In a bid to enforce the use of genuine software in the country, the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has formed a partnership with Microsoft Kenya. The partnership enables the two organizations to carry out programmes and campaigns for educating the public on risks and penalties of pirated software.
“We want to educate Kenyans on the benefits of genuine software to businesses in terms of reliability and security as well as other associated risks for businesses and consumers when using counterfeit software.” – KECOBO Executive Director Dr. Marisella Ouma.
The KECOBO-Microsoft deal runs for a period of 3 years with the partners creating awareness among journalists, software reseller channels and government procurement managers on the impacts of software copyright and trademark infringement. Microsoft has declared amnesty for organizations with unlicensed copies of their software to acquire genuine software by 15th January 2014. Joint raids will be conducted by the two organizations leading to the arrests of those found using pirated software.
“Microsoft has an offer of between 10% to 15% on Windows 8, Office 2013 and Office 365 which runs until December 31st, 2013.” – Kunle Awosika, Microsoft Kenya Country Manager.
“Millions of shillings are lost every year through pirated software in our markets. When Intellectual Property Rights are infringed, software developers and other creative authors, as well as entrepreneurs who rely on income from solutions they have created suffer immensely as they cannot earn from their work.” – Daniel Kamau, Microsoft’s Anti-piracy lead for the West, East and Central Africa Region.
Kamau noted that the KECOBO-Microsoft partnership will run a joint PR campaign informing the public on the importance of protecting intellectual property rights as well as empower institutions that are involved in the protection of intellectual property.
A 2013 report by IDC on cyber security and software piracy says that a third of all PCs globally run pirated software. IDC estimates direct business losses incurred from use of counterfeit software will hit $114 Billion in 2013 with potential losses from data breach at $350 Billion.