The Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) continues to track down more companies allegedly using unlicensed computer software in their operations.
According to agents of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), a lot of companies still do not use licensed software in their business premises. Their series of recent inspections yielded that many businesses are still not able to provide any proof that the software used on their operations are legitimate.
“We highly encourage companies to use licensed software. As the Philippines is turning into an international hub of IT services, it is important that companies increase the level of compliance, and respect for intellectual property rights,” IPOPHL Deputy Director General Allan Gepty said.
Companies violating the provisions of the IP Code of the Philippines (RA 8293) and Optical Media Act (RA 9239) run the risk of business closure, revocation of travel visas, and other criminal charges. Those found guilty of software piracy can face up to nine years of imprisonment as well as a fine of up to P1.5 million.
Computer experts from the PAPT reiterated that the use of unlicensed software puts any business at risk. In today’s Internet-based and cloud-enabled economy, illegal software exposes the company to cybercrime and security issues that could lead to millions of pesos in losses and more millions for technical help to recover from a major breach.
In addition, lack of technical support is a typical problem associated with unlicensed software. If the software crashes or becomes problematic, an unlicensed user may not be able to contact the software’s help desk for assistance.
Cybersecurity is also an issue. Some unlicensed software cracks may carry trojans or malware, making systems vulnerable to cybercrime. Illegal software also do not receive updates, which are important, especially for operating systems, for continuous protection from viruses, malware, and the like.
The PAPT regularly conducts information campaign and inspections to ensure compliance of the intellectual property and optical media laws.
Formed in 2005, the PAPT is a joint effort from agents of the National Bureau of Investigation, Optical Media Board, the PNP and the IPOPHL. Its goal is to execute integrated and coordinated endeavors by the government to counteract the negative effects of software piracy on the local IT industry and the economy.
The IPOPHL aims to establish an Intellectual Property-conscious Philippines in a demystified, development-oriented, and democratized IP System by 2020. It is a knowledge-driven government organization that works towards economic, technological, and socio-cultural development by communicating, enabling, and ensuring the effective use of the Intellectual Property System in all levels of society for the creation, protection, utilization, and enforcement of Intellectual Property.