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SOFTWARE PIRACY IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

The rate of internet fraud and software piracy has increased overtime in Nigeria. The federal government of Nigeria has put in a lot of resources and funds to curb the growth of piracy in Nigeria (Okon, 2002).

It is now widely acknowledged that a competitive environment for twenty-first century development is centered on the knowledge economy (KE), which fundamentally depends on intellectual capital and protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) (Yang and Maskus 2008).

In essence, IPRs protection mechanisms play a fundamental role in the development of KE dimensions, namely: innovation, information and communication technologies (ICTs), education, economic incentives and institutional regimes (Asongu 2014a).

In the process of development, while advances in KE and corresponding technologies have resulted in a wider availability of ICT-related commodities, there is some consensus in scholarly and policy circles that reversed-engineering is appropriate to enhance development catch-up because the existing technologies in some less developed countries are more imitative and adaptive in nature than in developed countries (Mansfield 1994; Maskus and Penubarti 1995; Seyoum 1996; Lee and Mansfield 1996)1 .

The technologies employed to imitate copy or pirate KE commodities have been proliferating. In our survey of the current literature, even though there are deep concerns regarding the piracy of software, the debate on the relevance of IPRs protection in the software piracy industry is still wide open (Mansfield 2002).

Two main schools of thought have animated the mainstream debate on IPRs protection. The first consists of scholars who advocate that economic development is facilitated by enhanced protection of IPRs (Gould and Gruben 1996; Falvey et al. 2006). According to this school, the positive nexus is facilitated via an appealing effect of stronger IPRs on factor productivity. Conversely, there is another school of thought which views adherence to strict IPRs protection and ratification of international IPRs treaties, as unfavorable to the economic prosperity of developing countries (Yang and Maskus, 2001; Andrés and Goel 2011, 2012).

According to this school, looser IPRs regimes are essential in the short-run (at least) for less advanced countries to enjoy technology spillovers needed for economic development. This position is consistent with studies which demonstrate that software piracy promotes gains by copyright holders (Tunca and Wu 2012), scientific publications (Asongu 2014a) and pro-poor development (Asongu 2014b). The study in this regard wishes to examine software piracy in Nigeria.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

With the continuous decline in the level of social and economic well being of people in various communities in Nigeria; there have been series of crime all over ranging from cyber crimes, social distortion to other forms of robbery.

        It is also observed that the major reason behind software piracy is due to the fact that poor people are not being able to afford high software prices. In addition, the economic conditions of the country, lack of awareness and weak legal enforcement were the reasons behind software piracy.

1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The main aim of the research work is to examine software piracy in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include:

1.  to examine the causes of software piracy in Nigeria

2.  to determine the effect of software piracy on the economy of Nigeria

3.  to examine the role of ICT in the growth of software piracy in Nigeria

4.  to examine the relationship between software piracy and the social well being in Nigeria

5.  to proffer solution to the above problem

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION

The study came up with research questions so as to be able to ascertain the above objectives. The research questions for the study are stated below as follows:

1.  What are the causes of software piracy in Nigeria?

2.  What is the effect of software piracy on the economy of Nigeria?

3.  What are the roles of ICT in the growth of software piracy in Nigeria?

4.  What is the relationship between software piracy and the social well being in Nigeria?

1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

Hypothesis 1                     

H0: software piracy has no significant effect on the economy of Nigeria

Hypothesis 2

H0: there is no significant relationship between software piracy and the social well being in Nigeria

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The study on software piracy will be of immense benefit to Nigeria in the following ways:

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: the study will educate the federal government on the effect of software piracy on the economic growth and development in Nigeria. The study will also discuss the relationship between ICT and software piracy in Nigeria

Community: The study will help in the actualization of fight against piracy in Nigeria. The study will benefit the anti-piracy organizations working to control increasing software piracy in Nigeria.

Literature: The study will added to the theories in the existing literatures and also help other research students that wishes to carry out similar research on the above topic

1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY

The study on software piracy will focus onthe causes of software piracy in Nigeria, the effect of software piracy on the economy of Nigeria, the roles of ICT in the growth of software piracy in Nigeria and the relationship between software piracy and the social well being in Nigeria

1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS

SOFTWARE: is a collection of instructions that enable the user to interact with a computer, its hardware, or perform tasks

PIRACY: the unauthorized use or reproduction of another's work

IPRs: Intellectual Property Rights

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