This one's a bit more serious than the recent World Cleavage Day, but hopefully will be just as eagerly anticipated. On Thursday, World Intellectual Property (IP) Day will be used by IT vendors to highlight the impact of software piracy. 

Microsoft, in particular, will be leading the drive to educate users on software piracy, especially the fact that up to $34-billion in lost revenue can be attributed to wrongful copying.
“The World IP Day aims to increase people’s understanding of how patents, copyright, trademarks, and designs impact on daily life," says Mark Reynolds, group manager: small business and transactional partners at Microsoft SA. "It encourages the respect for the IP rights of others and celebrates their creativity to the development of societies around the world."
Microsoft SA will use the platform of World IP Day to educate consumers and businesses on the dangers and consequences of software piracy.
“People often think that there is nothing wrong with using unlicensed software. However, this sees local jobs being negatively impacted and sees the economy losing out on millions of rands,” says Reynolds.
Using unlicensed business software also has more direct implications for users. Often, these products are faulty or contain viruses or Trojan horses and users will be unable to get support for their software.
“Users need to look for the Certificate of Authenticity label provided with all new Microsoft software. If the dealer doesn’t provide this, then the software is most likely, unlicensed,” says Reynolds.
The company has also introduced the Windows and Office Genuine Advantage initiatives. Through these initiatives, people can go online and check whether they are using genuine Microsoft products through an easy validation process.