Govt intensifies anti-software piracy drive in QC, Pasig

The government has intensified its campaign against businesses engaging in software piracy through city-wide crackdowns in Quezon and Pasig.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team said that the Optical Media Board (OMB), a member of the PAPT, had so far inspected 14 corporate offices in the said cities to check on the legality of the software that the firms use in their operations.

Most of the businesses that were inspected were found to be using pirated copies of various computer software programs, according to PAPT.

Officers of these businesses were summoned to the OMB office and were ordered to fully legitimize their software use before end of the year to avoid criminal and administrative charges.

“We urge businesses to operate legally and invest on licensed software in their operations. Let us be fair to those that comply with the country’s software copyright laws,” said Cyrus Paul Valenzuela, OMB executive director.

Under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, the use of unlicensed software is a criminal offense punishable by up to nine years imprisonment and a fine of up to P1.5 million.

Meanwhile, agents of the Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Division of the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, another member of the PAPT, have started to roam around IT centers in Metro Manila to discourage hard disk loading.

Hard disk loading is the unscrupulous installation of pirated software for free onto the computers that are sold to customers to attract more sales.

It is the most common form of software piracy in computer retail stores, the PAPT said.

The team visited computer stores in Greenhills, San Juan City and Gilmore, Quezon City and reminded store owners and attendants to refrain from offering to load pirated software onto the computers that they are selling.

If found guilty, the store owner and/or the attendant may face criminal complaint for software copyright infringement.

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