Oman's Al Shanfari Group signs code of ethics

It is hoped the move will inspire other companies in the Sultanate to install original software across the enterprise.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  July 17, 2005

The Al Shanfari Group of companies, Oman’s leading business conglomerate, has taken a major step towards using original software across the enterprise by signing the code of ethics drafted by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the organisation that represents the interests of global software developers. The code of ethics sets out that the signatory will “neither commit nor tolerate the manufacturing, use or distribution of unlicensed software”, and “will only supply licensed software to internal and external customers.” Al Shanfari Group is one of Oman’s biggest business houses, with diversified interests in engineering, transport, logistics, manufacturing, automotives, commercial, tourism and property management. Adil Bin Saeed Al Shanfari, vice chairman of Al Shanfari Group, says that the signing of the code of ethics allows Al Shanfari to contribute to the sustained campaign by BSA and the Omani authorities to curb the threat of piracy in the country. “The decision reflects our commitment to follow ethical business practices, and we will ensure that strict anti-piracy measures are implemented across our enterprise," he adds. Over the past three decades, Al Shanfari has emerged as one of the most prominent and dynamic business enterprises in the Sultanate, with interests in almost every aspect of modern Oman. The Group has played a major role in establishing and developing Oman’s infrastructure – from government construction projects to retail, manufacturing, tourism development and transportation. The signing of the code of ethics by Al Shanfari is a major boost for the BSA’s activities in Oman, according to Jawad Al Redha, co-chairman of the BSA in the Middle East. “The move reflects the growing awareness among top-rung companies of the importance of protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) and the larger benefits to be gained by using original software. This positive measure will help the anti-piracy campaign in the Sultanate gather further momentum," he says. Al Redha believes businesses have begun to realise that original software guarantees superior performance and protects important data, as well as providing technical support and vital security updates. Moreover, he says, there is now a better understanding of the detrimental effects of software piracy, such as reduced IT investments and the consequent decline in employment opportunities, which ultimately impedes economic growth. "We compliment Al Shanfari Group on its exemplary move that will inspire others to follow suit," says Redha.

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