OMB to go after fake software sellers, users in Oro

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014


THE Optical Media Board (OMB) vowed to go after those who sell or use fake software and digital media, said one of its officials Tuesday.

OMB is an agency that regulates the manufacture of the optical media in all its forms and penalizes those who reproduce copies illegally.

“Our main goal here is to tell the people that we will definitely catch those whose computers run on a non-licensed operating systems. Some run on Windows, under Microsoft, but fake pala. We do not allow this one as many internet cafés are running on legit operating systems,” said lawyer Victor Padilla, officer-in-charge of the Legal Services Division of the OMB.

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Padilla and some of the OMB personnel visited Cagayan de Oro to conduct an awareness seminar and on-registration at the City Tourism Hall on Tuesday.

Padilla said the aim of the OMB is to bring awareness to the people of the city that OMB is considering its on-registration and licensing of software and operating systems mainly in computer shops.

Optical media is storage medium where sounds or images, or codes are stored. They come in compact discs, magnetic tapes, and the like.

In the Philippines, OMB evaluates vendors who sell digital versatile disc (DVD) or compact disc (CD) in the markets in Manila.

This is one dilemmas of OMB as they could not inspect, check and raid those illegal sellers of digital media outside Manila.

"This is the reason why OMB came to Cagayan de Oro. We do this annually because there are also places we need to go aside from this city. But 'yun nga, since annually we cannot inspect all the businesses which run on illegal operating systems, for internet cafés for that matter, and pirated DVDs," Padilla said.

Prices of operating systems (OS) can vary from P10,000 to P200,000 depending on the version and longevity of their usage.

Steep prices of OS

The steep price of the legally made OS is the reason why many resort to buying and using the illegal operating systems.

In a 2012, a statistics survey conducted by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) Global Software Piracy Study reported that seven out of 10 software being sold in the Philippines is unlicensed.

Randy (not his real name), sells DVDs in a corner in the city’s downtown area.

From cartoons to pornographic DVDs, he has them on display, he said.

He was able to send his three children to school and his family can eat three or more meals a day from his income in selling fake DVDs.

Randy added he could even afford to buy newer gadgets which are out in the market due to his business.

He admitted that his business runs on piracy, the kind that OMB has outlawed.

He reasoned out that if he sells original Blu-ray discs or DVDs, no one would even bother to buy because of their expensive price.

Padilla, however, countered this reasoning: “Why do you run a business if you cannot afford to get licensed or permitted? That would be unfair to those who made theirs legit.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 07, 2014.

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