PAPT intensifies drive against software piracy to stop further harm on economy
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Photo above shows (right to left) Atty. Bien Marquez, Business Software Alliance (BSA) Consultant for the Philippines, NBI Director Nestor Mantaring, Police Director General Jesus Verzosa, OMB Chairman Eduardo Manzano and IP Coalition Chairman John Lesaca reminding companies to legalize any pirated software that they have before they get raided by the PAPT.

Photo above shows (right to left) NBI Director Nestor Mantaring, Police Director General Jesus Verzosa and OMB Chairman Eduardo Manzano during the launch of PAPT’s “Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late!” campaign.

Manila, Philippines – The Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT), composed of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Optical Media Board (OMB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) has launched an intensive information and geographical expansion campaign targeted at companies using unlicensed software entitled “Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late!”

Among the components of the campaign will be the sending of letters to thousands of targeted companies all over the country, telephone follow-ups of the letters, distribution of flyers and other collaterals at business centers, and promotion of the PAPT website for information dissemination and reporting point for software piracy cases.

Featured in the campaign collateral will be the images of the heads of the three agencies – NBI Director Nestor Mantaring, OMB Chairman Edu Manzano and PNP Police Director General Jesus Verzosa – offering a series of messages that warn of the consequences of software piracy.

OMB Chairman Edu Manzano noted that software piracy has been hurting the Philippine economy in terms of revenue losses for the software and the rest of the information technology (IT) industry, in loss of thousands of jobs in the industry and others dependent on it, and in loss of millions of pesos of tax revenues for the government. “To save the economy from further damage, software piracy must be dealt with swiftly and without prejudice – no one will be spared from a PAPT raid,” Manzano stressed.

Even as the awareness campaign is being implemented, PAPT operations will continue and will also be expanded beyond the boundaries of Metro Manila, to reach key business districts around the country.

According to NBI Director Nestor Mantaring, the campaign is aimed at reminding companies and businesses that that they must check the software they are using. “If they find that they are not compliant, they must legalize immediately before they are raided and suffer setbacks in their businesses and damage to their reputation,” Mantaring warned.

PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa said that business executives must bear in mind that software piracy is a crime punishable under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. “The PNP will be enforcing the law to the fullest extent as it is duty-bound to do,” Verzosa declared.

John Lesaca, Chairman of the Intellectual Property Coalition (IPC), the umbrella organization of industry groups relying on protection of intellectual property rights, pointed out that sustained enforcement from the seizure of pirated and counterfeit products to prosecution of the ensuing cases in court, coupled with an effective public awareness campaign, was critical to the success of the fight against intellectual property theft in the country. He lauded the gains made by the PAPT so far, particularly in the area of software piracy and pledged the IPC’s unwavering support for the Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late! campaign. “Companies using pirated software run the risk of ruining their businesses forever once they are raided and caught red-handed. It’s not worth the risk,” Lesaca stated.

Atty. Bienvenido Marquez, Philippine Consultant of the Business Software Alliance which is also a supporter of the PAPT, cited a 2008 study undertaken by the International Data Corporation (IDC) that looked at the economic benefits derived from a reduction in software piracy. The study found that reducing the PC software piracy rate by 10 percentage points over the next four years could generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs globally, and billions of dollars in economic growth.

The BSA offers a reward of up to P1 Million Pesos for substantive reports on companies suspected of using unlicensed software. Those wanting to report cases of software piracy can do so at the hotline number BSA maintains for this purpose: (02) 895-64-38 and 1-800-10-BSA-HTLN (1-800-10-272-4856, toll free).

Since its organization in August 2005, the PAPT has conducted a total of 123 raids against end-users as well as internet cafes, during which it seized over P300 Million worth of computers and software.

According to the 5th global software piracy study conducted by IDC, the software piracy rate in the Philippines went down by 2% to 69% in 2007. However, losses in the industry have increased from US$119 million in 2006 to US$147 million in 2007 as PC sales and usage in the country grew at a much higher rate.

For more information about the PAPT and the “Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late” campaign, visit www.papt.org.ph.


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