In a forum held with members of the Optical Media Board (OMB), Philippine National Police (PNP), and other government officials, the Software Alliance (BSA) launched a campaign across the country to reduce the use of illegal software in the workplace by the end of 2019.

This campaign, dubbed ‘Clean Up to the Countdown‘ seeks to encourage CEOs to legalize their corporate software assets before the end of the year. BSA, a non-profit organization established by Microsoft, represents key software creators in the world and works with anti-piracy bodies worldwide to mitigate the use of pirated software.

According to BSA Senior Director, Tarun Sawney, they will be taking a personal and hands-on approach to address the CEOs and decision makers of the identified 10,000 or so companies in the Philippines to switch to using licensed software. Spanning across multiple sectors and industries such as manufacturing, design, engineering, finance, information technology, and healthcare, these companies use and require the use of software but lack license agreements from software providers.

“Our advice is that CEOs treat the risk of illegal software with the utmost importance. CEOs can and should control this risk factor. Use of illegal software lead to malware attacks and compromise the company’s data,” Sawney said.

The use of illegal software opens up the organization to data theft, unauthorized network access, system outages, and others. Additionally, ‘disinfecting’ the system and network is both time-consuming and costly.

“There is a one of three chance of encountering malware when using unlicensed software,” he adds.

According to Sawney, some CEOs may be aware of their company using illegal software and are wary of investing in genuine software.  But there are other CEOs, some whose companies have hundreds or thousands of PCs, who simply may not be aware of the type of software running on their corporation’s PCs—and whether it is legal or not.

Meanwhile, OMB Chairman Atty. Anselmo Adriano called on Filipino corporations to continue to be vigilant and use only computer software that has a proper license.

“We urge every corporation to stop using illegal software. Corporations must follow the law and do their part to keep data safe and secure,” Adriano urged

With the data privacy law in place, stringent measures must be employed to keep sensitive information protected. Corporations who hold a vast amount of data, in turn, should doubly ensure that their customers and employees’ information are safe and be aware of the implications should a data breach occur.

Adriano added, “The fight against software piracy is not just a responsibility of the government, OMB, and BSA. It’s also the CEOs’ responsibility. We laud BSA for this impactful campaign and its continued drive towards reducing the use of illegal software in the country.”

“The software industry strongly appreciates the work the OMB is doing,” said Mr. Sawney. “But we would like to see more activity by CEOs in the Philippines to ensure their corporations’ software use is 100 percent legal. That’s not to say we believe that CEOs are out to violate the law, but rather that many are not managing the copyrights of their software assets closely enough,” Mr. Sawney concluded. 

The Clean Up to the Countdown campaign is part of BSA’s Legalize and Protect initiative launched earlier this year, being able to reach out to 6,220 companies with around 1,375 making the switch to using legal software.