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Eliminating Illegal Software in the Philippines

Eliminating Illegal Software in the Philippines

The Philippines’ Optical Media Board (OMB) partnered with a software industry group in order to eliminate the use of illegal software among Philippine businesses, citing risks to corporate security and reputation.

OMB is an agency under the Office of the President with a mission to protect and promote Intellectual Property Rights in Digital Form.

According to a recent press release, the widespread use of unlicensed software in the country exposes companies to various cyber threats such as data theft, ransomware, and network attacks.

The Risks

  • The Senior Director for the Asia-Pacific region of the software industry group explained that using unlicensed software would not be so much as an illegal risk as it was 10 years ago.
  • Back then, people would have to go to court and answer for infringing copyright.
  • At present, the biggest danger of using unlicensed software is for the whole business and to the reputation.
  • Using unlicensed software removes the first line of protection against cybercrime.
  • As a result, businesses suffer losses from expenses on fixing system outages, downtime and disinfecting their networks.

Situation in the Philippines

  • The Philippines has a 64% rate of unlicensed software use among its businesses, which also increases the potential for malware infections because of the lack of security features such as software patches and technical support.
  • During a Legalize and Protect campaign done by the group from March to September this year, they found out that only 1,375 out of the 6,220 companies they have contacted, or 22%, switched to legal versions of their software.
  • Licensed software does not guarantee that one will not be hacked or will not fall victim to malware. However, having unlicensed software is an almost guarantee of falling victim to it.
  • The OMB Chairman urged Filipino companies to only use computer software that has a proper license and shun the use of illegal software.

Clean Up to the Countdown

The main program of the partnership is the Clean Up to the Countdown campaign.

This campaign seeks to encourage 10,000 local companies from a wide range of industries to purchase legal copies of unlicensed software that they are using. These industries reportedly include:

  1. Architecture
  2. Banking and finance
  3. Construction
  4. Design
  5. Engineering
  6. Health care
  7. Information Technology
  8. Manufacturing

Under the campaign, the industry group is contacting thousands of corporate leaders to offer guidance and advice in addressing the use of illegal software in workplaces and make them compliant with intellectual property laws.

The campaign is part of the Legalize and Protect initiative launched earlier this year by the group. This initiative has helped thousands of Philippine companies to legalise their software assets and secure themselves from cyber threats.

The industry group is an international association composed of companies that produce software for various business applications.

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