There has been an increase in the number of software pirates in the last year and as a result, the South African Police Service (“SAPS”) together with the Hawks enlisted the help of Microsoft to clamp down on these crimes. Microsoft has piracy prevention programmes that were used to identify counterfeit and / or unlicensed Microsoft software. The multinational software corporation said that it would “protect its intellectual property, as well as the customer and partner ecosystem from threat and loss”.

The SAPS and Hawks have raided various premises following the information they have received from Microsoft.

In a recent ruling in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court, the magistrate placed an offender under 12 (twelve) months house arrest and 2 (two) years correctional supervision for software piracy.

With ground breaking technology that is able to detect this type of activity, soon software pirates may have to go back to the Caribbean.