Software piracy campaign

UAE cracks down on software pirates.

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By  Eliot Beer Published  September 18, 2005

The UAE has stepped up its campaign against software piracy, with recent raids on two Dubai computer companies resulting in the seizure of pirated material and an arrest. “The latest raids reflect the commitment of the UAE authorities to safeguard the integrity of the Intellectual Property Rights laws. The UAE's determined campaign against piracy has helped improve its standing in the international digital society,” says Scott Butler, CEO of the Arabian Anti-piracy Alliance. The UAE authorities are making a big effort to reduce the incidence of piracy in the country in order to encourage greater investment from international software companies and to support local software producers. In addition to seizures of equipment, the authorities are also conducting awareness campaigns aimed at both distributors and end-users of software, highlighting the problems with using pirated material including security risks and decreased reliability and productivity. The Business Software Alliance, which represents a consortium of global software developers, recently named the UAE as the most successful of the Middle Eastern and North African countries at limiting software piracy. The UAE has the lowest piracy rate in the region. “The country has attracted considerable investor attention, with many leading software companies setting up their development facilities and regional headquarters in the UAE,” said Butler. “The UAE's strong anti-piracy stance has also helped support the growth of the local IT industry. These factors have combined to help diversify the country's economic activities, raise employment opportunities and accelerate economic growth. “The UAE has already achieved admirable results in protecting IPR laws, and we are looking forward to further boost our co-operation with the country's authorities to step up the anti-piracy campaign. We call upon countries elsewhere in the region to take similar measures to effectively tackle the menace of software piracy.” The equipment seized in the raids comprised four PCs and 55 CDs containing pirated material, which included copies of Windows XP, Microsoft Office and Norton Anti-Virus. No details regarding the names of the companies or the details of the raid were available.

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