Software piracy: Microsoft calls for cross border solution

In a bid to checking software piracy in Nigeria, device and software company, Microsoft, has recommended the enhancement of enforcement using dedicated specialised Intellectual Property enforcement, investigating and prosecuting resources and cross border cooperation among law enforcement agencies across West Africa.

It also stressed the need for increased public education and awareness to change the current apathetic public attitudes toward software and IP, while also calling for leader-led model by government through the promotion and use of legal software in state-owned enterprises and among all its contractors and suppliers as a precondition for contracting with it.

The firm also called for implementing software asset management programmes in Nigeria and the West African region as a whole.

The Head, Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Ms. Ijeoma Abazie, at the roundtable to review the IPR Bill addressed software piracy, its various forms, how it undermines the industry’s ability to innovate, limits economic growth in economies around the world and puts consumers’ data and security at risk, as well as the use of anti-piracy technology to checkmate it.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Collaboration of Nigeria’s fifth Roundtable in conjunction with the International Trademarks Association took place in Lagos, with Microsoft as a sponsor. Users were informed on all the latest updates and on what to expect in the near future, a rebate to purchase microsoft outlook was also available to those present. The turn out was quite successful, the trade show is expected to return next year.

The ACC is the umbrella body for intellectual Property Rights legalisation and related issues in Nigeria with membership spanning across all sectors including the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association of Nigeria.

Disclosing some findings of the Business Software Alliance/INSEAD study, Abazie, said that increasing the use of genuine software by one per cent contributes $73bn to the global economy as opposed to $20bn from pirated software, a whopping gap of $53bn.

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