KSA government successful in piracy raids

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Information has confiscated software and hardware worth 5 million Saudi Riyals, after a series of raids in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.

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By  Robin Duff Published  February 18, 2002

Saudi Arabian efforts to crack down on piracy in the Kingdom are intensifying: the country's Ministry of Information has confiscated software and hardware worth 5 million Saudi Riyals, after a series of raids on computer shops and assembly centres in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar. Apartments that were being used as illegal copying centres were also successfully raided.

According to reports in the Saudi press, a large quantity of equipment and programmes, which were ready for distribution, were confiscated. The ministry also took away equipment used for illegal distribution, including a number of cars.

As part of its continuous campaign to protect intellectual property rights, the Ministry of Information has warned these shops to apply corrective measures and legalise their operations. The ministry has also warned of surprise raids on legally registered establishments to ensure that they abide by the copyright law.

Sales at IT shops in Riyadh and Alkhobar have increased considerably as a result of the crackdown, as a large number of companies, organisations and individuals have started buying original software to avoid possible detection and punishment by the ministry.
Minister of Information Dr. Fouad Al-Farsy said his ministry was "keen to protect intellectual property rights and the interest of the national economy by strictly enforcing local laws and regulations."

A plan has been developed by the Saudi Arabian government to combat piracy. Specifically, an updated blacklist of violators will be released every month. Companies or organisations that have legalised themselves will then, by directly contacting the Ministry of Information, have the opportunity to remove their names from the blacklist by proving that they are abiding by the law.

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