IPO to conduct voluntary software survey among PH firms

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[/caption] Dubbed as ?Be Aware of Your Software: Maximize the Benefits, Minimize the Risks?, the new campaign in attempt to arrest the high software piracy rate in the Philippines. From the constant 69 percent from 2008-2010, the local piracy rate rose to 70 percent in 2011. This translates to 7 out of 10 computers in the country contain unlicensed software. IPOPHL director-general Ricardo Blancaflor said that while the survey is purely voluntary on the part of the companies, those that will refuse to conduct the survey may be subject for investigation. ?Those found to be compliant after the inspection will be given recognition by the IPOPHL, while those non-compliant shall be forwarded to the necessary software principals for further investigation and enforcement action if necessary,? Blancaflor pointed out. ?The importance of using licensed software and the dangers of utilizing illegal software will be highlighted in each visit. We believe it is important to highlight not just the advantages of utilizing legal software, but also the importance of protecting the intellectual property rights of its creators,? he further stated. Blancaflor said local firms will be given 30 days to ensure that the software being utilized in their organization is legal. The IPO is part of Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT), which is also comprised of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Optical Media Board (OMB). It was formed to establish an integrated and coordinated effort by the government to counteract the negative effects of software piracy on the local IT industry and the economy. The launch of the campaign was timed to coincide with the 7th anniversary of the founding of the PAPT in 2005. The campaign is being supported by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), an organization of the world?s largest software makers. Bienvenido Marquez, BSA legal counsel in the Philippines, said: ?We are pleased that our government, through the IPOPHL, has come up with this initiative to raise awareness on the need for companies to use only licensed software. ?Establishments using illegal software put their businesses at risks as pirated software is prone to malware and other viruses. Worse, while these violators are unduly profiting from the intellectual property of the copyright owners, the Philippine economy suffers from revenue losses in the IT industry, not to mention the lower tax collections for the government and decreased job opportunities in the country,? said Marquez.]]>

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