Software piracy has been an undeniable dilemma around the world. Software developers have lost millions of income from these pirates. Sadly, the Philippines is no exception. According to the 2011 Business Software Alliance (BSA) Global Software Piracy Study, seven out of 10 software in the Philippines is unlicensed. The Philippines ranks 12th in software piracy rate among Asia-Pacific countries. The commercial value of unlicensed software also rose by 20% to $338 million in 2011, from about $278 million in 2010. Despite the government’s efforts, the Philippines’ piracy rate even went up a percentage point to 70% in 2011, from 69% in the past 4 years. Note: The world’s piracy rate is at 57%.
In my opinion, the reason why the PH rate is so high is that because we don’t really see it as a problem. What with all the poverty and corruption in our country, who cares about a multi-billion company losing a few millions? But then again, maybe this is just me rationalizing my actions. Yep, guilty, this is a pirate writing. To be honest though, I haven’t really figured out that some of the things I was doing was piracy (downloading movies and TV shows from illegal sites, copying music through YouTube converter, downloading software through torrent, etc.) When I was younger, I just thought since everyone was doing it, how can it be wrong? But I’m older and wiser now, and I know it’s wrong and illegal, then why am I still doing it? I’ve done research on how pirates like me can stop being pirates. Here are some of them:
- License key – code that is built into an application to require a valid key to unlock the software. This key can be distributed via packaging or some other online mechanism.
- Code-theft and antipiracy package – encrypts the source code within an application so it can’t be reverse engineered or stolen in any other way.
- PHP code – a run-time environment to compile Web applications and thus shield the source code from the browsers.
Okay, so I’m no computer expert and can’t understand half the techie jargons on there so I’m making up my own suggested solutions. Here they are:
- Make representation with the Government to find and improve ways to deter piracy through punitive measures. If people are actually getting caught. It’ll scare a lot of people.
- Increase public awareness about the negative effects of software piracy, especially to younger generations.
- Consider developing cheaper versions of popular software like Microsoft Office.
Software piracy and media piracy in general have long been a problem in the Philippines. I just don’t think the Filipino people view it that way – yet. If we are educated about their negative effects (loss of government revenues, loss of jobs, etc.), there would likely be less pirates. It would also help if there people who are actually getting caught. It would take a lot of collaboration, invention and educating before piracy in the Philippines can be cleaned but TBH, it really just starts with the users.
- I began writing this blog though a pirated software of MS Word. I have since transferred to my Work Laptop which boasts a legit copy.
- Managing Your Wares: 10 Steps for Preventing Software Piracy. Acquaye, Robert. August 2004 Retrieved from http://www.tnj.com/archives/2004/july_august/managing-your-wares
- 7 out of 10 software in PH is pirated – survey. May 15 2012. Retrieved from http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/05/15/12/7-out-10-software-ph-pirated-survey