The campaign against software piracy continues as the Philippine Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) visited several business centers in the South Metro region last May 23 and 24 to conduct inspections and determine if these companies were utilizing genuine software. Establishments in Batangas and Laguna were inspected including Automated Technology Philippines, Diversion Industries Incorporated, Fastech Synergy, Glades International Corporation, Miyasaki Polymer (Philippines), Nikkoshi Philippines, Paete Manufacturing Cooperative, Renewable Products Group and Tann Philippines.
Out of the nine companies visited, one has demonstrated compliance, seven were suspected to be non-compliant, and one has moved out. The visits were led by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the Optical Media Board (OMB), both members of the PAPT, to ensure the use of genuine and licensed software among the businesses surrounding the South Metro Area.
“To lower the piracy and counterfeiting rate in our country, we at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) have taken to the lead in conducting regular visits in the Metro South region to emphasize the importance of Intellectual property in all industries. Use of stolen or misappropriated information for business operations is a crime and through these visits, we are further creating awareness on how businesses should avoid piracy,” said Director General Ricardo Blancaflor of the IPOPHL.
Software piracy is a violation of the copyright provisions of the IP code of the Philippines (RA 8293) and Optical Media Act (RA 9239) and carries with it penalties of up to nine years of imprisonment, not to mention a fine of up to 1.5 million pesos.
The Philippines software piracy rate currently stands at 70%. Despite being the lowest among the South East Asian countries, the PAPT cannot allow this to continue preventing the ICT industry from flourishing.
To propel anti-piracy initiatives in the Philippines, IP violators will be subjected to penal actions which may include criminal prosecution or administrative sanctions like cancellation of business permits, ban from travelling overseas by a hold departure order or the revocation of an existing US Visa should be found guilty of violating the intellectual property laws.
The PAPT continues to strengthen its campaign by conducting another round of inspections in the Visayas Region to clamp down on businesses and establishments that continue to use unlicensed software.
“We encourage businesses to use genuine software for a stable and safe business environment. Continuing the use of pirated and unlicensed software can lead to heavier charges and be detrimental to business operations. Especially those businesses in the Visayas region who are not using licensed software, we recommend that they standardize on genuine as soon as possible because we might visit them next,” Blancaflor added.
The PAPT, formed in 2005, is comprised of the National Bureau of Investigation, OMB, Philippine National Police and the IPOPHL, which joined the group in 2011. Its aim is to undertake 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 5787, or visit www.papt.org.ph.