Microsoft, has recommended an enhanced enforcement mechanism using dedicated specialised Intellectual Property enforcement; investigating and prosecuting resources and cross border cooperation among law enforcement agencies (LEAs) across West Africa to check software piracy in Nigeria.
Speaking at the Anti-Counterfeiting Collaboration (ACC) of Nigeria’s fifth roundtable held in Lagos, Microsoft officials said the war against piracy would not be successful unless all stakeholders put in place certain measures.
Microsoft stressed the need for increased public education and awareness to change the current public attitude toward software and IP, while calling for a leader-led model by the government through the promotion and use of legal software in state-owned enterprises and by its contractors and suppliers as a precondition for contract.
The company also called for implementing software asset management (SAM) programmes in Nigeria and the West African region .
The Head, Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Ms. Ijeoma Abazie, at the roundtable to review the IPR Bill gave tips on how to address 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.
Disclosing some findings of the Business Software Alliance/INSEAD study, Abazie, said that increasing the use of genuine software by 1% contributes $73billion to the global economy as opposed to $20billion from pirated software, a whopping gap of $53billion.
She highlighted the benefits of curbing software piracy to include job creation, higher tax revenues and safety. Abazie said there was an urgent need to draft and enact an internet protocol bill for Nigeria to align the country with international best practice and technological developments.
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.