Software Piracy is everywhere! Every time I stroll around the downtown area, I usually see sales ladies waving the pirated copies of movies, television shows, songs of your favorite artists, games and different software applications. Piracy is just common here in the Philippines. Many Filipinos actually engaged in this kind of business even though it has been sanctioned already by the government. It is unethical for a person to buy, sell and even make a duplicate copy of the intellectual property of others. But honestly speaking, we sometimes patronize pirated products since it is cheaper compare to the original ones and if not of the same quality at least it can be a good substitute.
Years before piracy was not yet the trend, we used to buy expensive original copy of movies and software applications. Not until technological advancement has taken place. Software Piracy has become rampant and the more people patronizing pirated products, the more it becomes less of an issue in our society. It is a well-accepted behavior since everybody is doing it already. But ethically speaking it’s not! People who bought and sold pirated software are both liable. There will be no buyers if there are no sellers and the other way around. We are just humans! We want satisfaction that comes with a lesser cost. There will always be a dilemma between watching in cinemas or buying a pirated copy and downloading online. Yes, we can blame someone for using pirated software. If there’s a will, there will always be a way! It just depends on their priority if they want to buy original or settle in pirated copies but in the developing country like the Philippines only few are willing to buy original copy since they are not fully aware of the disadvantages and the effects of it to the developer or the people who really work hard and put on extra effort to develop a particular software.
Moreover, according to Republic Act No. 8293, the state recognizes that an effective intellectual and industrial property system is vital to the development of domestic and creative activity, facilitates transfer of technology, attracts foreign investments and ensures market access for the products. It shall protect and secure the exclusive rights of scientists, inventors, artists and other gifted citizens to their intellectual property and creations, particularly when beneficial to the people, for such periods as provided in the Act.
Yes! We have a concrete law in fighting against piracy. However, are these laws substantial enough to eradicate totally this crime? The Optical Media Board (OMB) is the government institution in the country that fights optical media piracy where there is a level of playing field for all legitimate players. The laws and its implementation are not that tight and it is not being taken seriously by the government. Software companies can do nothing about it but the best option is to really push the government to perform on its capacity by motivating them to eradicate piracy. This can be done through giving those incentives, rewards, bonuses and other extra compensation. It’s hard to stop piracy but with continuous implementation and effort plus the heavy penalty imposed by the government for the transgressors, I don’t think it’s impossible to exterminate them.