Microsoft Kenya and the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) have entered into an agreement that will see the two organizations work together in a bid to fight piracy in the country.
Microsoft has also declared amnesty to enable those using unlicensed software to acquire genuine software. The amnesty will run until 15th January 2014 after which the two organizations will conduct a joint raid and arrest everyone using counterfeit software.
KECOBO Executive Director Dr. Marisella Ouma said the partnership will enable them work together to activate continuous programmes and campaigns for educating the public on the risks and penalties associated with infringement of software copyrights and trademarks.
“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,” she said.
The three year deal will see Microsoft support KECOBO to acquire the necessary skills and tools to assist in the fight against piracy and help to reduce software piracy as well as spur economic growth in Kenya.
The two organizations will also invest in training of journalists, software reseller channels and government procurement managers in order to create awareness around the effects and dangers of pirated or counterfeit software.
“Microsoft has an offer of between 10 percent to 15 percent on Windows 8, Office 2013 and Office 365 which runs until December 31st, 2013,” said Kunle Awosika, Microsoft Kenya Country Manager.
The move comes in a time when International Data Corporation (IDC) has released its 2013 research of cyber security and software piracy globally which depicts that a third of all PC software globally have pirated software.
The study also estimates direct business losses as a result of use of counterfeit software will hit $114 Billion this year and places potential losses from data breach at $350 Billion.