By Princewill Ekwujuru
A software piracy report recently released by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), revealed that over 82 percent of software deployed on Personal Computers (PC) in Nigeria in 2011 were pirated, thus the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has thrown its weight behind Autodesk Africa’s fight against piracy.
This rate remains unchanged from 2010 and stands at almost double the global piracy rate for PC software, which is 42 percent,” says the report.
In furtherance to this, research conducted by the BSA in partnership with Autodesk, revealed that most Autodesk customers in Africa would prefer to buy licensed software, but often don’t know where to find it or are unaware that they are guilty of license over-usage.
As a result, they resort to pirated copies which don’t carry any of the benefits associated with buying valid licensed software, including after sales support and regular upgrades, a statement said.
The report also said that following the continued influx of counterfeit software into Nigeria, Autodesk, makers of CAD software for architecture, engineering, mining and construction industries with the support of NSE, aims to drastically reduce software piracy in the region and better protect their customers from malicious software coding that is often contained in pirated versions.
To pro-actively curb software piracy in Nigeria, Autodesk has launched an amnesty period for users of pirated software to move over to legal versions of AutoCAD and related software products, offering them the opportunity to approach local Autodesk channel partners to purchase legal copies without fear of legal action.
Autodesk is making legal AutoCAD-family software available from as little as $199 until 15 July 2012, a massive 89% discount when compared to pricing in the USA. Through strategic partnerships with industry institutions such as the NSE and Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Autodesk is also making their industry-specific solutions available to registered members at drastically reduced rates.
According to Autodesk, “As a sign of our long-term commitment to the West African region, we have set up these partnerships with highly professional industry bodies to make our software readily available to legitimate design and engineering professionals,” says Richard Smedley-Williams, Sales Director of Autodesk Africa’s distribution partner, WorldsView Technologies.”
“Following the overwhelming response received from our amnesty campaign last year, we are also offering another opportunity to customers who know they are using illegal copies of Autodesk software, to come forward and trade in their illegal software for a discounted legal copy without fear of prosecution,” he said.
Autodesk however has identified 3 main areas that need addressing in order to reduce software piracy: availability, accessibility and affordability. Not only have they drastically reduced the price of their CAD software offerings.