Jordan court sends software pirate to prison

Three month prison sentence sends shock waves through Jordanian reseller community. BSA Middle East's new man, Jawad Al Redha, will welcome the news.

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By  Rob Corder Published  December 20, 2000

Three month prison sentence sends shock waves through Jordanian reseller community. BSA Middle East's new man, Jawad Al Redha, will welcome the news.

Jordan's clampdown on software piracy was brought into sharp focus yesterday as a three month prison sentence was handed down to a manager from a computer shop in Amman that was found guilty of selling illegally copied software.

The case was brought against the company following consultation with the Business Software Alliance (BSA). As well as the imprisonment of the representative, the case has resulted in the confiscation of the copied software and also the computers used in the store to duplicate software for customers.

Under Jordanian law, the penalties for copying or for using illegal software are a fine of between JD 1,000 and 3,000 and/or a prison term ranging from 3 months to 3 years.

Similar legal frameworks exist in most other Middle East countries but prison sentences have rarely, if ever, been handed down.

The BSA believes that the high profile imprisonment of one software pirate will send a shock-wave through the Jordanian reseller community.

"This is a clear signal to companies copying software in Jordan today. The law is the law, and the penalties are simply not worth the risk that these companies are taking," said Dr. Bassam Talhouni, the attorney for the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in Jordan.

In related news, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has announced the appointment of Jawad Al Redha as director, Middle East, following the retirement of Ashok Sharma from his BSA position. Sharma will recommence his career with Microsoft GEM, and will focus on the development of Microsoft's regional small to medium enterprise markets.

Al Redha, who joins the BSA following two years' experience as manager, anti-piracy at Microsoft GEM, was formerly director of press centre, Department of Information and Culture for the Northern Emirates and worked at the ministry for 12 years in total.

"The first thing I would like to do is to acknowledge the enormous debt that the BSA owes to Ashok," said Al Redha.

"His determination, intelligence and commitment have been instrumental in the movement forwards on the issue of copyright protection that we have seen in the whole region over his time with the BSA. He's going to be a tough act to follow!"

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