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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Experts say piracy ‘kills’ innovation, local economies

Experts in intellectual property rights agreed that piracy ‘kills’ innovation and local economies, even as Microsoft cautions Nigeria about the impact of piracy World Intellectual property.

Participants at the 2012 World Intellectual Property (IP) Day roundtable which focused on ‘Visionary Innovators’ held to commemorate the World Intellectual Property Organisations’ 12th annual Day in Lagos, were of the opinion that piracy of works have consistently stifled growth both on innovation and economically.

The event organized by Microsoft Nigeria in collaboration with Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) recognized the fact that many people behind the intellectual property revolutionized the way people live their lives each day.

Some of those who spoke at the event included Director, Ibadan Zonal Office, Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr. Babatunde Adetula, Managing Director, Steelcon Global Hitech, Mr. George Spiff,  Mr. Seyi Owolabi of Multichoice Nigeria, Mrs. Ugochi Agoreyo, Anti-Piracy Manger, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa and Serge Ntamack, Anti Piracy Lead, Microsoft WECA. 

They noted in dismay that artists, inventors, musicians, doctors, and computer scientists to name a few who are usually behind every innovative, life-changing product or idea stands on the verge of extinction because they are not getting reward and economic value for their inputs to the societal growth.

Also, they lamented that for many innovators, piracy deters this success and could discourage development.

Specifically, in Africa, the effects are particularly damaging to emerging economies, to small businesses and to individuals.

Anti Piracy Lead, Microsoft WECA, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Serge Ntamack noted that the essence of the event was to discuss, for instance, how the use of non-genuine software threatens legitimate businesses and creates a negative impact on both global and local economies.

He also called for the creation of sound Intellectual Property (IP) policies in the country, asserting “Counterfeiting only thrives in places with weak or non-existent IP laws.”

In an interview with ITRealms Online, Mr. Babatunde Adetula, described piracy as a cankerworm to the nation’s economy.

“It is like a caterpillar that eats up the pillars of the economy.  If not checked, pirated software, pirated books and broadcasting would damage the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are involved in property innovation and development,” he said.

Adetula stressed that Intellectual property is not peculiar to Nigeria alone, but a global issue that needs to be addressed to ensure software innovation and development, reassuring of NCC’s drive to ensure that those involved in piracy are punished.

In her contribution, Mrs. Ugochi Agoreyo, the Anti-Piracy  Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, pointed out that piracy has continuously discouraged economic development and encouraged the success of pirates due to increased patronage in pirated innovations.

She said the company would partner with government and intellectual property owners to tackle intellectual property infringement.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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