Today mark the deadline for the 30 days Kenya CopyRight Board’s amnesty period to the allow anyone with fake products to buy genuine ones. Microsoft supported the action and started a website Buygenuine.co.ke, to help people identify whether they are using the right products. So for those with fake products, you still have like a few hours to come clean, check that site..But the question still bothering me is how the Kenya CopyRight Board will implement or enforce the law after the expiry of the amnesty period.
I read an interesting comment on Moseskemibaro’s blog asking the same question:
It is yet to be seen how they will implement this. Will they raid business premises? Will they stop people at random and check their laptops? Will they go to symposiums, conferences etc and check participants’ machines? And will they need a warrant to search your personal property?
How about if you are arrested and found guilty?
According to the law which i think is part of old constitution, those arrested are liable to a fine not exceeding 800,000 shillings or a ten year imprisonment or both.
I have read views of many people about the subject of piracy and a number Kenyans think that the action of Kenya Copy Right Board supported by Microsoft will help the Open Source OS like Linux. The Microsoft products are expensive according to many and the reason why so many people end up with pirated Microsoft Products.
Again there are those who are asking one million dollar question, does it matter in a country where majority live below 2 dollars aday? On ictworks.org Wayan Vota posed that question to the readers:
Here is a real question to ask: Does this piracy matter?
I don’t ask this question to be flippant. In economies where a majority of the population lives on less than $2 a day, every dollar counts. The cost of commercial software can be a major barrier to ICT adoption. Even Microsoft recognized it when they discounted Windows XP to less than $5 per license before they discontinued it in 2010.
It is interesting topic with contrasting views… there those who think that small business and students using pirated software eventually help the developer to grow. As the small business become bigger they start to get legal and would like to use the same software they are used to. Regardless how the CopyRight Board go about this, the debate will remain…