OMB keeping tabs on sale of pirated software in e-commerce apps

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The Optical Media Board (OMB) is keeping a close watch on the growing sale of pirated software in a number of e-commerce platforms spurred by the growth of telecommuting and distance learning.

“We have designated teams for monitoring of e-commerce platforms such as Lazada, Shopee, Carousell, and Facebook Marketplace. These platforms are where the sale of unlicensed software is prevalent, especially now that almost all purchases are done online,” said OMB chair Anselmo Adriano.

Adriano said they will also conduct a government audit regarding the use of pirated software in national government agencies. However, he did not bare preliminary statistics on how much pirated software is being sold online, or how many government offices use unlicensed software.

“The surge of unemployment and the immediate need to economize finances, employers and their employees as well as teachers and parents resolve to purchasing unlicensed software. This is a fact. People do not see the need for
licensed software, nor the dangers of using unlicensed ones. As long as it works, they are good to go,” Adriano said.

From January to June this year, Adriano said OMB have seized 11,941 pieces of storage device, 100,257 pieces of blank discs, and 54,338 pieces of pirated DVDs.

With the rise of pirated software, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has launched the Asean Safeguard Initiative to offer free consultations to companies in the region and promote the use of licensed software among businesses, support them throughout the software licensing process, and help them prevent cyber attack damage.

BSA noted that around 64% of companies in the Philippines use unlicensed software.

“Since the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically changed how people work, BSA has made cybersecurity our primary focus in the Asean region,” said BSA senior director Tarun Sawney. “With the rise in teleworking via online platforms and the normalization of work-from-home policies, businesses are exposed to higher risks of cyber fraud than ever before, and these online attacks have become more complex and damaging.”

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