Piracy concerns for construction industry

Software piracy is rife in the region’s construction industry, specialist software firms are claiming.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  March 13, 2005

Leading vendors of specialist software to the construction industry say they are not seeing enough licences being sold locally to match the scale of development and as software companies invest millions of dollars each year on the research and development of industry-specific software, the open violation of its intellectual property is an issue of grave concern. While the overall spending on GCC construction topped a staggering US$44 billion last year, design software firms say that they are losing millions of dollars in revenue because of piracy issues in the region. “You have some of the biggest international consultants attached to these projects through their local partners. But we are not seeing enough software licences being issued from here parallel to this sort of heightened activity,” says Ahmad Al Jassim, country sales manager, Autodesk Middle East, which specialises in design software. Constructive Technologies has taken steps to clamp down on unauthorised usage of its software. To prevent users from exploiting its free trial period offer, Constructive Technologies has now updated the software protection mechanism that controls the licensing. It has also changed the way it logs and tracks the downloading of its software so that it can validate an email address before sending out an email containing a link to the download. According to the recent figures on software piracy rates from the BSA, the UAE has one of the lowest rates of software piracy in the region. “Along with the Business Software Alliance, which tackles piracy issues, Autodesk Middle East will launch raids against offenders,” he claimed. “The UAE government has been active in protecting the rights of copyright owners. Several raids have already been conducted and deterrent penalties have been imposed. These raids against software pirates will continue to encourage the purchase of original software,” says Al Jassim.

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