CIDG raids gaming store selling unauthorized software

UPDATED 6:30 PM, NOV 7

Police on Monday raided a gaming and multimedia store in a popular Manila mall for allegedly selling unauthorized "pirated" gaming software.

The Philippine National Police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) seized what were described as "pirated" —i.e., distributed without license— software in the raid, radio dzBB's Cecilia Villarosa reported. Although "piracy" is not a legal term and has no technical meaning in Philippine law, the BSA Software Alliance defines "software piracy" as "the unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted software." CIDG information officer Snr. Insp. Kimberly Gonzales also said that the raids were officially conducted on grounds of "unfair competition" as Datablitz was found to be selling original software but without an official license to do so. 'Unfair competition' a criminal offense XPlay issued a statement at 4:30 pm on November 6,

clarifying that its complaint was for "unfair competition" as defined under Section 168 of Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. "By selling the NBA2K13 Products without authority from EpicSoft and/or XPlay, the exclusive distributor thereof in the Philippines, Datablitz, Inc. took a 'free ride' on the good will

and marketing excitement established by XPlay, thereby engaging in 'unfair competition' to the prejudice of-Xplay and all of its rightful distributors most of which are small retail outlets," it said.

Raided was the branch of Datablitz at the Robinsons Ermita mall, based on a complaint by XPlay Online Games Inc. the local distributor of NBA 2K13 and other entertainment software products.

The complaint prompted the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 24 to issue the search warrant. XPlay Online Games is

a joint venture

between GMA New Media, Inc. and IP E-Game Ventures; GMA New Media is the parent company of GMA News Online.

On the other hand, DataBlitz has also been a regular provider of games for review in GMA News Online's SciTech section. XPlay: We met with Datablitz XPlay also said that it was prompted to take legal action against Datablitz because the latter had decided to distribute NBA 2K13 despite the failure of earlier talks between the two companies. "This is not a knee-jerk reaction from XPlay. In fact, meetings were held with Datablitz President, Winston Lim and his team to become XPlay’s primary partner for NBA 2K13. Datablitz key executives Sandra Lu and Orpha Oambas even participated in XPlay’s distributor conferences and got all the marketing and distribution plans of the company," XPlay said in its statement. "Datablitz’s decision to acquire and distribute NBA 2K13 through unauthorized means despite these efforts, leaves XPlay no other option but to report this to the proper authorities, in which CIDG and the Regional Trail Court took immediate action on," XPlay added. Datablitz, CIDG preparing responses GMA News Online has been in constant direct communication with Datablitz, which has declined to comment on XPlay's statement pending the release of its own official stand on the matter. As of 4:30 pm, Datablitz told GMA News Online that it is still working on its statement. Meanwhile, the CIDG said that it will issue an official statement on Wednesday morning, November 7.

— TJD, GMA News

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