Complying To Anti-Piracy Law

papt-raidThe Anti-Piracy Law I refer to on this blog is the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines which on its Part IV, The Law On Copyright, covered the computer programs such as the operating system and application software used in cafés. The law prescribes penalty ranging from PhP 50k to 1.5M and imprisonment of 1 to 9 years for those who will be found guilty of infringing the copyright of the software developer. The question is has the law deterred the software piracy in the country?

A 2007 study on software piracy in the country showed 69% incidence or more than 2 out of 3 computers loaded with pirated or cracked software. I believe the figure has gone down a little by now but discussions in some forums of café owners show that the use of pirated software in computer shops is pretty much prevalent. Some heated discussions even result to name-calling with the pirated software users being branded as pests of the industry.

Café establishments as users of pirated software do not give a good image to the industry and the country as a whole. Let us consider the fact that café businesses cater directly to the public. While most of your customers do not mind whether you are using licensed or pirated software, you as a pirated software user must realize that something is amiss with what you are doing.

If there would just be some sort of a campaign among the players in the industry to display posters showing a café’s compliance to the copyright law, I know the public would be aware and would patronize you more if you are complying with the law. Some of you might say that those using pirated software would just post similar notices to negate the effect of the campaign.

This where public education will enter. You will have to explain to your customers how they can detect if your competitors are using pirated software. Your briefing to your customers who will ask about must start with detecting if their COA (Certificate of Authenticity) stickers are genuine up to conducting online verification of their software registration.

Those of you who are using genuine licensed software can do something better than arguing with those using pirated ones. They will always justify their doing so with reasons ranging from our country being poor to not getting caught anyway. You may be afraid to tell authorities about their illegal practice and I can understand that. My question is why can’t you not start by educating the public on who is complying with the law?

NOTE: Your comments are welcome here but you may wish to proceed to Café Forum for your questions and comments.

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