Jun 142013

Photo shows Computer and hardware retail shops along Gilmore Avenue in Quezon City. KARL AGUILAR/URBAN ROAMER

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Friday announced that Hold Departure Orders (HDO) will be issued against an owners of hardware retailers found to be hard loading branded computer units with pirated software.

The NBI said that Cebu hardware shops Nutech, MSi and Across Technology were caught using illegal software in a raid last May, while four other computer establishments were caught in a crackdown in November 2012.

Once found guilty for copyright infringement, the store operators may be issued HDOs, restraining them from overseas travel.

“Hard-disk loading is a form of software piracy where resellers of computer hardware load unauthorized copies of software onto the machines they sell,” lawyer Dante Jacinto, chief of NBI’s Intellectual Property Rights arm, explained.

Jacinto said that besides hold orders, copyright violators may also face business permit cancellation, revocation of US visas, tax investigations and tax evasion charges for selling and using fake software.

The Pilipinas Anti-piracy Team (PAPT) also found the Cardinal Audio Center, PC Chain Superstore, PC Gadgets & Mobile Hub and Acenet Unlimited Business Computer Inc. to be installing pirated programs into Acer, Lenovo and Samsung laptops in a crackdown in Visayas.

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Jacinto, meanwhile, discouraged businesses and computer users from installing pirated software into their desktop units as this is not only a crime, but can place the computer’s system at risk.

“The use of pirated software can expose users to malware and virus attacks that can compromise privacy and security. This is why all businesses are encouraged to use only genuine software to avoid further complications that could affect business operations,” the intellectual property expert said.

PAPT will soon carry out a campaign against property infringement in South Metro and areas of the National Capital Region in the next few months.

“The National Bureau of Investigation aims to continue its raids, to ensure that businesses are using genuine software,” the statement said.

The NBI is a member of PAPT formed in 2006 along with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, Optical Media Board based in Quiapo and the Philippine National Police.

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