BSA courts local software developers

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is planning to recruit more local developers as it continues its fight against software piracy in the region. Traditionally, the BSA has been made up of international vendors, such as Microsoft and Autodesk, but with the maturing of the local software market, Middle East ISVs are poised to join the industry coalition.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  October 14, 2002

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is planning to recruit more local developers as it continues its fight against software piracy in the region. Traditionally, the BSA has been made up of international vendors, such as Microsoft and Autodesk, but with the maturing of the local software market, Middle East ISVs are poised to join the industry coalition. “Getting more local developers to join the BSA is a key objective for the next year,” says Jawad Al Redha, regional director, BSA, in an interview at the alliance’s annual Gitex meeting yesterday.

“We’re going to be making some announcements along these lines very soon,” he adds.

A strong government level IPR policy is vital to win vendor investment in the region, establish information technology hubs and encourage local developers. “This is the golden age for local developers, however, they will only be encouraged if they know that their work is going to be protected,” says Al Redha.

“Local developers have been asking to join for some time. It is going to help us educate the market to have local developers speaking and urging the protection of their IPR,” he adds.

Ennis Rimawi, chairman & president, of Jordanian software developer, Estarta Solutions, exhibiting in the Jordanian pavilion in Hall 8, concurs that strong IP protection is vital to build an indigenous software economy.

“IP enforcement is important to build product industries. Before it was enforced it helped to generate critical mass… but to have an indigenous software industry, intellectual property enforcement is important,”

A new contingent of local developers working with the BSA will be important as the alliance attempts to extend its reach out to the small and medium sized market. To further reduce the piracy across the region, the BSA plans a massive IPR drive on the SMB segment during 2003.

“A large percentage of small to medium sized businesses are running pirated software. This year we plan to enhance our relationships with government organisations and focus on the SMB companies,” says Al Redha.

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