No holidays for software pirates as two firms raided
Friday, December 19, 2008

Manila, Philippines – Companies using unlicensed and pirated software must not expect any respite from raids during the holidays as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation’s Anti Fraud and Computer Crimes Division (NBI-AFCCD) swooped down on two companies suspected of having committed this criminal offense on Thursday, December 11, 2008.

Two separate teams of the NBI-AFCCD operatives simultaneously came knocking at the offices of Alden C Ong & Associate (ACO) Consulting Engineers and NDE Digi-Tech, Inc. on that day to serve them search warrants issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court based on reports that they were allegedly using computers loaded with unlicensed and pirated computer software.

ACO Consulting Engineers, which holds office at the 4th Floor of the Don Jacinto Building at141 Dela Rosa corner Salcedo Street in Legaspi Village, Makati City, provides consulting services to the infrastructure development and construction industry. NDE Digi-Tech, located at Unit 209 Plaza B of Northgate Cyberzone Filinvest Corporate City in Alabang, Muntinlupa, offers computer aided design, manufacturing and engineering services.

The raids resulted in the confiscation of 21 computer units installed with various suspected unlicensed and pirated copies of AutoCAD® software and one CD installer containing AutoCAD® LT 2000. The seizures have a retail value of more than Php 5 million.

“Software copyright infringement is a serious violation that should not be tolerated and we at the NBI are committed as ever to go after businesses that continue to use unlicensed and pirated software,” said NBI Director Nestor Mantaring.

The use of unlicensed and pirated software 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 Php 1.5 million.

The NBI together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Optical Media Board (OMB), have continued to conduct enforcement actions against businesses across different areas in the country that continue to flout copyright laws by choosing to use unlicensed and pirated software in their business. The three agencies are members of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (www.papt.org.ph), a government-led initiative to curb software piracy in the country. The PAPT is also a member of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), a group tasked by President Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo to enforce the country’s IPR laws.


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