News Reports Datablitz Raided for Selling “Pirated” Software

In a surprising news update, it was reported that the Robinson’s Ermita branch of Datablitz was raided by the PNP because it was reported to be selling “pirated” software.

In the GMA news article, it was said that the PNP acted on a complaint by X-Play Online Games Inc. Distributor of NBA 2k13 among other game titles. However, in a different news from bombo radyo other branches of Datablitz were hit as well. Back2Gaming tried to contact Datablitz about the matter and it was indirectly expressed that it was both the Ermita branch and the V-Mall branch that was hit by the PNP raid.

This bit of news has spread like wildfire within the communities and patrons of the game retailer called it as “absurd” since Datablitz has never been reputed to sell pirated copies of games or software. In fact, Datablitz has been known to be one the “go-to” stores for any legit copy of any game.

In light of the situation however, one commenter showed the blaring mistake of the article:

licensing-thing

(Editor’s Note: The timeline is based on how the writer has received the news bits and not on when they were released, so there may be discrepancies in terms on when the update has been posted and on the actual post time of items)

According to Ed Uy

just an update datablitz store assistants being held at cidg kinukunan ng mugshots as if they were criminals. WARRANTLESS ARREST DAW KASE DATABLITZ IS SELLING PIRATED GAMES ACCORDING TO XPLAY… THEIR PROOF WALA DAW STICKER NG XPLAY? AY ang galeng tlaga ng justice system natin

 The Datablitz website is down, and according to the our Datablitz contact, the timing’s all weird since this happened coincidentally when the raids happened.

Datablitz is back in business later, no word on the site status however (Source: Ed Uy)

DataBlitz update; camera crew that were at CIDG last night to cover the arrests said they were apparently given wrong info and was told it was a CYBERSEX case! Good thing they recognized the Datablitz staff and decided not to continue their coverage. (It was told earlier that there was a camera crew on the precinct where the DB staff were detained)

According to InterAksyon (who did a better job in getting all the infos right):

  • A Total of 2.65 M Worth of unauthorized gaming software were seized
  • It’s not just NBA 2k13 that was taken
  • Eleven search warrants against DataBlitz were issued by the courts, which “were applied last October 31,”
  • Gonzales said DataBlitz would be charged with violation of Section 168 of Republic Act 8293, or the law on unfair competition.
  • The above mentioned GMA News article was retracted and now instead of Datablitz being accused of selling pirated games, it now changed to “unauthorized software”

So here you have it folks everything is now out.

X-play issues official statement through Blogger, Jayvee Hernandez:

On November 5, 2012, Monday, simultaneous raids led by CIDG were held in various branches of game and software distributor Datablitz, Inc., as they were publicly selling NBA 2K13 products without any prior authority and consent from NBA2K13 exclusive distributor in the Philippines, X-Play Online Games, Inc.

While you can coordinate directly with CIDG for the specific details of the raid, we would like to shed some light on the premise of X-Play as to why it has come to this extent. Please know that X-Play had no other intention but to protect their business, and to exercise their responsibility to their partners and the community they are in.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF X-PLAY

It is unfortunate that businesses had to be disrupted by the incident that transpired yesterday. While we sympathize with other individuals dragged on by this issue, we stand by our ground to be vigilant in dealing with illegal activities to protect our rights, our partners and our local gaming community.

This is not a knee-jerk reaction from X-Play. In fact, meetings were held with Datablitz President, Winston Lim and his team to become X-Play’s primary partner for NBA 2K13. Datablitz key executives Sandra Lu and Orpha Oambas even participated in X-Play’s distributor conferences and got all the marketing and distribution plans of the company.

Datablitz’s decision to acquire and distribute NBA 2K13 through unauthorized means despite these efforts, leaves X-Play no other option but to report this to the proper authorities, in which CIDG and the Regional Trail Court took immediate action on.

The action of Datablitz was not only detrimental to X-Play but also affected other smaller retailers, game stores and entrepreneurs.
We hope nothing more but to resolve this predicament but will hold firm in protecting the industry from smugglers and illegal operators.

FACT SHEET

FACTS OF THE CASE
The complaint was for “unfair competition” 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.

MEETINGS WITH DATABLITZ
Meeting between Take 2 Interactive, X-Play, and Datablitz

  • Date: September 6, 2012
  • Location: New World Hotel

Discussion Points:

  • X-Play will be Official Distributor for NBA 2K13
  • X-Play wants Datablitz as a primary partner, and requested Datablitz to advise on support requirements it would need for NBA 2K13

Distributors Conference 1

  • Date: September 13, 2012
  • Location: Max Restaurant, Gateway Mall, Cubao, Quezon City
  • Attendees: Sandra Lu, Datablitz Purchasing Head, Orpha Oambas, Datablitz Marketing and Events Manager

Discussion Points:

  • Briefing on X-Play Product Portfolio
  • Briefing on Marketing Programs
  • Discussion of Commercial Terms and Trade Concerns

Distributors Conference 2

  • Date: September 27, 2012
  • Location: Max Restaurant, Gateway Mall, Cubao, Quezon City
  • Attendees: Sandra Lu, Datablitz Purchasing Head Orpha Oambas, Datablitz Marketing and Events Manager

Discussion Points:

  • Discussion on NBA 2K13 Trade Programs, inclusive of all commercial terms.
  • Briefing on NBA 2K13 Marketing Program

Lunch Meeting between Datablitz and X-Play Top Executives

  • Date: September 28, 2012

Discussion Points:

  • In-depth Discussion on partnership Agreement and Concerns
  • Sealed partnership Agreement via a Handshake

Meeting between X-Play Sales Team and Datablitz Operations and Purchasing Heads

  • Date: September 28, 2012

Discussion Points

  • Discussion on actual orders to be placed by Datablitz
  • Operational discussion involving Purchase Order releasing, delivery timeframe, and collateral distribution.

Datablitz releases it’s official statement about the whole fiasco

Reimarufiles does an in-depth analysis of the whole situation, adding user comments to te perspective of the situation.

ABS CBN News reports of Xplay and DB replies.

INQ7 reports that DB copies are “smuggled” from HK and and Singapore.

X-Play calls for round table discussion, explains it’s side to the whole matter

Vidjogames does an in-depth analysis of what transpired, talking to actual DB employees

Datablitz answers smuggling allegations by CIDG

Business Mirror reports that CIDG conducted test buys and they are in fact “pirated”