RealTime IT News

Microsoft Steps Up Efforts to Stamp Out Piracy in South Africa

Microsoft Corp.'s South African arm is continuing its efforts to stamp out software piracy in that country and is now getting the aid of the South African Police Services (SAPS) to do so.

Late last week the Commercial Crime Unit of the SAPS, assisted by Microsoft SA and The South African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT), swooped on the East Rand Traders Square Flea market in Boksburg North and seized a number of allegedly counterfeit Microsoft games, as well as 3,000 DVD and VCD films and Sony Playstation games, believed to be worth in the region of R1 million (US$121,899).

Eight stores were raided after an ongoing investigation by SAFACT and Microsoft into the activities of flea markets, in particular the East Rand Traders Square Flea Market. According to Mark Reynolds, in charge of Microsoft SA's anti-piracy and legalisation drive, the two companies received "significant support" from a number of authorities, including 3 officials from the SA Revenue Services, 10 officers from the SAPS commercial crime unit in Pretoria, and 10 from its national intervention branch.

He confirmed that the goods were seized and dispatched to the SAPS' stores. Fred Potgieter, MD of SAFACT, said his organisation had "been monitoring" the flea market for some time.