Kenya Copyright had previously given a 30 day amnesty to software offenders to correct their act before they embark on the intellectual property enforcement in Kenya. Yesterday they confiscated computers during a raid of an Industrial company in Industrial Area within Nairobi. The said computers were preloaded with pirated software ranging from Microsoft Windows operating Systems to Microsoft Office Suite. These alleged offenders are currently being investigated.
The 30 day amnesty period has since received positive impact in that many businesses have taken stances to legalize their businesses. This was announced earlier today at a press conference at Kenya Copyright Board offices by Executive Director, Dr. Marisella Ouma.
“Counterfeit or pirated Software is a plague on Kenya’s local markets.” said Dr. Marisella. “We put a stop to the pirated software reseller pirates who trick uninformed consumers into parting with their hard earned money for illegal and, sometimes dangerous goods. Likewise, we also need to hold businesses responsible for ensuring that they only use licensed software.”
I had a conversation with Wanja Muriithi, OEM Lead, Microsoft East and Southern Africa where I was discussing the low end consumer who is forced by circumstances to purchase a refurbished computer at as low as Kshs. 10,000 in search of a basic computer. I had the
feeling that they may not be ready to spend hefty amounts on the software after struggling to raise the amount for the computer. But she confirmed that there is a software package for these low end consumers including students which retail from as low as $40. I think that’s reasonable and apparently its packaged with most essential software, unlike the more expensive professional edition of the same. This and more user education can cushion users from falling prey to the pirated software believing that only then can they get value.