Microsoft in collaboration with the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) has announced one month amnesty to individuals, SMEs, and corporates currently using the non-genuine software. The amnesty comes in the hope that the culprit will take the opportunity of this month-long amnesty to purchase or subscribe to the genuine/licensed software before the anti-piracy authority comes knocking on their doors.
A recent report titled BSA Global Software Survey of 2014, 43% of software running on PCs around the world (valued at $6.27 billion) are either pirated on not fully licensed. In Kenya, it is estimated that up to 78% (valued at Ksh 12 billion) of software running in PCs are pirated or not properly licensed.
“Software piracy is increasingly stifling economic growth in Kenya today. The rampant use of non-genuine software is denying the country an opportunity to derive gains from licensed software, which has shown greater return on investment elsewhere in the world,” said Edward Sigei the KECOBO Acting Director.
The survey also unveils that if the number of licensed software use globally were to increase by just 1%, there will be a $73 billion injection into the world economy. That figure is still a far cry from the $ 2 trillion lost to software piracy.
The survey also points out that the greatest potential gain for software vendors are within the emerging markets where piracy is quite rampant. The report says emerging markets makes up 56% of all PCs in the world and about 75% of them run on unlicensed software.
Sigei also points out that individuals, SMEs, and corporates lose millions of shillings each year through piracy when they use outdated and/or non-genuine software. As new updated versions often come with tougher anti-piracy measures and thus locks them out in as far as using the most recent and updated software goes.
“Licensed software presents value-added services that not only improve operational efficiency for a businesses but also improves productivity, which in turn fuels economic growth of the country,” said Kunle Awosiak the Microsoft Country Manager for Kenya.
Awosiak adds that by using outdated software, individuals, SMEs, and Corporate expose themselves to more cyber security risks not to mention the pending danger of being caught by anti-piracy authorities and with their lawsuits that will be forthcoming.
In the one-month long software piracy amnesty period, Microsoft is said to embark on a campaign to enlighten users on the benefit of purchasing and using licensed software on their machines.
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