The battle line is drawn – Microsoft takes war to Nigerian software pirates

by Wilfred Okiche

Lagos-  The Nigerian Police recently raided the premises of IPS Plus Solution Limited, a computer reseller located at Yaba following a consumer tip off, an undercover test purchase and a subsequent petition to the local law enforcement authorities by Microsoft Corporation. The matter has been handed to the Nigerian Copyright Corporation (NCC)

Port Harcourt – Officials from the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) raided the premises of a local software reseller in Port Harcourt following the complaint made to Microsoft by a consumer after he was sold counterfeit software. 269 units of suspected high and low counterfeit products ranging from computer games, music, anti-virus software, Microsoft windows and office were confiscated.

Both incidences are just examples of the renewed war on software piracy, spear headed by giants Microsoft, the copyright commission and the Nigerian Police.

According to Mr Afam Ezekude, Director General of the NCC, “software piracy creates an unfair market environment and in the current economic climate, every Naira of revenue is crucial to help spur economic growth, support the legitimate IT ecosystem and create jobs.”

In November, Microsoft will be holding the fourth annual Consumer Action Day, a day in which Microsoft anti-piracy teams around the globe spotlight Microsoft’s effort to fight software piracy and counterfeiting through education, engineering and enforcement. Seye Oloruntoba, Anti-Piracy Manager for Microsoft Anglophone West Africa explains, “This year’s theme focuses on the creation of a level playing field-making sure businesses compete fairly and consumers learn about the value in building a strong IP environment.

In a recent official press statement, the results of a Microsoft survey addressing consumer attitudes on counterfeit software were released. More than 80% of consumers expressed concerns about using counterfeit software. Also 82% of Nigerians acquire software illegally on a regular basis.

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