Increasing the Entry-Barrier to I-Café Industry – Part 2
Further to my blog on Increasing the Entry-Barrier to I-Café Industry and another one on Use of Genuine and Legal Software in an I-Café, I wish to expound on how I look at implementing this entry-barrier to i-café business. As it is, we already have a law covering the implementation of the intellectual property rights (IPR Law) of copyright owners and another one on anti-piracy of copyrighted materials (OMB Law).
I always believe that the full implementation of the IPR and OMB laws has to be done not only to protect the intellectual properties of copyright owners but also to level the playing field among the players in the i-café industry. In many forums, meetings and conferences that I have attended, i-café owners who follow the law always complain about the unfairness of allowing to operate those who use pirated software in their shops.
At present, the Optical Media Board (OMB) and the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) are the national agencies that work on the implementation of the said laws. Last year, I read in a press release that Malacañang issued Executive Order 736 creating the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR), an inter-agency body headed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
But, are their efforts enough to curb software piracy and, as I said, increase the entry-barrier to the i-café industry? Sadly, I say NO, the past raids and maybe even the future ones will not be enough for the erring café owners and other business establishments to toe the line. Many offenders are still scot-free and laughing their ways to the bank.
What can be done to achieve our anti-piracy goal and increase the entry-barrier to the i-café industry? There should be many ways, but one way I could suggest is for the local government units (LGUs) to enact ordinances that will implement the provisions of the IPR and OMB laws. Make a strong provision in the ordinance and implement the rule that use of genuine and legal software be a requirement in the issuance of business permits to i-cafés.