Security personnel raid premises of Skynet Computers over suspected pirating of Microsoft products

Security personnel have raided the premises of Skynet Computers and Accessories at Asylum Down, Accra over suspected counterfeit Microsoft windows software.

This follows reports that many resellers were in possession of high quality counterfeit software, packaged like the genuine ones.

Thirty-nine (39) pieces of suspected counterfeit Microsoft Windows software were recovered at Skynet Computers and Accessories’ premises. The original source of the counterfeit software is still under investigation.

Skynet Computers and Accessories had recently supplied 400 pieces of Windows 7 Professional software to a local bank.

The raid was conducted after a search warrant was obtained at a Magistrates’ Court inAccra..

In a statement copied to the GNA, Seye Oloruntoba, Anti-Piracy Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa said: “We’ve noticed a rising number of what turn out to be ‘accidental pirates’ – people who unintentionally purchased counterfeit software from resellers and only to find out later that they have been duped.

In doing so, they expose themselves to a plethora of risks, which in the long-run can prove extremely costly for individuals, and often disastrous for businesses. Honest resellers, who sell only genuine software, are put at an unfair disadvantage, and ultimately the whole economy feels the effects. ”

A recent global study conducted by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) revealed that over 70% of PC users in Africa acquire software illegally on a regular basis and confirmed that many consumers are unsure of what constitutes software piracy.

“We are actively working to ensure our customers and partners in Ghana are protected from unscrupulous suppliers,” Oloruntoba added.

“This is a responsibility we take extremely seriously.  When they come to us for help, we make sure they receive the necessary support and we also alert local law enforcement authorities like the Ghana Copyright Office. There must be severe consequences for those who sell pirated and counterfeit software in Ghana.”

Mr Oloruntoba noted that because it was becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between genuine and non-genuine software, consumers should look out for the following;

1.       Before you purchase Windows software, ask resellers to confirm it will pass the Windows activation test. Activation and validation are the keys to genuine software.

2.       Beware of the common gateways of digital counterfeiting: websites advertising ‘cheap software’; online auction sites with links to download sites offering counterfeit software; and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks or other file-sharing technologies.

3.       Buy from a trusted source and research online or local sellers extensively before making a purchase.

4.       Compare the price. Counterfeit software is often sold at a much cheaper price, but can end up costing users hundreds or thousands of dollars.

5.       Be suspicious of products that lack some form of proof of authenticity – such as a hologram, CD, DVD, recovery media, manuals and Microsoft Software License Terms (MSLT).

6.       Be extremely careful when buying from software sellers in other countries as this complicates matters if the transaction goes awry.

7.       Keep your anti-virus program up to date. This reduces your computer’s risk of exposure to viruses and malware when downloading software.

8.       Say no to sellers offering backup copies or bundles of several programs.

The statement therefore asked Consumers to visit Microsoft’s anti-counterfeiting site for any further information.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Source: GNA

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