Sharjah software resellers busted

Three illegal software traders in Sharjah have become the latest parties to meet the long arm of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) following yet another set of raids initiated by Microsoft.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  July 2, 2007

Three illegal software traders in Sharjah have become the latest parties to meet the long arm of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) following yet another set of raids initiated by Microsoft.

Joint anti-piracy entrapment operations conducted last month resulted in the arrest of three illegal traders and confiscation of various counterfeit items in Sharjah. The three individuals working at the reseller outlets now face criminal prosecution.

A combined team of anti-piracy operatives and UAE authorities seized nearly 100 assorted pirated CDs and three PCs installed with illegal software during the crackdown.

Jawad Al Redha, co-chairman of the BSA Middle East (pictured), says it is vital for the alliance to sustain its tactical initiatives and send a firm message to cyber crime syndicates that they will be apprehended.

"Our collaborative efforts with local authorities and private organisations have yielded excellent results and have even encouraged other business establishments to join our campaign by providing valuable information about illegal traders in their area," said Al Redha.

The BSA's efforts to reduce software piracy in the UAE were recently boosted by the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Economy. The move is considered to be the first agreement of its kind in the region.

Juma Al Leem, director of censorship department at Dubai Government, believes a "compelling show of force" is the only way to deter the proliferation of traders selling anti-piracy software.

"Our efforts are also a way of encouraging consumers to deal only with resellers offering genuine software as doing otherwise would be tantamount to supporting these criminals," he said. "By keeping the industry free of illegal software distribution, we are encouraging more foreign investments and consequently generating new wealth for the economy."

The arrests in Sharjah follow a concerted effort by Microsoft to crack down on UAE traders involved in piracy. Ten individuals were arrested and more than 300 disks containing pirated software were seized during raids in Dubai and Abu Dhabi last month.

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