Cebu businesses given 20 days to legalize software

05/31/10 - CEBU CITY — The Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) has issued a stern warning to Cebu businesses which continue to use pirated software in their operations, giving owners of such business firms a 20-day ultimatum to legalize their use of software.

The PAPT, a multi-agency team, is composed of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Optical Media Board (OMB), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

NBI Director Nestor Mantaring, in a written statement issued to Manila Bulletin Monday, said businesses in Cebu should be ready to show authorities proofs of licenses when the PAPT goes to their premises.

The use of illegal software in the workplace is a violation of the Intellectual Property (IP) Code of the Philippines or Republic Act (RA) 8293. Violators of the law will face stiff penalties including imprisonment of up to nine years and penalty of up to P1.5 million,” Mantaring added.

The 20-day grace period given by the PAPT in Cebu starts Tuesday and will end on June 28, 2010. PAPT enforcement actions will resume on Tuesday, June 29, 2010.

“We at the PAPT do not want to stifle the operations of legitimate businesses. We would like to give businesses the opportunity to review their software licenses and correct any form of software piracy that they might uncover such as underlicensing, mislicensing or non-existence of software licenses at all,” Mantaring told the Manila Bulletin.

The Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team, a government-led initiative campaigning against software piracy in the country, has been conducting a series of raids against establishments that continue to violate Intellectual PropertyRights in the form of software piracy. (Manila Bulletin)

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