The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently raided the premises of Maris & Baker, a popular High Quality Counterfeit (HQC) software reseller with Head Office in the Ikeja area of Lagos. The incursion, the first in a series of enforcement activities in recent times aimed at curbing unfair play in the country, followed months of intense market intelligence, several mystery shopping exercises and warnings to counterfeit syndicates.
[quote_box_left]Counterfeit software is a cankerworm that is eating through the fabric of societies all over the world[/quote_box_left] Their prevalence has a lot to do with the sophisticated and organized syndicate of pirates but also can be traced to the resellers who propagate their use. These resellers of pirated software must also realize that they will be punished for contravening the law and putting people’s livelihoods as well as the economy of the country as a whole at risk. To win this fight against copyright infringements, it must be a joint effort of regulators as well as resellers.” said Francis Chuka Agbu, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Microsoft Corporation’s local outside counsel in Nigeria.
According to a study conducted by the IDC recently, the chances of infection by unexpected malware are one in three for consumers using pirated software and three in 10 for businesses. More critical, warns the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is the threat of malware-induced cyber-attacks. Criminal syndicates that are often behind the sale of pirated software, use infected computers to launch attacks against entire networks. These spread through shared connections to a home, business, or even government network – crippling economies and endangering intellectual property.
[quote_box_center]Software piracy is unfair play that ultimately hurts us all. Economic growth in Nigeria is thwarted by piracy – pirated software doesn’t create jobs for students, developers, or IT professionals. This is one of the key reasons we take responsibility to educate consumers, resellers and retailers about the risks through enlightenment campaigns, market education session etc. – and support local enforcement efforts by authorities like the EFCC – extremely seriously.[/quote_box_center]
Temofe Ugbona, Anti-Piracy Manager, Microsoft Nigeria says “Software piracy is unfair play that ultimately hurts us all. Economic growth in Nigeria is thwarted by piracy – pirated software doesn’t create jobs for students, developers, or IT professionals. This is one of the key reasons we take responsibility to educate consumers, resellers and retailers about the risks through enlightenment campaigns, market education session etc. – and support local enforcement efforts by authorities like the EFCC – extremely seriously.”
Temofe added. “We’ve noticed a rising number of consumers unintentionally purchase counterfeit software from resellers and only later finding out they have been duped. In doing so, they expose themselves to a plethora of risks, which in the long-run can prove extremely costly for individuals, and often disastrous for businesses. Honest resellers, who sell only genuine software, are put on an unfair disadvantage, and ultimately the whole economy feels the effects.”
Consumers who have purchased suspected pirated software, or have information on resellers selling pirated software should call +234 1 4621100 or send a mail email@example.com to make a confidential complaint. You can find out if you have genuine software by going to http://www.howtotell.com