Oman continues piracy raids

Oman has continued its drive against piracy by raiding four companies using illegal software. The latest actions follow an extensive awareness and enforcement campaign in the Sultanate.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  December 9, 2001

Oman has continued its drive against piracy by raiding four companies using illegal software. The latest actions carried out by the Omani Ministry of National Heritage and Culture follow an extensive awareness and enforcement campaign in the country.

The raids in Muscat uncovered more than 86 PCs loaded with a host of unlicensed software including Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98,Windows 2000, Office 97,Office 2000, Autodesk AutoCad 14, AutoCad 2000 and Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 2000.

“The Omani authorities could not have expressed their intention to protect the country’s IT sector more clearly,” commented the BSA’s director, Jawad Al-Redha. “Illegal software cost the Omani economy more than 2.5 million Riyals in 2000. 2.5 million Riyals that could have been used to encourage investments, create jobs and promote cultural exchange in the Sultanate.”

The Omani government has been working in conjunction with the BSA to encourage software licensing and educating companies about copyright laws, and those transgressing the copyright law face penalties of 2000 Omani Riyals and a two year prison sentence

“Illegal software is the single biggest threat that faces information technology in any market. No one will invest in a market where copyright is not protected; it discourages local entrepreneurs and international companies alike. If any country is to develop a viable IT industry, it has to fight illegal software efficiently and promote copyright awareness with the public,” added Al-Redha.

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