MANILA, PHILIPPINES – While the digital economy is steadily growing in Southeast Asia, the use of unlicensed software still persists. This is what the Business Software Alliance (BSA) aims to resolve with their campaign “Legalize & Protect.”
In partnership with different sectors of the Philippine Government including the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) and Optical Media Board (OMB), BSA aims to reach tens of thousands of business leaders with messages about the legal, productivity and security benefits of using licensed software.
During the campaign’s launch in Makati City on March 15, BSA’s Senior Director Tarun Sawney said that the Philippines’ piracy rate remains at 64 percent in 2017. Through the campaign, BSA hopes to bring it down by 5 to 6 percent to 58 percent.
(Business Alliance Software Senior Director Tarun Sawney)
Sawney also explained that the use of illegal software assets does not only pose serious business and security risks but also incurs millions of Pesos lost with information technology costs, lost productivity, and dealing with data breaches. 
Some of the touch points of the campaign would be government partnerships, direct marketing and social media. With a vision shared by the OMB, Atty. Anselmo Adriano, Chairman and CEO welcomed the partnership and recognized that in fighting piracy, enforcement is no longer enough.  

(Optical Media Board Chairman Anselmo Adriano)

“We recognize that companies use software to perform better, protect data better and bring more benefits to our country,” continued Adriano.
He added that one of the efforts of the OMB is filing a bill in Congress to include in their jurisdiction all forms of digital piracy.
“If you go to Greenhills, there are so many stalls offering downloading services but we cannot go after them until they download into a physical device,” he explained.
For Intellectual Property Rights Deputy Director General Atty Teodora Pascua, cracking down on illegal software boils down on consciousness. He urged that education be on the campaign’s frontline because even students today do not know that downloading off the internet violates the intellectual property rights of other people.

(Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines Deputy Director Teodoro Pascua)

“The education arm, let us make them speak what we’re speaking,” stressed Pascua. 
BSA is launching the ‘Legalize & Protect’ campaign this week in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Companies targeted in the campaign are in a wide range of industries including healthcare, manufacturing, IT, finance, professional services, and architecture and design.
“The ASEAN region is among the most dynamic economic areas of the world, and both domestic and multinational companies are growing and benefiting from the many opportunities in Southeast Asia,” said Sawney.
“But for companies in the ASEAN region to truly meet their ambitious goals, they must use safe, secure, licensed software. Unlicensed software is a liability that is no longer acceptable anywhere,” he concluded.
About BSA 
BSA I The Software Alliance is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates or public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.