30 Day Amnesty over, Kenya Copyright Board nabs Software Offenders

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Kenya Copyright Board Raid
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Kenya Copyright had previously given a 30 day amnesty to software offenders to correct  their act before they embark on the intellectual property enforcement in Kenya. Yesterday  they confiscated computers during a raid of an Industrial company in Industrial Area  within Nairobi. The said computers were preloaded with pirated software ranging from  Microsoft Windows operating Systems to Microsoft Office Suite. These alleged offenders  are currently being investigated.

The 30 day amnesty period has since received positive impact in that many businesses have  taken stances to legalize their businesses. This was announced earlier today at a press  conference at Kenya Copyright Board offices by Executive Director, Dr. Marisella Ouma.

“Counterfeit or pirated Software is a plague on Kenya’s local markets.” said Dr.  Marisella. “We put a stop to the pirated software reseller pirates who trick uninformed  consumers into parting with their hard earned money for illegal and, sometimes dangerous  goods. Likewise, we also need to hold businesses responsible for ensuring that they only  use licensed software.”

I had a conversation with Wanja Muriithi, OEM Lead, Microsoft East and Southern Africa  where I was discussing the low end consumer who is forced by circumstances to purchase a  refurbished computer at as low as Kshs. 10,000 in search of a basic computer. I had the
feeling that they may not be ready to spend hefty amounts on the software after  struggling to raise the amount for the computer. But she confirmed that there is a  software package for these low end consumers including students which retail from as low  as $40. I think that’s reasonable and apparently its packaged with most essential  software, unlike the more expensive professional edition of the same. This and more user  education can cushion users from falling prey to the pirated software believing that only then can they get value.

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