Software pirates are now mixing illegally copied discs of business software and operating systems with legitimate ones, the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) warned.
To complicate matters, the “mixed” software are of very high-quality and can deceive customers into thinking that they are buying legitimate.
“Customers are basically paying for the price of an original but receiving pirated copies in exchange,” National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) operatives explained.
Late last year, the NBI Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Division raided the Gaisano Interpace Computer System of Michael Sia, a computer parts and software retailer, at the Gilmore IT Center, New Manila, Quezon City.
The NBI seized 26 high-quality unlicensed discs of the Microsoft Windows 10 Professional operating system marked “Made in Malaysia” and “Made in the United States” which turned out to be pirated copies.
Microsoft Philippines is now suing Gaisano Interpace for IPR violations.
People should be vigilant when computer stores offer deals “too good to be true”, according to the PAPT. They would be better off buying software from authorized retailers.
The PAPT is an inter-agency team made up of the NBI, the Optical Media Board, the Philippine National Police and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.