Middle East piracy rates drop to 49%

Software piracy has dropped significantly in the Middle East and Africa from a whopping 80% in 1994 to 49% in 2002, according to the Business Software Alliance.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  June 4, 2003

Software piracy has dropped significantly in the Middle East and Africa from a whopping 80% in 1994 to 49% in 2002, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA). During the period, piracy of commercial business software has declined from 49% to 39%. The UAE has shown the largest drop, down from 86% piracy in 1994 to 36% in 2002.

“The UAE’s leading anti-piracy role in the region is an excellent example of how far-sighted policies and the effective implementation of Intellectual Property Laws (IPL) can make a difference. Today, the UAE and specifically Dubai has become the IT hub of the region with major international software manufacturers setting up operations in the emirate to service the IT needs of the Middle East and neighbouring countries,” says Jawad Al-Redha, co-chairperson, Middle East Business Software Alliance (BSA).

All countries in the region have reported a reduction piracy rates thanks to extensive collaborative efforts between vendors and individual Arab governments. Saudi Arabia, for instance, has registered a drop of 28 points from 78% to 50%; Oman has shown a fall of 26 points to 70%; and Bahrain and Qatar have dipped from 92% to 76%.

“The study results are compelling evidence of how the commitment to reduce software piracy by governments in the region can bring about a change, and this will stimulate further growth in the software industry. Today, international software manufacturers are channelling huge investments into the Middle East and major IT establishments have set up regional headquarters in the region. These positive figures once again bring to the forefront the key role that the protection of Intellectual Property Rights plays in achieving a healthy economic climate and creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs offering greater impetus to the local software industry,” explains Al Redha.

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