Nigeria’s Vanguard reports on a recent counterfeit software raid in Lagos. The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) confiscated a number of copies of various Microsoft products. Unlike the usual pieces of counterfeit software collected in raids conducted by the Commission, these items were of high quality. The NCC stated that the seller of the counterfeit goods deliberately purchased high quality counterfeit goods in order to trick even those customers who look out for counterfeit products. The article did not say how the NCC knew that the seller himself was not tricked into thinking these were genuine Microsoft products.
Usually, the discussion about counterfeit software in Africa takes note of the harm caused by poor quality products, viruses and malware that harm the unsuspecting users computer. Since these products were of high quality, those kinds of ill effects presumably were not an issue. However, it is important to note that the sale of high quality counterfeit goods also has harmful effects:
“Piracy is not a victimless crime. The activities of Plum Telecom put the businesses of legitimate resellers in jeopardy and impact the credibility of the Nigerian IT reselling community as a whole.” – Mr. John Ogboru of the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria