Kuwait authorities bust piracy ring

Software pirates in Kuwait risked their lives earlier this week by jumping from apartment windows as a joint raid from police, the fire service and Ministry of Information officials flushed them from their illegal copying den.

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By  Rob Corder Published  April 24, 2001

Computer software pirates in Kuwait risked their lives earlier this week by jumping from apartment windows as a joint raid from police, the fire service and Ministry of Information officials flushed them from their illegal copying den.

The pirates were forced into their desperate freedom flight because police and firemen had sealed off all five entrances to their apartment complex. When firemen brought in cutters to break through the iron doors protecting the flat, the occupants went for the windows. The dramatic escape was foiled, however, as authorities were waiting for them on the ground to arrest them.

The raid was made on one of Kuwait's biggest resellers of computer products, equipment and software and involved seven sites being busted simultaneously. Five retail outlets, as well as two apartments used as duplication centres were part of the coordinated action that centred on Kuwait’s Hawalli computer district.

Over 35,000 CD's containing counterfeit software were seized in the raids, as well as catalogues and personal computers loaded with unlicensed software. Software seized during the raid included products from Microsoft, Adobe, AutoCad, Corel, Symantec and other software developers.

"The law is clear in Kuwait, the determination of the Kuwaiti authorities is just as clear," said Jawad Al Redha, regional director of the BSA (Business Software Alliance). "There can be no doubt that this company was aware of the law and the strong recent enforcement measures taken to protect intellectual property in Kuwait. What is perhaps surprising is that an operation of this size was still operating in the city."

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