Compliance to software copyrights to be checked

Posted on September 11, 2012

IN ORDER to check on the compliance of Filipino firms to software copyrights, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) will go around offices next month.

"We will be doing a survey of the software used by the firms which will also allow us to check on their compliance and prevent piracy," said IPOPHL Director Ricardo R. Blancaflor in a telephone interview with BusinessWorld.

He added there is no specific order of the companies they will survey "but we will try to cover as many companies as we can."

IPOPHL will be writing to several companies requesting a visit before beginning their surveys, Mr. Blancaflor said.

He said the agency is still in the process of compiling the first few companies that they will be visiting.

So far, the agency will go around businesses located in the south of Metro Manila, Laguna, Batangas and Cavite. The agency will also conduct educational campaigns aimed to minimize the number of software piracy in the country.

IPOPHL’s surveys are part of a wider campaign of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team to ensure the compliance to copyrights and prevent software piracy.

This team is composed of IPOPHL, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippine National Police, and the Optical Media Board. It was formed in 2011.

IPOPHL said software piracy rates in the Philippines rose 70% in 2011 from 69% from 2008 to 2010, which translates to about seven out of 10 computers in the country with pirated software.

Value of seizures of patent violators by the IPOPHL fell 38.46% in the first half as agencies have been "demoralized" by the country’s continued presence in global piracy watch lists.

The value of confiscated pirated goods fell to P2.2 billion from January to June this year, from P3.6 billion in the same period last year.