UAE authorities intensify campaign against software piracy

Sharjah Police seize three PCs and 500 CDs containing pirated software and detain four persons in connection with the case.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  July 3, 2005

The UAE authorities have stepped up efforts to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) by intensifying its campaign against software piracy. The Sharjah Police in a recent raid seized three PCs operating on pirated Windows XP, Office XP 2003 and Norton Anti-Virus, besides over 500 CDs, from two companies in the emirate and detained four persons in connection with the case. The raid, which was conducted in co-ordination with the Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAA), was part of a larger initiative involving government departments and private companies to maintain the low rate of software piracy achieved by the UAE. " The stringent actions being taken by the local authorities against manufacturers and users of pirated software will serve to reassure global companies who have set up facilities in the UAE to manage their Middle East operations. This serves to boost the confidence of international businesses in the UAE's ability to effectively keep piracy under check, and will help attract further investment to the country. We call upon other Arab countries to adopt the successful measures taken by the UAE, in order to accelerate the transformation to a digital society," says Scott Butler, CEO of AAA. The AAA organises a host of awareness campaigns for retailers, distributors as well as end-users like government departments, private companies and individuals. The campaigns focus on the benefits of using legal software, such as protection of IT investments, high performance of computing systems and protection of important data, besides technical support services and the upgrading of original software. On the other hand, international software manufacturers have been giving price benefits to countries that record low piracy rates and are increasing investment in such countries, benefiting end-users as well as national economies. A proliferation of the use of pirated software results in considerable losses for manufacturers and distributors, bringing down job vacancies and forcing companies to reduce their investments, especially on research and development. "Software piracy is considered to be a key obstacle for business growth around the world, leading to economic stagnation. In the trend to follow the free trade policy, protecting IPRs and promoting the development and use of legal software have become critical to the integration of the global economic system and to support local and regional development plans, as well as to provide an ideal environment that encourages developers towards more technological innovations," Butler concludes.

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