Jun 062013

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) issued a warning to businesses in the Visayas region to use genuine software as it sets another round of inspections.

Ricardo Blancaflor, Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), said continuing the use of pirated and unlicensed software can lead to heavier charges and be detrimental to business operations.

“We encourage businesses to use genuine software for a stable and safe business environment. 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 said.

PAPT recently visited several business centers in the South Metro region to conduct inspections and determine if the companies were utilizing genuine software.

Establishments in Batangas and Laguna were inspected including Automated Technology Philippines, Diversion Industries Inc., Fastech Synergy, Glades International Corp., Miyasaki Polymer (Philippines), Nikkoshi Philippines, Paete Manufacturing Cooperative, Renewable Products Group, and Tann Philippines.

IPOPHL led the inspections together with the Optical Media Board (OMB), both members of the PAPT.

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“To lower the piracy and counterfeiting rate in our country, we at 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,” Blancaflor said. “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.”

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 P1.5 million.”

PAPT said the country’s software piracy rate now stands at 70 percent, being the lowest among the South East Asian countries.

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 cancelation of business permits, ban from traveling 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, formed in 2005, is comprised of the National Bureau of Investigation, OMB, Philippine National Police and the IPOPHL, which joined the group in 2011.

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