Thailand – 24 April 2017 – Rukkit Kuanhawate, a renowned Thai street artist, joins Microsoft Thailand to inspire digital citizens towards a preference for genuine software through his newly designed icon, accompanied by the hashtag #RealSoftwareRealMe. With this new symbol, genuine software users can express their proud ethical stand in hope to raise awareness and eventually enhance security in the entire digital space. The icon represents his real self and determination to encourage digital natives to join this online conversation and recognize negative consequences of using counterfeit software.
Rukkit, the rising-star street artist well-known for his animal graffiti, has created an icon with intricate and colourful geometrical patterns in his trademark style. He chose the bear as the symbolic animal for the initiative and a representation of courage, strength and integrity. The animal also has a close connection to his own characteristics.
According to the latest market survey*, the software piracy rate in Thailand is still much higher than the global average despite the gradual decline in recent years. In 2016, the piracy rate in Thailand stood at 67%, down 2% from the previous year but still higher than Asia Pacific average of 61% and global average of 39%. The sluggish reduction of intellectual property infringement is primarily due to people’s lack of awareness on negative consequences in security and privacy from the use of non-genuine products. Some still hold false beliefs that real software costs more and does not offer any advantage, resulting in these users continuing to rely on counterfeit products at the expense of their own devices, privacy, and even their online security. If everyone uses genuine software that usually protect computer and personal data, it will result in the overall increase in the level of cybersecurity. In addition to that, one of the indirect benefits would be users can help shape the direction of software development by their opinions reflected in their actual purchase behavior.
“As an artist who always puts lots of effort and hours of hard work to originate each piece of artwork, plagiarism and copyright infringement are totally a nightmare for every artist. No artist will be happy if someone takes advantage of our work or idea. Thus, I do admire and strongly support those who use genuine products and hope that they will set a great example for others as they stand up for what is right. They are truly the icon of perception change for a better Thai cyber society. They are inspirers for the new value.”, Rukkit concluded.
*Survey from BSA │The Software Alliance May 2016