June 25, 2010

The Use Of Licensed And/Or Legal Software In I-Cafés

The use of licensed and/or legal software in i-cafés is not an issue under our laws. Our Republic Act No. 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, recognizes the intellectual property rights of software developers, provides for the protection of such property and enforcement of the law if necessary. However, contrary to the intention of the law, sixty-nine (69%) percent of personal computers in the country including those in i-cafés are running illegally on pirated or cracked software.

The owner of an i-café business has the option to install proprietary software like Microsoft (MS) Windows operating system (OS) or the free and open source software like Ubuntu Linux OS on his computers. By proprietary software, we refer to those that an i-café owner has to buy the licenses before he can legally use them in his business. Free and open source software (FOSS), on the other hand, are legally free to use, copy, modify and redistribute. In common parlance, MS Windows mean additional investment while Linux OS practically cost nothing to install and use though there are also some free applications software in Windows platform.

When then can i-café owners decide to use proprietary software and when can they use FOSS? At the current status of development and operability, the free and open source software can be used in all i-café computers except those  that are used to offer Windows-based gaming service. FOSS can efficiently serve the browsing, search, office productivity, image manipulation, printing and other activities that customers do in an i-café except playing the more popular online and networked games currently ported on Windows only.

1 comment:

  1. games that run on Open GL has no problems on a Linux OS. It'sgames that can only run on Direct X (an Ms graphics accelerator/renderer) that has issues.

    Online games with gameguard protection also has Linux issues since gameguard has not ported their product to Linux yet. with the sharp decline in the traditional online gaming (pc installed) popularity, the issue is fast becoming moot. Browser based games are now becoming the trend, and has no issues at all with other browsers like Firefox on Linux.


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