AMITIAE - Thursday 17 October 2013

Cassandra: Software Piracy at the Strangest Places, Perhaps

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By Graham K. Rogers

A report on the ABS-CBN News site this week has information about three retailers of PCs in Quezon City and Muntinlupa, Philippines, who were arrested for loading branded computers up with pirated software.

The problem is not restricted to the Philippines of course and despite the idealistic comments of Dante Jacinto, chief of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Intellectual Property Rights Division, that "consumers should . . . ensure that the computers they are buying are loaded with original software", consumers in some countries may actually expect, or even demand that this is the case.

In the case of these outlets, management of the three computer retailers will be facing criminal charges as well as other sanctions, including having their business permits cancelled and tax investigation. Others may carry on in the same way because if they don't, their competitors will.

One wonders how many owners of expensive computer brands have bought their devices at official stores and insisted that some of the more expensive software suites are loaded before the purchase is sealed.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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