NBI catches BPO using fake software

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Microsoft Philippines Legal and Corporate Affairs Director Raul Cortez warned business owners that the use of pirated software is risky, as it can put their businesses in jeopardy, aside from it being illegal.

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“Purchase of legal software maybe a small fraction in the total operating expenses, but neglecting the possible threats brought about a harmless purchase of nongenuine software can already be an impediment to the stability and growth of the business,” said Cortez.

His statement was contained from a release of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and comes after a random inspection conducted by the agency at John Ernest Connecting Continents (JECC), a business process outsourcing (BPO) company based in San Juan City, which was found using pirated software.

During the inspection, the NBI was able to seize 140 computers containing 96 nongenuine copies of Microsoft Windows XP and 48 nongenuine copies of Microsoft Word 2007, with a total estimated retail value of $400,000, or P16 million.

“Business operators such as JECC should know that the use of unauthorized software or misappropriate information technology in its business operations is already a crime. Especially in the BPO industry where they handle a lot of sensitive data for their clients, they are exposing users to serious malware and virus attacks that can compromise privacy and security,” said Dante Jacinto, NBI Intellectual Property Rights Division chief, in the statement.

The NBI said that the company will face criminal charges and its officials slapped with hold departure orders. JECC’s officials may also lose their entry visas to the United States, and face immediate tax investigation based on the Intellectual Property Code, or Republic Act 8293.

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