The Philippines is a marketplace of pirated computer software, music CDs, and movie DVDs. Supply is all over the place, it is not that hard to find.
Take the case of a Malacañang-appointed secretary Ronald Llamas in connection with his purchase of pirated DVDs. The act of impropriety by the official simply received an admonition from the palace thru Executive Secretry Paquito Ochoa, Jr.
Llamas’ admission of his purchase of pirated DVDs and apology over the matter were factors in his getting only a “slap on the wrist” with an admonition. Clearly giving every Filipino a definite idea the act of buying bootlegged videos isn’t a criminal offense.
This pronouncement offered us a sigh of relief. Now, anybody can go ahead and “shop ’til we drop” and get our hands all over the unlimited supply of pirated DVDs and softwares about the sidewalk stalls of Metro Manila or any where else in the country.
An AutoCAD 2011 installation CD sells for less than one hundred pesos (P100.00) in one store inside a large mall in Legazpi city. Computer software titles are readily available upon inquiry from the saleslady. A huge inventory of music CDs and DVDs are on hand for the undiscriminating patrons and buyers, too.
One can even haggle for a lower price. But of course, the softwares, music CDs and DVDs are pirated, illegally sourced and produced. (The only lowdown in purchasing pirated DVDs is on the video quality. But heck, one get to view the same story, just the same.)
At the heart of Cubao (in QC), a few meters from the Aurora-EDSA intersection, (yes, that particular side when one travels from Monumento to Cubao) the sidewalk is fully occupied by itinerant stalls and vendors selling pirated CDs and DVDs.
Elsewhere, small computer shops assemble “brand new clone” desktops with free installation of the Microsoft Windows operating system. For the price of a “song,” it may include the Microsoft Office Suite, too. And so on.
Meanwhile, there are several government agencies working to fight software and intellectual property piracy in the country which include the Intellectual Property of the Philippines (IPOPHL), National Bureau of Investigation, Optical Media Board and the national police. These offices coordinate as one group known as the Pilipinas anti-piracy team.
In support of the team are two business organizations whose members are directly affected as a result of piracy- the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the IP Coalition (IPC).
One study conducted by a prestigious data bank revealed “if the rate of software piracy in the Philippines is reduced by 10 percentage points in four years, it could add an additional P19.2 billion into the economy, generate P17.5 billion in additional taxes for the government and create over 1,000 high-tech, high wage jobs.”
We can always assume computer units used in residential, business and commercial establishments are always suspect of running pirated software. During this writer’s stint in one big Makati firm, much of the PC units have unlicensed programs installed. Many thanks to an enterprising tech team.
As part of our personal support in the great effort to curtail piracy, we disclose in here that only fully licensed operating systems and softwares are being used in putting up this website. For video production, edit, and file storage, we dedicate two desktop systems: (1) Sony Viao and (1) HP pavilion media center TV personal computer. For mobile computing, we inter- changeably use an old reliable Toshiba satellite M-series, an HP pavilion DV4-2165DX entertainment PC and an HP DV6-6135DX entertainment unit. We rely on Microsoft Office 2007 enterprise suite applications, on Roxio easy media creator V10 for video edits, and Adobe Photoshop for image edit and crop works, among others.