Store signs anti-piracy agreement

Microsoft has reached an out-of-court settlement with a Dubai computer retailer following a piracy raid.

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By  Administrator Published  April 12, 2007

Microsoft has reached an out-of-court settlement with a Dubai computer retailer following a piracy raid.

The settlement was announced this week by industry body the Business Software Alliance (BSA). The association said in a statement that following a raid of its premises the retailer, Royal Focus, signed an agreement to abstain from using, exhibiting or soliciting any pirated Microsoft software.

The retailer has, however, denied that it was selling pirated software.

"We never sold [software piracy] and we will not sell it in future. We have never planned to sell it," a spokesperson for Royal Focus told IT Weekly.

He said the store, which is located in Dubai's Computer Plaza, signed the agreement because it respected the laws and regulations and wanted to settle the matter.

Microsoft said it was conducting a series of raids and intended to prosecute firms found to be in breach of intellectual property rights laws.

"We are determined to reduce software piracy through any and all legitimate means," Tolga Altinordu, OEM director at Microsoft Gulf, said.

"Piracy is not a victimless crime, and has destructive potential of stifling creativity, hampering economic growth, eroding trust and perverting business environments," he added.

The UAE has the lowest piracy rate in the region, according to the latest figures from the BSA. Jawad Alredha, co-chairman of the association, said that, with 34% of software being pirated, the rate of piracy in the UAE was lower than that of some European countries and has been decreasing.

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