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Monday, December 03, 2007

BSA commends Wema Bank on software compliance

Business Software Alliance (BSA) Nigeria, has commended Wema Bank plc for complying with the global campaign against software piracy and counterfeiting in the country.

BSA spokesman, Mr Akeem Aponmade, gave this commendation at a strategic session organized to update the media on the impact of the campaign spearheaded by the group.

At the session attended by software distributors, resellers, partners and users, he spoke on the legal and operational risks involved in the use of illegal software and the negative impact it has on the Nigerian economy, expressing optimism that Nigerians would do what is right, if well informed.

He further praised Wema Bank Plc for advancing to the status of full compliance, saying that with this, the bank has no issues with BSA as long as software piracy and counterfeiting is concerned, adding that the bank is now fully licensed and has deployed fully authorized Microsoft technologies for its Information Technology(IT) operations.

“The full compliance by Wema Bank is a clear demonstration of the bank’s commitment to ethical business principles and corporate governance. It demonstrates that the bank is alive to its image and reputation as a well respected corporate organization” he affirmed.

He also called on other banks and corporate organizations to emulate Wema Bank by ensuring that their IT platforms are configured with the relevant technologies that are licensed.

In addition, he advised IT professionals in financial institutions and corporate organizations to educate their management on the consequences of using fake and pirated software, insisting that fake software does not only have the danger of ruining their business, but also3 implicating them with the law of the land that prohibits it.

He added that software piracy is copyright theft and many people do not realise that what they purchase is a license to use software and not the actual software itself.

“Your license agreement from the software publisher explains the terms for the software use. Essentially, you must own a license that covers each and every machine you use the software on,” he said.

He further explained that software piracy can take a number of forms: end-user copying, where an end user copies software onto more machines that they have licenses for: pre-loading un-licensed software by unscrupulous suppliers on new machines without supplying customers the necessary licenses: counterfeit software where software is copied and illegally sold as the genuine article and downloading unlicensed software over the internet.

High-lighting on the consequences of copyright and counter-feiting on the national economy, he emphasized that it was eroding the source of national wealth, explaining that the present global software piracy rate is about 35 per cent, which equates to almost $40 billion per year and that software violation in the country presently stands at over 82 per cent equating to a loss of $100 million in 2006, making it one of the highest and most alarming piracy rates in the world.

“The Business Software Alliance is the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world’s commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international market place. Its members represent one of the fastest growing industries in the world. BSA programmes fosters technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promotes copyright elimination, cyber security, trade and e-commerce,” he concluded.

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