The Philippines Anti Piracy Team (PAPT) recently raided an architectural firm for alleged software piracy. This watchdog actually issued fair warning against businesses who may not be aware of the legal consequences of the use of unlicensed software or the unauthorized installations of their own employees at the workplace.
Your best defense, of course, is NOT to use unlicensed software. Majority of the businesses affected by Anti Piracy raids are small and medium sized businesses, understandably due to the high price tags of obtaining licensed software. There are legal options for this– consider open source or freeware.
While offices and businesses may actually be using licensed software, a key problem may be in the failure to monitor and enforce anti-copying policies. The problem can be unintentional as small companies don’t usually employ software managers and software licenses can sound complicated, causing confusion about legality. In some cases, top management may not even be aware that employees have copied software or installed pirated software.
For added protection, measures must be taken to ensure that no one installs unauthorized software or pirated programs for other purposes without the knowledge of the company.
In the absence of a software manager, instruct all employees to list all the programs installed in their respective computers and submit it to a responsible officer or employee for review and proper action.
Additional safety reminders:
- Delete/Remove/Uninstall unauthorized or pirated software and files immediately from your computer.
- In case there is an unannounced inspection, stay cool and demand that the inspector show the following:
- mission order
- inspection order or search warrant
3. Keep within reach copies of the End User License Agreement (EULA), certificates of authencity, invoices and receipts of installed software.
4. If anything is confiscated, make sure that the inspector leaves a copy of a receipt and inventory of items seized or confiscated.
5. Never give out money. ( You’ll only attract unscrupulous persons to your premises).
6. Report anyone who demands for money in exchange for the items seized.
7. Call your lawyer immediately.