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Anti-piracy group nabs more hard disk ‘loaders’

Posted on: December 29, 2009

Anti-piracy group nabs more hard disk ‘loaders’

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 20:37:00 12/29/2009

Filed Under: Technology (general), Hardware, Software, Patents and Copyright and Trademarks

MANILA, Philippines— Two men caught installing counterfeit software as an “add-on service” at the Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan City were arrested recently by the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT).

The two men are working for Laptop Zone Wellcom located in Virra Mall. They face up to nine years imprisonment and a fine of P1.5 million for violating the Optical Media Act, the PAPT said in a statement.

During a buy bust operation, the PAPT also seized one CPU, one CD installer and a USB thumb drive loaded with pirated software.

Meanwhile, the PAPT team also raided two other stores – Discount PC at the Gilmore IT Center in Quezon City and Gigahertz Computer System in Quiapo. Seized during the raids were five CPUs, eight CD installers and a hard drive containing counterfeit software amounting to P300,000.

The PAPT is composed of the National Bureau of Investigation, Optical Media Board (OMB) and the Philippine National Police and supported by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Intellectual Property Coalition.

Atty. Dante Bonoan of the NBI-National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights warned of such add-on services from PC stores as a way of attracting customers this holiday season.

“The holiday shopping rush is a good opportunity for businesses to earn more. However, as the competition becomes tight, some stores resort to illegal promotion schemes such as offering to load pirated software as add-on service to customers to gain undue advantage over their competitors,” said Bonoan.

In the Philippines, piracy-related losses increased to $202 million in 2008 from $147 million in 2007, according to the Business Software alliance. Software piracy in the country is pegged at around 70 percent in the last two years.

As early as November, a “cracked” full retail version of Windows 7, Microsoft’s latest operating system (OS), was found selling in Metro Manila at P100 for the Home Premium, P120 for the Professional and P150 for the Ultimate editions.

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