Solutions Phils. Inc., formerly known as Hudson’ Bay Loyalty Management (Philippines) Inc. is in the business of administering and marketing corporate incentive and loyalty programs aimed at giving rewards consisting of consumer products to customers for their continued patronage of particular goods or services. Some of the incorporators of Axxis Loyalty Solutions Phils. Inc. are also incorporators of Oliver’s Super Sandwiches Philippines, Inc. and local franchise holders of Haagen Dazs.
During the raid, the NBI-IPRD found 25 personal computers loaded with pirated copies of PC software belonging to known PC software companies, namely, Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft, - which are all members of the Business Software Alliance (BSA). The raid was conducted following a complaint filed by the BSA on behalf of its members, after it received reliable information or “tip” through its website, www.bsa.org/philippines, about the operation of Axxis using the said pirated software.
This raid is NBI-IPRD’s third enforcement operation against businesses infringing on software copyright for the year. The NBI earlier raided the offices of Steel Systems Engineering Philippines Consultancy, Inc. and AB Capital Securities, Inc., where they confiscated P28.5 million and P1.5 million worth of PC units and pirated PC software, respectively.
“The NBI is determined to continue going after businesses, whether large or small, local or multi-national, that are allegedly using pirated software in their operations. The use of unlicensed software in business operations is not only unethical, it is also a criminal offense and as such, business owners must be ready to face stiff penalties, and even imprisonment, if found guilty,” Atty. Meneses, head of the NBI-IPRD, said.
Software piracy is a violation of the Intellectual Property (IP) Code of the Philippines and is punishable by up to nine years imprisonment and a fine of up to P1.5 million. According to a study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) for BSA, the PC software piracy rate in the Philippines in 2007 is 69 percent which resulted to economic losses of US$147 million in the IT industry.
The NBI works with the Optical Media Board (OMB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in a coordinated efforts to curb software piracy in the Philippines, in their capacity as members of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT). The PAPT is supported by private IP stakeholders including the Intellectual Property (IP) Coalition and the BSA.
The BSA offers a reward of up to one million pesos to anyone who provides information leading to a successful action and prosecution against a business establishment using unlicensed and pirated software. Software piracy informants can also submit their report through BSA’s hotline numbers, (02) 895-6438 and 1-800-10-BSA-HTLN (1-800-10-272-4856, toll-free).