Abuja - A leading global technology firm welcomed the recent arrest of officials running a firm that sold counterfeit software.
Microsoft’s local office in Lagos hailed the arrest of Arewa Systems Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) saying it would deter other firms from engaging in similar activities.
The officials were arrested following a consumer tip-off and petition to the local law enforcement authorities.
Microsoft’s Anti-Piracy Attorney in Nigeria, Francis Chuka Agbu, commended the capture adding it would go a long way to sanitize the software market.
“The strident message that this intervention sends is that computer software albeit an intellectual property qualifies better as a literary work that must be protected from the exploitation of merchants of counterfeiting and crass opportunism. Additionally, the theft of such creative expressions fixed in a tangible medium of expression constitutes a serious economic crime in Nigeria under Sections 18 & 46 of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission Act. This arrest surely sends a signal to all dealers in imitation and fake products, big or small, that it is no longer business as usual.”
Anti-Piracy Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Temofe Ugbona, said innocent citizens had fallen victim to the counterfeit software business.
“Quite a number of resellers abound in the country that are in possession of high quality counterfeit software that is packaged like genuine software – a trend resulting in many consumers, who believe they are purchasing software from a reliable source, unknowingly becoming victims to software piracy.
These consumers turn out to be ‘accidental pirates’ – people who unintentionally purchase counterfeit software from resellers and only later find out they have been duped,” he added.
Software piracy remains unabated despite legislation and awareness creation by regulatory authorities and relevant agencies.
The software piracy rate in Nigeria is estimated at more than 80 percent.
– CAJ News
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