THERE seems to be no end yet in the war against software piracy in Nigeria, as the country has been ranked second highest in a recent 32-country study of Personal Computer (PC) pirated software users.
The latest study conducted by a global firm, Ipsos Public Affairs department of Business Software Alliance (BSA), on users’ acts and attitudes toward software piracy and intellectual property rights, noted that 82 per cent of personal computer users in Nigeria acquired software illegally most or all of the time.
The 32-country study, ranked Nigeria’s software pirate population second only to China’s, which stood at 86 per cent – looming far above the worldwide percentage of 47 per cent.
The study, according to BSA, entailed surveying approximately 15,000 PC users including 400 to 500 in-person or online interviews per country. Its findings revealed that large number of computer users in the developing world regularly acquired software through illegal means — such as buying a single license for a programme and then installed it on multiple machines, or downloaded programmes from peer-to-peer networks — even though they expressed support for intellectual property principles.
Reacting to the development, Anti-Piracy Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Seye Oloruntoba, said: “Many people in Nigeria aren’t clear on what constitutes piracy. Everyday we come across stories where people have unknowingly bought discounted counterfeit software from online brokers. Many people think that because they’ve paid for the software, it must be genuine. This is just one of the ways many consumers become ‘accidental pirates’.
The study found that significant majorities of software pirates in developing markets incorrectly believed that typically illegal means of acquiring software were in fact legal. At the same time, they believed software piracy was common, and thought it was unlikely that software pirates would be caught.
Unfortunately, according to BSA, business decision-makers around the world exhibited acts and expressed opinions that were similar to these other computer users included in the survey.
Pirating software is often seen as a ‘cheap’ alternative to purchasing it legally. However, in the long-term it can be far more costly, and for businesses, disastrous. It brings in many dangers in the form of malware, spyware, and viruses that can lead to identity theft, loss of data and more.
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