With the increasing criminal activities of software piratesÂ in the Nigerian ITÂ market remaining unabated,Â theÂ Nigerian Copyright Commission, (NCC) has clamped down onÂ Plum Telecom, a computer resellerÂ inÂ the Computer Village,Â in Lagos,Â following a petition on behalf of Microsoft Nigeria.
The raid where multiple copies of high quality counterfeit software were seized , it was learnt,Â took placeÂ following aÂ recent tip_offs received by the NCC on the activities of the reseller.
During the raid,Â Â it was gathered thatÂ multiple counterfeit versions of some of Microsoftâ€™s most popular products were found includingÂ Microsoft Office Professional, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition and Microsoft Server Standard Edition.
TheÂ raid, according to Microsoft,Â was particularly significant as the packaging of the counterfeit software seized was of a very high quality and may beÂ difficult to differentiate from genuine software even to most experienced computer user.
â€œIn a large number of cases the counterfeit software we find is of a very low quality, cheap to make and easy to identify as fake,â€Â Â Mr Akeem Aponmade who spoke onÂ behalf of the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Adebambo Adewopo said.
â€œIn this case, however, we are dealing with a much more sophisticated kind of criminal who deliberately purchased high quality counterfeit software, which could dupe even the savviest of customers into spending money into purchasing a product they believed to be genuine.
â€œMicrosoft is grateful to the NCC for their efforts to tackle the issue of piracy in Nigeria.
â€œThis raid should serve as a wake-up call to businesses, resellers and customers on the need to remain vigilant against software piracy.â€
â€œWe will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure they can identify genuine software even from the most high quality pirated versionsâ€ , Uzo Okpaka, Channel Compliance Manager for Microsoft Anglophone West Africa.said.
Similarly, Mr. John Ogboru,Â of theÂ Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria, (CAPDAN) while commending the raid action said ,Â â€œPiracy is not a victimless crime. The activities of Plum Telecom put the businesses of legitimate resellers in jeopardy and impact the credibility of the Nigerian IT reselling community as a whole.â€