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Gov’t use of pirated software raises concerns

/ 04:05 AM October 29, 2019

Some government offices are forced to use pirated software to run their systems due to budget lack and procedural lapses.

Anselmo Adriano, chair and CEO of the Optical Media Board (OMB), said in a press briefing Monday a restrictive budget could force agencies to adopt unlicensed software.

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Most often than not, when agencies procure hardware, the software does not come with it. And if it does, it is usually just the trial version of the program, which would expire after a short period of time.

“So once the trial version expires and there being no budget for government, in order not to lay waste to the hardware, there may be times when you may have to use unlicensed software,” he said.

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To address this, he said the OMB was asking the Government Procurement Policy Board to make licensed software a necessary part of the package when procuring hardwares like computers.

Earlier this year, the office of the US Trade Representative has flagged the Philippines for not having “effective policies and procedures” to make sure that its government agencies do not use pirated software. The USTR said this in its Special 301 Report, an annual review of the implementation of intellectual property rights in US trading partners.

“We ourselves [in the OMB] can declare to the whole world that we are using licensed software. But I cannot claim for the others,” Adriano said.

He said national agencies tasked to implement the country’s intellectual property laws would also start policing themselves.

He said the members of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) had agreed to do a self-audit. The NCIPR is an interagency body with the Department of Trade and Industry as chair and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines as vice chair.

“If you would really be serious about a campaign, particularly about counterfeiting and use of licensed software, government would really have to take the lead,” Adriano said during a press briefing hosted by the Business Software Association.

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TAGS: Business, Optical Media Board (OMB), pirated software
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